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Rome and Carthage engaged in three Punic wars. Punic, a late variety of Phoenician, is a language that is used to refer to Carthage or the Carthaginians. Hannibal's route across the alps during the second Punic war is probably the most remembered. But, for a long time, these two major powers in the western Mediterranean fought for supremacy. In fact, huge losses on both sides occurred.
The Mediterranean island of Sicily and its surrounding waters served as the primary theater of the First Punic War, which took place over a 23-year period (264–241 BC). Meanwhile, they also fought in North Africa. After such a prolonged struggle the first Punic war ended in a loss for Carthage. However, Carthaginians were still itching to fight the Romans. Carthage suffered extensive economic losses in Sicily. They, therefore, had to come up with a plan to strengthen its faltering economy.