Hasdrubal Barca’s Role in the Second Punic War

Hannibal left his brother Hasdrubal in Spain to deal with the Romans whom he suspected were planning to invade. Southern Spain was the site of vast rich gold and silver mines that the Carthaginians used to finance the war, and they needed to be protected. Upon learning that Hannibal and his army were heading toward […]

A Brief History of the Punic Wars

I wrote a historical novel about the Second and Third Punic Wars. Someone asked me what the book was about, and I said, “The Punic Wars.” He gave me a blank look and I said, “The wars between Rome and Carthage, Scipio versus Hannibal.” His eyes lit up and he said “Hannibal! I’ve heard of […]

Was Bribing Hannibal’s Allies a Tactic Scipio Africanus Used to Win the War?

In terms of the Iberian tribes, it probably was. Livy mentioned that in conquering New Carthage, Scipio acquired all of Carthage’s hostages, which he promptly returned to their respective tribes, and he also acquired a lot of gold and silver. He sent most of it to Rome for their treasury, and also paid bounties to […]

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 […]

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 […]

What Did Scipio Do to Oppose Hannibal after He Invaded Italy?

When Hannibal invaded Italy Scipio was only seventeen, so he served in the legions, first under his father, Publius Cornelius Scipio the elder, who was Consul at the time. At the Battle of Ticinus he was in charge of a Turma, a group of 30 cavalry, and he led the charge of the turma to […]

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. […]