Classical Quarterly 35 (01):92- (1985)

Rome and Carthage had established peaceful diplomatic relations before 300 b.c. — as early as the close of the sixth century according to Polybius, whose dating there no longer seems good cause to doubt. A second treaty was struck probably in 348. Both dealt essentially with traders' and travellers' obligations and entitlements, so any military or political terms sprang from that context. In both, the Carthaginians agreed to hand over any independent town they captured in Latium. In the first treaty they were not to establish a fort in Latium either; in the second, the Romans were not to found a city in Carthaginian Africa, Spain or Sardinia. But independent military considerations are the stuff of a third treaty concluded during Rome's war with Pyrrhus. Rome and Carthage now pledged each other military aid in certain circumstances, as we shall see. And ‘geopolitical’ concerns of a very broad kind imbued a treaty which was reported by the third-century historian Philinus of Agrigentum. By this, he stated, ‘the Romans must keep out of the whole of Sicily, the Carthaginians out of Italy’ . This is Polybius' citation of Philinus' allegation; Polybius himself then roundly rejects the very existence of such a pact and declares himself at a loss to understand how his predecessor could record it, but modern scholarship is no longer all that ready to accept his view. A strong majority of historians prefer to follow the Agrigentine, and many see 306 b.c. as the likely year for the agreement because Livy records a ‘renewal’ then of a foedus with Carthage
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DOI 10.1017/S0009838800014592
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