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 […]

Who Was Quintus Fabius Maximus and What Was His Strategy?

Quintus Fabius Maximus was a Roman politician and general during the Second Punic War. When Hannibal invaded Italy in 218 B.C., he soundly defeated the Romans in the battles of Ticinus, Trebia and Trasimene causing the loss of some 45,000 Roman and allied soldiers. After the Battle of Trasimene in June of 217 B.C. the […]

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 […]

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 the Carthaginian Senate Gave So Little Assistance to Hannibal.

Why didn’t the Carthaginians capitalize on Hannibal’s victories in Italy? Answered March 2, 2021 There were two reasons for this. First, the Carthaginians were divided about Hannibal’s activities and there was a faction in their Senate, led by Hanno the Great, who were not supportive of the war. They were clearly a minority after Cannae. After […]

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: 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 Was the Greatest Military Comeback in History

I’d have to give that to the Romans in the Second Punic War. The Carthaginian general Hannibal brought an army over the Alps in 218 B.C. During the next two years he won four battles: Ticinus, 2300 Roman casualties, Roman Consul wounded. Trebia 28,000 Roman Casualties. Trasimene, 15,000 Romans killed, 15,000 captured, Roman Consul killed. […]

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 […]