The Lesson of Carthage

Thanks to commenter Sterling Archer for this story of Carthage:

History demonstrates that destruction awaits those who attempt to placate their enemies by surrendering their weapons. In 149 BC, half a million citizens of Carthage tried to appease Rome by turning over their armaments. But instead of buying peace, they only facilitated their own destruction. Ninety percent of the Carthaginians were killed, and the city of Carthage was razed. Those who survived were sold into slavery, and Carthaginian civilization was forever wiped from the face of the earth. The story of how the Carthaginians sealed their fate by delivering their weapons into the hands of their enemy is chronicled in my book, Science and Technology in World History, Vol. 1.

I’m trying to think of any point in history where appeasing an aggressive enemy has actually worked out pretty well for the appeaser.

5 thoughts on “The Lesson of Carthage”

  1. Sure, it’s not about weapons, but the same principle applies:

    “We never pay any-one Dane-geld,
       No matter how trifling the cost;
    For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
       And the nation that plays it is lost!”

  2. In Latter-day Saint history, at one point the Governor of a state (I can’t remember if it was Missouri or Illinois) demanded that, to keep the peace, both the Mormon and the non-Mormon militias be disarmed.

    The Mormons, being the law-abiding citizens they tend to be, submitted to the demand. The person enforcing the demand then took those weapons, and gave them to the non-Mormon militia (because he was sympathetic to their cause).

    So, yeah: I am determined never to be disarmed by any government. And I will do what I can to prevent anyone–Mormon or not–from being disarmed. Being one person, though, I might not be able to do much :-(…but I will do what I can! :-)

  3. Hey. let’s have a little Lebensraum here! And here , and here, and here… Worked out pretty good for Chamberlain I guess. ;-)

  4. Does unconditional surrender count? Because the Axis powers of WWII did pretty well after they finally stopped fighting and started appeasing the aggression of the US.

    One might say that the above is a misuse of the words “appease” and “aggressor” in the context of WWII, and one would be darn right.

Comments are closed.