[54] As Polybius notes, "How much more serious was the defeat of Cannae, than those that preceded it can be seen by the behavior of Rome's allies; before that fateful day, their loyalty remained unshaken, now it began to waver for the simple reason that they despaired of Roman Power. Some qualities have been recognized by Hannibal since Antiquity: audacity, courage and pugnacity. [63] Aware that he had many enemies, not least of which due to his financial reforms eliminating opportunities for oligarchical graft, Hannibal fled into voluntary exile before the Romans could demand that Carthage surrender him into their custody. At the Pyrenees, he released 11,000 Iberian troops who showed reluctance to leave their homeland. [2] For the next few years, Hannibal was forced to sustain a scorched earth policy and obtain local provisions for protracted and ineffectual operations throughout southern Italy. At the court of King Prusias of Bithynia in 183 BCE, with Rome still in pursuit, Hannibal chose to end his life rather than be taken by his enemies. [89] This may not be true, but as Lazenby states, "could well be, exemplifying as it does not only the supreme confidence felt by the Romans in ultimate victory, but also the way in which something like normal life continued. His campaign across the Alps, unthinkable even in his day, won him the grudging admiration of his enemies and enduring fame ever since. The story of Hannibal's life is told largely by his enemies, the Romans, through the historians who wrote of the Punic Wars. After the deaths of Hannibal and Scipio, Carthage continued to cause problems for Rome which eventually resulted in the Third Punic War (149-146 BCE) in which Carthage was destroyed. After he assumed command, Hannibal spent two years consolidating his holdings and completing the conquest of Hispania, south of the Ebro. Hannibal Riding a War Elephant by jaci XIII (CC BY-NC-SA) The Punic Wars were a series of conflicts fought between the forces of ancient Carthage and … In fact, they were reinforced and the campaigns there maintained until victory was secured; beginning first in Sicily under the direction of Claudius Marcellus, and later in Hispania under Scipio Africanus. Hannibal's strategy of presenting himself as a liberator worked and a number of cities chose to side with him against Rome while his victories on the field continued to swell his ranks with new recruits. Two political factions operated in Carthage: the war party, also known as the "Barcids" (Hannibal's family name); and the peace party led by Hanno II the Great. Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation is a non-profit organization. Second Punic War, 218-201 BC, most famous for Hannibal's victories in Italy, but ended as a Roman victory Second Punic War, 218-201 BC Home - Book Shop - Wars - Battles - Biographies - Timeline - Weapons - Blog - Full Index - Subjects - Concepts - Country - Documents - … No surviving ancient biography makes him the subject, and Hannibal slips in and out of focus according to the emphasis that other authors give his deeds and character. Polybius merely says that he was accused of cruelty by the Romans and of avarice by the Carthaginians. Still, Hannibal was confident he would be victorious and led his men down onto the plains of Italy. A freelance writer and former part-time Professor of Philosophy at Marist College, New York, Joshua J. Hannibal's forces moved through the Po Valley and were engaged in the Battle of Ticinus. [24], Hannibal sent the booty from Saguntum to Carthage, a shrewd move which gained him much support from the government; Livy records that only Hanno II the Great spoke against him. Most recently, W.C. Mahaney has argued Col de la Traversette closest fits the records of ancient authors. Sulpicius Blitho[81] records the death under 181 BC. Personal Names in the Phoenician and Punic Inscriptions. by The Department of History, United States Military Academy (Public Domain), Battle of Cannae - Destruction of the Roman Army. In 207 BC, he succeeded in making his way again into Apulia, where he waited to concert measures for a combined march upon Rome with his brother Hasdrubal. He gave Rufus half the army and invited him to do his best. This, he wrote, made Hannibal believe that he would die in Libya, but instead, it was at the Bithynian Libyssa that he would die. Amid this, a figure will emerge who has become the stuff of myth and legend: Hannibal Barca. First Punic War 264 to 241 BC. Fabius understood that Hannibal was no common adversary, however, and still refused to engage. The Roman consuls mounted another siege of Capua in 211 BC, conquering the city. Hannibal drew up his least reliable infantry in a semicircle in the center with the wings composed of the Gallic and Numidian horse. Mahaney et al. There is even an account of him at a very young age (9 years old) begging his father to take him to an overseas war. On the way, recognizing the importance of winning the people to his side, he portrayed himself as a liberator freeing the people of Spain from Roman control. He is widely considered one of the greatest military commanders in world history. As a boy, Hannibal's father commanded him "to swear that he would never be a friend to Rome". Even Cicero, when he talked of Rome and its two great enemies, spoke of the "honourable" Pyrrhus and the "cruel" Hannibal. Fabius closely followed Hannibal's path of destruction, yet still refused to let himself be drawn out of the defensive. [45], The only alternative route to central Italy lay at the mouth of the Arno. [51] Once the Roman Senate resumed their consular elections in 216 BC, they appointed Gaius Terentius Varro and Lucius Aemilius Paullus as consuls. [67] According to Strabo and Plutarch, Hannibal also received hospitality at the Armenian royal court of Artaxias I. Exactly why they decided to do this is unclear except for their disappointment in him following defeat at Zama and simple jealousy over his abilitites. Soon the Romans became aware of an alliance between Carthage and the Celts of the Po Valley in Northern Italy. 