Classroom Activities for Punic Wars
- Olive oil was an important trade item in the Roman empire.Olive Oils image by travesty from Fotolia.com
Explain the basics of trade in ancient Rome. Using a map of the Roman Empire, have students pick a country in the empire to study (Spain, France, Britain, Italy outside of Rome) and report on what products that country could trade with Rome. For example, lead, tin and woolen fabric came from Britain once that country was conquered; in turn, Britons imported wine and olive oil from Rome. Discuss with students how disruptions of trade helped cause the Punic wars between Rome and Carthage. For extra credit, suggest students play an online game of the Punic Wars.
- Have students study the governments of Rome and Carthage and compare and contrast the two. See if students can find and point out differences by reading and studying the information provided on various websites. Students can split into two groups to debate on which government was the most efficient or most fair to the most people. One major difference in the armies of the two powers was that Roman soldiers in the early republic were patriots, while the army of Carthage was composed of mercenaries. Have students discuss how this affected the outcome of the wars.