Hannibal vs. Rome

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During the Second Punic War, Hannibal, was a terror to the Roman Republic. Remembered even today for his campaign, the hatred Hannibal felt for Rome was clearly seen on the battlefield. He plowed his way throughout modern day France and Italy, crushing his opponents (sometimes quite literally) under his army. However, Hannibal was not only a general of great strength, but also an exceptional strategist, and a charismatic leader. These qualities along with his appointed position, gave Hannibal all the tools needed to bring Rome to its knees. Beginning in the sixth century B.C., Rome's constant expansion now sought to lay dominion over southern Italy. However, as the Romans reached the farther south, they found themselves more involved with another great empire, the Carthaginians. The Carthaginians of northern Africa were expanding as well and had already taken control of the southern part of Spain Sardinia, Corsica, Malta, the Balearic Islands, and western Sicily. It wasn't until an uprising in the Messana on the island of Sicily that Roman Republic became involved in Carthaginian affairs. An Italian group of mercenaries called the Mamertines, sought to take Messana from the tyrant Hiero. When the mercenaries were defeated, they called upon the Carthaginians for aid, who responded by sending a garrison of troops. This troubled the Rome, because Messana lay just across from Italy, and the Senate feared that Carthage might take this opportunity to gain the advantage. So, in 264 B.C. the assembly voted to send a force to expel the Carthage (or Punic) garrison. Thus began the First Punic War. For twenty four years the two powers fought a bloody war for ... ... middle of paper ... ...n it was attacked by a Roman force, but this time he was defeated and forced into exile. Rome pursued him, and eventually caught up to him in modern day Turkey. Not willing to give his live to his enemies, Hannibal poisoned himself to avoid Rome’s assassins. However, though his life came to a close, Hannibal continued to live on in legend. His conquests against his enemies left the Romans fearing and respecting his name long after his death. Roman nurses for centuries after paid homage to Hannibal’s legacy as they scared little children. Even today, Hannibal’s battles are a subject of conversation for historians and generals, and he is remembered as one of the most brilliant strategist of all time. Works Cited William, Culican. "Hannibal." Britannica Biographies (2010): 1. MasterFILE Premier. EBSCO. Web. 14 Feb. 2011.

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