Propaganda/Objection to the Siege

After the Second Punic War, the Roman Censor Marcus Porcius Cato (who had fought against Carthage in the War) popularised the phrase Delenda est Carthago ('Carthage Must be Destroyed!'). Accounts describe Cato finishing every speech he gave with this sentence, no matter what his speech had been about.

There are multiple accounts of other Romans objecting to Cato’s harsh words, however he eventually won the support of the Senate by speaking about atrocities allegedly committed by Hannibal’s army in Italy, and declaring that Carthage had repeatedly breached the peace treaty. He also played on the fears of Romans that Carthage could become a threat again in the future.

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To show how close the two cities were, in the Roman senate Cato once brandished fresh African figs that had been picked in Carthage only three days earlier.