0 0 Since 2011, Hannibal is one of the main characters, with Scipio Africanus, of the "Ad Astra" manga in which Mihachi Kagano traces the course of the Second Punic War. In 208 BCE, he defeated Hasdrubal at the Battle of Baecula using the same tactic Hannibal had at Cannae. According to some, Libyssa was sited at Gebze (between Bursa and Üskudar), but W. M. Leake,[78] identifying Gebze with ancient Dakibyza, placed it further west. There is no doubt, as Bradford also notes, that had Hannibal "been fighting against any other nation in the ancient world...his overwhelming victories would have brought them to their knees and to an early capitulation" (210) but the cause of Hannibal's defeat was just as much the fault of the Carthaginian elite who refused to support the general and his troops who were fighting for their cause. The Punic Wars proved that, while the Roman land armies could be defeated, when put in the hands of an experienced commander like Scipio, they could arguably the … This is done through a mixture of lecture style … The historian Ernle Bradford writes that Hannibal's war against the Romans, may be regarded as the last effort of the old eastern and Semitic peoples to prevent the domination of the Mediterranean world by a European state. What was at stake was control of the trading around the Mediterranean sea. Hannibal's army numbered 38,000 infantry, 8,000 cavalry, and 38 elephants, almost none of which would survive the harsh conditions of the Alps.[30]. Other sources report that Hannibal told his father, "I swear so soon as age will permit...I will use fire and steel to arrest the destiny of Rome. They eventually found him on the left bank of the Aufidus River, and encamped ten kilometres (6 mi) away. The towns of southern Hispania were subdued by Carthage. Whatever the reason, the choice prompted Maharbal to say, "Hannibal, you know how to gain a victory, but not how to use one."[53]. His position in southern Italy, therefore, became increasingly difficult and his chance of ultimately conquering Rome grew ever more remote. Livy also records that Hannibal married a woman of Castulo, a powerful Spanish city closely allied with Carthage. [19] Silius suggests a Greek origin for Imilce, but Gilbert Charles-Picard argued for a Punic heritage based on an etymology from the Semitic root m-l-k ('chief, the 'king'). Second Punic War (218-201) By 219, Carthage was recovering from the costs of the First Punic War and was looking to expand her empire, particularly in Spain. He left his brother Hasdrubal Barca (l. c. 244-207 BCE) in charge of the armies in Spain and set out with his men for Italy. argue that factors used by De Beer to support Col de la Traversette including "gauging ancient place names against modern, close scrutiny of times of flood in major rivers and distant viewing of the Po plains" taken together with "massive radiocarbon and microbiological and parasitical evidence" from the alluvial sediments either side of the pass furnish "supporting evidence, proof if you will" that Hannibal's invasion went that way. Hannibal attacked them, forcing their withdrawal from Campania. A street in Carthage, located near the Punic ports, bears his name as well as a stop of the Carthage metro, the TGM "Carthage Hannibal". In the use of strategies and ambuscades he certainly surpassed all other generals of antiquity. That war could be waged by avoiding in lieu of seeking battle; that the results of a victory could be earned by attacks upon the enemy's communications, by flank-maneuvers, by seizing positions from which safely to threaten him in case he moved, and by other devices of strategy, was not understood... [However] For the first time in the history of war, we see two contending generals avoiding each other, occupying impregnable camps on heights, marching about each other's flanks to seize cities or supplies in their rear, harassing each other with small-war, and rarely venturing on a battle which might prove a fatal disaster—all with a well-conceived purpose of placing his opponent at a strategic disadvantage... That it did so was due to the teaching of Hannibal. Hannibal constantly sought reinforcements from either Iberia or North Africa. [23] However, Rome, fearing the growing strength of Hannibal in Iberia, made an alliance with the city of Saguntum, which lay a considerable distance south of the River Ebro and claimed the city as its protectorate. Winning battles at Trebia (218 BC) and Lake Trasimene (217 BC), Hannibal defeated armies led by Tiberius Sempronius Longus and Gaius Flaminius Nepos. In 205 BCE he landed his forces and allied himself with the Numidian King Masinissa. After the Roman annexation of Sardinia, Hamilcar was put in command of Carthaginian expansion in Spain. Some Rights Reserved (2009-2020) under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license unless otherwise noted. Mark has lived in Greece and Germany and traveled through Egypt. The wars between Rome and Carthage will see some of the most bloody and savage battles of all time. [5] It is equivalent to the Hebrew name Haniel. [43] From the start, he seems to have calculated that he would have to operate without aid from Hispania. This paper examines the influence of Hannibal of Carthage on... Hannibal Barca (l. 247-183 BCE), the brilliant Carthaginian general... Carthaginian commander Mago is unable to join forces with, Facing the threat of being handed to the Romans after the. During one of the naval victories he gained over Eumenes, Hannibal had large pots filled with venomous snakes thrown onto Eumenes' ships. In 219 BCE the Romans orchestrated a coup in the city of of Saguntum which installed a government hostile to Carthage and her interests. Last modified March 29, 2018. Hannibal's army, made up of about 46,000 men, and included 37 battle elephants. Ancient History Encyclopedia Limited is a non-profit company registered in the United Kingdom. Hannibal's vision of military affairs was derived partly from the teaching of his Greek tutors and partly from experience gained alongside his father, and it stretched over most of the Hellenistic World of his time. Thank you! The other Roman consular army was rushed to the Po Valley. Matyszak writes: In the field, Hannibal remained umatched. Hannibal took the vow gladly - and never forgot it. [57] Indeed, Fabius received the name "Cunctator" ("the Delayer") because of his policy of not meeting Hannibal in open battle but through attrition. [40] These Hannibal surmounted with ingenuity, such as when he used vinegar and fire to break through a rockfall. But this gain was not without loss, as Sempronius avoided Hannibal's watchfulness, slipped around his flank, and joined his colleague in his camp near the Trebia River near Placentia. It seemed that Hannibal had to either fight his way out or surrender but then, one night, the Romans saw a line of torches moving from the Carthaginian camp emplacement toward an area they knew was held by a strong garrison of their own. Hannibal assumed command of the troops following his father's death and led them victoriously through a number