Punic Wars

Second Punic War

When Hamilcar Barca's son Hannibal took (219) the Spanish city of Saguntum (present-day Sagunto), a Roman ally, Rome declared war. This Second Punic, or Hannibalic, War, 218–201 B.C., was one of the titanic struggles of history. Rome owed its success to various factors: its stubborn will and splendid military organization; its superior economic resources; its generals, Fabius and, above all, Scipio; the failure of supply from Carthage to Hannibal's Italian army; and the mountainous character of central Italy, which rendered the Punic superiority in cavalry nearly useless. For the course of the war, see Hannibal and Scipio Africanus Major. At the war's close, Carthage surrendered to Rome its Spanish province and its war fleet.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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