Hannibal and Carthage Defeat Rome In The Second Punic War

BAYLOR

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In 216 B C at Cannae, Carthaginian general Hannibal with a much smaller army surrounded and destroys a much larger Army which put him in a position to win the the second Punic war. But due to lack of material support from Carthage and Hannibal's inability to capitalize on his victory Rome was able to turn the tables on him. In the end, it came down to the battle Zama in 202 BC in which Hannibal was beaten by Scripco Africanus . But suppose there had been a different outcome? what if Hannibal had been ale to capitalize on on his victory at Cannae ? What if he had been able decisively knock out Rome? How do you think history would have unfolded Rome out of the picture ?
 
Rome was too organised to have been knocked out - it survived the Celtic invasion the previous century, and would have survived occupation by Hannibal.

Hannibal's problem is that his entire strategy relied too much on support from the Gauls, whose infighting made them notoriously unreliable.

Additionally, while Rome dealt with its Latin allies in a horribly arrogant manner, those same allies still coveted Roman privileges - something Hannibal could not offer.

So, one way or another Hannibal was doomed to marching up and down Italy, with nothing to show for it. The only question was whether he could have taken Rome itself or not.

While the delay after Cannae looks like a strategic mistake, IMO it simply shows that Hannibal understood the limitations of his campaign - he just did not have enough support in Italia to hold the City, even if he had marched on it.

This is especially when you consider how astonishingly fast the Romans were able to rebuild their legions, despite the catastrophic losses at Cannae.
 
Setting aside if Carthage truly could have conquered Rome properly - I'm with Brian in this one, in that there were a lot of factors that essentially ensured Carthage was going to lose no matter what - there is a problem speculating what a victorious Carthage, if there had been one, would have done.

This is because Rome eventually stamped out brutally the Carthaginian civilisation and very effectively Romanised all of it's people. Hence there are very few primary sources of what was going on in the Carthaginian side - every contemporary source comes from outside, as far as I am aware (and usually from the Romans themselves - example: the claims of child sacrifice in Carthaginian society/religion is IMO quite suspect.) Would it have spurred them onto a Rome-like empire or would they have been content to control the Italian states loosely, deal with and allow a strong gaul/celtic North and focus on getting rich on trade? Or something else.

I think any outcome we come out with will seems as likely as another, give our lack of knowledge.

One thought though - if there had never existed a strong Empire that was stable for hundreds and hundreds of years and stretched from the moors of Northern England to the Sahara, the Atlantic ocean to the banks of the Euphrates, essentially allowing the transport of trade, people and ideas...would that fledgling religion Christianity have had the opportunity to spread beyond the middle East? I believe it wouldn't have - Christianity became successful when it converted, bit by bit the Roman civilisation. I think it would have a had a much harder time converting a hodge-podge of states (if that's the scenario we have :))
 
Setting aside if Carthage truly could have conquered Rome properly - I'm with Brian in this one, in that there were a lot of factors that essentially ensured Carthage was going to lose no matter what - there is a problem speculating what a victorious Carthage, if there had been one, would have done.

This is because Rome eventually stamped out brutally the Carthaginian civilisation and very effectively Romanised all of it's people. Hence there are very few primary sources of what was going on in the Carthaginian side - every contemporary source comes from outside, as far as I am aware (and usually from the Romans themselves - example: the claims of child sacrifice in Carthaginian society/religion is IMO quite suspect.) Would it have spurred them onto a Rome-like empire or would they have been content to control the Italian states loosely, deal with and allow a strong gaul/celtic North and focus on getting rich on trade? Or something else.

I think any outcome we come out with will seems as likely as another, give our lack of knowledge.

One thought though - if there had never existed a strong Empire that was stable for hundreds and hundreds of years and stretched from the moors of Northern England to the Sahara, the Atlantic ocean to the banks of the Euphrates, essentially allowing the transport of trade, people and ideas...would that fledgling religion Christianity have had the opportunity to spread beyond the middle East? I believe it wouldn't have - Christianity became successful when it converted, bit by bit the Roman civilisation. I think it would have a had a much harder time converting a hodge-podge of states (if that's the scenario we have :))


Third Punic War 149 to 146 BC . Instigated by one of history greatest criminals Cato the Elder .
 
The sad part of the Third Punic Wars was that Carthage was no longer any kind of threat at that point. The war totally unnecessary, they were beaten, broken and done. Yes Im know the Carthaginians were not nice people, not at all. They worshiped Baal and sacrificed children to him, among their numerous sins. But then again, the Romans were not whole lot better. When they took Carthage they killed most of the population , enslaved the rest, razed the city and salted the ground.
 
