Punic Wars

The Punic Wars were a series of military engagements between the ascendant Roman Republic and the former Phoenician colony of Carthage, in what is now Tunisia. 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.

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Punic Wars

Brief summary of the Battle of Cannae?

First off, I'm not sure this is what you're looking for seeing as you listed under literature, but I'm going to summarize the battle:

It's the second Punic War between the city states of Carthage (north africa) and Rome (central italy). A brilliant new Carthagenian General named Hannibal Barca (commonly Hannibal) has boldly trekked his army through Spain, then the Pyrenees, then south France, then crossing the Alps, with African elephants no less, in an incredibly bold plan to attack Rome by surprise. After various battles, the Romans are completely unable to score a major victory against Hannibal, who marches freely up and down the east coast of Italy with his army. At a point, the Romans have some success attempting to starve Hannibal's invasion force, but this was taking to long, and the people demanded swift action, so the Romans gambled everything on sending an enormous army to face off with Hannibal once and for all.

The two armies met near Cannae. The Roman army was led by two generals, who switched off command each day. That day, an aggressive general named Varro was in command. Before the battle he deepened the Roman fighting formation, sacrificing maneuvrability for smashing power, which would prove a fatal mistake. Hannibal lined up in a concave formation, bowed in the center, his infantry a combination of gauls, carthagenians, and others, with his Numibian Cavalry on each wing. His chosen formation seemed to invite an all out frontal attacked, and Varro obliged. To start the battle, Hannibal's superior Numibian cavalry crushed the Roman horsemen (this would repeatedly, in the future, be a problem for Rome) and began to chase off stragglers while awaiting Hannibal's orders. While this happened, the Roman Centuries attacked, and Hannibal's men began to lose ground. Then, just as victory seemed sure for the Romans, Hannibal ordered his best infantry, the Libyan Pikes, into action, crashing down on either side of the Roman's flanks. In another moment, Hannibal's Numibian cavalry returning from running down the routing enemy and charged in the Roman's rear. The Romans were now completely surrounded, and packed in so tight they could not use their weapons. Had there been any oreder, they could have easily organized at a point and by sheer numbers broke free, but that order never came amidst the confusion.

Aftermath: This was a crushing defeat for Rome, who lost up to 86,000 of a force of 90,000 men and horses, while Hannibal lost a (relatively) mere 8,000 out of his army of 50,000 (His elephants had all died in earlier battles and while crossing the Alps). This is especially noteworthy because almost an entire army was completely annhilated in mere hours. The next time this men men would die in such a short period of time came again four times:The first battle of the Somme, D-Day, and at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. After the battle, Hannibal continued his march up and down the Italian coast, to strong to be defeated, to weak to attack Rome. This continued until Scipio Africanus launched a Roman attack on Carthage to draw Hannibal out of Italy to defend his city. This worked, and Hannibal was finally defeated, ironically on his home soil at the battle of Zama. As the other two, the second Punic War was a decisive win for Rome, and helped established their dominance of Mediterranean sea trade for the next half millenium.

Punic Wars

What does the word Punic mean in Punic Wars?

Related to Carthage or the people of Carthage.

The Carthaginians were of Phoenician origin, and the Latin word for Phoenician was Punicus.

Punic Wars

What was the basic cause of the Punic War?

There were three Punic wars

In the first Punic war mercenaries called the Mamertines seized the city of Messana (modern day Messina) in eastern Sicily. The Greek city of Syracuse, also on the east coast, the most powerful city in Sicily, attacked the Mamertines. These asked both Carthage (which has 5 ports in western Sicily) and Rome for help. Carthage decided to help, but set up a garrison in Messana. The Mamertines, unhappy with this, asked Rome for help again. The Roman senate did not want to intervene, but the popular assembly voted for war. The reason for this vote is not clear. Historians have speculated about this. Rome landed in Messana, expelled the Carthaginian garrison and then besieged Syracuse which became an ally of Rome. After this Carthage mobilised for war and a big war developed, fought mainly at sea. It is quite clear that the Romans did not realise the implications of their intervention and that they were let ting themselves in for. The war developed into a struggle over the control of Sicily, but this cannot be said to be the original cause of the war.

Before the First Punic War Rome hardly had a fleet and was hardly involved in trade around the Mediterranean.

