The Second Punic Or Hannibalic War

The peace between the Carthaginians and Romans was a mere truce. Though it

lasted twenty-one years, new sources of quarrel were accumulating, and

forces were being prepared for a more decisive encounter.

Before we trace the progress of this still more memorable war, let us

glance at the events which transpired in the interval between it and the

first contest.

That interval is memorable for t
e military career of Hamilcar, and

his great ascendency at Carthage. That city paid dearly for the peace it

had secured, for the tribute of Sicily flowed into the treasury of the

Romans. Its commercial policy was broken up, and the commerce of Italy

flowed in new channels. This change was bitterly felt by the Phoenician

city, and a party was soon organized for the further prosecution of

hostilities. There was also a strong peace party, made up of the indolent

and cowardly money-worshipers of that mercantile State. The war party was

headed by Hamilcar, the peace party by Hanno, which at first had the

ascendency. It drove the army into mutiny by haggling about pay. The

Libyan mercenaries joined the revolt, and Carthage found herself alone in

the midst of anarchies. In this emergency the government solicited

Hamilcar to save it from the effect of its blunders and selfishness.

This government, as at Rome, was oligarchic, but the nobles were

merely mercantile grandees, without ability--jealous, exclusive, and

selfish. The great body of the people whom they ruled were poor and

dependent. In intrusting power to Hamilcar, the government of wealthy

citizens only gave him military control. The army which he commanded was

not a citizen militia, it was made up of mercenaries. Hamilcar was obliged

to construct a force from these, to whom the State looked for its


He was a young man, a little over thirty, and foreboding that he would not

live to complete his plans, enjoined his son Hannibal, nine years of age,

when he was about to leave Carthage, to swear at the altar of the Eternal

God hatred of the Roman name.

He left Carthage for Spain, taking with him his sons, to be reared

in the camp. He marched along the coast, accompanied by the fleet, which

was commanded by Hasdrubal. He crossed the sea at the Pillars of Hercules,

with the view of organizing a Spanish kingdom to assist the Carthaginians

in their future warfare. But he died prematurely, B.C. 229, leaving his

son-in-law, Hasdrubal, to carry out his designs, and the southern and

eastern provinces of Spain became Carthaginian provinces. Carthagena arose

as the capital of this new Spanish kingdom, in the territory of the

Contestana. Here agriculture flourished, and still more, mining, from the

silver mines, which produced, a century afterward, thirty-six millions of

sesterces--nearly two million dollars--yearly. Carthage thus acquired in

Spain a market for its commerce and manufactures, and the New Carthage

ruled as far as the Ebro. But the greatest advantage of this new

acquisition to Carthage was the new class of mercenary soldiers which were

incorporated with the army. At first, the Romans were not alarmed by the

rise of this new Spanish power, and saw only a compensation for the

tribute and traffic which Carthage had lost in Sicily. And while the

Carthaginians were creating armies in Spain, the Romans were engaged in

conquering Cisalpine Gaul, and consolidating the Italian conquests.

Hasdrubal was assassinated after eight years of successful

administration, and Hannibal was hailed as his successor by the army, and

the choice was confirmed by the Carthaginians, B.C. 221. He was now

twenty-nine, trained to all the fatigue and dangers of the camp, and with

a native genius for war, which made him, according to the estimation of

modern critics, the greatest general of antiquity. He combined courage

with discretion, and prudence with energy. He had an inventive craftiness,

which led him to take unexpected routes. He profoundly studied the

character of antagonists, and kept himself informed of the projects of his

enemies. He had his spies at Rome, and was frequently seen in disguises in

order to get important information.

This crafty and able general resolved, on his nomination, to make

war at once upon the Romans, whom he regarded as the deadly foe of his

country. His first great exploit was the reduction of Saguntum, an Iberian

city on the coast, in alliance with the Romans. It defended itself with

desperate energy for eight months, and its siege is memorable. The

inhabitants were treated with savage cruelty, and the spoil was sent to


This act of Hannibal was the occasion, though not the cause, of the

second Punic war. The Romans, indignant, demanded of Carthage the

surrender of the general who had broken the peace. On the fall of

Saguntum, Hannibal retired to Carthagena for winter quarters, and to make

preparations for the invasion of Italy. He collected an army of one

hundred and twenty thousand infantry, sixteen thousand cavalry, and

fifty-eight elephants, assisted by a naval force. But the whole of this

great army was not designed for the Italian expedition. A part of it was

sent for the protection of Carthage, and a part was reserved for the

protection of Spain, the government of which he intrusted to his brother


The nations of the earth, two thousand years ago, would scarcely

appreciate the magnitude of the events which were to follow from the

invasion of Italy, and the war which followed--perhaps "the most memorable

of all the wars ever waged," certainly one of the most memorable in human

annals. The question at issue was, whether the world was to be governed by

a commercial oligarchy, with all the superstitions of the East, or by the

laws of a free and patriotic State. It was a war waged between the genius

of a mighty general and the resources of the Roman people, for Hannibal

did not look for aid so much to his own State, as to those hardy Spaniards

who followed his standard.

