This post will focus on the 3 Punic wars during the times of ancient Rome, analysing whether or not the criteria proposed in the Just War theory were met.

Backstory: Each of the three wars were fought between the opposing forces of the Roman empire and the city of Carthage, located in modern day Tunisia.

RED = FAILED CRITERIA, GREEN = MEETS CRITERIA

  • War must be fought for a good cause:
    • 1st Punic War: Fought for land expansions by the Roman Empire.
    • 2nd Punic War: Rome defended the town of Saguntum after it was attacked by Carthage.
    • 3rd Punic War: Rome attempted to draw Carthage into war through unreasonable demands, when Carthage refused, they declared war.
  • Must be declared by a competent authority:
    • All 3 declared by the Roman Senate/Emperor & the leader of Carthage.
  • Comparison of Justice:
    • Both sides believed they were in the right.
  • Right Intention:
    • Rome went to war all 3 times as an attempt to increase their empire.
    • Carthage declared war as a defensive manner.
  • Last Resort:
    • Neither side made any attempts at peace.
  • Reasonable chance of success:
    • 1st and 2nd both had a fighting chance.
    • 3rd – Carthage had almost no chance of success.
  • Reasonable proportion:
    • Both sides ready for War – 1st and 2nd
    • 3rd – Carthage used makeshift weapons and women’s hair for catapult strings.
  • Discriminate:
    • Not just soldiers targeted, but anyone close enough.
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