of engagements until he stood almost at the gates of Rome; at which point he was stopped, not by the Romans, but through a lack of resources to take the city. There was a Carthaginian Senate, but the real power was with the inner "Council of 30 Nobles" and the board of judges from ruling families known as the "Hundred and Four". This makes the battle one of the most catastrophic defeats in the history of Ancient Rome, and one of the bloodiest battles in all of human history (in terms of the number of lives lost within a single day). Hanno had been instrumental in denying Hannibal's requested reinforcements following the battle at Cannae. His idealized image is reflected in the analysis by the founder of psychoanalysis of his "dreams of Rome" in The Interpretation of Dreams. The commercial interests of the Carthaginian oligarchy dictated the reinforcement and supply of Iberia rather than Hannibal throughout the campaign. Hannibal, discovering that the castle where he was living was surrounded by Roman soldiers and he could not escape, took poison. Victory in Italy was Hannibal’s sole objective. These two bodies came from the wealthy, commercial families of Carthage. Appian writes that it was Prusias who poisoned Hannibal. Scipio was severely injured, his life only saved by the bravery of his son who rode back onto the field to rescue his fallen father. Hasdrubal, recognizing that Spain was a lost cause, crossed the Alps to join Hannibal in Italy for a united attack on Rome. Books [71], At this stage, the Romans intervened and threatened Bithynia into giving up Hannibal. The newly appointed Hannibal laid siege to the city of Saguntum on the eastern coast of Iberia (as Spain was known at the time). Fabius became known as "the delayer" by refusing to face Hannibal directly and delaying any face-to-face engagement; he preferred instead to strategically place his armies to prevent Hannibal from either attacking or retreating from Italy. Instead, he had to content himself with subduing the fortresses that still held out against him, and the only other notable event of 216 BC was the defection of certain Italian territories, including Capua, the second largest city of Italy, which Hannibal made his new base. No man ever held his own so long or so ably against such odds. To this Scipio assented since he also yielded the first place to Alexander. In his first few years in Italy, he won a succession of dramatic victories at the Trebia, Lake Trasimene, and Cannae. They appointed a younger general, Minucius Rufus (dates unknown), as co-commander as Rufus was confident he could defeat Hannibal and bring peace back to the region. This area was practically one huge marsh, and happened to be overflowing more than usual during this particular season. Although he is by far the most famous Hannibal, when further clarification is necessary he is usually referred to as "Hannibal, son of Hamilcar", or Hannibal the Barcid, the latter term applying to the family of his father, Hamilcar Barca. Even so, he continued to do his best for his people throughout his life and remained true to the vow he had taken when young; to the end, he remained an enemy of Rome and his name would be remembered as Rome's greatest adversary for generations - and even to the present day. Scipio was rather nettled by this, but nevertheless he asked Hannibal to whom he would give the third place, expecting that at least the third would be assigned to him; but Hannibal replied, "to myself; for when I was a young man I conquered Hispania and crossed the Alps with an army, the first after Hercules.". The Roman cavalry won an early victory by swiftly routing the Carthaginian horse, and standard Roman tactics for limiting the effectiveness of the Carthaginian war elephants were successful, including playing trumpets to frighten the elephants into running into the Carthaginian lines. He had no experience in facing Scipio, however, and only knew him as the young general who had somehow managed to defeat Hasdrubal in Spain. The Ancient History Encyclopedia logo is a registered EU trademark. 275-228 BCE), the great and undefeated hero from the first Punic War and the Mercenary War. [18] The Roman epic poet Silius Italicus names her as Imilce. Hannibal's perilous march brought him into the Roman territory and frustrated the attempts of the enemy to fight out the main issue on foreign ground. According to the historian Philip Matyszak, \"There is much we do not know about this man, though he was one of the greatest generals in antiquity. Hasdrubal, recognizing that Spain was a lost cause, crossed the Alps to join Hannibal in Italy for a united attack on Rome. The Roman scholar Livy gives a depiction of the young Carthaginian: "No sooner had he arrived...the old soldiers fancied they saw Hamilcar in his youth given back to them; the same bright look; the same fire in his eye, the same trick of countenance and features. De Beer was one of only three interpreters – the others being John Lazenby and Jakob Seibert – to have visited all the Alpine high passes and presented a view on which was most plausible. He had no siege machines and no elephants to take any of the cities and so relied on his image as liberator to try to coax the cities over to his side. After leaving a record of his expedition engraved in Punic and Greek upon bronze tablets in the temple of Juno Lacinia at Crotona, he sailed back to Africa. Yves Lacoste et Camille Lacoste-Dujardin [sous la dir. The Romans used the attritional strategy that Fabius had taught them, and which, they finally realized, was the only feasible means of defeating Hannibal. Written by Joshua J. Ancient History Encyclopedia. The onslaught of Hannibal's cavalry was irresistible. [63], He journeyed first to Tyre, the mother city of Carthage, and then to Antioch, before he finally reached Ephesus, where he was honorably received by Antiochus. After the start of the Second Punic War, the Carthaginian general Hannibal boldly crossed the Alps and invaded Italy. Hannibal Barca Bustby Carole Raddato (CC BY-SA). On hearing, however, of his brother's defeat and death at the battle of the Metaurus, he retired to Calabria, where he maintained himself for the ensuing years. When Hannibal launched his elephant charge, Scipio's front line simply moved aside and the elephants ran harmlessly down the alleys between the Roman troops who then killed their handlers and turned the elephants around to crush the ranks of the Carthaginians; Hannibal was defeated and the Second Punic War was over. They never considered he would move his army over the mountains to reach them