logo
g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Career
Computers
Education
Family
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
Money
News & Politics
Relationships
Religion & Spirituality
Sports
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

dailyclick
Bored? Games!
Nutrition
Postcards
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

new
European Travel
Action Movies
Bible Basics
Houseplants
Romance Movies
Creativity
Family Travel


dailyclick
All times in EST

Full Schedule
g
g History Site

BellaOnline's History Editor

g

Understanding the Success of Hannibal












At the start of the Second Punic War, Hannibalís army was superior compared to Romeís as his soldiers were professionals and hired mercenaries. Romeís citizen militia was called up only when needed and had to go through training each time. This meant that they were less experienced than Hannibalís army. Even the commanders did not have the needed experience. The fact that Hannibal only used professionals was a weakness of his as well as a strength. There was a limit to the number of professionals available for him. The advantage that Rome had was the endless number of soldiers that could be called up to fight. Their resources for soldiers were almost limitless.

Hannibal had well-trained cavalry and elephants. Though elephants could be intimidating and inflict damage, which was a plus for Hannibal, they were easily frightened and could become out of control. This would work in Romeís advantage. Hannibalís weakness in his military organization was the fact that many of the groups of soldiers were unfamiliar with each other and, therefore, had trouble working together on the battlefield. Roman soldiers worked in sync no matter what their experience was or their background with each other as this was how they were trained. The strength of the Roman formation was in their use of three lines in their phalanx compared to Hannibalís one line. This three line formation gave Rome more fresh reserves to call in than Hannibal had as well as placing more pressure on the enemy.

Rome was able to hold out against Hannibal and eventually defeat him due to the fierce passion that they fought with. Their goal was to fight till the enemy was annihilated. Other civilizations were learning the art of diplomacy and peacemaking. Rome believed that the fight continued until the enemy no longer existed and could no longer threaten them. It was this passion that kept Rome going despite the numerous losses in men and territory. It was what led to Hannibalís defeat at Zama.

By the time Hannibal and Scipio met at Zama, the Roman army had become more experienced and familiar with their enemy. Scipio had been shadowing Hannibalís army and avoiding direct fighting. Hannibal gave Rome the advantage as he let them shadow and did not bring them into combat. The army he faced at Zama was vastly different than the one he first faced. Not directly engaging them earlier and more often gave the Roman army the time needed to become the experienced army it needed to be to defeat Hannibal.

Sources:
Adrian Goldsworthy, Roman Warfare (London: Phoenix, 2000).

Add Understanding+the+Success+of+Hannibal to Twitter Add Understanding+the+Success+of+Hannibal to Facebook Add Understanding+the+Success+of+Hannibal to MySpace Add Understanding+the+Success+of+Hannibal to Del.icio.us Digg Understanding+the+Success+of+Hannibal Add Understanding+the+Success+of+Hannibal to Yahoo My Web Add Understanding+the+Success+of+Hannibal to Google Bookmarks Add Understanding+the+Success+of+Hannibal to Stumbleupon Add Understanding+the+Success+of+Hannibal to Reddit



 



RSS | Related Articles | Editor's Picks Articles | Top Ten Articles | Previous Features | Site Map




For FREE email updates, subscribe to the History Newsletter


Past Issues


print
Printer Friendly
bookmark
Bookmark
tell friend
Tell a Friend
forum
Forum
email
Email Editor


Content copyright © 2014 by Rebecca Graf. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Rebecca Graf. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Rebecca Graf for details.

g


g features
Slavery Fought Through the Written Word

The Good Intentions of the Carpetbaggers

Carpetbaggers and the New Social South

Archives | Site Map

forum
Forum
email
Contact

Past Issues
memberscenter


vote
Poetry
Daily
Weekly
Monthly
Less than Monthly



BellaOnline on Facebook
g


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2014 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.


BellaOnline Editor