Carthage Under Siege

Carthage Under Siege


Battle of Carthage

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Battle of Carthage, (146 bce ). The destruction of Carthage was an act of Roman aggression prompted as much by motives of revenge for earlier wars as by greed for the rich farming lands around the city. The Carthaginian defeat was total and absolute, instilling fear and horror into Rome’s enemies and allies.

Under the treaty ending the Second Punic War, signed after the Battle of Zama, Carthage had to seek Roman permission before waging war. That treaty expired in 151 bce , so when Rome’s ally Numidia annexed land from Carthage, a Carthaginian army marched to defend it. Rome declared this event to be an act of war and laid siege to Carthage.

The Roman army, led by Manius Manlius, made little impact as the Carthaginians raised an army, converted the city into an arms factory, and held out. About 140,000 of Carthage’s women and children were evacuated by sea to seek refuge in friendly states. In 147 bce , the Roman senate sent a new commander, Scipio Aemilianus, with orders to take the city by storm. He defeated the Carthaginian field army and built a mole to block the city’s harbor. The end came in the spring of 146 bce after the besiegers made a breach in the city walls. The Roman soldiers poured in, only to find that each street had been barricaded and every house fortified. The Romans had to clear the houses one by one.

By the eighth day, the last pockets of Carthaginian resistance collapsed. Last to fall was the Temple of Eshmun, where the wife of the Carthaginian commander, Hasdrubal, sacrificed her sons in front of the Romans, then killed herself. Scipio ordered the city to be burned, then demolished.

Losses: Carthaginian, 62,000 dead and 50,000 enslaved of 112,000 present in the city Roman, 17,000 of 40,000.


Carthage Under Siege

The success of a throng of Tunisian protesters who toppled Ben Ali, the seemingly unshakable dictator, caught the world off guard. Events quickly unfolded after a street vendor in the town of Sidi Bouzid named Mohamed Bouazizi, disgruntled by a lack of economic opportunity, committed the ultimate act of self-immolation that sparked nation-wide protests. These were met with deadly confrontations as police tried to stifle the uprising and the government manipulated the media to allege that the protestors had terrorist motivations.

During the dissolution of the government and parliament, the military remained the only institution the people trusted to assert control and provide security. On January 17, the incumbent Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi announced a temporary national unity government. Elections were set for 60 days hence.

Despite concessions made by this interim government, a crisis of trust continues to reign over the people. The government’s fate remains uncertain as hundreds of people arrived in Tunis from rural areas on January 24, calling for the removal of all former government officials. This sea change in power raises several questions about the root causes of this extraordinary protest, the impact it will have on the region as a whole, and whether the theory that Arab civil societies are too inept to generate real change within their own governments has been finally disproved.

Defining the Revolution

Analysts have rushed to make sense of Tunisia’s unforeseen popular revolt. The media have emphasized the economic discontent caused by unemployment, poverty, and high food prices. Others have noted the role social networks have played, characterizing the uprising as an instance of online activism and hailing it as a “Twitter revolution.”

Elizabeth Dickinson has christened the uprising a “WikiLeaks revolution,” speculating on the catalytic force of the WikiLeaks cables. These cables discussed the corruption of the ruling elite, the repression of journalists and social movements, and the country’s economic crisis.

This extraordinary uprising is being seen as the possible start of a domino effect in the Arab world. Its potential resonance has pushed pundits to draw comparisons with Algeria in the early 1990s, the Iranian revolution, and Iran’s more recent Green Movement. These speculations have some validity, yet lose sight of the specificity of the Tunisian context and risk invalidating its spontaneous and organic nature.

An Endogenous Revolution

The Tunisian uprising is a case of endogenous revolution, an event that occurred because of the particularities of the Tunisian situation. The smoldering discontent that Tunisians felt toward their authoritarian regime was only awaiting Bouazizi’s spark.

Ben Ali, the deposed president who has sought asylum in Saudi Arabia, came to power in 1987 after a coup against Habib Bourghuiba, the nationalist leader and first president who led the modernization of the country. Under Ali’s leadership, the country continued with economic liberal and social reforms, which fostered a relatively developed infrastructure and several social and demographic gains. The Tunisian economy has averaged five percent GDP growth since the early 1990s. According to Pascal Boniface, of the Institute for International and Strategic Relations, the economic development of Ben Ali’s early years in power helped to create a highly educated middle class.