and thought he was still in Spain somewhere. Hannibal, in the meantime, was forced to continue his previous strategy of striking at Rome in quickly orchestrated engagements, and trying to win city-states to his cause, without being able to take any city by storm. The two polities was the growing Roman republic and the African commercial city of Carthage. Hannibal lived during a period of great tension in the western Mediterranean Basin, triggered by the emergence of the Roman Republic as a great power after it had established its supremacy over Italy. [36] Polybius wrote that Hannibal had crossed the highest of the Alpine passes: Col de la Traversette, between the upper Guil valley and the upper Po river is the highest pass. In 203 BC, Hannibal was recalled from Italy by the war party in Carthage. Please help us create teaching materials on Mesopotamia (including several complete lessons with worksheets, activities, answers, essay questions, and more), which will be free to download for teachers all over the world. Hannibal not only perceived this as a breach of the treaty signed with Hasdrubal, but as he was already planning an attack on Rome, this was his way to start the war. Fabius was within striking distance but in this case his caution worked against him. Polybius, The Histories of Polybius, 2 Vols., trans. The Romans appointed Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus as their dictator. He enacted political and financial reforms to enable the payment of the war indemnity imposed by Rome; however, those reforms were unpopular with members of the Carthaginian aristocracy and in Rome, and he fled into voluntary exile. "Any man who thinks he is the reincarnation of Hannibal or some such isn't quite possessed of all his buttons", quoted by. Scipio, still in Spain, requested money and supplies from the Roman senate to take the fight to Hannibal by attacking Carthage; a move which, he was sure, would force Carthage to recall Hannibal from Italy to defend the city. [18], Upon the assassination of Hasdrubal in 221 BC, Hannibal (now 26 years old) was proclaimed commander-in-chief by the army and confirmed in his appointment by the Carthaginian government. [79], Appian wrote of a prophecy about Hannibal's death, which stated that "Libyssan earth shall cover Hannibal's remains." No records exist of  Carthage awarding Hannibal any recognition for his service in Italy and he was honored more by Scipio's pardon and defense than by any actions on the part of his countrymen. As a result of this victory, many parts of Italy joined Hannibal's cause. as one of the best military strategists and tacticians of all time, with the double envelopment at Cannae an enduring legacy of tactical brilliance. But he now understood that the wound Rome had received at Cannae had not been mortal. Mahaney et al. Lecture 13: "The Second Punic War". Hunt responds to this by proposing that Hannibal's Celtic guides purposefully misguided the Carthaginian general. The decisive battle of Zama soon followed; the defeat removed Hannibal's air of invincibility. Carthage lost approximately 20,000 troops with an additional 15,000 wounded. [75], In his Annales, Titus Pomponius Atticus reports that Hannibal's death occurred in 183 BC,[80] and Livy implies the same. Hasdrubal … Hannibal's profile appears on the Tunisian five dinar bill issued on 8 November 1993, as well as on another new bill put into circulation on 20 March 2013. Indeed, the breadth of his vision gave rise to his grand strategy of conquering Rome by opening a northern front and subduing allied city-states on the peninsula, rather than by attacking Rome directly. It is often argued that, if Hannibal had received proper material reinforcements from Carthage, he might have succeeded with a direct attack upon Rome. 2000. Hannibal's well-planned strategies allowed him to conquer several Italian cities allied to Rome. Maximilian Otto Bismarck Caspari, in his article in the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition (1910-1911), praises Hannibal in these words: As to the transcendent military genius of Hannibal there cannot be two opinions. The oligarchy, not Hannibal, controlled the strategic resources of Carthage. [13], According to Polybius, Hannibal much later said that when he came upon his father and begged to go with him, Hamilcar agreed and demanded that he swear that as long as he lived he would never be a friend of Rome. Fabius' tactic of refusing to meet Hannibal in open battle was beginning to wear on the Romans who demanded direct action. The war causes many deaths and lots of destruction. Hannibal started the war without the full backing of Carthaginian oligarchy. Hannibal (also known as Hannibal Barca, l. 247-183 BCE) was a Carthaginian general during the Second Punic War between Carthage and Rome (218-202 BCE). In the story, Hannibal's father took him up and brought him to a sacrificial chamber. Israel and Hellas: Sacred institutions with Roman counterparts. Please note that content linked from this page may have different licensing terms. "[62][61], Seven years after the victory of Zama, the Romans, alarmed by Carthage's renewed prosperity and suspicious that Hannibal had been in contact with Antiochus III of Syria, sent a delegation to Carthage alleging Hannibal was helping an enemy of Rome. Never was one and the same spirit more skillful to meet opposition, to obey, or to command[.]"[18]. He moved to Lucania and destroyed a 16,000-man Roman army at the Battle of the Silarus, with 15,000 Romans killed. However, Hannibal slowly began losing ground—inadequately supported by his Italian allies, abandoned by his government (either because of jealousy or simply because Carthage was overstretched), and unable to match Rome's resources. [56] Hannibal also secured an alliance with newly appointed tyrant Hieronymus of Syracuse. Veterans and new recruits alike refused pay in order to defend the city. At the end of this conversation Hannibal invited Scipio to be his guest, and Scipio replied that he would be so gladly if Hannibal were not living with Antiochus, who was held in suspicion by the Romans. The First Punic war ended when Carthage decided to end the fighting by giving Rome one of the three islands. Barca (Punic: 𐤁𐤓𐤒, BRQ) is a Semitic cognomen meaning "lightning" or "thunderbolt",[8] a surname acquired by Hamilcar on account of the swiftness and ferocity of his attacks. Its precise vocalization remains a matter of debate. Despite mutual admiration, negotiations floundered due to Roman allegations of "Punic Faith," referring to the breach of protocols that