The Year of Destruction: The Fall of Two Great Cities: 146 BCE:

28 Jan

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The Romans grew tired of their involvement in the affairs of the warring Greeks, they would provoke the Greeks as Roman victory against Carthage grew near. The Greeks would make the fatal error of declaring war on their Roman saviors. In one year, 146 BC, two of the most prosperous cities of antiquity would be wiped off the face of the Earth by the bloodthirsty Romans.

The Romans had fought their Mediterranean archenemy Carthage all the way to the walls of their city in North Africa, and the slaughter that followed in the spring of 146 BC would leave Carthage uninhabited for 100 years. 50,000 citizens of Carthage locked themselves in the citadel while the Romans entered the city. 900 Roman deserters locked themselves in the temple of Eshmun and set it ablaze, they would rather perish by fire than face the tortures of the Romans. Hasdrubal, the leader of Carthage, ran from the burning temple to surrender to Rome, while behind him the fires consumed hundreds of his people, including his wife and child. Not a single building would be left standing in Carthage, the old enemy of Rome would pass from history forever.

Vengeance for the Greeks followed swiftly in the months that followed. Marching from Macedon, the Romans swept south into the Peloponnesian Peninsula, defeating a Greek army on the way.  Flush from the heady slaughter of Carthage, the Romans crushed their Greek host at Corinth and stormed into the city. What followed was a bloodbath, every man was put to the sword, and the women and children were enslaved. Corinth was raped and looted, the ancient city was destroyed to a stone. For a hundred years hence the land would be desolate and empty, its field’s laying fallow, until in 44 BC Julius Caesar founded a small colony in the area. He would do the same for Carthage.

 

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