The Second Punic War

May 23, 2012 | In: Ancient Battles

The Second Punic War


After the First Punic War, Carthage was forced to pay an immense tribute to Rome, but it wasn’t enough to stop the expansion of this great nation. That didn’t please Rome and the only thing appearing on the horizon was another war.

Well, as you expected, the Second Punic War broke out. It was in 218 when the Carthaginian ruler, Hannibal took Saguntum, a Greek city and roman ally. When Romans found out about what happened in Spain, they immediately sent troops there, thinking Hannibal was a brute and could easily be defeated. But Hannibal left 20.000 men in Saguntum with his brother and went north. By the time Rome dealt with Hasdrubal, Hannibal got far north and gathered a few Italian tribes unhappy with Rome. And so, he managed to gather 30.000 men for a battle with the Romans.

Even though Hannibal fought and won at Trebia and Lake Trasimene, the most important victory happened at Cannae (216), where roman armies lost thousands of troops and their leader.

The next general to confront Hannibal was more successful and led him to call for help to his brother. Unfortunately, Hasdrubal was killed when trying to reach him, marking the first major defeat in the Second Punic War for Hannibal, where 10.000 men died.

Meanwhile, Scipio the African, a general of Rome, invaded North Africa.

After fighting a battle with a new strategy, because of the lack of cavalry, Hannibal eventually lost the battle to Scipio at Zama. And so, the Second Punic War ended, with Scipio demanding all the warships and elephants and pay Rome 10.000 talents over the next 50 years.

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