What Tunisians gained in economic reforms they lost in political freedom, a trade of civil liberties for a “system that works” with a sustainable infrastructure, liberal economic reforms, decentralization, women’s rights, and access to education. Expounding on the demographic behavior in Tunisia, French anthropologist Emmanuel Todd has emphasized the role of literacy, low fertility, and high rates of intermarriage as key to its democratic transition. While touting his role in achieving these gains to the nation and the West, Ben Ali ignored the repercussions on his nation’s social fabric. Moreover, he underestimated the social consciousness and maturity of his own people.

The West’s unconditional backing of Tunisia’s president, as an ally in the “war on terrorism” and an alternative to a potential Islamist threat, gave him more confidence domestically. This presumptuous attitude furthered his isolation from the people, as he surrounded himself by a coterie that recklessly took control. The corruption of the ruling cliques wrecked the banking and the financial sectors, curbing foreign investment and causing high unemployment among the educated youth.

As noted by the U.S. embassy cables from American diplomats, the kleptocrats within Ben Ali’s clan coveted everything, challenging the economic, moral, and political values espoused in the people‘s slogan, “employment, liberty, and dignity.” This corrupt elite took over the “Tunisian miracle,” as former French President Jacques Chirac described the socio-economic policies of Tunisia. Growing discontent against Ben Ali’s mafia and its repressive intelligence apparatus started undermining the popular consensus around trading political concessions for “a system that works.”

Social dysfunction was obvious. The escalation of the popular mobilization was catalyzed by the repression of protesters, the shootings, and the killings, as well as a distrust of the media, which continued to propagate the ruling regime’s propaganda. Ben Ali clearly had lost touch with popular sentiments, crossing the line when he accused protestors of being mere agitators. People overcame their fears and tapped into a shared memory of resistance to French colonial rule. Inspired by symbols of independence, protestors declared Bouazizi a martyr and the national anthem their slogan.

The U.S. Role

During the days of ruthless police suppression, the United States chose to remain silent. According to British journalist Yvonne Ridley, “Not one word of condemnation, not one word of criticism, not one word urging restraint came from Barack Obama or Hilary Clinton as live ammunition was fired into crowds of unarmed men, women, and children in recent weeks.”

Only after the popular dethroning of Ben Ali did President Barack Obama come to applaud “the courage and dignity of the Tunisian people.” He eventually asked the interim government “to respect human rights and to hold free and fair elections in the near future that reflect the true will and aspirations of the Tunisian people.” In a similar vein, on January 23, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called the Tunisian Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi to reiterate U.S. support for Tunisia’s democratic transition.

Going forward, Tunisians will scrutinize the sincerity of these statements. The Obama administration’s initial hesitation exposed its unease with this transformation. U.S. policy and its national-security strategy in the Arab world need reassessment. Tunisia’s democratic impulse, as well as the uprising’s reverberations in other Arab countries, presents challenges for U.S. policy and that of its authoritarian allies in the region.

Feriel Bouhafa is a native of Tunisia, a doctoral candidate in Islamic studies at Georgetown University, and a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus.


Carthage under Siege

The success of a throng of Tunisian protesters who toppled Ben Ali, the seemingly unshakable dictator, caught the world off guard. Events quickly unfolded after a street vendor in the town of Sidi Bouzid named Mohamed Bouazizi, disgruntled by a lack of economic opportunity, committed the ultimate act of self-immolation that sparked nation-wide protests. These were met with deadly confrontations as police tried to stifle the uprising and the government manipulated the media to allege that the protestors had terrorist motivations.

During the dissolution of the government and parliament, the military remained the only institution the people trusted to assert control and provide security. On January 17, the incumbent Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi announced a temporary national unity government. Elections were set for 60 days hence.

Despite concessions made by this interim government, a crisis of trust continues to reign over the people. The government’s fate remains uncertain as hundreds of people arrived in Tunis from rural areas on January 24, calling for the removal of all former government officials. This sea change in power raises several questions about the root causes of this extraordinary protest, the impact it will have on the region as a whole, and whether the theory that Arab civil societies are too inept to generate real change within their own governments has been finally disproved.

