Hannibal and Scipio: the Man Who Nearly Destroyed the Roman Empire and the Man Who Saved It

Submitted by: Submitted by

Views: 549

Words: 2527

Pages: 11

Category: World History

Date Submitted: 03/31/2011 09:04 AM

Report This Essay

Hannibal and Scipio: The Man Who Nearly Destroyed the Roman Empire and the Man Who Saved It

In 218 B.C., a man by the name of Hannibal set out on quest for revenge that nearly destroyed the great Roman Empire. As commander of the Carthaginian army, Hannibal proved himself to be one of the greatest military leaders and tacticians of all time. His efforts and engagements during the Second Punic War, including the Battle of Trebia, the ambush at Lake Transimene, and the Battle of Cannae, annihilated the Roman army and crushed the spirit of the Roman people. The Roman Empire was in a state of panic and disarray, but it found a savior in one of its greatest generals, Scipio Africanus. Scipio Africanus studied the Roman army’s previous mistakes and Hannibal’s tactics extensively. He developed a battle plan that ultimately defeated the Carthaginian army and earned a victory for Rome in the Second Punic War. His efforts, such as the Battle at Zama, were responsible for the defeat of Hannibal and the redemption of the Roman Empire.

As a boy, Hannibal saw his father, Hamilcar Barca, defeated by the Roman army in the First Punic War. After this defeat, Carthage was financially exhausted. Hamilcar decided set out on a military campaign to Spain in order to gain land and wealth for Carthage. He agreed to take his son with him to gain experience, but first made Hannibal swear an oath to never be a friend of the Romans: “The oath, sworn at the temple of Ba’al Shamim to his father before their departure to Iberia in 237 B.C., was ‘never to show goodwill to the Romans.’ ” In Iberia (present day Spain), Hannibal served as an officer under his father and older brother. He immediately began to show a genius for tactics, man-management, command and leadership. He used his skill and fearlessness to inspire the men under him and quickly gained their respect. After his father was killed in combat and his brother was assassinated, the Carthaginian army unanimously named Hannibal as...