ended the First Punic War by the Carthaginian attack on Saguntum, and a Carthaginan attack on a stranded Roman fleet. He was betrayed to the Romans and committed suicide by poisoning himself. (The word “Punic,” later the name for the series of wars between Carthage and Rome, was derived from the Latin word for Phoenician.) Even the Roman chroniclers acknowledged Hannibal's supreme military leadership, writing that "he never required others to do what he could not and would not do himself". He did not even have enough men to reduce the city by encircling it for a long siege. Mahaney, W.C., Allen, C.C.R., Pentlavalli, P., Dirszowsky, O., Tricart, P., Keiser, L., Somelar, P., Kelleher, B., Murphy, B., Costa, P.J.M., and Julig, P., 2014, "Polybius's ‘previous landslide’: proof that Hannibal's invasion route crossed the Col de la Traversette". Polybius claims that Hannibal's men marched for four days and three nights "through a land that was under water", suffering terribly from fatigue and enforced want of sleep. [17] Hasdrubal also endeavoured to consolidate Carthaginian power through diplomatic relationships with native tribes. [98], Military academies all over the world continue to study Hannibal's exploits, especially his victory at Cannae.[99]. "[48] At the same time, Hannibal tried to break the allegiance of Rome's allies by proving that Flaminius was powerless to protect them. Hannibal attempted to lift the siege with an assault on the Roman siege lines but failed. As Polybius recounts, "he [Hannibal] calculated that, if he passed the camp and made a descent into the district beyond, Flaminius (partly for fear of popular reproach and partly of personal irritation) would be unable to endure watching passively the devastation of the country but would spontaneously follow him... and give him opportunities for attack. Scholar Philip Matyszak notes: There is much we do not know about this man, though he was one of the greatest generals in antiquity. Hannibal's chief cavalry commander Maharbal led the mobile Numidian cavalry on the right, and they shattered the Roman cavalry opposing them. Suggested readings include ḤannobaÊ¿al,[4] ḤannibaÊ¿l, or ḤannibaÊ¿al,[5][6] meaning "BaÊ¿al/The lord is gracious", "BaÊ¿al Has Been Gracious",[6][7] or "The Grace of BaÊ¿al". As for the second Punic War, pro-Roman historians, such as Polybius and Livy, have tried to blame it on the actions of the great Carthaginian general, Hannibal Barca, who some believe was motivated by a need to avenge the wrongs committed against Carthage as well as by his undying hatred of Rome. The members of the senate, who had refused to send him aid when he needed it in Italy, accused him of betraying the interests of the state by not taking Rome when he had the chance but, still, Hannibal remained true to the interests of his people until the senators trumped up further charges and denounced Hannibal to Rome claiming he was making Carthage a power again so as to challenge the Romans. Our latest articles delivered to your inbox, once a week: Our mission is to engage people with cultural heritage and to improve history education worldwide. Here they knelt and swept the temple-floors with their dishevelled hair and lifted up their hands to heaven in piteous entreaty to the gods that they would deliver the City of Rome out of the hands of the enemy and preserve its mothers and children from injury and outrage. [91][92] Although the long-term consequences of Hannibal's war are debatable, this war was undeniably Rome's "finest hour". The Carthaginian Senate responded with legal arguments observing the lack of ratification by either government for the treaty alleged to have been violated. At the Battle of the Metaurus River in 207 BCE, however, Hasdrubal's army was defeated by the Romans under Gaius Claudius Nero (c. 237-199 BCE); Hasdrubal was killed and his forces scattered. by The Department of History, United States Military Academy (GNU FDL). Livy speaks of his great qualities, but he adds that his vices were equally great, among which he singles out his more than Punic perfidy and an inhuman cruelty. Hannibal established alliances with the tribes in the eastern Iberian Peninsula thanks to his diplomatic skills. Hundreds of thousands will die, and Rome will win mastery of the known world. We have also been recommended for educational use by the following publications: Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation is a non-profit organization registered in Canada. The man who for fifteen years could hold his ground in a hostile country against several powerful armies and a succession of able generals must have been a commander and a tactician of supreme capacity. The western Mediterranean during the Punic Wars. Hannibal was certain he would scatter these Romans easily with an elephant charge but Scipio used his front line as a screen for a very different kind of formation: instead of the closely-packed configuration presenting a horizontal front across the line (the formation Hannibal saw from his position) he arranged his troops in vertical rows behind the front line. A mausoleum and colossus Hannibal, 17 meters high, is projected to be built on the Byrsa, the highest point of Carthage overlooking Tunis. After the war, Hannibal successfully ran for the office of sufet. What became her or her son is not known. He left Rome with only 10,000 infantry and 1,000 cavalry to meet Hannibal's much larger force. Scipio eventually defeated Hannibal at the Battle of Zama, having previously driven Hannibal's brother Hasdrubal out of the Iberian Peninsula. He drew off 15,000 Roman soldiers, but the siege continued and Capua fell. Hannibal and Second Punic War General The Second Punic War broke out in B.C. Varro believed he was facing an opponent like any of the others Roman legions had defeated in the past and was confident that the strength of the Roman force would break the Carthaginian line; this was precisely the conclusion Hannibal hoped he would reach. Related Content [26] Hasdrubal was assassinated around the same time (221 BC), bringing Hannibal to the fore. "The Traversette rockfall: geomorphological reconstruction and importance in interpreting classical history." The Wars were notable for the Carthaginian General Hannibal's Crossing over the Alps with elephants in the Second Punic War and for Rome's complete razing of Carthage in the Third Punic War… A true giant of military history, Hannibal forged his formidable reputation during the Punic Wars of the second century B.C. Map of Hannibals Route into Italyby The Department of History, United States Military