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.
- Not just soldiers targeted, but anyone close enough.