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Scipio Africanus and Hannibal - Two Great Warriors

2 Pages 483 Words February 2018

Scipio and Hannibal, two of the greatest war leaders in ancient history, opposing sides but not so opposing viewpoints. One force from Africa and one for from Italy but both very similar. These men were both in their mid-twenties when they took control over their armies.1 They both came from very influential families (military/ government) which they also lost family to military conflict between Rome and Carthage.2 Each of these men, had studied battles of their opponents and systematically ruled their own battlefields.
Scipio’s every action, both on and off the battlefield, focused on achieving a lasting postwar peace in which Rome directed the course of a subdued but integrated Carthage.3 By remaining focused on the desired political end state, Scipio cleverly avoided expected military practices that were negative to the post Punic war peace. Spain, a hotbed of mercenaries and untrustworthy allies, was also the source of Carthaginian troop recruiters, food supplies, and war economics essential to Hannibals push on Rome.4 Scipio’s political foresight in the use of military means was demonstrated after his successful capture of the Carthaginian Spanish colony of Cartagena (209 BCE). Rather than destroy the tribes who supported Carthage, Scipio broke with tradition and built close ties with former enemies.5
Hannibal's strategy of appearing as a liberator worked and a number of cities chose to side with him against Rome. Hannibal’s strategy against Rome focused on defeating armies and subjugating its allies.6 By doing so, Hannibal’s victories on the field continued to add to his ranks with new supporters. Victory after victory, Hannibal’s tactical and operational genius crushed Roman armies in Italy. Following Hannibal’s decisive defeat of the Roman forces at Cannae (216 BCE), Carthage gained control of the Italian coast, which resulted in multiple Roman allies and economic clients switching sides to Hannibal.7 Post-Cannae, ...

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