Pyrrhus could not hide forever, however. He returned to the Italian
mainland once again and was crushed by the Roman armies. Pyrrhus had
no choice left but to return home. Tensions between Carthage and Rome
continued to increase as the kingdom of Syracuse and the Mamertime
pirates of Messana asked each for help. In 264 BC, contesting
Carthage's movements to aid the Mamertime pirates, Rome committed to
an alliance with the Mamertimes. The Carthaginian commander retreated
his forces and the first Punic War was started. The king of Syracuse
allied with Rome in 263 BC, trusting on it's victory over the
superior navy of Carthage.
The war raged on for years, the majority of the battles won by Rome,
although it's resources were becoming quite stretched. In 241 BC
Carthage finally collapsed, and peace was made on severe terms.
Sicily was made a Roman province, as well as the islands Sardinia and
Corsica in 238 BC after the Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barca
nominally breached the peace treaty with Rome while subduing
mercenary mutinies. Neither of the two republics looked forward to
another battle, but the bad blood between them, and a certain
overzealous general, would soon be the start of another Punic War.