Hannibal Barca's Second Punic War

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Hannibal Barca is widely considered to have been one of the greatest military commanders of all time. In the second Punic war, he marched an army of elephants, cavalry, and infantry over the Alps to assault Rome in their home territory, his most famous achievement, and fought a war that soaked Italy in blood for more than a decade. In the end, due to lack of support from Carthage, Hannibal was unable to take Rome itself, though he defeated many Roman armies, and he was forced to return to Carthage to defend it against a Roman counterattack. He lost much of his force on the way, and was defeated for the first time in North Africa, sealing Roman victory and dominance in the Mediterranean. His war, while coming impressively close to success, was …show more content…
These factors led to a war the likes of which have rarely been seen throughout history, and whose repercussions are still felt to this day. The Second Punic War determined once and for all the dominant power in the Mediterranean, and, ultimately, the world. Had Carthage triumphed; had a few things gone just slightly differently, the world would be a very different place, with Carthaginian culture at its center. Rome’s victory allowed it to develop into the world empire it became, and its power was not seriously challenged again for six hundred years. It never truly fell, for even after the Western half of the empire deteriorated and crumbled to pieces, no other culture replaced it, and it continued to shape the world to this day. After defeating Carthage, Rome became the embodiment of the west for more than half a millennium. During these centuries, Rome changed the world around it, spreading Roman culture around three continents and laying the groundwork for the next two thousand years of western …show more content…
Hannibal's War : A Military History of the Second Punic War. Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1998.
Excellent detail on entire second Punic War, by great military scholar on period. Analysis of causes of outcomes.
Polybius, Mortimer Chambers, and E. Badian. Polybius: The Histories. Vol. 2. New York: Twayne, 1966. Print.
Good full detailed overview of his life with more details than other overview articles. Can be used to corroborate other sources.
Lendering, Jona. "Hannibal Barca." - Livius. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2015. http://www.livius.org/articles/person/hannibal-3-barca/ Solid, thorough information source covering whole punic war and life afterwards, including factors leading to his death.
Livy, Titus. The History of Rome. Vol. 3. London: J. M. Dent & Sons, 1905.
Original account of Titus Livy, a Roman historian who lived through the war, though it carries a strong bias against Hannibal.
"Carthage." Roman-empire.net. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Dec.

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