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  • Hannibal Barca

    I had a question for you guys, it is very well know that Hannibal was a dominant force through the Second Punic War, but did he have any other conquests against any other factions of the time that showed his skill?
    Do not fire until you see the whites of their eyes!- Gen. Israel Putnam


    Neither current events nor history show that the majority rule, or ever did rule. -Jefferson Davis

  • #2
    Before the second Punic War he fought in Spain, first under his father, later on his own, but I don't know any details of it. Later, he served Antiochus of the Seleucid kingdom, but if I remember right, not with much success.

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    • #3
      Alright thanks man, I was just curious because it seems to be the only time that Hannibal was on the map was during the second punic war
      Do not fire until you see the whites of their eyes!- Gen. Israel Putnam


      Neither current events nor history show that the majority rule, or ever did rule. -Jefferson Davis

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      • #4
        You're welcome. If his non-military affairs are of interest, you can look up on his role in Carthaginian politics after the war. I only skimmed the Wikipedia article myself, but it looks interesting, and I might have been wrong in thinking he was not a good statesman.

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        • #5
          I thought after the war, Hannibal was chased all over the ancient world by the romans, because he had a price on his head.
          Do not fire until you see the whites of their eyes!- Gen. Israel Putnam


          Neither current events nor history show that the majority rule, or ever did rule. -Jefferson Davis

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          • #6
            Hamilcar died before Hannibal was 19 and the First Punic War was well past. Hannibal gained most of his military experience under his brother-in-law Hasdrubal the Fair. It was Hasdrubal that arranged Hannibal's wedding to an Iberian Princess, as well as making him an officer and bringing him up the ranks.

            "No sooner had he arrived...the old soldiers fancied they saw Hamilcar in his youth given back to them; the same bright look; the same fire in his eye, the same trick of countenance and features. Never was one and the same spirit more skillful to meet opposition, to obey, or to command." - Livy

            Hannibal's last victory was a naval one in the service of Bithynia against Pergamon. The Bithyians then betrayed him to Rome and Hannibal took poison.
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            BoRG

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Count of Cannae View Post
              I had a question for you guys, it is very well know that Hannibal was a dominant force through the Second Punic War, but did he have any other conquests against any other factions of the time that showed his skill?
              Although Hannibal is better known, especially for bringing elephants through the Alps in winter conditions, and for the Battle of Cannae, some would argue (including me) that Roman Scipio Africanus was the dominant commander of the Second Punic War.

              His defeat of a larger Cathanigian force at the Battle of Ilipa is a classic study of the use of surprise and deception on the battlefield. A much better battle to study than Cannae (which is interesting battle itself.)

              Scipio would later beat a larger Carthaginain force under Hannibal's command at the Battle of Zama.

              Sir Liddell Hart considered Scipio Africanus a superior commander compared to Napoleon.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Capt AFB View Post
                Although Hannibal is better known, especially for bringing elephants through the Alps in winter conditions, and for the Battle of Cannae, some would argue (including me) that Roman Scipio Africanus was the dominant commander of the Second Punic War.

                His defeat of a larger Cathanigian force at the Battle of Ilipa is a classic study of the use of surprise and deception on the battlefield. A much better battle to study than Cannae (which is interesting battle itself.)

                Scipio would later beat a larger Carthaginain force under Hannibal's command at the Battle of Zama.

                Sir Liddell Hart considered Scipio Africanus a superior commander compared to Napoleon.
                In glorifying Scipio here you of course forget Hannibal's accomplishments. Thr battles of Trebia and especially Lake Trasimene. Hannibal managed to fully ambush and slaughter a 40,000 man army in ENEMY territory.


                Scipio the dominant commander of the war? He disn't even enter in a command position till it was half over. There is a reason it is also aptly named "Hannibal's War". He was the most feared commander in the war. He fought in Italy for over 16 years!
                First Counsul Maleketh of Jonov

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                • #9
                  Hannibal Barca was a consummate politician. How else could he have keep this army together in enemy territory for so many years? This diplomacy was as much a campaign as his battles.
                  When looking for the reason why things go wrong, never rule out stupidity, Murphy's Law Nº 8
                  Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it. George Santayana
                  "Ach du schwein" a German parrot captured at Bukoba GEA the only prisoner taken

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Nickuru View Post
                    Hannibal Barca was a consummate politician. How else could he have keep this army together in enemy territory for so many years? This diplomacy was as much a campaign as his battles.
                    Brutal discipline and crucifixion of deserters?
                    How do you keep an army together in enemy territory, away from home for 16-years?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Cicero View Post
                      Brutal discipline and crucifixion of deserters?
                      How do you keep an army together in enemy territory, away from home for 16-years?
                      Actually the Romans were the ones most obsessed with discipline, rewards, and punishments.