Academy (GNU FDL). As a result, Hannibal fought no more major battles in Italy for the rest of the war. Wonderful as his achievements were, we must marvel the more when we take into account the grudging support he received from Carthage. [101] "[64] In 191 BC, the Romans under Manius Acilius Glabrio routed Antiochus at the battle of Thermopylae and obliged him to withdraw to Asia Minor. The heavy fines imposed on defeated Carthage by Rome, intended to cripple the city, were easily paid owing to the reforms Hannibal initiated. His father was Hamilcar Barca (l. 275-228 BCE), the great general of the First Punic War (264-241 BCE). By the age of nine, Hannibal accompanied his father in their campaign against the Romans in Spain, which is known as the first Punic War. In contrast, the Romans suffered only 2,500 casualties. The troops and their general had to battle not only the weather and the incline but hostile tribes who lived in the mountains. Unlike most battles of the Second Punic War, at Zama, the Romans were superior in cavalry and the Carthaginians had the edge in infantry. However, only a few of the Italian city-states that he had expected to gain as allies defected to him. Ancient History Encyclopedia. pp. Fagan, Garret G. "The History of Ancient Rome". The wailing cry of the matrons was heard everywhere, not only in private houses but even in the temples. The city sent for help from Rome, Hannibal decided to bring the fight to the Romans and invade northern Italy in 218 BCE by crossing the mountain range of the Alps. Hannibal, a sworn enemy of all things Roman, declared war against them and this was the start of the Second Punic War (218–201 BC). Hannibal was a common Carthaginian personal name. to express their fear or anxiety. Please support Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation. He marched on Rome to force the recall of the Roman armies. When Phormio finished a discourse on the duties of a general, Hannibal was asked his opinion. He has taught history, writing, literature, and philosophy at the college level. It was a devastating defeat for Rome which resulted in a number of the Italian city-states defecting to Hannibal and Philip V of Macedon (r. 221-179 BCE) declaring in favor of Hannibal and initiating the First Macedonian War with Rome. In the spring of 217 BC, Hannibal decided to find a more reliable base of operations farther south. Historians such as Serge Lancell have questioned the reliability of the figures for the number of troops that he had when he left Hispania. [62] According to Cicero, while at the court of Antiochus, Hannibal attended a lecture by Phormio, a philosopher, that ranged through many topics. Meanwhile, Hannibal, recalled from Italy by the Carthaginian Senate, had returned with his army. [2], Hannibal is the "hero" of teenager Sigmund Freud. Nothing is known of his mother and, although he was married at the time of some of his greatest victories, no records make mention of his wife other than her name, Imilce, and the fact that she bore him a son. Prior to the commencement of the said war, Hannibal took an oath to his father and the other officers that he would renew the war against Rome at the right time. Hannibal caused great distress to many in Roman society. His name is also given to a private television channel, Hannibal TV. Both De Beer and Siebert had selected the Col de la Traversette as the one most closely matching the ancient descriptions. Mark, Joshua J. Scipio defended Hannibal as an honorable man and kept the Romans from sending a delegation demanding his arrest but Hannibal understood it was only a matter of time before his own countrymen turned him over and so he fled the city in 195 BCE for Tyre and then moved on to Asia Minor where he was given the position of consultant to Antiochus III (the Great, r. 223-187 BCE) of the Seleucid Empire. [31] Recent numismatic evidence suggests that Hannibal's army may have passed within sight of the Matterhorn. 01 Dec 2020. With a small detachment still positioned in Gaul, Scipio made an attempt to intercept Hannibal. [75], Pliny the Elder[76] and Plutarch, in his life of Flamininus,[77] record that Hannibal's tomb was at Libyssa on the coast of the Sea of Marmara. As his veterans melted away, he had to organize fresh levies on the spot. The Romans deprived Hannibal of a large-scale battle and instead assaulted his weakening army with multiple smaller armies in an attempt to both weary him and create unrest in his troops. He also used citizen support to change the term of office in the Hundred and Four from life to a year, with none permitted to "hold office for two consecutive years. [20] Silius also suggests the existence of a son,[21] who is otherwise not attested by Livy, Polybius, or Appian. Hannibal still won a number of notable victories: completely destroying two Roman armies in 212 BC, and killing two consuls (including the famed Marcus Claudius Marcellus) in a battle in 208 BC. The task was daunting, to say the least. Hannibal knew that this route was full of difficulties, but it remained the surest and certainly the quickest way to central Italy. Scipio, only 24 years old at the time, volunteered. Publius Cornelius Scipio was the consul who commanded the Roman force sent to intercept Hannibal (he was also the father of Scipio Africanus). For only $5 per month you can become a member and support our mission to engage people with cultural heritage and to improve history education worldwide. [72] Cornelius Nepos[73] and Livy,[74] however, tell a different story, namely that the ex-consul Titus Quinctius Flamininus, on discovering that Hannibal was in Bithynia, went there in an embassy to demand his surrender from King Prusias. Retrieved from https://www.ancient.eu/hannibal/. In 212 and 210 he took on the Romans and defeated them. The son of a mighty Carthaginian warrior, Hannibal Barca will stop at nothing to wipe out the Roman Republic. His flight ended in the court of Bithynia. [93][94][need quotation to verify], Most of the sources available to historians about Hannibal are from Romans. [111], Carthaginian general and statesman (247–183/181 BC), A marble bust, reputedly of Hannibal, originally found at the ancient city-state of, Conclusion of the Second Punic War (203–201 BC), Brown, John Pairman. During the war there are no reports of revolutions among the Roman citizens, no factions within the Senate desiring peace, no pro-Carthaginian Roman turncoats, no coups. The first Hannibal knew of Hasdrubal's defeat was when a Roman contingent threw his brother's head to the sentries of his camp. On his return