The Importance Of Hannibal In The Second Pinic War

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Register to read the introduction… To accomplish this, we turn our attention towards Rome’s greatest historian, Livy. In his work, History of Rome, Livy dedicated ten of his 137 books to the seventeen year long Second Punic War. So to begin, Hamilcar, Hannibal’s father, was the commander of the Carthaginian forces late in the First Punic War, and this is the root of Hannibal’s great disgust for the Roman Empire. Livy tells us that after this war, when Hamilcar was preparing to transfer his troops to the Iberian Peninsula to help rebuild Carthaginian power, Hannibal begged to travel with him. Hamilcar, about to prepare an offer to the gods for the journey, agreed and “led the boy to the altar and made him solemnly swear…that as soon as he was old enough he would be the enemy of the Roman people.” From this point on Hamilcar taught his son everything he knew and prepared him to take up the fight against Rome at the first available instance. Indeed, the reason that it took so long for the Second Punic War to begin was that of “Hamilcar’s timely death and…that Hannibal was still too young to assume …show more content…
Fabius Maximus was this man, and he adopted a strategy of cutting off Hannibal’s supply lines and refusing to engage in traditional battle. Fabius’ tactics were given the name the Fabian Strategy, and because of his lack of battles the senate believed he wasn’t accomplishing his task. His rights as dictator were revoked, and again the senate appointed two new consuls, Gaius Terentius Varro and Lucius Aemilius Paullus. They marched to meet Hannibal at Cannae, where he had seized the town for its large amount of resources after his supply lines had been cut off by the Fabian Strategy. Livy says of the Roman army: “So thus, by a majority vote, the army marched on its way to Cannae, to make it famous in history as the scene of a catastrophic Roman defeat. Destiny itself was at its heels.” Again, the two Roman consuls had different strategies of how to deal with Hannibal. Varro, after expelling a small skirmish victory, was eager for battle while Paullus was more cautious and unsure of when to engage the enemy. The two armies of the consuls, in total numbering around 87,000 men, had been combined for the march and subsequent battle at Cannae. Because of this Roman law dictated that the two consuls were to alternate days in command. This was to be their …show more content…
In fact, it was due to his defeat of Hannibal that he was awarded with the cognomen of Africanus. Hannibal went on to live the rest of his life despising the Romans, moving from place to place and attempting to finish off what he had started in the Second Punic War. His accomplishments in the Second Punic War were astonishing. He defeated the Romans decisively in every battle he engaged them in during his time in Italy. He spent approximately ten years on the boot of Italy and reached within five miles of the Roman walls. No other general was ever able to accomplish what Hannibal seemed to so easily, defeating the equivalent of eight Roman consular armies in the span of two years (approximately 160,000 men). That is why, for these reasons, Hannibal will live on in history books for the rest of time. His ingenious tactics and superior intellect lead his forces through the European mountains and into the heart of the enemy where they ravaged the country side. The world will never forget such an influential

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