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My (totally unqualified) view:

The Carthaginians were essentially traders and descended from the Phoenicians ( hence the word Punic). They weren't geared up for the kind of empire Rome was building and much of their army was made up of mercenaries. Once Rome negated Carthaginian sea-power with the invention of the Corvus, the writing was on the wall for Carthage.

The Romans effectively hamstrung themselves with the elected Consul system (who often worked at odds with each other). I think if Rome had appointed a permanent military commander based purely on merit rather than politics, Carthage wouldn't have lasted as long as it did (but then again, that commander may well have seized power for himself).
 
My (totally unqualified) view:

The Carthaginians were essentially traders and descended from the Phoenicians ( hence the word Punic). They weren't geared up for the kind of empire Rome was building and much of their army was made up of mercenaries. Once Rome negated Carthaginian sea-power with the invention of the Corvus, the writing was on the wall for Carthage.

The Romans effectively hamstrung themselves with the elected Consul system (who often worked at odds with each other). I think if Rome had appointed a permanent military commander based purely on merit rather than politics, Carthage wouldn't have lasted as long as it did (but then again, that commander may well have seized power for himself).


Ultimately , that did happen to Rome. Caesar and Augustus and a number few others went that route.
 
True. And Rome became the ancient superpower we all know today because of it.

In the End a similar fate befell Rome . In 410 AD The Visigoths lead by a man named Alaric sacked and badly damaged Rome. But at least the city of Rome is still with us.
 
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Rome struggled on for another 60 or so years after that. It could be argued that the loss of the North African provinces to the Visigoths was the real death blow to the Western Roman Empire.

It still produced strong commanders periodically in the few decades after 410. Constantius in the 420s did a lot to stabilize the Empire and the Magistar Militum Aetius defeated Attila the Hun in Gaul.
 
I cannot even imagine what would have happened if Hannibal had defeated Scipio Africanus and then sacked Rome.... perhaps, though, even if Hannibal had won the battle of Zama, he still wouldn't have been able to destroy Rome itself. I can't even envision what might have been but it is a tremendously interesting question. Would there have been a Roman Empire?
 
Would the ideals of Democracy survived? Although a Greek idea, Rome in it's Republic years did much to give a voice to the masses. A lot of it was stage managed by the rich and powerful, no different from today really I suppose.
 
Worth mentioning 'democracy' didn't survive all that much longer in Rome in any case. A century later Rome was having a stratified political system with dynasties much like the US has with Kennedys, Clintons and Bushs, and less than a century after that Milo and Clodius were running with gangs of thugs.

If Rome had fallen then, they would not have conquered Macedon or Greece (Philip V was Hannibal's ally). I wonder if that might've helped democracy.

Plus, Rome was designed on a triangle system, with democracy through elections, but aristocracy through the senate and monarchy (well, diarchy) through the consuls.
 
I cannot even imagine what would have happened if Hannibal had defeated Scipio Africanus and then sacked Rome.... perhaps, though, even if Hannibal had won the battle of Zama, he still wouldn't have been able to destroy Rome itself. I can't even envision what might have been but it is a tremendously interesting question. Would there have been a Roman Empire?

If Rome survived , it would have been severely weakened and diminished in size.
 
Not so sure. Rome was immensely resilient. It came back after Cannae, after all.
 
And even although it lost a physical empire at ~ September 4th 476 CE *, it still has a 'spiritual' Empire in the form of the Vatican and Catholicism to this day and is thus still globally important. That would make a good two and half thousand years of resilience.


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* I'm just taking Gibbon's point when the Western Empire fell.
 
Boo hiss to CE!

Seriously, though, it's a ridiculous renaming of a system. Lindy Beige's video on it was spot on. Pretending the Christian calendar isn't the Christian calendar is daft beyond words.
 
Boo hiss to CE!

Seriously, though, it's a ridiculous renaming of a system. Lindy Beige's video on it was spot on. Pretending the Christian calendar isn't the Christian calendar is daft beyond words.

I'm not Christian, plus its not even aligned to Christ's birth exactly (4 BC is one of the dates I've read are likely). However I fully admit that it's the event that the system is tied to ;):D

I could use some non-Christian dating scheme, but then that would invariably led to confusion. I'll just continue to use my secular notation, thank you. :)
 
It's true that Jesus was born 4-6BC. But the system is still based on when he was supposed to have been born.

I'm also not a Christian, but I don't like revisionism when it seems to be for a political reason. Anyway, it's a free country.
 
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