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Transcript
Second Punic War: 218 BC- 201 BC
Causes:
Once Rome had beaten the Carthaginians in the First Punic War, the
Carthaginians chose to build a better army- and take over new land to make up for what
they lost. The Carthaginians moved west in Northern Africa and took much of the
Iberian Peninsula. The Iberian Peninsula was split in half between the Carthaginians and
the Romans. Both sides did not want another war because they feared each other. They
made a truce that neither would advance any further on the Iberian Peninsula.
However, in 219 BC a city in the Carthage controlled part of the Iberian Peninsula
wanted to become a part of Rome, and the Romans agreed. The new ruler of
Carthaginian Iberia would not stand for this and destroyed the city- his name was
Hannibal.
The March to Italy:
Instead of attacking Rome by using sea power, Hannibal wanted to surprise the
Romans by doing something everyone thought was impossible: Attacking Rome from
the North. Hannibal gathered a large army that included many war elephants from
Africa- something people in Europe had never seen. Then he crossed the Pyrenees
mountains with astonishing speed. When he got to France he turned many of the
barbarians that lived there against the Romans and they joined his army. This barbarian
group, the Gauls, had never been given Roman citizenship because they would not accept
Roman rule.
Then Hannibal did something that military experts even today cannot believe.
With his Carthaginian army, elephants and Gauls, he crossed the steep Alps Mountains…
DURING WINTER!!! Everyone thought the Alps were impossible to pass any time of
the year- not only did Hannibal do it, but he did it very quickly. When he entered the
Italian peninsula he terrorized the Roman cities, who were shocked at the sight of his
armies. He destroyed one city after another, not just killing and burning down cities, but
also burning down every farm and farm field that he passed.
Hannibal’s Amazing March
The Battle of Trebia:
The Romans quickly threw together an army to stop him, but had not time to train
them. Hannibal’s elephants, well trained soldiers and Gaulic barbarians destroyed the
Romans even though they had many more troops.
After this battle Hannibal marched towards Rome very quickly. He did this for
two reasons: 1.) To keep pressure on the Romans and force them to react to him.
2.) Hannibal thought that if he threatened and defeated the Romans enough, the
people of the empire would join him because he had proved that the Romans were
weak and could not protect them.
The Battle of Lake Trasimine:
While Hannibal moved towards the city of Rome, the Romans threw a new army
together- this one even bigger, but still untrained. Hannibal moved his armies quickly,
and the new Roman army started to chase him from place to place- Hannibal knew that
he and his army was better than the Romans- - he just wanted to pick the perfect spot to
ambush them, he also wanted the Roman soldiers to gain confidence and think that
Hannibal and the Carthaginians were running away because they were afraid. The whole
time the Romans chased Hannibal, he burned down every city, town, farm and field.
Finally he found the perfect spot to ambush the Romans – Lake Trasimene. He saw that
there was a very narrow pass between a hill and the lake. While the Roman soldiers were
walking along the narrow pass, he wanted his soldiers to block both ends of the pass and
come running down out of the hills.
Hannibal set an elaborate trap. To make sure that the Romans would walk into
his ambush, the night before the battle he hid all of his soldiers in the hills by the lake.
He gathered cows, horses and every animal he could find in the surrounding areas. Once
his troops were in place, he attached torches to all of the animals and had people lead the
animals through the ambush area. Even though this sounds weird to us, the Romans, in
the dark foggy night, thought that Hannibal was having his troops march at night. The
next morning, the Romans wandered onto the trap- on three sides they were surrounded
by superior soldiers, and on the other side was the lake. All 40,000 Roman soldiers were
either killed or drowned. To this day, it stands as the biggest ambush to ever take place
in history.
The Battle of Cannae:
With two Roman armies completely destroyed, and Hannibal outside the city of
Rome, it looked like Carthage would win. But two things were going against Hannibal
and the Carthaginians: 1.) He was not getting any reinforcements because the Romans in
the Iberian Peninsula were winning, and because their navy was stronger 2.) The people
of Rome would not join Hannibal.
Inside of Rome they knew Hannibal was not strong enough to take the city, and so
did Hannibal. For several years the Romans did not try to fight him. He went all over
the Italian Peninsula destroying everything he could find. He was so destructive, that the
Romans threw together a third army to fight him- this time the Roman army was double
the size of Hannibal’s- but it was not well trained.
Hannibal again made the Romans fight him on a field he had chosen. He killed
almost 60,000 Roman soldiers at the Battle of Cannae. The Battle of Cannae is
remembered today as one of the most lopsided victories in the history of combat.
The Romans would not fight Hannibal in Italy again for 15 years. For those 15
years, Hannibal destroyed everything he could find in Italy, but without reinforcements,
he grew weaker and weaker. Sometimes he would bring his army right to the walls of the
city of Rome, but the citizens would shout, “You are trapped!!! Stay as long as you
would like!!!”
Rome begins to win:
The Romans built and trained new armies in Iberia and began to march on
Hannibal to trap him. Even though he had not lost a single battle in Italy, Hannibal had
to return to the city of Carthage to defend it against the Romans.
Carthage loses:
Hannibal finally lost at the Battle of Zama outside of Carthage in 201 BC with a
small and tired army. He was forced to leave Carthage and never return. The Romans
also told the Carthaginians that they were no longer allowed to have an army or navy.
Also, the Romans forced the Carthaginians to pay millions of dollars to Rome each year
for fifty years. Also, the Carthaginians had to turn over all of their empire’s land to the
Romans. In return, Rome would not destroy the city of Carthage.
Greece:
Hannibal had convinced the Greeks that they should fight the Romans together.
He really only did this to get the pressure off of him, but the Romans went ahead and
finally conquered Greece in 151 BC shortly before the third and final Punic War began.
Third Punic War: 149 BC – 146 BC
After Carthage had paid the Romans back for fifty years they stopped paying, but
the Romans had become dependent on the money. The Romans began to encourage
Carthage’s neighbors to attack Carthage. After a few years of this Carthage built an army
(which they were not allowed to do) and began to fight their neighbors. Carthage was
wiped off the face of the earth in 146 BC.
1.) In “Causes”, why do you think Hannibal attacked the city?
2.) Why was Hannibal’s march so amazing?
3.) Why do you think the Roman citizens did not join with Hannibal like he thought that
they would?
4.) After Tribeca, Trasimene and Cannae Hannibal had won easily three different times,
why did he begin to lose the war?
5.) Why did Hannibal get Greece involved? What happened to Greece afterwards?
6.)
 What was the main reason for Rome starting the Third Punic War?
 How did they get Carthage to start a fight?
 What was the result?