In the spring, B.C. 218, Hannibal set out from New Carthage with an

army of ninety thousand infantry and twelve thousand cavalry. He

encountered at the Ebro the first serious resistance, but this was from

the natives, and not the Romans. It took four months to surmount their

resistance, during which he lost one-fourth of his army. As it was his

great object to gain time before the Romans could occupy the passes of the

Alps, he made this sacrifice of his men. When he readied the Pyrenees, he

sent home a part of his army, and crossed those mountains with only fifty

thousand infantry and nine thousand cavalry; but these were veteran

troops. He took the coast route by Narbonne and Nimes, through the Celtic

territory, and encountered no serious resistance till he reached the

Rhone, opposite to Avignon, about the end of July. The passage was

disputed by Scipio, assisted by friendly Gauls, but Hannibal outflanked

his enemies by sending a detachment across the river, on rafts, two days'

march higher up, and thus easily forced the passage, and was three days'

march beyond the river before Scipio was aware that he had crossed. Scipio

then sailed back to Pisa, and aided his colleague to meet the invader in

Cisalpine Gaul.

Hannibal, now on Celtic territory on the Roman side of the Rhone,

could not be prevented from reaching the Alps. Two passes then led from

the lower Rhone across the Alps--the one by the Cottian Alps (Mount

Geneva); and the other, the higher pass of the Grain Alps (Mount St.

Bernard), and this was selected by Hannibal. The task of transporting a

large army over even this easier pass was a work of great difficulty, with

baggage, cavalry, and elephants, when the autumn snows were falling,

resisted by the mountaineers, against whom they had to fight to the very

summit of the pass. The descent, though free from enemies, was still more

dangerous, and it required, at one place, three days' labor to make the

road practicable for the elephants. The army arrived, the middle of

September, in the plain of Ivrea, where his exhausted troops were

quartered in friendly villages. Had the Romans met him near Turin with

only thirty thousand men, and at once forced a battle, the prospects of

Hannibal would have been doubtful. But no army appeared; the object was

attained, but with the loss of half his troops, and the rest so

demoralized by fatigue, that a long rest was required.

The great talents by which Scipio atoned for his previous errors

now extricated his army from destruction. He retreated across the Ticinio

and the Po, refusing a pitched battle on the plains, and fell back upon a

strong position on the hills. The united consular armies, forty thousand

men, were so posted as to compel Hannibal to attack in front with inferior

force, or go into winter quarters, trusting to the doubtful fidelity of

the Gauls.

It has been well said, "that it was the misfortune of Rome's double

magistracy when both consuls were present on the field." Owing to a wound

which Scipio had received, the command devolved upon Sempronius, who,

eager for distinction, could not resist the provocations of Hannibal to

bring on a battle. In one of the skirmishes the Roman cavalry and light

infantry were enticed by the flying Numidians across a swollen stream, and

suddenly found themselves before the entire Punic army. The whole Roman

force hurried across the stream to support the vanguard. A battle took

place on the Trasimene Lake, in which the Romans were sorely beaten, but

ten thousand infantry cut their way through the masses of the enemy, and

reached the fortress of Placentia, where they were joined by other bands.

After this success, which gave Hannibal all of Northern Italy, his army,

suffering from fatigue and disease, retired into winter quarters. He now

had lost all his elephants but one. The remains of the Roman army passed

the winter in the fortresses of Placentia and Cremona.

The next spring, the Romans, under Flaminius, took the field, with

four legions, to command the great northern and eastern roads, and the

passes of the Appenines. But Hannibal, knowing that Rome was only

vulnerable at the heart, rapidly changed his base, crossed the Appenines

at an undefended pass, and advanced, by the lower Arno, into Etruria,

while Flaminius was watching by the upper course of that stream. Flaminius

was a mere party leader and demagogue, and was not the man for such a

crisis, for Hannibal was allowed to pass by him, and reach Faesulae

unobstructed. The Romans prepared themselves for the worst, broke down the

bridges over the Tiber, and nominated Quintus Fabius Maximus dictator.

