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Never Give Up Your Weapons

Written By: David Deming  |  Posted: Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

History demonstrates that destruction awaits those who attempt to placate their enemies by surrendering their weapons. In 149 BC, half a million citizens of Carthage tried to appease Rome by turning over their armaments. But instead of buying peace, they only facilitated their own destruction. Ninety percent of the Carthaginians were killed, and the city of Carthage was razed. Those who survived were sold into slavery, and Carthaginian civilization was forever wiped from the face of the earth. The story of how the Carthaginians sealed their fate by delivering their weapons into the hands of their enemy is chronicled in my book, Science and Technology in World History, Vol. 1.
Carthage was founded on the shores of North Africa by Phoenicians in the 9th century BC. It was the center of a powerful and ancient empire, and as the power of Rome grew, it was inevitable that the Romans and Carthaginians would come into conflict.

Between 264 and 146 BC, Rome and Carthage fought three Punic Wars for control of the Mediterranean. The Romans were victorious in both the First and Second Punic Wars. At the close of the Second Punic War in 202 BC, Carthage was forced to pay Rome 200 talents of silver a year for fifty years. An additional term of peace was that Carthage was forbidden from waging war without Rome's permission. Consequently, Numidians in North Africa began to raid Carthage without fear of reprisal. When the Carthaginians begged Rome for permission to defend themselves, they were refused.

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