Defining the Revolution

Analysts have rushed to make sense of Tunisia’s unforeseen popular revolt. The media have emphasized the economic discontent caused by unemployment, poverty, and high food prices. Others have noted the role social networks have played, characterizing the uprising as an instance of online activism and hailing it as a &ldquoTwitter revolution.&rdquo

Elizabeth Dickinson has christened the uprising a &ldquoWikiLeaks revolution,&rdquo speculating on the catalytic force of the WikiLeaks cables. These cables discussed the corruption of the ruling elite, the repression of journalists and social movements, and the country’s economic crisis.

This extraordinary uprising is being seen as the possible start of a domino effect in the Arab world. Its potential resonance has pushed pundits to draw comparisons with Algeria in the early 1990s, the Iranian revolution, and Iran’s more recent Green Movement. These speculations have some validity, yet lose sight of the specificity of the Tunisian context and risk invalidating its spontaneous and organic nature.

An Endogenous Revolution

The Tunisian uprising is a case of endogenous revolution, an event that occurred because of the particularities of the Tunisian situation. The smoldering discontent that Tunisians felt toward their authoritarian regime was only awaiting Bouazizi&rsquos spark.

Ben Ali, the deposed president who has sought asylum in Saudi Arabia, came to power in 1987 after a coup against Habib Bourghuiba, the nationalist leader and first president who led the modernization of the country. Under Ali’s leadership, the country continued with economic liberal and social reforms, which fostered a relatively developed infrastructure and several social and demographic gains. The Tunisian economy has averaged five percent GDP growth since the early 1990s. According to Pascal Boniface, of the Institute for International and Strategic Relations, the economic development of Ben Ali&rsquos early years in power helped to create a highly educated middle class.

What Tunisians gained in economic reforms they lost in political freedom, a trade of civil liberties for a &ldquosystem that works&rdquo with a sustainable infrastructure, liberal economic reforms, decentralization, women&rsquos rights, and access to education. Expounding on the demographic behavior in Tunisia, French anthropologist Emmanuel Todd has emphasized the role of literacy, low fertility, and high rates of intermarriage as key to its democratic transition. While touting his role in achieving these gains to the nation and the West, Ben Ali ignored the repercussions on his nation&rsquos social fabric. Moreover, he underestimated the social consciousness and maturity of his own people

The West&rsquos unconditional backing of Tunisia&rsquos president, as an ally in the &ldquowar on terrorism&rdquo and an alternative to a potential Islamist threat, gave him more confidence domestically. This presumptuous attitude furthered his isolation from the people, as he surrounded himself by a coterie that recklessly took control. The corruption of the ruling cliques wrecked the banking and the financial sectors, curbing foreign investment and causing high unemployment among the educated youth.

As noted by the U.S. embassy cables from American diplomats, the kleptocrats within Ben Ali&rsquos clan coveted everything, challenging the economic, moral, and political values espoused in the people&lsquos slogan, &ldquoemployment, liberty, and dignity.&rdquo This corrupt elite took over the &ldquoTunisian miracle,&rdquo as former French President Jacques Chirac described the socio-economic policies of Tunisia. Growing discontent against Ben Ali&rsquos mafia and its repressive intelligence apparatus started undermining the popular consensus around trading political concessions for &ldquoa system that works.&rdquo

Social dysfunction was obvious. The escalation of the popular mobilization was catalyzed by the repression of protesters, the shootings, and the killings, as well as a distrust of the media, which continued to propagate the ruling regime&rsquos propaganda. Ben Ali clearly had lost touch with popular sentiments, crossing the line when he accused protestors of being mere agitators. People overcame their fears and tapped into a shared memory of resistance to French colonial rule. Inspired by symbols of independence, protestors declared Bouazizi a martyr and the national anthem their slogan.

The U.S. Role

During the days of ruthless police suppression, the United States chose to remain silent. According to British journalist Yvonne Ridley, &ldquoNot one word of condemnation, not one word of criticism, not one word urging restraint came from Barack Obama or Hilary Clinton as live ammunition was fired into crowds of unarmed men, women, and children in recent weeks.&rdquo


Background

"Scipio, when he looked upon the city as it was utterly perishing and in the last throes of its complete destruction, is said to have shed tears and wept openly for his enemies. After being wrapped in thought for long, and realizing that all cities, nations, and authorities must, like men, meet their doom that this happened to Ilium, once a prosperous city, to the empires of Assyria, Media, and Persia, the greatest of their time, and to Macedonia itself, the brilliance of which was so recent, either deliberately or the verses escaping him, he said:


. The Battle.

