The Carthaginians continued their march through Etruria, then Umbria, to the Adriatic coast, then marched south into Apulia, in the hope of winning over some of the ethnic Greek and Italic city states of southern Italy. The campaign ended in disaster at the Battle of Oroscopa and anti-Carthaginian factions in Rome used the illicit military action as a pretext to prepare a punitive expedition. The Punic Wars refers to a series of war that took place between Carthage and the mighty Romans. , The prisoners were badly treated if they were Romans; the Latin allies who were captured were well treated by the Carthaginians and many were freed and sent back to their cities, in the hope that they would speak well of Carthaginian martial prowess and of their treatment.  Under the leadership of Hamilcar Barca, Carthage defeated the rebels in 237 BC.  However, the classicist Adrian Goldsworthy considers Livy's "reliability is often suspect"; the historian Phillip Sabin refers to Livy's "military ignorance"; and he is generally considered untrustworthy by modern historians. , The Carthaginians captured the chief city of the hostile Taurini (in the area of modern Turin) and their army routed the cavalry and light infantry of the Romans at the Battle of Ticinus in late November. The Romans were still in their winter quarters.  Hannibal attempted to use 80 elephants to break into the Roman infantry formation, but the Romans countered them effectively and they routed back through the Carthaginian ranks. , Meanwhile the Romans took drastic steps to raise new legions: enrolling slaves, criminals and those who did not meet the usual property qualification. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login).  Polybius was an analytical historian and wherever possible personally interviewed participants, from both sides, in the events he wrote about.  When they did they fought as well-armoured heavy infantry armed with long thrusting spears, although they were notoriously ill-trained and ill-disciplined. Sources other than Polybius are discussed by Bernard Mineo in "Principal Literary Sources for the Punic Wars (apart from Polybius)". The Carthaginians encircled the Romans and only 10,000 out of 42,000 were able to fight their way to safety. The Roman legions forced their way through Hannibal's deliberately weak centre, but Libyan heavy infantry on the wings swung around their advance, menacing their flanks. Hannibal negotiated a treaty whereby Syracuse came over to Carthage, at the price of making the whole of Sicily a Syracusan possession. The second Punic war took place between 218 and 201 BC. He walked with a huge army including elephants and marched over the Italian Alps from Spain. , The peace treaty the Romans subsequently imposed on the Carthaginians stripped them of all of their overseas territories, and some of their African ones. 23 years. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. For 17 years the two states struggled for supremacy, primarily in Italy and Iberia, but also on the islands of Sicily and Sardinia and, towards the end of the war, in North Africa. The Second Punic War (218â201 BC) was the second of three wars fought between Carthage and Rome, the two main powers of the western Mediterranean in the 3rd century BC. It entered Gaul and took an inland route, to avoid the Roman allies to the south. 3rd Punic War 149 to 146 BCE. However, by the end of the second century, large numbers of slaves were pouring into Rome, either as prisoners of war or purchased abroad by the new wealthy class of Romans who now employed large staffs of domestic servants or invested as … Hannibal attacked Italy from the northern side and managed to win … Second Punic War (218-201 BC) In 219 BC, Hannibal laid siege to Saguntum, a coastal city in northeast Hispania that enjoyed a long-standing treaty of friendship with Rome.In 226 BC, however, Hasdrubal the Fair signed a treaty with Rome that acknowledged Carthage's control of Hispania south of the Ebro River. The approximate extent of territory controlled by Rome and Carthage immediately before the start of the First Punic War. His surprise entry into the Italian peninsula led to the cancellation of Rome's planned campaign for the year: an invasion of Africa. Carthage had been reduced to a small area in North Africa, while Rome expanded by taking more Carthaginian territory, especially in Iberia (Spain). Romans Lose at Drepana ... Hannibal was one of the greatest military leaders in history. … The Second Punic War or the Hannibalic War lasted sixteen years from 218 BC to 202 BC and was fought between the two major powers of Rome and Carthage. , Second war between Rome and Carthage, 218 to 201 BC.  