The 3rd Punic War (149-46 BC)
Constant conflicts with the kingdom of Numidia (today Algeria) drove Carthage into a war not approved by Rome.
Punic militarism alarmed many Romans, including Cato the Elder who ended all his speeches, no matter the topic, by saying: "Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam." - "Furthermore, I think that Carthage must be destroyed".
In 149 BC, in an attempt to draw Carthage into open conflict, Rome made a series of escalating demands, one being the surrender of three hundred children of the nobility as hostages, and finally ending with the near-impossible demand that the city be demolished and rebuilt away from the coast.
When the Carthaginians refused this last demand, Rome declared the Third Punic War. A second offensive under the command of Scipio Aemilianus resulted in a three-year siege before he breached the walls, sacked the city, and systematically burned Carthage to the ground in 146 B.C.
The survivors were sold into slavery. The Carthaginian territory became the Roman province of Africa.
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The Punic Wars