Who Was the Better General, Hannibal or Scipio?

In my estimation Hannibal’s rival Roman General, Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus was the better general. Hannibal was unsurpassed as a battlefield tactician, but in terms of strategy and logistics, Scipio was superior to him while being a superb battlefield tactician in his own right. Hannibal’s overall strategy for winning the Second Punic War was flawed. […]

What Happened to the Carthaginian Empire after The Battle of Zama?

After Hannibal’s defeat at Zama, Carthage was forced into a treaty on Roman terms. Scipio Africanus imposed an indemnity of ten thousand talents to be paid off over a fifty-year period. They lost all of their overseas territory and were confined to what is now Tunisia and perhaps part of what is now Libya. They […]

How Did Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus Rise to Power

Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus was born in 236 B.C., the scion of a family that had been influential in Roman politics for over two hundred years. In 218 B.C. his father was elected to Consul. His uncle Gneius had been Consul two years before. That year, Hannibal invaded Italy. The elder Scipio had gone to […]

Were Roman Generals Better Than Carthaginian Generals During the Punic Wars?

Carthage had one good general in the First Punic War, plus one good mercenary general. The good Carthaginian General was Hamilcar Barca, the father of Hannibal Barca. He fought in Sicily and never lost a battle. After the defeat of Carthage in 241 B.C at the naval Battle of the Aegates Islands, Carthage sued for […]

Why Did the Romans Not Sue For Peace After the Battle of Cannae?

Hannibal fully expected Rome to surrender after the Battle of Cannae. He sent the nobleman Carthalo to the city to present them with terms. The Romans wouldn’t let him into the city. Besides that, they allowed a delegation of ten prisoners captured in the battle to present their case for ransom, then passed a resolution […]

Did Hannibal and Scipio Meet?

According to Livy, Scipio and Hannibal met to negotiate just before the battle of Zama. Hannibal had sent spies to the Roman camp, and they were caught snooping around. Much to the shock of his underlings, Scipio told his tribune to release them and show them around the camp and answer any questions to their […]

Was The Third Punic War and the Destruction of Carthage Justified?

I don’t feel that the genocide of Carthage was justified at the time. After the Battle of Zama at which Publius Cornelius Scipio defeated Hannibal, he imposed a treaty on Carthage which imposed a huge indemnity to be paid over a fifty-year period, and limited Carthage’s military activities to Africa and allowed them to make […]

Tacticians Versus Strategists in the Second Punic War

When it comes to comparing tacticians and strategists in the Second Punic War, I agree that Hannibal was a superb tactician but a poor strategist. As a superb strategist but not a tactical genius I point to Quintus Fabius Maximus, the architect of the “Fabian strategy.” Fabius realized that Hannibal was far more of a […]

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 […]