After pushing back Shelby's line, Sigel opened the battle with his artillery, and Jackson's State Guard responded in kind. The artillery duel continued for about an hour. Jackson then sent his cavalry forces out to try to flank Sigel on both sides.

At the same time, Jackson sent his 2000 unarmed volunteers into the woods on his right to take shelter. While Sigel was able to defend against the flanking attempts by the cavalry forces, he was afraid the large mounted force he saw take to the woods would be able to gain his rear. (There was no way for him to know they were unarmed.) Rather than let himself be cut off from his supplies and surrounded, Sigel began an orderly retreat back across the creek towards Carthage.

Sigel used his artillery to full advantage in order to defend his retreat. His skillful maneuvering was later described like this,  "While one battery would hold the enemy in check, another would be placed at the most advantageous position in the rear, where it [the first battery] would withdraw behind it to repeat the manuver. Several times during the day the batteries were cunningly masked, and the enemy rushed up to the muzzle, to receive the death-dealing discharge full in the faces." 

At one point, the Confederate cavalry was able to gain Sigel's rear and cut off his retreat but by charging furiously, Sigel was able to break through their disorganized lines and continue his retreat. Sigel was able to reach Carthage and hold on until nightfall. He then escaped with his men to Sarcoxie under cover of darkness.

Casualties were surprisingly low for such a lengthy engagement. Reportedly, the Union forces lost 44 killed and wounded and the Confederate forces lost 74 killed and wounded.

The victory, by Jackson's State Guard, gave the secessionists in Missouri a much needed morale boost. Also, the successful engagement with Union troops helped the Guard continue recruiting for the defense of Missouri.

While the State Guard won the day, Union forces claimed victory because of Sigel's ability to escape Jackson's much larger force with minimal casualties. Therefore, both sides came away from the Battle of Carthage claiming victory.

" Sigel continued his retreat in good order, closely followed by a rabble of State troops and harassed on all sides by their mounted men, who did not, however, dare to attack his compact ranks. Crossing Spring River without opposition he held Carthage under cover of its houses and fences till his train was well on the road to Springfield. He then continued his retreat to Sarcoxie, fifteen miles away. Reaching that place at three o'clock in the morning, he rested his men there till daybreak, and then hastened along to Mount Vernon. Finding that he was no longer pursued, he halted there. As the engagement took place about nine miles north of Carthage, Sigel had on the 5th of July marched under a blazing sun more than ten miles, had met and fought on the same day an army four times as numerous as his own, and had then withdrawn his men in good order, first to Carthage nine miles from the field, and then to Sarcoxie fifteen miles further, without halting either to eat or to sleep. "

While this battle was over, the fight for Missouri, specifically, and the American Civil War, in general, were only just beginning.


Carthage under Siege

The success of a throng of Tunisian protesters who toppled Ben Ali, the seemingly unshakable dictator, caught the world off guard. Events quickly unfolded after a street vendor in the town of Sidi Bouzid named Mohamed Bouazizi, disgruntled by a lack of economic opportunity, committed the ultimate act of self-immolation that sparked nation-wide protests. These were met with deadly confrontations as police tried to stifle the uprising and the government manipulated the media to allege that the protestors had terrorist motivations.

During the dissolution of the government and parliament, the military remained the only institution the people trusted to assert control and provide security. On January 17, the incumbent Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi announced a temporary national unity government. Elections were set for 60 days hence.

Despite concessions made by this interim government, a crisis of trust continues to reign over the people. The government’s fate remains uncertain as hundreds of people arrived in Tunis from rural areas on January 24, calling for the removal of all former government officials. This sea change in power raises several questions about the root causes of this extraordinary protest, the impact it will have on the region as a whole, and whether the theory that Arab civil societies are too inept to generate real change within their own governments has been finally disproved.

Defining the Revolution

Analysts have rushed to make sense of Tunisia’s unforeseen popular revolt. The media have emphasized the economic discontent caused by unemployment, poverty, and high food prices. Others have noted the role social networks have played, characterizing the uprising as an instance of online activism and hailing it as a &ldquoTwitter revolution.&rdquo

Elizabeth Dickinson has christened the uprising a &ldquoWikiLeaks revolution,&rdquo speculating on the catalytic force of the WikiLeaks cables. These cables discussed the corruption of the ruling elite, the repression of journalists and social movements, and the country’s economic crisis.

