How Good a General Was Scipio Africanus?

How good of a general was Scipio Africanus? Was he truly one of the greats, or did he simply benefit from the fame of defeating Hannibal at Zama?  Robin Levin Scipio Africanus was definitely one of the greatest generals in history. The Battle of Zama, where he defeated Hannibal wasn’t even his most brilliant accomplishment. […]

The Genius of Scipio Africanus: Simple but Deceptive, with an Emphasis on Deceptive

Elephants were known to wreak havoc in ancient warfare. In the case of Zama, it wasn’t a simple matter of stepping out of the way and clearing a path for the elephants. Scipio wanted Hannibal to think that his elephants would be effective in disrupting the Roman lines, so he disguised the paths he was […]

Quora Question: How Did Rome Finally Defeat Carthage?

Rome and Carthage fought three wars during the third and second centuries B.C. The first and second wars both ended with treaties on Roman terms. Some fifty years after the end of the Second Punic War, Rome was strongly influenced by an aged veteran of that war named Marcus Porcius Cato, AKA Cato the Elder. […]

Quora Question: Who was Hannibal Barca and What Books Should I Read to Learn More About Him?

Who was Hannibal Barca? Which book should I read to learn more about him? Robin Levin · During the third and second centuries B.C. the ancient civilizations of Rome in Italy and Carthage in North Africa fought three wars, these are known as the Punic wars-the word Punic comes from the Roman word for Phoenician […]

Quora Question:Why did Tiberius Gracchus Promote Land Reform in the face of Roman Senatorial Opposition?

Tiberius Gracchus was the son of Cornelia, the Mother of the Gracchi, and the grandson of Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus, the Roman general who defeated Hannibal and ended the sixteen year long Second Punic War. Cornelia was married to Tiberius Gracchus the Elder. She bore twelve children, but only three of them, Tiberius, Gaius, and […]

Quora Question: What Year Was the Rise of Rome?

Rome didn’t rise in a day, nor in a year. The rise of Rome was a very long process. The Greek historian Polybius explored the rise of Rome in his Histories. In the preface he wrote: “For who is so indolent and so worthless as to not wish to know by what means and under […]

Why Did The Roman Republic Transition to a Monarchy?

The Roman Republic was born in 509 B.C. when the Romans, under the leadership of Lucius Junius Brutus drove out the last King, Tarquin Superbus. The Republic was not very democratic, even though the leadership was elected. The aristocracy had far more say in affairs of state than the common people. It was, essentially, a […]

What Was the Role of Hispanian Tribesmen in the Second Punic War?

During the Second Punic War, Rome and Carthage contended with each other for the loyalty and support of the native Spanish Tribes. When Hannibal’s father, Hamilcar Barca, came to Spain to establish Carthaginian hegemony, he encountered resistance from some of the tribes. In fact, he was killed in a conflict with the Carpetani, a large […]

What Were Hannibal’s Mistakes?

Some people believe Hannibal’s biggest mistake was in failing to march on Rome and besiege it after the devastating battle of Cannae, in which some 55,000 Romans and their allies were slain. I doubt that such a siege would have been successful. Hannibal had no siege equipment and it would have been difficult to maintain […]

How Did the Romans Overtake the Greeks

A good book to read on this subject is Taken at the Flood by Robin Waterfield. At the end of the third century B.C. most of the Greek cities were under the rule of two successor kingdoms to Alexander the Great; the Macedonian Empire, and the Seleucid Empire. Macedonia, under king Philip V, had sided […]