Pyrrhus would have marched direct upon Rome, but Hannibal was more

far-sighted. His army needed a new organization, and rest, and recruits,

so he marched unexpectedly through Umbria, devastated the country, and

halted on the shores of the Adriatic. Here he rested, reorganized his

Libyan cavalry, and resumed his communication with Carthage. He then broke

up his camp, and marched into Southern Italy, hoping to break up the

confederacy. But not a single Italian town entered into alliance with the


Fabius, the dictator, a man of great prudence, advanced in years,

and a tactitian of the old Roman school, determined to avoid a pitched

battle, and starve or weary out his enemy. Hannibal adjusted his plans in

accordance with the character of the man he opposed. So he passed the

Roman army, crossed the Appenines, took Telesia, and turned against Capua,

the most important of all the Italian dependent cities, hoping for a

revolt among the Campanian towns. Here again he was disappointed. So,

retracing his steps, he took the road to Apulia, the dictator following

him along the heights. So the summer was consumed by marchings and

counter-marchings, the lands of the Hispanians, Campamans, Samnites,

Paelignians, and other provinces, being successively devastated. But no

important battle was fought. He selected then the rich lands of Apulia for

winter quarters, and intrenched his camp at Gerenium. The Romans formed a

camp in the territory of the Larinates, and harassed the enemy's foragers.

This defensive policy of Fabius wounded the Roman pride, and the dictator

became unpopular. The Senate resolved to depart from a policy which was

slowly but surely ruining the State, and an army was equipped larger than

Rome ever before sent into the field, composed of eight legions, under the

command of the two consuls, L. AEmilius Paulus, and M. Terentius Varro. The

former, a patrician, had conducted successfully the Illyrian war; the

latter, the popular candidate, incapable, conceited, and presumptuous.

As soon as the season allowed him to leave his winter-quarters,

Hannibal, assuming the offensive, marched out of Gerenium, passed Luceria,

crossed the Aufidus, and took the citadel of Cannae, which commanded the

plain of Canusium. The Roman consuls arrived in Apulia in the beginning of

the summer, with eighty thousand infantry and six thousand cavalry.

Hannibal's force was forty thousand infantry and ten thousand cavalry,

inured to regular warfare. The Romans made up their minds to fight, and

confronted the Carthaginians on the right bank of the Aufidus. According

to a foolish custom, the command devolved on one of the consuls every

other day, and Varro determined to avail himself of the first opportunity

for a battle. The forces met on the plain west of Cannae, more favorable to

the Carthaginians than the Romans, on account of the superiority of the

cavalry. It is difficult, without a long description, to give clear

conceptions of this famous battle. Hannibal, it would seem, like

Epaminondas and Alexander, brought to bear his heavy cavalry, under

Hasdrubal, upon the weakest point of the enemy, after the conflict had

continued awhile without decisive results. The weaker right of the Roman

army, led by Paulus, after bravely fighting, were cut down and driven

across the river. Paulus, wounded, then rode to the centre, composed of

infantry in close lines, which had gained an advantage over the Spanish

and Gaulish troops that encountered them. In order to follow up this

advantage, the legions pressed forward in the form of a wedge. In this

position the Libyan infantry, wheeling upon them right and left, warmly

assailed both sides of the Roman infantry, which checked its advance. By

this double flank attack the Roman infantry became crowded, and were not

free. Meanwhile, Hasdrubal, after defeating the right wing, which had been

led by Paulus, led his cavalry behind the Roman centre and attacked the

left wing, led by Varro. The cavalry of Varro, opposed by the Numidian

cavalry, was in no condition to meet this double attack, and was

scattered. Hasdrubal again rallied his cavalry, and led it to the rear of

the Roman centre, already in close fight with the Spanish and Gaulish

infantry. This last charge decided the battle. Flight was impossible, for

the river was in the rear, and in front was a victorious enemy. No quarter

was given. Seventy thousand Romans were slain, including the consul Paulus

and eighty men of senatorial rank. Varro was saved by the speed of his

horse. The Carthaginians lost not quite six thousand.

