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The Second Punic War

  • M. Cary
  • H. H. Scullard

Abstract

While the Romans were advancing their frontiers from Apennines to Alps the Carthaginians were making an unexpected recovery from their recent disasters. After the suppression of the revolts in Africa, Hamilcar, whose influence was now paramount at Carthage, obtained a commission to extend the Punic dominions in Spain, by way of compensation for the territory lost to the Romans (237). The interest of the Carthaginians in the Iberian peninsula had hitherto been confined to the trade-routes along its southern coast and to the mines of Andalusia: their position in Spain might be compared to that of the early East India Company in Madras or-Bengal. Like Clive in India, Hamilcar gave a new turn to his state’s policy. In the remaining nine years of his life he laid the foundations of a Punic empire, which his son-in-law Hasdrubal (228–221), who established an impressive new base at Carthago Nova (New Carthage; modern Cartagena), and his son Hannibal (221–218) extended to the Ebro and the Sierra de Toledo.

Keywords

Roman People Roman Republic Roman Army Roman General Great Battle 
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Notes and References

  1. Rebel Capua (and Atella and Galatia) as an act of independence issued coins (mainly bronze), inscribed not in Latin but in Oscan: one type is an elephant. At Capua Hannibal issued an electrum coinage and probably some tiny silver coins, also with elephants (cf. H. H. Scullard, The Elephant in the Greek and Roman World (1974), 170 ff.). For this and the rest of his coinage in Italy see the survey by E. S. G. Robinson, Numismatic Chronicle 1964, 37 ff. It may be appropriate to mention here Hannibal’s earlier coinage, which he minted at New Carthage before leaving Spain. On it his portrait appears, at first under the guise of Hercules, then plain. Here he was following the example of his father Hamilcar, who also was depicted as Melkart—Hercules. The portraits of his brothers Hasdrubal and Mago may also appear. For a discussion of these series of fine silver coins see E. S. G. Robinson, Essays in Roman Coinage presented to H. Mattingly (ed. R. A. G. Carson and C. H. V. Sutherland, 1956), 34 ff., and see pp. 125, 126, 131, 132).Google Scholar
  2. Rebel Capua (and Atella and Galatia) as an act of independence issued coins (mainly bronze), inscribed not in Latin but in Oscan: one type is an elephant. At Capua Hannibal issued an electrum coinage and probably some tiny silver coins, also with elephants (cf. H. H. Scullard, The Elephant in the Greek and Roman World (1974), 170 ff.). For this and the rest of his coinage in Italy see the survey by E. S. G. Robinson, Numismatic Chronicle 1964, 37 ff. It may be appropriate to mention here Hannibal’s earlier coinage, which he minted at New Carthage before leaving Spain. On it his portrait appears, at first under the guise of Hercules, then plain. Here he was following the example of his father Hamilcar, who also was depicted as Melkart—Hercules. The portraits of his brothers Hasdrubal and Mago may also appear. For a discussion of these series of fine silver coins see E. S. G. Robinson, Essays in Roman Coinage presented to H. Mattingly (ed. R. A. G. Carson and C. H. V. Sutherland, 1956), 34 ff., and see pp. 125, 126, 131, 132).Google Scholar
  3. Rebel Capua (and Atella and Galatia) as an act of independence issued coins (mainly bronze), inscribed not in Latin but in Oscan: one type is an elephant. At Capua Hannibal issued an electrum coinage and probably some tiny silver coins, also with elephants (cf. H. H. Scullard, The Elephant in the Greek and Roman World (1974), 170 ff.). For this and the rest of his coinage in Italy see the survey by E. S. G. Robinson, Numismatic Chronicle 1964, 37 ff. It may be appropriate to mention here Hannibal’s earlier coinage, which he minted at New Carthage before leaving Spain. On it his portrait appears, at first under the guise of Hercules, then plain. Here he was following the example of his father Hamilcar, who also was depicted as Melkart—Hercules. The portraits of his brothers Hasdrubal and Mago may also appear. For a discussion of these series of fine silver coins see E. S. G. Robinson, Essays in Roman Coinage presented to H. Mattingly (ed. R. A. G. Carson and C. H. V. Sutherland, 1956), 34 ff., and see pp. 125, 126, 131, 132).Google Scholar
  4. Hasdrubal’s force at the Metaurus probably numbered some 30,000 men, that of the Romans not less than 40,000 (Kromayer-Veith, Antike Schlachtfelder, üi. 490). The copious emission of Bruttian gold, silver and bronze coinage in the late third century is to be assigned to Hannibal’s presence in Bruttium; he used it to finance the Punic war-effort throughout southern Italy. See E. S. G. Robinson, Numismatic Chronicle 1964, 54 ff.Google Scholar
  5. On the Roman navy from 218 to 167 B.c. see J. H. Thiel, Studies on the History of Roman Sea-Power in Republican Times (1946); Brunt, Manpower, 666 ff. Cf. also the Introduction to Admiral Mahon’s classic Influence of Sea-Power on History, 1660–1783.Google Scholar
  6. The devices which Archimedes invented for the defence of the city are described by Polybius, viii. 4 ff.; Plutarch, Marcellus, 14–17; Livy, xxiv. 34.116. See in general E. W. Marsden, Greek and Roman Artillery (1969), and for Archimedes at Syracuse, pp. 109 ff. For the siting of Archimedes’s artillery cf. A. W. Lawrence, pis 1946, 99 ff. Recent experiments by Greek sailors in setting fire to shipping by concentrating the sun’s rays by means of bronze mirrors suggest that this device, attributed to Archimedes, may not be without some foundation; see The Times, 7 Nov. 1973.Google Scholar
  7. The campaigns of the Scipios in Spain are covered by Polybius (iii. 76, 95–9; x. 2–20, 34–40; xi. 20–33) and Livy (various passages in xxi—xxix). See Walbank, Polybius, ad loc.; H. H. Scullard, Scipio Africanus in the Second Punic War (1930), Scipio Africanus: Soldier and Politician (1970).Google Scholar
  8. On the ‘legend’ see R. M. Haywood, Studies on Scipio Africanus (1933); F. W. Walbank, Proc. Cambr. Phil. Soc. 1967, 54 ff.; Scullard, Scipio Africanus: Soldier and Politician (1970), 18 ff., 235 ff. Scipio has been called ‘A Greater than Napoleon’ by Sir Basil Liddell Hart in a biography of him with that title (1926).Google Scholar
  9. On the ‘legend’ see R. M. Haywood, Studies on Scipio Africanus (1933); F. W. Walbank, Proc. Cambr. Phil. Soc. 1967, 54 ff.; Scullard, Scipio Africanus: Soldier and Politician (1970), 18 ff., 235 ff. Scipio has been called ‘A Greater than Napoleon’ by Sir Basil Liddell Hart in a biography of him with that title (1926).Google Scholar
  10. On Scipio’s African campaigns see KromayerVeith, Antike Schlachtfelder, iii, pt ii; Walbank, Polybius, ii; Scullard, Scipio (1930), 176 ff., (1970)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The representatives of the estate of the late M. Cary and H. H. Scullard 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Cary
    • 1
  • H. H. Scullard
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LondonUK

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