Sunday, February 07, 2016

Third Punic War anniversary

PUNIC WATCH: Lessons from history: the end of the Third Punic War (1985). After 2,131 years of living on a razor's edge, a 1985 'treaty of friendship' marked the end of the Third Punic War. Simran Uppal explains the significance of this long-awaited signing. (Simran Uppal, Cherwell).
The Third Punic War between Rome and Carthage started in 149 BC and ended on this very day, February 5th – but that is, rather bizarrely, 5th February 1985. The Romans took Carthage in 146 BC, but caught up in the general hubbub of razing a city to the ground and sowing its fields with salt, and quite understandably forgot the proceedings for an official end to the war.

This detail passed the world by until the 1960s, when some historian – presumably with too much time on their hands – picked up on it. Eventually, then, the mayors of Rome and Carthage got involved (Ugo Vetere and Chedly Klibi, also leader of the Arab League at the time) and arranged to sign a treaty, 2,134 years after war began, in the Tunisian president’s villa looking out over the Mediterranean.

This actually happened, but cross-file under Can't Make It Up.