This immense disaster was the signal for the revolt of the allies,

which Hannibal before in vain had sought to procure. Capua opened her

gates to the conqueror. Nearly all the people of Southern Italy rose

against Rome. But the Greek cities of the coast were held by Roman

garrisons, as well as the fortresses in Apulia, Campania, and Samnium. The

news of the battle of Cannae, B.C. 216, induced the Macedonian king to

promise aid to Hannibal. The death of Hiero at Syracuse made Sicily an

enemy to Rome, while Carthage, now elated, sent considerable


Many critics have expressed surprise that Hannibal, after this

great victory, did not at once march upon Rome. Had he conquered, as

Alexander did, a Persian, Oriental, effeminate people, this might have

been his true policy. But Rome was still capable of a strong defense, and

would not have succumbed under any pressure of adverse circumstances, and

she also was still strong in allies. And more, Hannibal had not perfected

his political combinations. He was not ready to strike the final blow. He

had to keep his eye on Macedonia, Africa, Sicily, and Spain. Alexander did

not march to Babylon, until he had subdued Phoenicia and Egypt. Even the

capture of Rome would not prevent a long war with the States of Italy.

Nor did the Romans lose courage when they learned the greatest

calamity which had ever befallen them. They made new and immense

preparations. All the reserve forces were called out--all men capable of

bearing arms--young or old. Even the slaves were armed, after being

purchased by the State, and made soldiers. Spoils were taken down from the

temples. The Latin cities sent in contingents, and the Senate refused to

receive even the envoy of the conqueror.

Such courage and fortitude and energy were not without effect,

while the enervating influence of Capua, the following winter, demoralized

the Carthaginians. The turning point of the war was the winter which

followed the defeat at Cannae. The great aim of Hannibal, in his expedition

to Italy, had been to break up the Italian confederacy. After three

campaigns, that object was only imperfectly accomplished, in spite of his

victories, and he had a great frontier to protect. With only forty

thousand men, he could not leave it uncovered, and advance to Rome. The

Romans, too, learning wisdom, now appointed only generals of experience,

and continued them in command.

The animating soul of the new warfare was Marcus Claudius

Marcellus, a man fifty years of age, who had received a severe military

training, and performed acts of signal heroism. He was not a general to be

a mere spectator of the movements of the enemy from the hills, but to take

his position in fortified camps under the walls of fortresses. With the

two legions saved from Cannae, and the troops raised from Rome and Ostia,

he followed Hannibal to Campania, while other Roman armies were posted in

other quarters.

Hannibal now saw that without great re-enforcements from Carthage, Spain,

Macedonia, and Syracuse, he would be obliged to fight on the defensive.

But the Carthaginians sent only congratulations; the king of Macedonia

failed in courage; while the Romans intercepted supplies from Syracuse and

Spain. Hannibal was left to his own resources.

Scipio, meanwhile, in Spain, attacked the real base of Hannibal,

overran the country of the Ebro, secured the passes of the Pyrenees, and

defeated Hasdrubal while attempting to lead succor to his brother. The

capture of Saguntum gave the Romans a strong fortress between the Ebro and

Carthagena. Scipio even meditated an attack on Africa, and induced Syphax,

king of one of the Numidian nations, to desert Carthage, which caused the

recall of Hasdrubal from Spain. His departure left Scipio master of the

peninsula; but Hasdrubal, after punishing the disaffected Numidians,

returned to Spain, and with overwhelming numbers regained their

ascendency, and Scipio was slain, as well as his brother, and their army


It has been mentioned that on the death of Hiero, who had been the

long-tried friend of Rome, Syracuse threw her influence in favor of

Carthage, being ruled by factions. Against this revolted city the consul

Marcellus now advanced, and invested the city by land and sea. He was

foiled by the celebrated mathematician Archimedes, who constructed engines

which destroyed the Roman ships. This very great man advanced the science

of geometry, and made discoveries which rank him among the lights of the

ancient world. His theory of the lever was the foundation of statics till

the time of Newton. His discovery of the method of determining specific

gravities by immersion in a fluid was equally memorable. He was not only

the greatest mathematician of the old world, but he applied science to

practical affairs, and compelled Marcellus to convert the siege of

Syracuse into a blockade. He is said to have launched a ship by the

pressure of the screw, which, reversed in its operation, has

revolutionized naval and commercial marines.