This extraordinary uprising is being seen as the possible start of a domino effect in the Arab world. Its potential resonance has pushed pundits to draw comparisons with Algeria in the early 1990s, the Iranian revolution, and Iran’s more recent Green Movement. These speculations have some validity, yet lose sight of the specificity of the Tunisian context and risk invalidating its spontaneous and organic nature.

An Endogenous Revolution

The Tunisian uprising is a case of endogenous revolution, an event that occurred because of the particularities of the Tunisian situation. The smoldering discontent that Tunisians felt toward their authoritarian regime was only awaiting Bouazizi&rsquos spark.

Ben Ali, the deposed president who has sought asylum in Saudi Arabia, came to power in 1987 after a coup against Habib Bourghuiba, the nationalist leader and first president who led the modernization of the country. Under Ali’s leadership, the country continued with economic liberal and social reforms, which fostered a relatively developed infrastructure and several social and demographic gains. The Tunisian economy has averaged five percent GDP growth since the early 1990s. According to Pascal Boniface, of the Institute for International and Strategic Relations, the economic development of Ben Ali&rsquos early years in power helped to create a highly educated middle class.

What Tunisians gained in economic reforms they lost in political freedom, a trade of civil liberties for a &ldquosystem that works&rdquo with a sustainable infrastructure, liberal economic reforms, decentralization, women&rsquos rights, and access to education. Expounding on the demographic behavior in Tunisia, French anthropologist Emmanuel Todd has emphasized the role of literacy, low fertility, and high rates of intermarriage as key to its democratic transition. While touting his role in achieving these gains to the nation and the West, Ben Ali ignored the repercussions on his nation&rsquos social fabric. Moreover, he underestimated the social consciousness and maturity of his own people

The West&rsquos unconditional backing of Tunisia&rsquos president, as an ally in the &ldquowar on terrorism&rdquo and an alternative to a potential Islamist threat, gave him more confidence domestically. This presumptuous attitude furthered his isolation from the people, as he surrounded himself by a coterie that recklessly took control. The corruption of the ruling cliques wrecked the banking and the financial sectors, curbing foreign investment and causing high unemployment among the educated youth.

As noted by the U.S. embassy cables from American diplomats, the kleptocrats within Ben Ali&rsquos clan coveted everything, challenging the economic, moral, and political values espoused in the people&lsquos slogan, &ldquoemployment, liberty, and dignity.&rdquo This corrupt elite took over the &ldquoTunisian miracle,&rdquo as former French President Jacques Chirac described the socio-economic policies of Tunisia. Growing discontent against Ben Ali&rsquos mafia and its repressive intelligence apparatus started undermining the popular consensus around trading political concessions for &ldquoa system that works.&rdquo

Social dysfunction was obvious. The escalation of the popular mobilization was catalyzed by the repression of protesters, the shootings, and the killings, as well as a distrust of the media, which continued to propagate the ruling regime&rsquos propaganda. Ben Ali clearly had lost touch with popular sentiments, crossing the line when he accused protestors of being mere agitators. People overcame their fears and tapped into a shared memory of resistance to French colonial rule. Inspired by symbols of independence, protestors declared Bouazizi a martyr and the national anthem their slogan.

The U.S. Role

During the days of ruthless police suppression, the United States chose to remain silent. According to British journalist Yvonne Ridley, &ldquoNot one word of condemnation, not one word of criticism, not one word urging restraint came from Barack Obama or Hilary Clinton as live ammunition was fired into crowds of unarmed men, women, and children in recent weeks.&rdquo


Carthage Under Siege

By Feriel Bouhafa
This commentary was published in Foreign Policy In Focus on 26/01/2011

The success of a throng of Tunisian protesters who toppled Ben Ali, the seemingly unshakable dictator, caught the world off guard. Events quickly unfolded after a street vendor in the town of Sidi Bouzid named Mohamed Bouazizi, disgruntled by a lack of economic opportunity, committed the ultimate act of self-immolation that sparked nation-wide protests. These were met with deadly confrontations as police tried to stifle the uprising and the government manipulated the media to allege that the protestors had terrorist motivations.

During the dissolution of the government and parliament, the military remained the only institution the people trusted to assert control and provide security. On January 17, the incumbent Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi announced a temporary national unity government. Elections were set for 60 days hence.

