1000 BC, it seemed the Phoenicians were dominant in the islands.
They had been driven out of Asia by the Persians and used the islands
near Italy as a trade center of the Mediterranean. Their hold on
the islands all but ended in the sixth century when a coalition of
Etruscans and Carthaginians made most of the Phoenicians move on. The
two new holders exported honey, wax, ship timber, and slaves and tried to
build their economies. Then Etruscans lost much of their power to the Carthaginians who then had control
of both islands; though mostly on the coast since the interior had not been
subdued. During the fifth century, the Etruscans and Phoenicians
seemed to leave entirely and Carthaginians were in total control of
trade. The fifth and fourth centuries were also a time a urbanization,
and many cities were founded by all three peoples.
the third century, Carthage seemed to be enjoying its dominance and began
to use some of the abundant troops in Sardinia to attack the coastlines
of Italy. In 260 BC the consul L. Cornelius Scipio sailed
over to Corsica, destroyed the city of Aleria, but did not conquer Corsica and Sardinia from
Hannibal and was actually defeated though he received a triumph.
This was an event in the First Punic War which was fought mainly on the
sea so the islands were not a major player in the war. And even
after C. Sulpicius Paterculus received a triumph for his conquest of the
Carthaginians, Rome did not occupy the islands.
the requests of Rome, at the end of the war, was that Carthage would
leave the islands all together. Though as it was, it seems only
Sicily was actually abandoned because Carthage still had a presence in
Sardinia. Rome still did not occupy the island and did not use it to its
advantage. After various uprisings in the Carthaginian ranks, and
Roman arrogance, Carthage responded with threats to occupy the islands.
Rome declared war and T. Sempronius Gracchus occupied the costal
cities in Sardinia in 238. In 227 Corsica and Sardinia became a province
along with Sicily.
subduing of the Corsis and Sardis was not
easy as the Romans were defeated on many occasions and the natives
frequently rebelled--there is much documentation about the awarding of
triumphs concerning the islands for one hundred years. M. Claudius gave them an unauthorized treaty,
and as punishment, the senate sent him to Corsica so they could deal
with him. They did nothing to him, and then sent him back to Rome where he was
strangled and thrown down the Tarpeian Rock.
Under Marius and Sulla, the colonies of Mariana
and Aleria were founded on the east coast but were destroyed later. In 77 BC
Lepidus, under Marius, tried to take
control of Sardinia but was beaten by senatorial loyalists. The consul Marius was the first to
colonize in Mariana, Sylla, and he rebuilt Alera. Romanization was finally
on its way. The only significant event following the colonization was
when Sextus Pompeius captured the islands surrounding Italy in defiance
of the Second Triumvirate.
It is undecided when the
islands were lost, as
Rome lost power in the west--after Constantine most likely; when pirates
and adventurers were left un-supervised. In AD 410 the Visigoths
sacked Rome and the ties to the islands were lost. The Byzantine
empire did claim them again, but that is a different history.