The armies of Carthage allowed the city to forge the most powerful empire in the western Mediterranean. Although by tradition a seafaring nation with a powerful navy, Carthage, by necessity, had to employ a land army to further their territorial claims and match their enemies. Adopting the weapons and tactics of the Hellenistic kingdoms, Carthage similarly employed mercenary armies from their allies and subject city-states. Military successes came in Africa, Sicily, Spain, and Italy, where armies were led by such celebrated commanders as Hamilcar Barca and Hannibal. Carthage’s military dominance was, though, eventually challenged and bested by the rise of Rome and, following defeat in the Second Punic War (218-201 BCE), Carthage’s days as a regional powerhouse were over.
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