ancient cities

2

Hannibal of Carthage and the punic wars (264BC - 146BC)

The Punic wars were a series of wars fought between the Rapidly expanding Carthagian Empire in North Africa and the Roman republic. The carthagian Empire held the isle of Sicily off the cost of Rome. Long story short the Roman republic sanctioned an attack to retake sicily and stop the exspansion of the Carthagians. 

Unlike most civilisations the Romans had a trained and battle hardened veteran core of troops. The legions numbered at about 30,000. Carthage had to rely mainly of Mercenaries and the indigenous tribes. However the Carthagians had a huge navy and the Romans had to build one fast. Subsequently the romans were defeated and realised the traditional naval warfare tactics of raming and stone flinging would not work. The romans attached the Assualt bridge to their warships, this meant that legionaires and Auxillary could board the carthagian ships. Rome went through an nearly unbroken string of victories at sea and in sicily. The carthagian mercenaries fled the battlefields 9/10 times. Carthage sued for peace in 241BC. 

Carthage was forced to pay a sum in silver for the 8000 african Prisoners of war. However Carthage would not return the captured legionaires. The Carthagian king Hannibal pursued the defected troops and attacked a Roman town they were hiding in. The Carthagians refused to hand Hannibal over to the Romans for trial. Rome declared another war on Carthage.

Hannibal intended to cross the famous alps with siege engines and elephants. Over the course of the 3 year war, Hannibal won notable victories against Rome at the battle of Trebia and the battle of Cannae. Hannibal eventually did cross the alps but was hesitant of Romes defences. At he same time the Romans cut of trade routes and his army began to starve. Rome then launched a counter attack and Hannibal attempted to split his army but was deafeated at the battle of Zama. This basically ended Carthage. The city of Carthage was soon sacked and burnt to the ground and the Romans took even more of Africa. Hannibal himself commited suicide.

Hannibal is often regared as a Brilliant millitary commander. He managed to win battles while scaling a mountain range with a half dead army and some elephants against the mighty Rome. He is compared with Napoleon and Julius Caesar at times. 

Priene

City plan of Priene. Illustration by Patrice Bonnet, 1910-11. Reconstruction of Priene. Watercolor illustration by A. Zippelius, 1908.

Priene probably would get elected in the all-stars team of ancient Greek cities. I think when we look at these cities that have been dug up by the 19th century romantics, as plans and illustrations, it’s somehow easier to get a picture of the place in your head than looking at the actual ruins. Because ruins, and their representantions have such a strong visual history that is hard to overlook when trying to see them as particles of what once was a city.

I think I always remember Priene from the history classes in architecture school as the “grid city”. Some years ago, I had the chance to visit the actual site and I was amazed how accurately the grid really defined the city. Understanding its reason of being, was more about the grid than the ruins.

(illustrations from Bildarchiv Foto Marburg)

you honestly expect me to believe people did this with BASIC tools?

Please.

Look how small these people are compared to the massive structure.

Our technology today would have a difficult time doing this, and yet, were taught that primitive tools were able to do this.

Try again.

The Seven Lost Cities Of The World

Machu Picchu, Peru

External image

Located on a mountain ridge above the Urubamba Valley, Machu Picchu was the ‘Lost City of the Incas’, inhabited in the 15th and 16th century. Archaeologists believe that the mountain estate was built for the Inca emperor, Pachacuti, but was abandoned because of the Spanish Conquest. The inhabitants were also believed to have been wiped out by smallpox introduced by Spanish conquistadors. The actual ruins were discovered centuries later, in 1911, by American historian, Hiram Bingham.

External image

External image

Petra, Jordan

External image

Admired for its intricate rock cut architecture and advanced water conduit system, Petra is a historical marvel dating back to the 6th century BC. It was the capital city of the Nabataeans, center of trade routes and used by the civilization to control the water supply in the desert city, and was built on the slope of Mount Hor. It was first discovered in 1812 by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt. Oh, and you might recognize it from a little movie called Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

External image

External image

Pompeii, Italy

External image

Probably one of the most famous lost cities, Pompeii and its inhabitants were the unfortunate victims of the catastrophic volcanic eruption in 79 AD. Spanning two days, Mount Vesuvius’ eruption completely buried the Roman city under ash and pumice. It remained lost for over 1700 years until a farmer stumbled upon the ruins in 1749.

External image

External image

Memphis, Egypt

External image

According to legends, Memphis – a city located south of Cairo – was founded around 3000 BC by the pharaoh Menes. It used to be the ancient capital of Lower Egypt and thrived as a cultural, commercial, religious and trading hub. The city was abandoned as the Roman Empire came into prominence, and consequently, the site fell into disrepair.

External image

External image

Troy, Turkey

Home of the legendary decade-long Trojan War described in Homer’s Illiad and Odyssey – involving a wooden horse, a beautiful queen Helen, a heroic Agamemnon and Achilles’ heel - Troy was the center of all ancient civilizations. Though the authenticity of the Trojan War legend is sketchy, the city of Troy was inhabited from the third millennium BC to the 4th century AD. It was rebuilt over 10 times, occupied by different civilizations (including the Hittite), appears as Ilium after Roman rule, and eventually declined during the Byzantine era. The ruins were found in 1822 and excavated from 1870-1890.

External image

External image

Babylon, Iraq

External image

Located south of Baghdad, and home to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World – the Hanging Gardens of Babylon – Babylon was one of Mesopatomia’s first cities. The city housed an advanced civilization with well-developed literature, medicine, religion and legal system dating back to the third millennium BC. The term “eye for an eye” also stems from this ancient city, uttered by King Hammurabi who created the Babylonian empire. The city eventually collapsed in the 7th century AD, after centuries of foreign domination.

External image

External image

Persepolis, Iran

External image

Founded by King Darius, Persepolis was one of the four capitals of the Persian Empire. Building began around 518 BC and the city reflected the wealth and grandeur of the Archaemid Dynasty, before it was burnt to the ground in 330 BC by Alexander the Great.

External image

External image