The Roman and allied Numidian cavalry drove the Carthaginian cavalry from the field. The First Punic War was … In the years after the First Punic War, Rome wrested Corsica and Sardinia from Carthage and forced Carthaginians The Syracusan army proved no match for the Romans, and by spring 213 BC Syracuse was besieged. In 211 BC, Rome contained the threat of Macedonia by allying with the Aetolian League, an anti-Macedonian coalition of Greek city states.  At least 67,500 Romans were killed or captured. Before the First Punic War, there was essentially … Carthage was Phoenician city founded in 814 BC, and the term Punic relates to the Latin and Greek words for Phoenician. The remaining Carthaginian-controlled towns then surrendered or were taken through force or treachery and the Sicilian grain supply to Rome and its armies was resumed.  Mago was also recalled; he died of wounds on the voyage and some of his ships were intercepted by the Romans, but 12,000 of his troops reached Carthage.  Hasdrubal led the Carthaginian cavalry on the left wing and routed the Roman cavalry opposite, then swept around the rear of the Romans to attack their cavalry on the other wing. The Second Punic War lasted for 17 years between 218 and 201 BC. Rome demanded his withdrawal, but Carthage refused to recall him, and Rome declared war. , Most male Roman citizens were eligible for military service and would serve as infantry, with a better-off minority providing a cavalry component. , In the spring of 208 BC, Hasdrubal moved to engage Scipio at the Battle of Baecula. The account of the Roman historian Livy, who relied heavily on Polybius, is much used by modern historians where Polybius's account is not extant.  In the spring of 146 BC the Romans launched their final assault, systematically destroying the city and killing its inhabitants; 50,000 survivors were sold into slavery. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. After his Spanish victory Scipio determined to invade the Carthaginian homeland.  The combined Roman force under the command of Sempronius was lured into combat by Hannibal on ground of his choosing at the Battle of the Trebia.  This battle enabled another Roman army to approach Tarentum and capture it by treachery in the second Battle of Tarentum. Mago left Iberia for northern Italy with his remaining forces. Livy gives a fuller record, but according to Goldsworthy "his reliability is often suspect", especially with regard to his descriptions of battles; many modern historians agree, but nevertheless his is the best surviving source for this part of the war.  The Roman Senate ratified a draft treaty, but due to mistrust and a surge in confidence when Hannibal arrived from Italy Carthage repudiated it. , For 11 years after Cannae the war surged around southern Italy as cities went over to the Carthaginians or were taken by subterfuge, and the Romans recaptured them by siege or by suborning pro-Roman factions.  Later the same year a mutiny broke out among Roman troops, which initially attracted support from Iberian leaders, disappointed that Roman forces had remained in the peninsula after the expulsion of the Carthaginians, but it was effectively put down by Scipio. The war saw land battles in Sicily early on, but focus soon shifted to naval battles around Sicily and Africa. Traditionally, when at war the Romans would raise two legions, each of 4,200 infantry[note 3] and 300 cavalry. The main source for almost every aspect of the Punic Wars[note 1] is the historian Polybius (c. 200 â c. 118 BC), a Greek sent to Rome in 167 BC as a hostage.  In Cisalpine Gaul (modern northern Italy), the major Gallic tribes attacked the Roman colonies there, causing the Romans to flee to their previously-established colony of Mutina (modern Modena), where they were besieged.  According to the classicist Richard Miles, Rome's expansionary attitude after southern Italy came under its control combined with Carthage's proprietary approach to Sicily caused the two powers to stumble into war more by accident than design. , During 216 BC the Macedonian king, Philip V, pledged his support to Hannibal â thus initiating the First Macedonian War against Rome in 215 BC.  Two armies – of four legions each, two Roman and two allied, but with stronger than usual cavalry contingents – were formed.  The formerly Carthaginian territories became the Roman province of Africa.  