The time gained by this eminent engineer, as well as geometer,

enabled the Carthaginians to send an army to relieve Syracuse. The

situation of Marcellus was critical, when, by a fortunate escalade of the

walls, left unguarded at a festival, the Romans were enabled to take

possession of a strong position within the walls. A pestilence carried off

most of the African army encamped in the valley of Anapus, with the

general Himilco. Bomilcar, the Carthaginian admiral, retreated, rather

than fight the Roman fleet. Marcellus obtained, by the treachery of a

Sicilian captain, possession of the island of Ortygia, where Dionysius had

once intrenched himself, the key to the port and the city, and Syracuse

fell. The city was given up to plunder and massacre, and Archimedes was

one of the victims. Marcellus honored the illustrious defender with a

stately funeral, and he was buried outside the gate of Aeradina. One

hundred and fifty years later, the Syracusans had forgotten even where he

was buried, and his tomb was discovered by Cicero.

While these events took place in Spain and Sicily, Hannibal bent

his efforts to capture Tarentum, and the Romans were equally resolved to

recover Capua. The fall of Tarentum enabled Hannibal to break up the siege

of Capua, and foiled in his attempts to bring on a decisive battle before

that city, he advanced to Rome, and encamped within five miles of the

city, after having led his troops with consummate skill between the armies

and fortresses of the enemy. But Rome was well defended by two legions,

under Fabius, who refused to fight a pitched battle. Hannibal was,

therefore, compelled to retreat in order to save Capua, which, however, in

his absence, had surrendered to the Romans, after a two years' siege, and

was savagely punished for its defection from the Roman cause. The fall of

Capua gave a renewed confidence to the Roman government, which sent

re-enforcements to Spain. But it imprudently reduced its other forces, so

that Marcellus was left to face Hannibal with an inadequate army. The war

was now carried on with alternate successes, in the course of which

Tarentum again fell into Roman hands. Thirty thousand Tarentines were sold

as slaves, B.C. 209.

This great war had now lasted ten years, and both parties were

sinking from exhaustion. In this posture of affairs the Romans were

startled with the intelligence that Hasdrubal had crossed the Pyrenees,

and was advancing to join his brother in Italy. The Romans, in this

exigency, made prodigious exertions. Twenty-three legions were enrolled;

but before preparations were completed, Hasdrubal crossed the Alps,

re-enforced by eight thousand Ligurian mercenaries. It was the aim of the

two Carthaginian generals to form a juncture of their forces, and of the

Romans to prevent it. Gaining intelligence of the intended movements of

Hannibal and Hasdrubal by an intercepted dispatch, the Roman consul, Nero,

advanced to meet Hasdrubal, and encountered him on the banks of the

Metaurus. Here a battle ensued, in which the Carthaginians were defeated

and Hasdrubal slain. Hannibal was waiting in suspense for the dispatch of

his brother in his Apulian camp, when the victor returned from his march

of five hundred miles, and threw the head of Hasdrubal within his

outposts, On the sight of his brothers head, he exclaimed; "I recognize

the doom of Carthage." Abandoning Apulia and Lucania, he retired to the

Bruttian peninsula, and the victor of Cannae retained only a few posts to

re-embark for Africa.

And yet this great general was able to keep the field four years longer,

nor could the superiority of his opponents compel him to shut himself up

in a fortress or re-embark, a proof of his strategic talents.

In the mean time a brilliant career was opened in Spain to the

young Publius Scipio, known as the elder Africanus. He was only

twenty-four when selected to lead the armies of Rome in Spain; for it was

necessary to subdue that country in order to foil the Carthaginians in

Italy. Publius Scipio was an enthusiast, who won the hearts of soldiers

and women. He was kingly in his bearing, confident of his greatness,

graceful in his manners, and eloquent in his speech--popular with all

classes, and inspiring the enthusiasm which he felt.

He landed in Spain with an army of thirty thousand, and at once

marched to New Carthage, before the distant armies of the Carthaginians

could come to its relief. In a single day the schemes of Hamilcar and his

sons were dissolved, and this great capital fell into the hands of the

youthful general, not yet eligible for a single curule magistracy. Ten

thousand captives were taken and six hundred talents, with great stores of

corn and munitions of war. Spain seemed to be an easy conquest; but the

following year the Carthaginians made a desperate effort, and sent to

Spain a new army of seventy thousand infantry, four thousand horse, and

thirty-two elephants. Yet this great force, united with that which

remained under Hasdrubal and Mago, was signally defeated by Scipio. This

grand victory, which made Scipio master of Spain, left him free to carry

the war into Africa itself, assisted by his ally Masinassa. Gades alone

remained to the Carthaginians, the original colony of the Phoenicians, and

even this last tie was severed when Mago was recalled to assist Hannibal.

