Third Punic War: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Jennifer Lowery

Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.

The Third Punic War was the final battle between Carthage and Rome. In this lesson, learn about the history between Carthage and Rome, the events that led up to the Third Punic War, and how Carthage was finally destroyed.

Prosperous Colony

Quick! Hop into this time machine and travel back over 2,200 years to the ancient trade city of Carthage. As you step out of the time machine, you'll notice the wealth and beauty of this city. Ships are coming in and out of ports along the glittering Mediterranean Sea, bringing valuable items to the people living in the city. Carthage was once known for its wealth and success. However, this did not last forever.

History of Disagreement

For many years, Carthage and Rome did not get along. The city of Carthage was very successful, and they only wanted to get bigger. At one point they tried to conquer the island of Sicily, but Rome decided to fight them. Rome won in what was known as the First Punic War.

Carthage didn't learn their lesson, trying again to expand their city. This time, they wanted to conquer a city that was an ally with Rome. An ally is a country or city that stands together with another country or city. So guess what happened? Rome and Carthage once again engaged in a battle we call the Second Punic War. Carthage was led by a famous general, Hannibal. He ran out of supplies, and his forces were defeated.

After the Second Punic War, Carthage decided to play nice for a while. They kicked Hannibal out of the city, as if to show the Romans that they were ready for a fresh start. For a while, Carthage and Rome were allies with one another. But not for long!

Hannibal was a general for Carthage who was ultimately defeated by the Romans in the Second Punic War.
Punic Wars


Would you be tempted to try something for a third time if you weren't successful the first two times? Carthage sure was! The city leaders wanted to get back a territory that they'd lost earlier. This area was called Numidia, and they sent a group there to fight the Numidian king. The Romans were furious, especially since Carthage had been getting more and more demanding even before this invasion of Numidia.

Rome was angered that the city of Carthage wanted to take over the area of Numidia.
Punic Wars

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