                      Being in enemy territory should be a good incentive for any invading army to stay intact, especially for Hannibal. Where ya gonna go? Ain't like it is easy to cross the Alps and Pyrenees, swim across the Straits or even paddle across the Med?
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                      Prayers.

                      BoRG

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                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PtsX_Z3CMU

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Delenda estRoma View Post
                        In glorifying Scipio here you of course forget Hannibal's accomplishments. Thr battles of Trebia and especially Lake Trasimene. Hannibal managed to fully ambush and slaughter a 40,000 man army in ENEMY territory.


                        Scipio the dominant commander of the war? He disn't even enter in a command position till it was half over. There is a reason it is also aptly named "Hannibal's War". He was the most feared commander in the war. He fought in Italy for over 16 years!
                        The accomplishments of Hannibal do not need to be ignored in order to note the accomplishments of Scipio, it is quite possible to compare the two without having to recite the records of each in detail.

                        Hannibal seems to have been successful in Spain and inspired a remarkable degree of loyalty in the troops he later led into Italy, and his battles there are certainly great examples of classical battlefield leadership, but we also need to remember that for all his long war in Italy he utterly failed to achieve much at all against the Roman state as few allies proved willing to defect even after Cannae. So if we conclude Hannibal was a tactical genius his strategic qualities are open to question in a war he provoked and fought to his plan.

                        Scipio proved perfectly able to learn from his enemies as well as adapting the existing Roman military tactics to suit circumstances, and most importantly emerge victorious from the war. He is also the only of the 'great' generals of the classical era to have defeated another in battle, so his reputation should probably be a lot better than it is.

                        Was Scipio better than Hannibal? I would say yes, though it was close, for all people say Scipio had a much superior army at Zama it is also true that Hannibal had the far better army at Cannae and Trebia. We know enough of Scipio's career in Spain to suggest he was at least as good as Hannibal strategically, and his campaign in North Africa is also very thorough, so to rate him as inferior to the man he actually defeated is at best unusual.

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                        • #13
                          The difficulty with judging Scipio is that Polybius (the best source for the war) was a client of Scipio's family, so you can't really trust anything he says about the members of that family. It seems highly likely that the Battle of Ilipa was a defeat for Scipio, with Polybius disguising the fact by citing a convenient thunderstorm. Similarly, Tony Bath suggests that it was Paulus (another member of Scipio's family) who was gung-ho to engage Hannibal at Cannae, though Polybius shifts the blame to Varro.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mycroft Holmes View Post
                            The difficulty with judging Scipio is that Polybius (the best source for the war) was a client of Scipio's family, so you can't really trust anything he says about the members of that family.
                            I would agree you cannot accept Polybius as 100% accurate, but that is no reason to dismiss everything he writes and often where he is able to be checked against other records he does tend to be accurate. If we accept the idea Polybius is unreliable then we have nothing to suggest Hannibal was actually a good general at all and not just 'talked up' because he defeated incompetent Roman leaders. Polybius isnt perfect but he is by far the best we have.

                            Originally posted by Mycroft Holmes View Post
                            It seems highly likely that the Battle of Ilipa was a defeat for Scipio, with Polybius disguising the fact by citing a convenient thunderstorm.
                            Quite possible, but the campaign in Spain was certainly a success overall and the North African campaign was very good. Likewise the results at Great Plains and Zama are not disputed.

                            Originally posted by Mycroft Holmes View Post
                            Similarly, Tony Bath suggests that it was Paulus (another member of Scipio's family) who was gung-ho to engage Hannibal at Cannae, though Polybius shifts the blame to Varro.
                            This line has been looked at by many, Goldsworthy considers it in his book on the Punic Wars iirc, but it is still not generally accepted. My own personal view is that it would be far more likely that Paulus was leading the Roman army at Cannae at least formally as his position in command of the Roman cavalry on the right wing would fit perfectly, as does the day of command if the alternate command system was followed.

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                            • #15
                              Hannibal was without a doubt a great general whose tactics are still studied today, but he lacked the ability to plan a grand strategy to end the war. He never was able to capture Rome and as long as the capital existed the empire would fight on. I have read several comparisons of him to Robert E. Lee that I think have some merit in that both failed in this regard. Scipio on the other hand was able to get the Carthaginians out of Italy by going on the offensive against their homeland. After his victory at Zama he wasn't satisfied until he had razed his opponents capital.
                              Lance W.

                              Peace through superior firepower.

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