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Battle of Carthage

The Battle of Carthage was the major act of the Third Punic War between Carthage and Rome, and ended in 146 BC with the complete destruction of Carthage.

After a Roman army under Manilius landed in Africa in 149 BC, Carthage surrendered and handed over hostages and arms. However, the Romans demanded the complete destruction of the city, and surprisingly - to the Romans, though perhaps less surprising to us - the city refused, the faction advocating submission overturned by one in favor of defense.

The Carthaginians manned the walls and defied the Romans, a situation which lasted for two years due to poor Roman commanders. Then the Romans elected the young but popular Scipio Aemilianus as consul, a special law being passed to lift the age restriction. Scipio restored discipline, defeated the Carthaginians in a field battle, and besieged the city closely, constructing a mole to block the harbor.

In the spring of 146 the Romans broke through the city wall and captured the city after house-to-house fighting. An estimated 50,000 surviving inhabitants were sold into slavery, the city leveled and the site sown with salt.