Quora Question: Did Cato the Elder Believe that the Destruction Was the Most Important Thing For Rome?

It would be hard to say whether Cato the Elder thought that the destruction of Carthage was more important than anything else for Rome, but it was certainly a top priority for him. Cato was in his 80s at the time of the Third Punic War which began in 149 B.C. He was a veteran […]

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 […]

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: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 […]

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 […]

If a Roman General Ordered Decimation, What Would Have Happened if the Legionaries Refused to Comply?

If a legion ordered to perform decimation refused to comply, the other legions under the commander would be brought into action. It is quite possible that the entire mutinous legion would be killed. The Romans took mutiny very seriously. In 206 B.C. Publius Cornelius Scipio faced a mutiny among the soldiers at his base at […]

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 Did Rome Spare the City of Carthage after the Second Punic War and then Destroy it Fifty Years Later?

It was Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus who finally defeated Hannibal at the end of the Second Punic war. He imposed Roman terms on the city. They were generous terms in that they allowed Carthage autonomy with their own laws and government. The treaty forced Carthage to destroy all but five of their battleships, stop training […]

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 […]