Scipio, ambitious to finish the war, and seeking to employ the

whole resources of the empire, returned to Italy and offered himself for

the consulship, B.C. 205, and was unanimously chosen by the centuries,

though not of legal age. His colleague was the chief pontiff P. Licinius

Crassus, whose office prevented him from leaving Italy, and he was thus

left unobstructed in the sole conduct of the war. Sicily was assigned to

him as his province, where he was to build a fleet and make preparations

for passing over to Africa, although a party, headed by old Fabius

Maximus, wished him to remain in Italy to drive away Hannibal. The Senate

withheld the usual power of the consul to make a new levy, but permitted

Scipio to enroll volunteers throughout Italy. In the state of

disorganization and demoralization which ever attend a long war, this

enrollment was easily effected, and money was raised by contributions on

disaffected States.

Hannibal was still pent up among the Bruttii, unwilling to let go

his last hold on Italy. Mago, in cisalpine Gaul, was too far off to render

aid. The defense of Africa depended on him alone, and he was recalled. He

would probably have anticipated the order. Rome breathed more freely when

the "Libyan Lion" had departed. For fifteen years he had been an incubus

or a terror, and the Romans, in various conflicts, had lost three hundred

thousand men. Two of the Scipios, Paulus Gracchus and Marcellus, had

yielded up their lives in battle. Only Fabius, among the experienced

generals at the beginning of the war, was alive, and he, at the age of

ninety, was now crowned with a chaplet of the grass of Italy, as the most

honorable reward which could be given him.

Hannibal now sought a conference with Scipio, for both parties were

anxious for peace, but was unable to obtain any better terms than the

cession of Spain, as well as the Mediterranean islands, the surrender of

the Carthaginian fleet, the payment of four thousand talents, and the

confirmation of Masinissa in the kingdom of Syphax. Such terms could not

be accepted, and both parties prepared for one more decisive conflict.

The battle was fought at Zama. "Hannibal arranged his infantry in

three lines. The first division contained the Carthaginian mercenaries;

the second, the African allies, and the militia of Carriage; the third,

the veterans who followed him from Italy. In the front of the lines were

stationed eighty elephants; the cavalry was placed on the wings. Scipio

likewise disposed the legions in three divisions. The infantry fought hand

to hand in the first division, and both parties falling into confusion,

sought aid in the second division. The Romans were supported, but the

Carthaginian militia was wavering. Upon seeing this, Hannibal hastily

withdrew what remained of the two first lines to the flanks, and pushed

forward his choice Italian troops along the whole line. Scipio gathered

together in the centre all that were able to fight of the first line, and

made the second and third divisions close up on the right and left of the

first. Once again the conflict was renewed with more desperate fighting,

till the cavalry of the Romans and of Masinassa, returning from pursuit of

the beaten cavalry of the enemy, surrounded them on all sides. This

movement annihilated the Punic army. All was lost, and Hannibal was only

able to escape with a handful of men."

It was now in the power of Scipio to march upon Carthage and lay

siege to the city, neither protected nor provisioned. But he made no

extravagant use of his victory. He granted peace on the terms previously

rejected, with the addition of an annual tribute of two hundred talents

for fifty years. He had no object to destroy a city after its political

power was annihilated, and wickedly overthrow the primitive seat of

commerce, which was still one of the main pillars of civilization. He was

too great and wise a statesman to take such a revenge as the Romans sought

fifty years afterward. He was contented to end the war gloriously, and see

Carthage, the old rival, a tributary and broken power, with no possibility

of reviving its former schemes, B.C. 201.

This ended the Hannibalic war, which had lasted seventeen years,

and which gave to Rome the undisputed sovereignty of Italy, the conversion

of Spain into two Roman provinces, the union of Syracuse with the Roman

province of Sicily, the establishment of a Roman protectorate over the

Numidian chiefs, and the reduction of Carthage to a defenseless mercantile

city. The hegemony of Rome was established over the western region of the

Mediterranean. These results were great, but were obtained by the loss of

one quarter of the burgesses of Rome, the ruin of four hundred towns, the

waste of the accumulated capital of years, and the general demoralization

of the people. It might seem that the Romans could have lived side by side

with other nations in amity, as modern nations do. But, in ancient times,

"it was necessary to be either anvil or hammer." Either Rome or Carthage

was to become the great power of the world.