Why Didn’t the Carthaginian Senate Support Hannibal?

After the Battle of Cannae, Hannibal collected over two hundred gold signet rings from the bodies of upper-class Romans who had fallen on the battlefield and put them in an urn. He sent his younger brother Mago back to Carthage to persuade the Senate to provide more men and materiel to Hannibal’s cause. Mago poured the rings out onto the Senate floor and the senators cheered long and loud. All except for the elderly Senator Hanno, a staunch foe of the Barca faction.
One of Hannibal’s supporters in the Senate turned to face Hanno and shouted “What now, Hanno? Do you still regret that we chose Hannibal as our military leader? Do you still regret that we started this war?”
Hanno rose. “I would have preferred to remain silent upon this occasion and not seek to spoil your joy at these tidings Mago brings, but since you call upon me to answer, it would be rude and haughty of me not to make my opinion known. Yes, I still regret that we made Hannibal our leader, and yes, I still regret that we have started this war. You are asking for money, supplies, and reinforcements, the same things you would be asking for if you had been defeated, rather than victorious. Let me ask a question of you, Mago. You say that many of the peoples of Italia have revolted against Rome. Tell me, have any of the thirty-five tribes of Latium deserted the Roman cause?”
“No” replied Mago.

“That means that Rome still has considerable reserves of loyal allies to draw upon for its armies. One other question: Has Rome sent any emissaries to sue for peace?”
“No” replied Mago.
“Then we are still at war, the same as we were when Hannibal’s army first entered Italia. These victories change nothing. How often victory shifted in the previous war, as many of us are alive to remember. Never did our fortunes seem more favorable on land and sea than they did before the consulships of Gaius Lutatius and Aulus Postumius, but in the consulships of Lutatius and Postumius we were utterly defeated off the Aegates islands
“The fortunes of war can change drastically, and I say that now is the best time to restore peace, when we are at the height of victory and can make a peace favorable to ourselves. I say that rather than send more supplies, gold and mercenaries to Hannibal, we put a stop to this war now. Otherwise, we will regret it someday, when the Romans get the upper hand.”
The Carthaginian Senate was in no mood to listen to old Hanno, and they authorized substantial money, supplies and reinforcements to Hannibal. Unfortunately for Hannibal, his brother, Hasdrubal had lost a major battle to the Romans at Dertosa, and when word of it reached the Carthaginian Senate, they feared that their rich province in Spain, with its gold and silver mines would be lost. Rather than send these men and provisions to Hannibal, they decided to send nearly all of them to Spain. They sent two armies of 25,000 each to Spain under Mago and Hasdrubal Son of Gisco. Hannibal only received 4000 Numidian mercenaries and 20 elephants. For the remainder of the war, Hannibal received nothing, either because the Carthaginian Senate didn’t authorize aid or because the Romans were effective in preventing it from reaching him.
The Carthaginian Senate did authorize Hannibal’s brother Hasdrubal to bring an army to Italy in 207 B.C., but he and his army were annihilated at the Battle of the Metaurus River. Two years later, Hannibal’s brother Mago invaded northern Italy by ship and conquered Genoa. But the Roman legions prevented him from going south and joining with Hannibal.

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