Dattatreya Mandal June 7, To put things into perspective, the Battle of Cannae BCcontested between the ancient Mediterranean powerhouses of Rome and Carthage, is usually considered as a particularly bloody episode — which had possibly resulted in the highest loss of human life in a single day in any battle recorded in history. In terms of sheer numbers, the baleful day probably accounted for over 40, Roman deaths the figure is put at 55, by Livy, and 70, by Polybiuswhich equated to about 80 percent of the Roman army fielded in the battle! On a comparative note, the worst day in the history of the British Army usually pertains to the first day of the Battle of the Somme inwhere they lost around 20, men. The irony in this case related to how the same folks who fought for money and plunder, grouped together to forego such things in favor of innumerable hardships for their chosen leader.
Strategic background[ edit ] Shortly after the start of the Second Punic War, Hannibal crossed into Italy by traversing the Pyrenees and the Alps during the summer and early autumn. The Senate determined to bring eight legions into the field, which had never been done at Rome before, each legion consisting of five thousand men besides allies.
Most of their wars are decided by one consul and two legions, with their quota of allies; and they rarely employ all four at one time and on one service. But on this occasion, so great was the alarm and terror of what would happen, they resolved to bring not only four but eight legions into the field.
Roman command[ edit ] Consuls were each assigned two of the four legions to command, rarely employing all four legions at once to the same assignment. However, the Senate feared a real threat and not only deployed all four legions to the field but all eight, including allies.
The traditional account puts Varro in command on the day of the battle, and much of the blame for the defeat has been laid on his shoulders.
Paullus, however, was opposed to the engagement as it was taking shape. This was especially true since Hannibal held the advantage in cavalry both in quality and quantity.
During the second day August 1 Hannibal, aware that Varro would be in command the following day, left his camp and offered battle, but Paullus refused. Hannibal coolly replied, "There is one thing, Gisgo, yet more astonishing, which you take no notice of".
He then explained, "In all those great numbers before us, there is not one man called Gisgo", provoking laughter that spread through the Carthaginian ranks. We are fortunate, therefore, that Macrobiusciting the Roman annalist Quintus Claudius Quadrigariusstates the battle was fought ante diem iiii nones Sextilisor 2 August.
A review of the evidence led P. They should be treated with caution, especially those for the Carthaginian side. Along with the core of an estimated 8, Libyansthere were 8, Iberians16, Gauls 8, were left at camp the day of battle and around 5, Gaetulian infantry.
Finally, Hannibal had around 8, skirmishers consisting of Balearic slingers and mixed-nationality spearmen. The uniting factor for the Carthaginian army was the personal tie each group had with Hannibal. The Iberians fought with swords suited for cutting and thrusting, as well as javelins and various types of spears.
The Balearic slingers, who were famous for their accuracy, carried short, medium and long slings used to cast stones or bullets. They may have carried a small shield or simple leather pelt on their arms, but this is uncertain. Hannibal himself was wearing musculata armor and carried a falcata as well.
Head has argued in favor of short stabbing spears. It is unclear whether he meant only shields and armor or offensive weapons as well,  though a general reading suggests he meant the whole panoply of arms and armor, and even tactical organization.
Apart from his description of the battle itself, when later discussing the subject of the Roman legion versus the Greek phalanxPolybius says that ". As Polybius wrote, "the maniples were nearer each other, or the intervals were decreased. The typical style of ancient warfare was to continuously pour infantry into the center and attempt to overpower the enemy.
Hannibal understood that the Romans fought their battles like this, and he took his outnumbered army and strategically placed them around the enemy to win a tactical victory. Hasdrubal led the Iberian and Gallic cavalry on the left south near the river Aufidus of the Carthaginian army.
Hasdrubal was given 6,—7, cavalry, and Hanno had 3,—4, Numidians on the right.
To put things into perspective, the Battle of Cannae ( BC), contested between the ancient Mediterranean powerhouses of Rome and Carthage, is usually considered as a particularly bloody episode – which had (possibly) resulted in the highest loss of human life in a single day in any battle. To ratchet up the immediacy of several epic battles in which Hannibal thrashed the Roman army, "Battles BC" supplements an excellent round of historical analysis and explanation with the. Analysis of Biography of Hannibal from Carthage Hannibal, Invader From Carthage by Robert N. Webb is a biography that focuses on and highlights the life and times of Hannibal, the Carthaginian general.
Battle[ edit ] As the armies advanced on one another, Hannibal gradually extended the center of his line, as Polybius described: While the wind was not a major factor, the dust that both armies created would have been potentially debilitating to sight. The dust, however, was not the only psychological factor involved in battle.
Because of the somewhat distant battle location, both sides were forced to fight on little sleep. Furthermore, the massive number of troops would have led to an overwhelming amount of background noise.
All of these psychological factors made battle especially difficult for the infantrymen.
The crescent of Hispanic and Gallic troops buckled inwards as they gradually withdrew. Knowing the superiority of the Roman infantry, Hannibal had instructed his infantry to withdraw deliberately, creating an even tighter semicircle around the attacking Roman forces.
By doing so, he had turned the strength of the Roman infantry into a weakness. While the front ranks were gradually advancing, the bulk of the Roman troops began to lose their cohesion, as they began crowding themselves into the growing gap.At the Battle of Cannae in BCE, however, the Romans would learn an important lesson in military strategy from a general who fought like no other had before him.
Hannibal 's Skills & Rome's Response. Analysis often precedes the telling of the historical story, as with a few battles and Hannibal’s course over the Alps. It’s deflating to read Prevas’ criticism before the reader has a chance to watch Hannibal’s freezing troops die on the rocky mountain slopes.
Furthermore, in an odd turn of events, a 10, strong force of triarii didn’t take part in the Battle of Cannae, since these men were chosen to guard the strategic Roman camp at one end of the battle zone by the River Aufidius (Ofanto). Nepos, Life of Hannibal — Chapter 4: The Battle of Cannae & Its Legacy "There was no longer any Roman camp, any general, any single soldier in existence." — Livy, Ab urbe condita On August 2, BC Rome suffered one of the most catastrophic defeats in military history.
Hannibal Essay Examples. 23 total results. An Analysis of the Life of Hannibal Barca. words. 2 pages.
An Introduction to the Life of Hannibal. 1, words. An Analysis of The Life and Battles of Hannibal. 1, words. 2 pages. A History of the Punic Wars Between Rome and Carthage. words. Early life. Hannibal was the son of the great Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barca.
The Greek historian Polybius and the Roman historian Livy are the two primary sources for his life. According to them, Hannibal was taken to Spain by his father and at an early age .