Rome Seizes the Trident

The Defeat of Carthaginian Seapower and the Forging of the Roman Empire

Marc G de Santis

Date Published :
July 2016
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
6 diagrams, 6 maps
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781473826984
Pages : 272
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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Seapower played a greater part in ancient empire building than is often appreciated. The Punic Wars, especially the first, were characterized by massive naval battles. The Romans did not even possess a navy of their own when war broke out between them and the Carthaginians in Sicily in 264 B.C. Prior to that, the Romans had relied upon several South Italian Greek cities to provide ships in the same way as its other allies provided soldiers to serve with the legions. The Romans were nevertheless determined to acquire a navy that could challenge that of Carthage. They used a captured galley as a model, reverse engineered it, and constructed hundreds of copies. The Romans used this new navy to wrench maritime superiority from the Carthaginians, most notably at the Battle of Ecnomus where they prevailed through the use of novel tactics. Although not decisive on its own, Rome’s new found naval power was, as Marc De Santis shows, a vital component in their ultimate victory in each of the three Punic Wars.

About The Author

Marc De Santis is an associate editor with Military History Quarterly, a prominent US military history magazine. He is the author of a number of articles on aspects of military history for specialist military magazines, including Military Heritage and Ancient Warfare Online. He has also written a fantasy novel.


"In all, De Santis gives us an excellent view of war at sea in the period and of the war itself, of great value for those lacking familiarity with the period, and not without some insights likely to be of interest to the more serious student of the subject."

- The NYMAS Review

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