The Second Punic War has also been called the Hannibalistic war. Hannibal wanted war for revenge for the defeat in the first war and for Rome seizing Corsica and Sardinia taking advantage of a military rebellion in Carthage after the war. Hannibal provoked the war and wanted to attack Rome. He marched an army from his base in Spain to invade Italy. However, he could not attack Rome because he lost his siege machines while crossing the Alps.

Rome started the Third Punic War because she wanted to destroy Rome. In the previous war Rome won, took the Carthaginian territories in southern Spain and imposed demilitarisation in the peace treaty. After finishing paying the 50-year war indemnity, Carthage considered herself free from the peace treaty and formed an army to respond to attacks from her neighbours in Algeria. Rome used this to declare war. Rome was worried about a possible military resurgence of this once formidable ally.

Punic Wars

Ancient city northwest of Carthage capital of the roman province of Africa after the third punic war?


Punic Wars

How did the Romans react to the defeat at Cannae?

For a short amount of time, the Romans were in disarray. Their army had been destroyed, the few survivors severely demoralized and the only remaining consul, Caius Varentius Varo, was completely discredited. Cannae was a utter catastrophe for the Romans. Yet another defeat for Rome and her people, at the hands of Hannibal and the Carthaginians.

According to some historians Rome declared a national day of mourning, as there was not a single person in Rome who was not either related or acquainted with a person who had died in the battle. Although, according to Livy, women were forbidden to appear outside - it being decided it was safer for them in their homes as Hannibal's next attack, now he had defeated most of Rome's armies, had to be Rome itself. Family mourning was to be checked and a silence to be imposed. So, in a way, we can classify what Livy says as a day of mourning. But it can also be seen as Rome preparing for an attack. Which can be backed up with Livy; he states that Fabius suggested guards to be posted at gates to prevent anyone from leaving the city.

Though historians argue that the Romans became so desperate that they resorted to human sacrifice, twice burying people alive at the Forum of Rome and abandoning an oversized baby in the Adriatic Sea. Though this can be disputed at the way the sacrifice the Carthaginians partook in before battle was looked at in disgust by the Romans as shown by Livy.

Lucius Caecilius Metellus, a military tribune, is known to have so much despaired in the Roman cause in the aftermath of the battle as to suggest that everything was lost, and called the other tribunes to sail overseas and hire themselves up into the service to some foreign prince, Scipio Africanus on hearing this gathered with his own followers and stormed into a meeting, where at sword-point he forced all present to swear that they would continue in faithful service to Rome for all time. Furthermore, the Roman survivors of Cannae were later reconstituted as two legions and assigned to Sicily for the remainder of the war as punishment for their humiliating desertion of the battlefield.

In addition to the physical loss of her army, Rome suffered a symbolic defeat of prestige. A gold ring was a token of membership in the upper classes of Roman society ; Hannibal had his men collect more than 200 of these rings from the corpses on the battlefield, and sent them to Carthage as proof of his victory.

Hannibal, having gained another victory, had defeated the equivalent of eight consular armies (sixteen legions plus an equal number of allies) within in just three campaign season , 20 months. Rome had lost one-fifth (150,000) of the entire population of citizens over seventeen years old. The moral effect of this victory was so great that most of Southern Italy joined Hannibal's cause. After the battle of Cannae the Hellenistic southern provinces of Arpi, Salapia, Herdonia, Uzentum including the cities of Capua and Tarentum all revoked their allegiance to Rome and pledged their loyalties to Hannibal. Polybius states 'How much more serious was the defeat of Cannae, than those which preceded it can be seen by the behaviour 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'

That same year, the Greek cities in Sicily were induced to the revolt , while the Macedonian King , Philip V, had pledged his support to Hannibal - therefore initiating the First Macedonian War against Rome. Hannibal also had an alliance with the newly appointed King Hieronymus of Syracuse.

Immediately after Cannae, Hannibal sent a delegation led by Carthalo to negotiate a peace treaty with the Senate on moderate terms. Yet despite the numerous failures Rome had Instead they doubled their efforts, declaring full mobilization of the male Roman population and raised new legions; enlisting landless peasants and going as far as to enlist slaves too. So firm were these measure that the term 'peace' was prohibited, mourning was limited to thirty days and public tears were prohibited - even to women.

The Romans, after experiencing the defeat at Cannae and losing at Trebia and Trasimene, had finally learned from their mistakes. For the remainder of the war in Italy, they would not assemble such large forces under one command against Hannibal. Instead using several independent armies; though still outnumbering the Carthaginian forces in numbers of armies and soldiers.

