Second Punic War > Ebro Treaty

Ebro Treaty


The Ebro Treaty, also known as the Treaty of Ebro, was an agreement formed between Rome and Carthage around 226 BC, prior to the outbreak of the Second Punic War. The Ebro Treaty was negotiated between the Roman Republic, represented by the consuls Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Calvus and Publius Valerius Flaccus, and Carthage, represented by Hamilcar Barca. It was aimed at resolving territorial disputes and establishing spheres of influence in the western Mediterranean, particularly in regions bordering the Ebro River in northeastern Spain.

Rome sought to consolidate its control over territories in Spain, which were vital for its economic interests and strategic dominance in the region. Carthage aimed to maintain its influence in Spain and protect its commercial interests, particularly its control over lucrative silver mines in the region. The treaty likely defined territorial boundaries between the Roman and Carthaginian spheres of influence in Spain, with the Ebro River serving as a natural boundary. Both parties agreed not to encroach upon each other's territories or interfere in the internal affairs of regions under the other's control. The treaty may have included provisions regarding trade and commercial relations, ensuring the continued flow of goods and resources between Carthage and Rome.


The Ebro Treaty helped maintain stability in Spain by establishing clear boundaries and reducing the risk of conflicts between Roman and Carthaginian forces in the region. The treaty allowed both Rome and Carthage to continue exploiting the rich natural resources of Spain, including mineral deposits, agricultural produce, and strategic ports.

The Ebro Treaty exemplified the pragmatic diplomacy employed by Rome and Carthage to manage their complex relationship and avoid direct confrontation, at least temporarily. Despite its initial success in stabilizing relations between Rome and Carthage in Spain, the treaty ultimately proved fragile, as tensions between the two powers escalated, eventually leading to the outbreak of the Second Punic War in 218 BC.

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Adrian Goldsworthy, The Punic Wars (London: Cassel, 2000) 144.

Polybius, The Histories, trans. Mortimer Chambers (New York: Twayne Publishers, 1966), Book III, chapters 15–16, page 103–105.

Titus Livius, Livy, trans. Frank Gardner Moore (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1962) Book XXI.

Titus Livius Book XXI, VII, 49.

Polybius, The Histories, trans. Mortimer Chambers (New York: Twayne Publishers, 1966), Book III, c 28–29.

Bagnall, Nigel. The Punic Wars: Rome, Carthage, and the Struggle for the Mediterranean. New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 1990. ISBN 0-312-34214-4.

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