Later that same year, Hannibal defeated another Roman army at the Battle of Herdonia, with 16,000 men lost from a force of 18,000. The Start of the Second Punic War 218 BC. It was prohibited from waging war outside Africa, and in Africa only with Rome's express permission. The Third Punic War (149-146 BC) Rome was victorious after the Second Punic War. They were great traders and farmers, and soon they had created a great city, and they dominated large tracts of the coast of Northern Africa. Also the invention of the corvus, a long battle bridge used to board enemy ships. The Romans facing Hannibal in southern Italy tricked him into believing the whole Roman army was still in camp, while a large portion marched north and reinforced the Romans facing Hasdrubal. "Shock" troops are those trained and used to close rapidly with an opponent, with the intention of breaking them before, or immediately upon, contact. The peace treaty imposed on the Carthaginians stripped them of all of their overseas territories, and some of their African ones. , Paullus and Varro marched southward to confront Hannibal, and encamped 10 km (6 mi) away. The cause of Second Punic War Bust of Hannibal discovered in Capua. In 207 BC, after recruiting heavily in Gaul, Hasdrubal crossed the Alps into Italy in an attempt to join his brother, Hannibal. The Second Punic War 218 -202 BC. Rome, exhausted by war, nevertheless raised and dispatched an army to check Hasdrubal. , With the suppression of the rebellion, Hamilcar understood that Carthage needed to strengthen its economic and military base if it were to again confront Rome. Carthage was prohibited from waging war outside Africa, and in Africa only with Rome's express permission.  They sailed from Croton and landed at Carthage with 15,000â20,000 experienced veterans. In 219 BC Hannibal besieged, captured and sacked the pro-Roman city of Saguntum, prompting a Roman declaration of war on Carthage in spring 218 BC.  Relationships were good, the two states had several times declared their mutual friendship and there were strong commercial links. Rather than attack Rome directly, he marched on Capua, the second largest town in Italy, hoping to incite the populace to rebel. He withdrew northward to rendezvous with Gnaeus Scipio's army, just as a third Carthaginian for…  The Carthaginians reached the foot of the Alps by late autumn and crossed them, surmounting the difficulties of climate, terrain and the guerrilla tactics of the native tribes. , Rome's African ally, King Masinissa of Numidia, exploited the prohibition on Carthage waging war to repeatedly raid and seize Carthaginian territory with impunity. The Romans retreated to their coastal stronghold north of the Ebro, from which the Carthaginians again failed to expel them. Many senior Carthaginians wanted to reject it, but Hannibal spoke strongly in its favour and it was accepted in spring 201 BC. Before the Second Punic War slaves were employed on a relatively small scale. One was stationed at Arretium, and one on the Adriatic coast; they would be able to block Hannibal's possible advance into central Italy, and be well positioned to move north to operate in Cisalpine Gaul. In such circumstances it was difficult to force a battle if the other commander was unwilling to fight. By 212 BC the full complement of the legions deployed would have been in excess of 100,000 men, plus, as always, a similar number of allied troops. Date: Between 218 B.C., and 201 B.C. Infantry were usually positioned in the centre of the battle line, with light infantry skirmishers to their front and cavalry on each flank. In the Second Punic War, various Roman commanders faced Hannibal, leader of the forces of Carthaginians, their allies, and mercenaries.Four major Roman commanders made a name for themselves in the following main battles of the second Punic War. What were the wars fought in Rome and Carthage? An army was usually formed by combining a Roman legion with a similarly sized and equipped legion provided by their Latin allies; these legions usually had a larger attached complement of cavalry than Roman ones. The majority were deployed in southern Italy in field armies of approximately 20,000 men each. Rome thought it would be easy to defeat Hannibal, but Hannibal was full of surprises, including his manner of entering the Italic peninsula from Spain. In 218 BC there was some naval skirmishing in the waters around Sicily.  Hannibal attempted without success to draw the main Roman army under Gaius Flaminius into a pitched battle by devastating the area they had been sent to protect. After three years of brutal fighting, Hamilcar Barca finally managed to end the rebellion. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription.  The modern historian Andrew Curry sees Polybius as being "fairly reliable"; while Craige Champion describes him as "a remarkably well-informed, industrious, and insightful historian". what country was being fought over in the second punic war?  