Despite concessions made by this interim government, a crisis of trust continues to reign over the people. The government's fate remains uncertain as hundreds of people arrived in Tunis from rural areas on January 24, calling for the removal of all former government officials. This sea change in power raises several questions about the root causes of this extraordinary protest, the impact it will have on the region as a whole, and whether the theory that Arab civil societies are too inept to generate real change within their own governments has been finally disproved.

Analysts have rushed to make sense of Tunisia's unforeseen popular revolt. The media have emphasized the economic discontent caused by unemployment, poverty, and high food prices. Others have noted the role social networks have played, characterizing the uprising as an instance of online activism and hailing it as a “Twitter revolution.”

Elizabeth Dickinson has christened the uprising a “WikiLeaks revolution,” speculating on the catalytic force of the WikiLeaks cables. These cables discussed the corruption of the ruling elite, the repression of journalists and social movements, and the country's economic crisis.

This extraordinary uprising is being seen as the possible start of a domino effect in the Arab world. Its potential resonance has pushed pundits to draw comparisons with Algeria in the early 1990s, the Iranian revolution, and Iran's more recent Green Movement. These speculations have some validity, yet lose sight of the specificity of the Tunisian context and risk invalidating its spontaneous and organic nature.

The Tunisian uprising is a case of endogenous revolution, an event that occurred because of the particularities of the Tunisian situation. The smoldering discontent that Tunisians felt toward their authoritarian regime was only awaiting Bouazizi’s spark.

Ben Ali, the deposed president who has sought asylum in Saudi Arabia, came to power in 1987 after a coup against Habib Bourghuiba, the nationalist leader and first president who led the modernization of the country. Under Ali's leadership, the country continued with economic liberal and social reforms, which fostered a relatively developed infrastructure and several social and demographic gains. The Tunisian economy has averaged five percent GDP growth since the early 1990s. According to Pascal Boniface , of the Institute for International and Strategic Relations, the economic development of Ben Ali’s early years in power helped to create a highly educated middle class.

What Tunisians gained in economic reforms they lost in political freedom, a trade of civil liberties for a “system that works” with a sustainable infrastructure, liberal economic reforms, decentralization, women’s rights, and access to education. Expounding on the demographic behavior in Tunisia, French anthropologist Emmanuel Todd has emphasized the role of literacy, low fertility, and high rates of intermarriage as key to its democratic transition. While touting his role in achieving these gains to the nation and the West, Ben Ali ignored the repercussions on his nation’s social fabric. Moreover, he underestimated the social consciousness and maturity of his own people

The West’s unconditional backing of Tunisia’s president, as an ally in the “war on terrorism” and an alternative to a potential Islamist threat, gave him more confidence domestically. This presumptuous attitude furthered his isolation from the people, as he surrounded himself by a coterie that recklessly took control. The corruption of the ruling cliques wrecked the banking and the financial sectors, curbing foreign investment and causing high unemployment among the educated youth.

As noted by the U.S. embassy cables from American diplomats, the kleptocrats within Ben Ali’s clan coveted everything, challenging the economic, moral, and political values espoused in the people‘s slogan, “employment, liberty, and dignity.” This corrupt elite took over the “Tunisian miracle,” as former French President Jacques Chirac described the socio-economic policies of Tunisia. Growing discontent against Ben Ali’s mafia and its repressive intelligence apparatus started undermining the popular consensus around trading political concessions for “a system that works.”

Social dysfunction was obvious. The escalation of the popular mobilization was catalyzed by the repression of protesters, the shootings, and the killings, as well as a distrust of the media, which continued to propagate the ruling regime’s propaganda. Ben Ali clearly had lost touch with popular sentiments, crossing the line when he accused protestors of being mere agitators. People overcame their fears and tapped into a shared memory of resistance to French colonial rule. Inspired by symbols of independence, protestors declared Bouazizi a martyr and the national anthem their slogan.

During the days of ruthless police suppression, the United States chose to remain silent. According to British journalist Yvonne Ridley , “Not one word of condemnation, not one word of criticism, not one word urging restraint came from Barack Obama or Hilary Clinton as live ammunition was fired into crowds of unarmed men, women, and children in recent weeks.”


