North Africa

Maximinus Thrax and the Year of the Six Emperors. March 19, 325 AD.

  “The Romans could bear his barbarities no longer — the way in which he called up informers and incited accusers, invented false offences, killed innocent men, condemned all whoever came to trial, reduced the richest men to utter poverty and never sought money anywhere save in some other’s ruin, put many generals and many men of consular rank to death for no offence, carried others about in waggons without food and drink, and kept others in confinement, in short neglected nothing which he thought might prove effectual for cruelty — and, unable to suffer these things longer, they rose against him in revolt.” —    Historia Augusta. The emperor at the beginning of the year was Maximinus Thrax, who had ruled since March 20, 235. Later sources claim he was a cruel tyrant...

First Punic War – March 10, 241 BC

The Romans and Carthaginians were engaged in what was called the First Punic War, beginning in 264 BC. Carthage was the superior force at the beginning of the conflict and the term “Punic” is Latin for the Carthaginians as it began as a Phoenician colony in North Africa. The conflict between the two powers was for control of the western Mediterranean Sea and began when they clashed in Messana, in Sicily, the closest city to the Italian peninsula. In 288 BC, Messana had been captured by the Mamertines, a group of mercenaries originially hired by Agathocles of Syracuse. While that was going on, rebel Campanian Romans took Rhegium. In 271-270 BC, Roman Republicans retook Rhegium and punished the rebels who still lived there. Meanwhile, the Mamertines were marauding across the countryside, unt...

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