The Second Punic War

Dexter Hoyos

in The Oxford Handbook of Warfare in the Classical World

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780195304657
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

The Second Punic War

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  • Ancient Roman History



This chapter discusses the first world war of the ancient Mediterranean: the Second Punic War. It was fought on two continents from Spain and Africa to the Aegean, and was marked by the generalship of the initially victorious Hannibal and the ultimately victorious Scipio Africanus. The war shows that Punic military strength still matched Rome's. Hannibal successfully employed all the elements of an ancient army, and was not only an attractive and successful leader but a careful one. The Romans' solution to his tactics was to avoid battle entirely, instead shadowing his army as it marched and meanwhile molesting his Italian allies or Hanno's secondary force. Since Punic armies were comprised of non-Carthaginian conscripts and mercenaries, and Punic fleets seldom opposed big battles, manpower losses fell largely on Libyans, Spaniards, Gauls and others. In general, the high quality of agriculture in Punic North Africa impressed the Romans.

Keywords: Second Punic War; Hannibal; Scipio Africanus; Punic military; Punic North Africa; Roman; agriculture

Article.  8580 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Ancient Roman History

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