|The Mediterranean War
|Part of Vae victis!|
A sea battle between the two sides of the war
|Commanders and leaders|
|Casualties and losses|
|3,000||~4,000 (including civilians)|
The Mediterranean war was a war fought between Carthage and Safineim, primarily over trade across the sea. It was a relatively bloodless war, with the highest casualties being experienced in south Italy while Carthage was landing their troops. Despite the low casualties, the war had a major effects on trade and the economy, and allowed Carthage to gain wealth at the expense of the Safinei. The war would ultimately decide who controlled the trades routes of the Mediterranean for almost a century.
When Safineim had first set up trade routes, Carthage had naturally felt economically threatened by the development. In order to limit their loses, they arranged negotiations on the matter with Safineim. It was eventually agreed upon that Safinei ships would have to give 5% of their cargo to Carthage, and in exchange, Safinei traders could continue business. However, as time went on, Safinei traders began to try to pay less then they had to. When several ships tried to get away with paying nothing, conflict was almost inevitable.
After the four ships were discovered to be evading the fee, the ships were quickly looted and sunk, and most of the crews killed. The Safinei quickly retaliated by declaring war on Carthage. Knowing they could not beat the superior Carthaginian navy head to head, the Safinei navy quickly spread into several groups, each one designed to ambush a single or pair of enemy ships. However, Safineim had underestimated the Carthaginian navy, and after only two months of fighting, the Safinei navy was essentially useless. Despite this victory, Carthage continued the assault, destroying as many trade ships as possible. Meanwhile, Carthage began to muster troops on Sicily, ready to invade southern Italy.
With the Safinei navy destroyed, the Carthaginian army moved from Sicily to southern Italy, triggering intense fighting. Eventually Carthage was able to establish a foothold in Safineim, but faced with high casualties, was unable to push further. The fighting then bogged down to two almost stationary lines, both sides struggling to gain the advantage. Struggling to gain the advantage, Carthage began to blockade Safineim, making it impossible for any supplies to get into the nation, except through Etrusca, which of course refused. Thus gave Carthage the upper hand it needed to break apart the Safinei line, and maneuver their troops into a more adventitious position. With Carthage threatening to move northwards into Safinei heartland, Safineim had no choice but to surrender.
As Safineim was defeated badly, it was essentially forced to submit to whatever Carthage chose to demand from the nation. Surprisingly, Carthage made no land demands, but made up for it with harsh economic penalties, focused mostly on trade. First of all, Safinei ships had to dock in Carthage at the beginning and end of each trade run, and if Carthage chose to, they could place troops on the trading ships to regulate taxes and trade. This severally hurt the already falling Safinei economy, and made it difficult for the economy to recover. Additionally, the war secured Carthaginian dominance over trade for almost three hundred more years, and would remain an economic power long after that.