The Truceless War (241 - 237 BC)

The Carthaginian army was one of the most diverse and complex factions in military history. Apart from its officer corps, the entire army consisted of mercenaries drawn from all over the ancient world. It consisted of Spaniards, Libyans, Numidians, Italians, Greeks, and Gauls. There was no common language or religion, yet they managed to fight together as a powerful unit and were at times the best of their class in the entire ancient world. The reason for its reliance on mercenaries rather than its citizens to make the bulk of the army rested on the fact that Carthage's indigenous population was relatively small and an army of professional soldiers was in all ways superior to that of a conscripted one. Furthermore, Carthage was the wealthiest trading state in the Mediterranean and could easily afford to pay for its vast mercenary armies, but after their humiliating defeat by Rome in the First Punic War, everything changed.

While Carthage had officially surrendered following its defeat at the Aegates Islands, Hamilcars 20,000 strong mercenary army had been victorious in Sicily and they were to return to Carthage as champions. Upon their return, the Carthaginian senate found that its treasury was close to bankruptcy so because of the large cost of the war and the reparation payments forced upon them by Rome. Unable to pay its army, the mercenaries became restless and started to openly rebel in Carthage. The Senate then ordered the army to be moved out of Carthage and into the nearby town of Sica where they were promised payment upon their arrival. This promise never eventuated and when the Carthaginian commander Gisgo met with them to negotiate further, the angry mercenaries kidnapped him and his entourage whilst dejecting from Carthage's service. Seeing Carthage helpless without an army, the two Mercenary captains, Spendius and Mathos now cited war against their previous employers. Word spread quickly of the rebellion and many Numidian and Libyan tribes joined the mercenaries and the "Truceless war" as it became known had begun.

There was now no Carthaginian army to face the mercenaries. Mathos set up the rebel base at Tunis and quickly besieged the cities of Utica and Hippacritae, whilst Carthage itself was completely surrounded on land. The Carthaginian senate appointed Hanno the Great ("Great" for his African conquests during the First Punic War) to raise and field a new army which he accomplished with remarkable efficiency, creating a well disciplined citizen militia. After been supplemented with siege weapons and Elephants, he led a successful attack on the rebel army besieging Utica. But Hanno's success was short lived the war-hardened rebels quickly regrouped and wheeled around to counter-attack at Hanno's camp, routing the militia and seizing his artillery and supplies. Hanno himself managed to escape with a few shattered remnants of his army.

The Senate now looked to Hamilcar Barca and pleaded with him to take command. Hamilcar agreed but found his position hardly encouraging Mathos continued his sieges of Utica and Hippacritae whilst thousands of Numidians, encouraged by the mercenary victory at Utica revolted and joined the rebel army. Hamilcar managed to string together a small militia force composed of the citizenry but it was his superior generalship skills which would turn the tide. In the summer of 240BC, Hamilcar sneaked his army out of Carthage under cover of night and led a daring attack on Spendius's troops on the Bagradas River. Despite been outnumbered, he cleverly routed the rebel force and won a major victory for Carthage. Following his success, a Numidian prince named Narava took to Hamilcars side with an addition of 2,000 cavalry. Hamilcar then engaged the rebels at Hippacritae where he was victorious again, killing 10,000 and capturing 4,000. However, in an attempt to win favor with the rebels, his prisoners were pardoned and released while others freely turned over to Hamilcars side and strengthened his ever-increasing army.

With the war now entering its third year, Mathos and Spendius grew exasperated as they had never expected the conflict to become so long drawn. Worse still, Hamilcar was threatening to undermine the entire rebellion by offering friendship to his captured foes, this they could not allow and they required a means to aggravate him. With Gisgo still in their possession, Mathos had him and 700 other Carthaginians brutally tortured. Their hands and feet were amputated, their knees smashed and their eyes burned out before been thrown into a trench to die. Upon hearing the news, the mortified Hamilcar responded by capturing more rebels and having Elephants stamp them to death. It was by these and more atrocities to follow that the rebel conflict became known as The Truceless War.

While Carthage now looked to be the dominant power of the battlefield, the war quickly slid back in favor of the rebels. Hamilcar and Hanno became involved in a bitter feud over military management while the cities of Utica and Hippacritae dejected to the rebels and slaughtered their Carthaginian garrisons. With the financial support of these cities, the rebel recruitment base increased dramatically, their cause also been joined by a Libyan chief called Zarzas, whose own forces supplemented the Rebel army to create a force in excess of 50,000 men.

