The three Punic Wars between Carthage and Rome took place over nearly a century, beginning in 264 B.C. and ending with the destruction of Carthage in 146 B.C. By the time the First Punic War broke out, Rome had become the dominant power throughout the Italian peninsula, while Carthage–a powerful city-state in northern Africa–had established itself as the leading maritime power in the world. The First Punic War broke out in 264 B.C. when Rome interfered in a dispute on the Carthaginian-controlled island of Sicily; the war ended with Rome in control of both Sicily and Corsica and marked the empire’s emergence as a naval as well as a land power. In the Second Punic War, the great Carthaginian general Hannibal invaded Italy and scored great victories at Lake Trasimene and Cannae before his eventual defeat at the hands of Rome’s Scipio Africanus in 202 B.C. left Rome in control of the western Mediterranean and much of Spain. In the Third Punic War, the Romans, led by Scipio the Younger, captured and destroyed the city of Carthage in 146 B.C., turning Africa into yet another province of the mighty Roman Empire.