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Western Civilization Essay

1783 words - 8 pages

The Second Punic War, also called the Second Carthaginian War, took place from 218 to 201 B.C between the Roman Republic and Carthaginian Empire. There were three Punic Wars in all, resulting in Roman dominance over the Mediterranean. Rome saw how large Carthage was getting and how much power it was gaining. This, along with the fact that Carthage controlled three islands off the coast of Italy, was an issue for Rome. Rome insisted that Carthage join the Republic, to which Carthage disagreed. The two groups fought for twenty years, ending the wars when Carthage offered Rome the island of Sicily in exchange for peace. Rome took Sicily, Corsica, and Sardinia. Carthage, lead by Hamilcar Barca, took off to fight Spain. Hamilcar’s son, Hannibal, was nine years old at the time. Before they left Carthage, Hamilcar made his son promise that when he was older he would fight Rome for revenge. Hannibal agreed, thus beginning the legend of Hannibal, military genius. (Second)
Hannibal grew up being taught to completely despise Rome and everything about it. His hatred made it easier for him to come up with new tactics and ideas to gain strength in the years he was fighting in Spain. Hannibal was born a trickster, and he is known for winning most of his battles with clever antics and rather gruesome forms of punishment. Some may say Hannibal was a ruthless ruler, others may say he is a great leader, but his brutal childhood and learning from his father to be hateful contributed to his bloody ways. Hannibal’s tactics enforced loyalty among his soldiers and power over his enemies. There are many battle horror stories including Hannibal. Once, he had a Roman soldier held captive. He put the soldier up to fight against the elephant and said, ‘If you win, you will be freed.” The prisoner went underneath the elephant and cut its vital organs, giving the prisoner a win. Hannibal was mortified and embarrassed, so he immediately has the prisoner put to death. If one of Hannibal’s soldiers or supporters leaves him, he has the man’s wife and daughter tortured, whipped, and burned alive. Likewise, one of his scouts took a wrong turn on a journey once and Hannibal had the man crucified. He believed strongly in blood revenge. If Hannibal is ever betrayed, he sincerely believes in punishment of the betrayer. Hannibal was feared by most of his men and his enemies. (Bloody Tactics)
Once Hamilcar Barca died, Hannibal was asked to be king by his soldiers and generals in Spain. He was only 26, but he took the position without hesitation. His goal then was to conquer all of Spain, which began with him attacking numerous Spanish cities.
One city he attacked was in fact allies with Rome, so Rome decided to aid their city and try to take Carthage and Hannibal out once and for all. Instead of sending soldiers to Spain to help the city, Rome declared war on Carthage, which is Hannibal’s hometown and the most important of the Carthage Empire. To Hannibal, this was the perfect...

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