home, laden with many spoils, a coalition of Spanish tribes, led by the Carpetani, attacked, and Hannibal won his first major battlefield success and showed off his tactical skills at the battle of the River Tagus. The Romans sent the two consuls Lucius Aemilius Paulus (d. 216 BCE) and Caius Terentius Varro (served c. 218-200 BCE), with a force of over 80,000, against his position; Hannibal had less than 50,000 men under his command. He had several sisters and two brothers, Hasdrubal and Mago. As the Romans moved off towards the woods, Hannibal's army occupied the pass, and then made their way through the pass unopposed. He first took the city Carthago Nova and moved on from there to other victories. License. But he was yet greater in logistics and strategy. A History Of: Hannibal and the Punic Wars is a biweekly biography of everybody's favourite Carthaginian general. The Roman senate refused and so Scipio shamed them by raising his own army and appealing to the people of Rome for support; the senate then relented and gave him command of Sicily from which to launch his invasion of North Africa. Depending upon the source, it is estimated that 50,000–70,000 Romans were killed or captured. He was born in what is present day northern Tunisia, one of many Mediterranean regions colonised by the Canaanites from their homelands in Phoenicia. Livy gives us the idea that Hannibal was extremely cruel. Scipio had studied Hannibal's tactics carefully in the same way that Hannibal had always taken pains to know his enemy and out-think his opponents. During this time, he lived at the Seleucid court, where he acted as military advisor to Antiochus III the Great in his war against Rome. Scipio seemed to conform to Hannibal's expectations when he arranged his forces in traditional formation in a seemingly tight cluster. [71] Prusias agreed, but the general was determined not to fall into his enemy's hands. ‎A History Of: Hannibal and the Punic Wars is a biweekly biography of everybody's favourite Carthaginian general. The Carthaginian senate believed he could handle the situation without any added expense on their part and suggested his men live off the land. As Lazenby states, It says volumes, too, for their political maturity and respect for constitutional forms that the complicated machinery of government continued to function even amidst disaster—there are few states in the ancient world in which a general who had lost a battle like Cannae would have dared to remain, let alone would have continued to be treated respectfully as head of state. With that in mind and supported by Gades, Hamilcar began the subjugation of the tribes of the Iberian Peninsula. Upon reaching the mountains he was forced to leave behind his siege engines and a number of other supplies he felt would slow their progress and then had the army begin their ascent. Constantly overmatched by better soldiers, led by generals always respectable, often of great ability, he yet defied all their efforts to drive him from Italy, for half a generation. Thus Hannibal continued his self-laudation, but flattered Scipio in an indirect manner by suggesting that he had conquered one who was the superior of Alexander. If Carthage had sent the requested men and supplies at this point, history would have been written very differently; but they did not. His exact route over the Alps has been the source of scholarly dispute ever since (Polybius, the surviving ancient account closest in time to Hannibal's campaign, reports that the route was already debated). His sudden appearance among the Gauls of the Po Valley, moreover, enabled him to detach those tribes from their new allegiance to the Romans before the Romans could take steps to check the rebellion. Carthage could keep its African territory but would lose its overseas empire. After the war, Hannibal accepted a position as Chief Magistrate of Carthage at which he performed as well as he had as a military leader. His immediate objectives were reduced to minor operations centered mainly round the cities of Campania. He arrived in Etruria in the spring of 217 BC and decided to lure the main Roman army under Flaminius into a pitched battle by devastating the region that Flaminius had been sent to protect. A counter-invasion of North Africa led by Scipio Africanus forced him to return to Carthage. As always, Hannibal spent time learning about his enemy, their strengths and weaknesses, and knew that Varro was eager for a fight and over-confident of success. That it failed was due to the immense resilience of the Romans, both in their political constitution and in their soldiery. As Scipio saw that he was likely to prolong his self-laudation he said, laughing, "where would you place yourself, Hannibal, if you had not been defeated by me?" 1999. Departing from Roman military traditions, Fabius adopted the strategy named after him, avoiding open battle while placing several Roman armies in Hannibal's vicinity in order to watch and limit his movements. [59] His arrival immediately restored the predominance of the war party, which placed him in command of a combined force of African levies and his mercenaries from Italy. He died the same year as Hannibal at the age of 53. Hannibal's father Hamilcar Barca was the Carthaginian general. He then sent word to Carthage for more men and supplies, especially siege engines, but his request was denied. The flow of defections to the Carthaginian side slowed and then stopped. He had the Carthaginians penned up near Capua where retreat was blocked by the Volturnus River. It seemed clear Hannibal was trying to break out of the trap. The Carthaginian forces fell back evenly, drawing the Romans further and further into their lines, and then the light infantry moved to either end of the crescent formation and the heavy infantry advanced to the front. [108], Hannibal covers most of North Africa with olive groves thanks to the work of his soldiers, whose rest he considers prejudicial to the State and their generals.[109]. [96] Nonetheless, Polybius did recognize that the reputation for cruelty the Romans attached to Hannibal might in reality have been due to mistaking him for one of his officers, Hannibal Monomachus.