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Hannibal Vs. Rome Essay

929 words - 4 pages

During the Second Punic War, Hannibal, was a terror to the Roman Republic. Remembered

even today for his campaign, the hatred Hannibal felt for Rome was clearly seen on the

battlefield. He plowed his way throughout modern day France and Italy, crushing his

opponents (sometimes quite literally) under his army. However, Hannibal was not only a

general of great strength, but also an exceptional strategist, and a charismatic leader.

These qualities along with his appointed position, gave Hannibal all the tools needed to

bring Rome to its knees.

Beginning in the sixth century B.C., Rome's constant expansion now sought to lay

dominion over southern Italy. However, ...view middle of the document...

As he was sacrificing to his gods,

he brought his nine year old son, Hannibal to the alter and forced him to swear an oath

hostility to Rome. From that point until his death, Hannibal's life consisted of a constant

hatred and struggle against the Romans.
I personally, found how the sequence of events leading to Hannibal’s campaign

fascinating. The oath of hatred that Hamilcar laid upon his son fueled Hannibal when he

came to power. He began rebuilding the crumbled nation of Carthage not just to reclaim

its former glory, but for revenge. Hannibal first by established a solid army consisting of

Libyan spearmen, Nubian Calvary, Gaul and Spaniard foot soldiers, and the mighty war

elephant.

Hannibal’s use of the war elephant pricked my interest the most. Though they were used

in wars before Hannibal’s time, thy never reached its full functionality until Hannibal used

them in battle, charging them into the masses. Most interesting though was the fact that

this mighty beast was never used as a pack animal, but only as a weapon. I assumed that

this was the case, just as a sword is not used as a wood ax.

Hannibal’s most brutal encounter with the Romans, and a snapshot of his true

military intellect took place on the plains of Cannae. After the defeat of their armies,

wave after wave, the Romans decided to play their trump card against Hannibal. The

Romans amassed a force of 70,000 troops to send after Hannibal, hoping that the sheer

number would overpower any counter offensive. However, the Romans confidence caused

them to overlook Hannibal’s trap. Though he was greatly outmanned, Hannibal used his

smaller numbers to draw in the massive, enemy ranks. Then when the two armies were

confronting one another, he flanked and successfully trapped the Romans...

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