Read PDF Their Greatest Hour: Rome, Carthage, and the Second Punic War

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Caveat spectator : in the climactic Battle of Zama, several elephants are killed on screen. Not a first-rate film. Engineering an Empire: Carthage : an episode in the History Channel's series on ancient technology. An excellent source of reconstructions and short video clips on Carthaginian archaeology, battle tactics, and more. Excerpts available on YouTube. Anderson, P. Flaubert, G. Salammbo , translated by A.

Penguin Classics The novel follows Salammbo, the daughter of Hamilcar Barca, as she becomes ensnared by the intrigues of the Mercenary War. Criticized by some as an indulgent exercise in Orientalism and imperialist propaganda, Flaubert's novel helped shape the image of Carthage in art and the popular imagination. Review essay by A. Mayor, Beneker, J.

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Conte, G. Latin Literature: A History. The Johns Hopkins University Press, — Dionisotti, A. Elder, J. Geiger, J. Cornelius Nepos and Ancient Political Biography. Franz Steiner Verglag. Gibson, B. Hallett, J. Horsfall, N. Jenkinson, E. Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1— Marshall, P. The Manuscript Tradition of Cornelius Nepos. Institute of Classical Studies. Millar, F. Momigliano, A. The Development of Greek Biography. Havard University Press, 96— Rauk, J. Tatum, W. Tuplin, C. Wiseman, T. Rowman and Littlefield, — Their greatest successes came from a force of light Numidian cavalry, who raided Roman lands with impunity, although the Romans won a victory at the River Himera when the Numidian commander, Muttines, was absent.

Roman victory finally came in BC. Their new commander, Marcus Valerius Laevinus, one of the consuls for the year, decided to launch an attack on Agrigentum.

Republican Roman Soldiers of the Second Punic War

His task was made easier by the Carthaginian commander, who dismissed Muttines and replaced him with his own son. The Numidians remained loyal to Muttines, and when the Romans arrived at the city, opened one of the city gates and let them in.

The loss of their last major base ended Carthage's interest in Sicily. The majority of rebel cities quickly returned to the Roman side, and the island remained safe for the rest of the war. This victory was important for several reasons. It was the first major Roman victory of the war, an important morale boost.

It prevented Carthage from using Sicily as a base to reinforce Hannibal in Italy. Finally, Sicilian grain played a major part in feeding both the population of Rome, and the many legions by then in the field. The two armies almost met near Marseilles, but Hannibal was able to avoid a battle. Publius returned to Italy to face him, but he sent the bulk of him army, now commanded by his brother Cnaeus Scipio on to Spain. The Roman army landed at Emporion, north of the River Ebro, where he quickly boosted his army to 25,, including, as was always the case in Spain, a sizable contingent of locals.

Punic control of Spain was not secure. The heart of the Punic province was a small area around New Carthage and Gades. South of the Ebro Carthaginian conquests made before the war were still only loosely controlled, while the area north of the Ebro had been smashed through by Hannibal. The Spanish tribes were loyal to success, and frequently changed sides after a setback, emphasising any success or failure.

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This weakness may explain the Carthaginian reaction. The commander north of the Ebro, Hanno, faced the Romans with only 11, men. As the war in Italy shows, a commander who did not want to offer battle could not easily be forced to fight, but Hanno was defeated at the battle of Cissa near modern Tarragona. Hanno was captured, as was Indibilis, a Spanish leader who was to play a major part in the war. In the aftermath of the Roman victory, most communities north of the Ebro quickly defected to Rome.

Hasdrubal Barca, the overall Punic commander in Spain, led a small army in a quick raid against the Roman fleet, which caught out some Roman detachments, but was too small to remain safely north of the Ebro, and Hasdrubal retreated south, leaving Rome with a secure base in northern Spain.

For the next few years the two sides engaged in inconclusive manoeuvres. In early an attempt was made by Hasdrubal to lead another army along the land route to Italy, but this was defeated at the battle of Ibera. Otherwise, Rome was generally on the offensive in Spain, but only slow progress was made. The three Punic armies in Spain were for once fairly close together, and the Romans apparently felt strong enough to defeat them all.

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This confidence was probably aided by the 20, Celtiberian allies with the Roman armies. The Roman army split into two, one third under Cnaeus, two thirds under Publius, and moved to face the three Punic armies. Publius was the first to be defeated. Hearing that a force of Spanish allies were heading towards the Punic army, he decided to intercept it. After a night march the Roman army met the Spanish and engaged in a badly organised battle.

When the Punic army arrived, the Romans found themselves in serious trouble. When Publius was killed by a javelin, the Roman situation became hopeless and the army was massacred. Cnaeus also soon came to grief. Hasdrubal Barca negotiated with his Celtiberian allies, who agreed to leave the battlefield. Cnaeus was forced to retreat in an attempt to return to safety, but the three Punic armies converged on his column and soon surrounded the Roman force. Cnaeus was killed, and his army overwhelmed.

Roman power in Spain collapsed. Only a minor foothold remained to them north of the Ebro. At the time he was only in his mid 20s, head of one of Rome's great families, but had not held the major posts in the Roman state that normally went before high military command.

Quite why he was appointed is not clear, but the suggestion from the sources is that no one else wanted the post. He arrived in Spain towards the end of BC with limited reinforcements, leaving the Romans outnumbered some three to one. However, the Punic armies were scattered across Spain helping to maintain Punic control of the province.

Even if he had been able to confront just one of the Punic armies, Scipio could not be certain of forcing battle, nor of the result if he did, and so Scipio decided on a bold move.