Why Did Hannibal Not Besiege Rome After the Battle of Cannae?

After the Battle of Cannae, according to the Roman historian Livy, Hannibal’s chief of cavalry, Maharbal offered to take the cavalry to Rome and besiege it. while waiting for the infantry to arrive. Hannibal turned down the offer. Maharbal commented “So the Gods don’t grant all their gifts to one person. You know very well […]

Was Hannibal’s Defeat Inevitable?

It probably was given the way he chose to conduct the war. Hannibal was spectacularly successful during the first two years of the Second Punic War, then he became ineffective. Why? Because the Romans having been burned several times finally got smart, and, under the leadership of Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucossus Cunctator, they largely stopped […]

Why Did Rome Win the Second Punic War

There were several reasons. After the Battle of Cannae in which some 55,000 Romans and allies were killed, the Romans largely stopped confronting Hannibal in set piece battles and the war became one of attrition. The Romans concentrated on gaining back the territories that went over to Hannibal after the Battle of Cannae. They successfully […]

Quora Question: Did Carthaginian Senators Fell that Hannibal Invited the Wrath of Rome on its People. Were It Not For Hannibal Would Carthage Have Survived?

Carthaginian Senators were very much divided as to whether they should support Hannibal in the war against Rome. Initially the Barca faction was very strong and their adversary, Hanno the Great was very much in the minority. Hanno strongly opposed the war. When a delegation of Romans descended on Carthage to protest the siege of […]

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. […]

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: 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 […]

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 […]

Why is Scipio Africanus Considered a Military Genius for Clearing a Path for Hannibal’s Elephants? Isn’t that the Obvious Thing to Do?

Elephants were known to wreak havoc in ancient warfare. In the case of Zama, it wasn’t a simple matter of stepping out of 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 planning […]