The Battle of Cannae played a major role in shaping the military structure and tactical organization of the Roman Republic army. At Cannae the Roman infantry assumed a formation similar to the Greek phalanx. This delivered them straight into Hannibal's trap, similar to Trebia and Trasimene. Since their inability to manoeuvre independently from the mass of the army made it impossible from them to encounter the encircling tactics often used by Hannibal and his forces.

However in the years following Cannae, striking reforms were introduced to address the problems faced at Cannae, Trasimene and Trebia.

In summary the Romans were devastated by the defeat at Cannae, after all many lives were lost and it was the biggest defeat Rome would ever face. But Rome refused to negotiate but resolved to prevail in the war. Rome realised its mistakes, and continued the war of Attrition. Because in the end Rome simply outlasted the Carthaginians - after every battle they lost a great deal of men yet they raised and even bigger army the next time round.

Punic Wars

Who started the Punic wars?


Punic Wars

Who was the general who used elephants during the Punic Wars?

The Carthaginian General Hannibal Barca .

Punic Wars

What does the name Scipio Africanus mean?

Scipio is the name of his father and Africanus means 'defeater of Africa'

Punic Wars

What island was partly controlled by Carthage before the first punic war?

Sicily was partially controlled by Carthage before the First Punic War.

Punic Wars

Who is Scipio?

A Roman General who won victory over Hannibal in the Second Punic War, known as Scipio Africanus

Punic Wars

Roman enemy in Punic Wars?

Rome's enemy for western Mediterranean supremacy was Carthage.

Punic Wars

How many miles did Hannibal travel from Spain to Rome?

846 miles YOUR WELCOME!!!!!!

Punic Wars

Why is the Punic wars important?

In order to know fought between the two strongest contenders for control over the central Mediterranean Sea of the time. For a long time during the second Punic war, it could seem that Carthage would become the victor. The wars ended with a strong destruction of Carthage, that ended the city's period as an independent power house and a important trade centre. However, the city would later became an important trading centre inside the Roman Empire.

Punic Wars

How did the Punic Wars affect Rome's history?

It became the undisputed power in the Western Mediterranean, and in the aftermath of the Second Punic War, decided to punish Macedonia for supporting Carthage.

This led Rome into intervening in the eastern Mediterranean, progressively subjecting the Hellenistic kingdoms and extending its empire right around the Mediterranean Sea.

Punic Wars

Where did the Roman Empire expand after the Punic Wars?

In retribution for Philip of Macedonia's support of Carthage, they set out to punish him. In so doing they became embroiled in Greece and its disputes, then with Seleucid Syria in Asia Minor. Then they had to face the German population movement in Gaul, which embroiled them there, and the aftermath in Spain also led them to progressive takeover there. And so on to the Rhine and Danube and then Syria Palestine, north Africa, Egypt ...

Punic Wars

When was the third punic war started?

Third Punic War (149 to 146 BC)

Punic Wars

When did the First Punic War start?

In 264 BC.

Punic Wars

Which general crossed the alps riding elephants to attack rome during punic wars?


Punic Wars

Who was Hannibal and what was the mane of the war between his homeland and Rome?

i see fhkz

Punic Wars

What did Hannibal do to defeat Rome?

He mounted a mercenary expeditionary force from northern Spain into Italy where he inflicted several defeats o Roman armies. However he did not have a siege train to attack the city itself with, and was eventually recalled to Carthage to defend it against an expeditionary force from Rome. He lost.

Punic Wars

How did Hannibal's army arrive in Rome?

The Carthaginian army entered from Iberia over the Pyrenees and the Alps and into northern Italy. However, Hannibal did not go to Rome. He could not attack Rome because he lost his siege machines while crossing the Alps. Instead, after routing the Roman armies twice north of Rome, he went to southern Italy.

Punic Wars

What animals did Hannibal take across the alps?

Hannibal crossed the Alps with elephants.

Punic Wars

What animal was used by Hannibal in his attempt to capture Rome?


Punic Wars

What body of water did Rome gain control of when they won the Punic Wars?

After wining the Punic Wars, Rome gained control of the western Mediterranean Sea.

Punic Wars

What year did Scipio beat Hannibal?

Scipio defeated Hanibal in 202 BC at the battle of Zama.


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