[97]. When word reached Rome of Hannibal's maneuver, however, they were quick to act and sent the general Scipio (father of Scipio Africanus the Elder, who accompanied him) to intercept. Due to these brilliant tactics, Hannibal managed to surround and destroy all but a small remnant of his enemy, despite his own inferior numbers. With the failure of his brother Mago in Liguria (205–203 BC) and of his own negotiations with Phillip V, the last hope of recovering his ascendancy in Italy was lost. As a result, the Roman army was hemmed in with no means of escape. https://www.ancient.eu/hannibal/. By 265 B.C., Carthage was the wealthiest and most advanced city in the region, as well as its leading naval power. By this time, Scipio was already set to invade North Africa and his plan would work exactly as he predicted. The alpine invasion of Italy was a military operation that would shake the Mediterranean World of 218 BC with repercussions for more than two decades. Neither side won. [83][need quotation to verify] It is plausible to suggest that Hannibal engendered the greatest fear Rome had towards an enemy. Scipio retreated across the Trebia to camp at Placentia with his army mostly intact.[44]. Before dying, Hannibal is said to have left behind a letter declaring, "Let us relieve the Romans from the anxiety they have so long experienced, since they think it tries their patience too much to wait for an old man's death". No captain ever marched to and fro among so many armies of troops superior to his own numbers and material as fearlessly and skillfully as he. When his father drowned, command of the army passed to Hasdrubal the Fair (l. c. 270-221 BCE), Hamilcar's son-in-law, and when Hasdrubal was assassinated in 221 BCE the troops unanimously called for the election of Hannibal as their commander even though he was only 25 years old at the time. The Carthaginian general advised equipping a fleet and landing a body of troops in the south of Italy, offering to take command himself. "[2][14] According to the tradition, Hannibal's oath took place in the town of Peñíscola, today part of the Valencian Community, Spain. When the Roman army advanced, the center of the Carthaginian line began to give way so that it seemed as though Varro had been correct and the center would break. He was called back to Africa to defend Carthage from Roman invasion, was defeated at the Battle of Zama in 202 BCE by Scipio Africanus (l. 236-183 BCE) and retired from service to Carthage. He was the son of Hamilcar Barca (ca. He died in 183 BCE by drinking poison. Hannibal, by skillful maneuvers, was in position to head him off, for he lay on the direct road between Placentia and Arminum, by which Sempronius would have to march to reinforce Scipio. Studien zu Plautus' Poenulus. They are notably implemented during an adventure racing starting from Lyon and leading to Turin through the Alps and bearing his name: the Hannibal raid. There Hannibal had an opportunity to show his masterful military skill at the Trebia in December of the same year, after wearing down the superior Roman infantry, when he cut it to pieces with a surprise attack and ambush from the flanks. Hannibal. [34] Biostratigraphic archaeological data has reinforced the case for Col de la Traversette; analysis of peat bogs near watercourses on both sides of the pass's summit showed that the ground was heavily disturbed "by thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of animals and humans" and that the soil bore traces of unique levels of Clostridia bacteria associated with the digestive tract of horses and mules. Despite this, Flaminius remained passively encamped at Arretium. [87], According to the historian Livy, the Romans feared Hannibal's military genius, and during Hannibal's march against Rome in 211 BC, "a messenger who had travelled from Fregellae for a day and a night without stopping created great alarm in Rome, and the excitement was increased by people running about the City with wildly exaggerated accounts of the news he had brought. Hamilcar held Hannibal over the fire roaring in the chamber and made him swear that he would never be a friend of Rome. He then made his famous military exploit of carrying war to Italy by crossing the Alps with his North African war elephants. Hannibal spent time learning about his enemy, their strengths & weaknesses, & knew that Varro was over-confident of success. Hannibal had now disposed of the only field force that could check his advance upon Rome, but he realized that, without siege engines, he could not hope to take the capital. Following the conclusion of a peace that left Carthage saddled with an indemnity of ten thousand talents, he was elected suffete (chief magistrate) of the Carthaginian state. [29] Additionally, he would have to contend with opposition from the Gauls, whose territory he passed through. The conditions of defeat were such that Carthage could no longer battle for Mediterranean supremacy. Hannibal, (born 247 bce, North Africa—died c. 183–181 bce, Libyssa, Bithynia [near Gebze, Turkey]), Carthaginian general, one of the great military leaders of antiquity, who commanded the Carthaginian forces against Rome in the Second Punic War (218–201 bce) and who continued to oppose Rome and its satellites until his death. But with the loss of Tarentum in 209 BC and the gradual reconquest by the Romans of Samnium and Lucania, his hold on south Italy was almost lost. Alarmed by this, the armies surrounding Capua go to Rome, where they are slaughtered by Hannibal. Hannibal, however, could make no move on Rome because he lacked siege engines and reinforcements for his army. This erupted into full-scale mutiny under the leadership of Spendius and Matho and 70,000 Africans from Carthage's oppressed dependant territories flocked to join the mutineers, bringing supplies … Fortified by both Hannibal and the supplies, the Carthaginians rebuffed the treaty and Roman protests. He had indeed bitter enemies, and his life was one continuous struggle against destiny. de Beer, S. G., 1974, Hannibal: The struggle for power in the Mediterranean, Book Club Associates, London. For the first there would seem to be no further justification than that he was consummately skillful in the use of ambuscades. This eliminated the Roman numerical advantage by shrinking the combat area. [65] The Romans followed up their success by attacking Antiochus' holdings in Asia Minor and the Seleucid Empire was decisively defeated at the battle of Magnesia in 190 BC by Lucius Cornelius Scipio Asiaticus. Then he asked Hannibal whom he placed next, and he replied "Pyrrhus of Epirus", because he considered boldness the first qualification of a general; "for it would not be possible", he said, "to find two kings more enterprising than these". (24). Ancient History Encyclopedia. Hannibal was an inexperienced sailor, as was his crew, and was defeated even though, much to his credit, he came close to winning.
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