Hannibal In The Roman Republic

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During the emergence of the Roman Republic, Romans were seeking to take control and conquer not only Italy but the Mediterranean as well. After they successfully acquired the Italian Peninsula, they set their sights on Carthage. Carthage was a force to be reckoned with and no easy task for conquest. This land was founded by the Phoenicians in 800 B.C.E. its geographical location on the Mediterranean Sea made for successful commercial trade. Carthage had its own thriving civilization with a judicial system and strong military in place. Eventually its empire expanded, taking up much of the coastal cities such as: southern Spain, North Africa, Sardinia, western Sicily and Corsica. During this time, Carthage was known as the “largest and…show more content…
This success made them a target for the emerging Roman acquisition. The first Punic War between the Carthaginians and Romans began over the struggle to dominate Sicily. Ultimately this battle was unsuccessful for Carthage because they lost dominance over Sicily and had to pay an indemnity. The loss of Sicily left the Carthaginian general, Hamilcar Barca furious. “According to story, he was so mad in fact he made his nine-year old son, Hannibal promise to hate Rome forever”(Spielvogel…show more content…
In order to get to Italy over land, Hannibal and his army would have to travel from Carthage-controlled Spain across the Alps and right smack into the heart of the enemy. Hannibal left in the cold winter of 218 B.C. with 50,000 infantry, 9,000 cavalry, and 37 war elephants. By the time they reached Italy, after only fourteen days, over 9,000 men had perished along with most of the elephants, but this number was soon replenished after 14,000 northern Gaul rebels joined Hannibal’s army. Hannibal’s group of 60,000 men proved superior to the Roman forces, and after at least three recorded major victories, the Roman senate did not know what to do. An army of 80,000 Roman soldiers was sent to stop Hannibal’s army of now 50,000 once and for all. In July of 216 B.C., the Romans engaged the Carthaginians. Hannibal realized that he was greatly outnumbered and that he would have to win by strategy. This was his strongpoint and that is exactly what he did. As the two lines met, Hannibal’s cavalry gained the flanks and, moving up the sides, attacked the rear of the Roman line. The Romans, literally chopped down at the rear, lost 46,000 men and 22,000 were captured. After this glorious victory, many Roman allies surrendered to Hannibal. The city of Capua became

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