Slingers were frequently recruited from the Balearic Islands.  This strategy resulted in the Battle of Castulo and the Battle of Ilorca, usually combined as the Battle of the Upper Baetis. , The accuracy of Polybius's account has been much debated over the past 150 years, but the modern consensus is to accept it largely at face value, and the details of the war in modern sources are largely based on interpretations of Polybius's account. , In the spring of 207 BC, Hasdrubal Barca marched across the Alps and invaded Italy with an army of 30,000 men. , Carthage sent more reinforcements to Sicily in 211 BC and went on the offensive. Carthage was forbidden to possess war elephants and its fleet was restricted to 10 warships. In the years after the First Punic War, Rome wrested Corsica and Sardinia from Carthage and forced Carthaginians to pay an even greater indemnity than the payment exacted immediately following the war. , In 210 BC Publius Cornelius Scipio,[note 6] arrived in Iberia with further Roman reinforcements.  In 264 BC Carthage and Rome went to war, starting the First Punic War. The First Punic War (264 to 241 BC) there was no punic war there was a first,second or third. What did Hannibal do in the spring of 218 BC? After seventeen years of warfare, and at a great loss of life on both sides, Rome defeated Cárthage and came out on top as the new superpower … In 216 B.C., the Roman Republic was embroiled in the second of what would eventually be three devastating wars with the North African city-state of Carthage. Updates?  Unlike most battles of the Second Punic War, the Romans had superiority in cavalry and the Carthaginians in infantry. Timeline Of The Punic Wars. 10,000 talents was approximately 269,000 kg (265 long tons) of silver. Quintus Fabius Maximus was elected dictator by the Roman Assembly and adopted the "Fabian strategy" of avoiding pitched battles, relying instead on low-level harassment to wear the invader down, until Rome could rebuild its military strength. The latter joined his army in large numbers, bringing it up to 60,000 men. In 205 BC a last attempt was made by Mago to recapture New Carthage when the Roman occupiers were shaken by another mutiny and an Iberian uprising, but he was repulsed. Thus, the two armies remained deadlocked on the Italian peninsula until 211 bce, when Rome recaptured the city of Capua.  It captured several Roman-garrisoned towns on Sicily; many Roman garrisons were either expelled or massacred by Carthaginian partisans.  In this battle, he used his cavalry superiority to attempt to clear the field while attempting to envelop the enemy on both sides with his infantry. In both wars, the Carthaginians had also been made to pay Rome massive reparations. Hiero II, the old tyrant of Syracuse of forty-five-years standing and a staunch Roman ally, died in 215 BC and his successor Hieronymus was discontented with his situation. An indemnity of 10,000 silver talents[note 7] was to be paid over 50 years. , Both states possessed large fleets throughout the war, but there were no large-scale naval clashes and Carthage never attempted to use its fleet decisively, effectively giving the Romans naval superiority for the course of the war. Outcomes from the Second Punic War The second Púnic war (herein after referred to as, “the War”) came to a close in 201 BCE, following Scípio’s victory over Hánnibal at the battle of Záma. Moving to southern Italy in 216, Hannibal defeated the Romans again at the Battle of Cannae, where he annihilated the largest army the Romans had ever assembled. All three wars were won by Rome, which subsequently emerged as the greatest military power in the Mediterranean Sea. , The Roman fleet continued on from Massala in the autumn of 218 BC, landing the army it was transporting in north-east Iberia, where it won support among the local tribes. The Second Punic War. What connects the First and Second Punic Wars is Hamilcar Barca, a general that lead the reconquer of the Spanish Carthaginian territory.  After the second of these Syphax was pursued and taken prisoner by Masinissa at the Battle of Cirta; Masinissa then seized most of Syphax's kingdom with Roman help. The first two wars were long—23 years and 17 years, separated by an interval of 23 years. Omissions? Both the Roman Republic and Carthage had strongly defended capital cities, plus a number of dependent cities that were also quite strong. , Within a few weeks of Cannae a Roman army of 25,000 was ambushed by Boii Gauls at the Battle of Silva Litana and annihilated.  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