In the Roman Republic, Could a Tribune’s Veto be Countermanded?

In the Roman Republic a veto by a Tribune of the Plebes could not be countermanded. There was, however, an instance in which the Tribune who vetoed the reading of a proposed law faced a “recall election” and was voted out of office and the reading of the law al to proceed. In 134 B.C., […]

What Became of Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus after the Second Punic War?

When he returned from the Battle of Zama, Scipio was granted a splendid triumph. He was also repeatedly elected Senatus Primus and was elected Censor and later re-elected to Consul. But Scipio had an implacable enemy in Marcus Porcius Cato the Elder, a rigid and authoritarian person, insanely jealous of Scipio and possessed of considerable […]

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 […]

What Were the Main Reasons for the Roman Victory over Carthage in the Second Punic War?

There were several reasons. Rome relied on citizen and allied soldiery while Carthage relied largely on mercenaries. Mercenaries have to be paid and are not as reliable as citizen soldiers and can be bought off. Carthage during the Second Punic War did not support its military to the same degree that Rome supported theirs. Carthage’s […]

Book Review: Kindred by Rebecca Wragg Sykes

This book brings us up to date on the latest scientific thinking about the Neanderthals. The book is for readers who are intensely interested in the subject. It contains a lot of archeological jargon and minutiae, but an interested reader will learn a lot from reading it. For me it raised more questions than it […]

Was There Opposition in Rome to the Destruction of Carthage?

The destruction of Carthage was not without opposition in Rome. Marcus Porcius Cato the Elder ended every speech in the Senate or in the Forum with the words “Cetera censeo Cartagine esse delendum!”- And furthermore I think that Carthage must be destroyed.” Publius Cornelius Nasica Corculum, the Pontifex Maximus, on the other hand, said “Carthage […]

Why Did the Romans Oppose the Fabian Strategy?

Quintus Fabius Maximus realized that Hannibal was a military genius and that the best thing to do was not to confront him in battle but to starve him out. He tried to prevent Hannibal’s men from foraging and he forbade farmers from sowing crops in the areas where Hannibal’s army traveled. It was sort of […]