The Carthaginian senate quickly grew weary over Hanno and Hamilcars arguing and Hamilcar was chosen as the sole commander of the army with Hannibal (not his son) appointed as his deputy. Hamilcar immediately took to harassing the rebel army but as he was heavily outnumbered he refrained from pitched battle. Instead, he fought a brilliant campaign of attrition, out marching and outwitting the rebels while scouring the countryside, attacking their supplies and eventually the rebels began to starve. In 239BC, in the most brilliant engagement of his career, Hamilcar eventually forced almost the entire rebel army into a boxed canyon known as "The Saw" and fortified the high ground. The starving army of over 40,000 men was eventually forced to surrender and their leaders, Spendius, Autaritus and Zarzas (Mathos managed to escape) were captured while their entire army was executed. Now, all that separated Hamilcar from victory was Mathos and his smaller army at Tunis. Hannibal was to take command here and prior to the battle he had Spendius, Autaritus and Zarzas crucified on a hill so that the rebels could see. But the rebels had their vengeance, they smashed through Hannibal's defense and stormed his camp, capturing Hannibal and after taking their own leaders down from the crosses, had Hannibal and his officers crucified in their places.

The following year Rome capitalized on Carthage's internal crisis and in clear violation of the peace treaty with Carthage, seized the island of Sardinia. Hamilcar was outraged and demanded it back but Rome threatened with war and more reparation payments should Carthage resist. However, with Carthage still struggling for military resources and rebel armies still in field, Hamilcar was forced to accept, but it was in spite of this action that Hamilcar swore to forever hate Rome and he would pass this hatred onto his son Hannibal. But for now Hamilcar turned his attention to the rebels and assembled another militia army, totaling his forces to 20,000. While Mathos still outnumbered him, his troops were now primarily composed of Libyans and most of his veterans had been killed at the Saw. Hamilcar engaged Mathos at Leptis, where his forces were smashed and he was captured. With their armies defeated and their leaders dead or captured, the war was won and Hamilcar was hailed as the savior of Carthage.

Despite the atrocities of the Truceless war, Carthage would continue to rely on mercenaries for its army. Hannibal Barca and his mercenary army would be the terror of Rome in the following years. But payment was never again an issue, following his victory at Leptis Hamilcar established Carthaginian power in Southern Spain and proceeded to greatly increase Carthage's wealth from its numerous valuable resources, easily affording recruitment of the best soldiers in the world for a new army.


3. Jerusalem (70 AD)

Though Jerusalem has been the subject of numerous sieges throughout its long history, the siege and capture of the city by Roman legions, under the Emperor Titus in 70 AD, remains the most famous. Though it lasted just seven months (March through September), it ended in the complete destruction of the short-lived and newly independent state of Israel, which had rebelled against its Roman occupiers four years earlier. What made the siege, and subsequent fall, of the city so bad was that Jerusalem was swelled with Jews who had come to the city to observe Passover, only to become trapped inside its walls and forced to starve with the rest of the population. In addition, the siege resulted in the utter destruction of the Temple of Solomon, thereby destroying the very heart of Judaism.(imagine how the burning of the Vatican would impact Catholics, and you get the idea.)

How many died in the siege? According to the Jewish historian Josephus, over a million Jews were killed or died of starvation during the siege (including nearly all of its 60,000 armed defenders), and another 90,000 were taken into slavery.


Anahuac

Anahuac remained in the grip of both the Zapotec and the Maya, as they continued to expand in opposite directions from each other. The Zapotec city Danibaan remained the largest city in the region while the Mayan metropolis of Kan became the strongest of the Mayan city-states and began to act accordingly, pushing back against Zapotec influence and exerting its own control over neighboring city-states. Other neighboring states like the Mixtec and Olmec remained active at this time, typically acting in accordance with the greater powers that surrounded them. In addition, the very first buildings are believed to have been constructed at Teotihuacan near the start of this century. Because of this, most scholars typically date the beginning of the Totonac Dynasty of the Teotihaucano Empire to around this date.

The collapse of the Chavin culture in Peru stalled the development of the region for some time, even as new societies based on the Chavin began to rise in their place and were influenced by Chavin culture. The Nazca dominated the south and began to grow, while the Moche culture began to develop along the northwestern coast as well, taking the place of the Chavin culture. Other cultures in the mountains also emerged, at a much slower rate than those alongside the more productive coasts with their abundance of fish and other aquatic foods.