Monday, December 18, 2006

Today in history:

2224 years ago, a general by the name of Hannibal Barca had his first victory over a Roman consular army, handing Sempronius a stomping on the banks of the Trebia. He was 29 years old.

10 comments:

Stonewall said...

Sure, and who visits Carthage today to see the magnificient ruins, study the remants of the Empire of Carthage and its literature? No One!
Rome beat Hanibal and Carthage into the dirt literally. Rome took the city of Carthage, knocked down thew buildings, killed or enslaved the people and plowed the ground with salt so nothing would grow.
Where would you rather live, modern Rome or modern Carthage?

Tam said...

So?

That doesn't in any way diminish Hannibal's brilliance as a general.

Even Scipio Africanus, who finally beat him on the battlefield at Zama, acknowledged his genius.

Mark Rogers said...

Stonewall,

There is an argument that Hannibal may be the greatest general of the ancient world exactly because even though he eventually lost, he was unbelievably successful against the Romans.

Alexander never lost but he never faced an opponent as consistently well trained and usually well led as the Romans.

Hannibal took a mercenary army (which never suffered noticable defections) into a hostile land against huge odds (a census of Italy done by the Romans around 220 BC revealed something like 750,000 Romans and Italian allies available for service)for 15 years. He won several set battles including Cannae which overshadows any of Alexander's victories.

In the end he was defeated by an overwhelming force led by another great general.

Had Alexander faced Scipio, he would have found it far different from slaughtering Persians. Had he run into someone like Caesar or Lucullus or Agrippa and a Roman army of the 1st Century BC, one can make a case that his Macedonian army would have gotten rolled.

Anonymous said...

Hurrah for old "One Eye".

Don Meaker said...

We know what happened when a Macedonian army faced the Romans. Pyrrus of Epiris tried it, from whence the term "pyrric victory".

Anonymous said...

Hannibal was the Nathan Bedford Forrest of his day.

comatus said...

"Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam." I'm not sure I understand the nature of Stonewall's complaint. First, it took the Romans a lot of haranguing by old Cato (and three Punic wars, spread over about 120 years)to finally delere Karthaginem. Second, we remember them because some Romans measured themselves against the enemies they faced, therefore never shut up about Hannibal (remember Caesar's line on Vercingetorix--presuming you also would not live in modern Alesia). Last, Patton went there, big time, and that would be enough for a lot of folks.

comatus said...

Good one, anonymous, but you have to ask--who visits Chapel Hill TN to study the remnants of its literature? Must be gone with the wind. M.Rogers, aren't those the same lame-assed Persians the Three Hundred held up a few days, earning undying respect? The same ones who chased Xenophon's myriad 90 days march back to the sea, the sea? The ones Rome never took? Nothing against Hannibal, but *someone* must have thought the Persians a formidable foe...I mean before Jon Carry...

Anonymous said...

"Last, Patton went there, big time, and that would be enough for a lot of folks."


Patton may have been there more than once, by some of his accounts...

TheSev

Anonymous said...

"comatus said...
Good one, anonymous, but you have to ask--who visits Chapel Hill TN to study the remnants of its literature? Must be gone with the wind."

Probably because history books don't fawn over him, fungus boy.