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The History Behind Hannibal's Invasion and the 2nd Punic War (Pics and Video)

RivalmassRivalmass MemberRegistered Users Posts: 83
In light of the announcement of "Hannibal at the Gates" I have revived this post I made back before the release of Rome II. Below is a walk through of what lead from the 1st Punic War to the 2nd. The purpose of this is to inform those of you who are not familiar with the conflict and refresh the veteran historians out there. I hope this proves helpful for you all!

Since the release of Rome II, I have also started a series covering the events of the first Punic War. For anyone interested here are the links:

Eve of War: talks about both Rome and Carthage generally and what led to war

The Land War Commences: goes through the opening phases of the conflict in Sicily

Sea of Blood: (coming soon) depicts the huge sea battles of the war

This information was from a couple books I have in my personal library including "The Fall of Carthage" by Adrian Goldsworthy whom I would strongly recommend!

The information starts at 2:40

The First Punic War took place between 264-241 BC and ended in the Roman victory over Carthage. The war was mostly fought in and around Sicily with massive naval engagements and numerous skirmishes and village sieges around the island. The Romans briefly found success in their invasion of North Africa but tragedy struck when the Roman general, Regulus was defeated and relieving roman fleets were destroyed in a terrible storm.

The war was one of attrition which showed the great resilience of Rome and her ingenuity in constructing multiple fleets from scratch to ultimately rule the seas and grant them victory.

The first war ended under the following conditions:

1. Carthage was to evacuate all of Sicily
2. Neither side was to make war on the other's allies, nor seek to subvert their allegiance by allying with them directly or becoming involved in their internal affairs. They were not to recruit soldiers or raise money for the construction of public buildings in the territory of the other.
3. The Carthaginians were to give up all Roman prisoners freely, whilst paying a ransom for their own.
4. The Carthaginians were to pay an indemnity to the Roman Senate of 1,000 talents payable immediately as well as 3,200 talents every year for ten years.


Carthage also had to deal with the major crisis of returning mercenaries from the first war who mutinied when the state failed to pay them. This conflict did much to harm Carthaginian power furthur but she pulled through.

In order to make good her payments and recover from the war, Carthage expanded. She grew her agriculture at home and sought to expand her holdings in Spain.


In 238 BC, Hamilcar Barca was sent to Spain at the head of an army and began to conquer the region. These expansions were regarded warily by Rome who expected her defeated enemies to remain in a state of complete submission. A Roman embassy was sent to demand an explanation for the situation to which the Barcids replied that the expansion was necessary to pay the indemnities of the treaty.

Rome accepted this for the time being as it had other matters to tend to with unrest in Illyria and Northern Italy.


Hamilcar Barca was killed by Spanish tribesmen in an ambush in 229 BC, leaving his son-in-law, Hasdrubal, in command. Hasdrubal did much to expand Carthaginian holdings in Spain. He married a Spanish princess and made use of both military and political tactics to continue the growth of his territories. Hasdrubal was assassinated in 221 BC and the army elected 26 year old Hannibal as commander.

In terms of the political scene, Hasdrubal had signed the Ebro treaty with Rome in 226 BC. It essentially stated that Carthage would not expand past the river Ebro. For the time being this satisfied the Romans that the Carthaginians would not push back.


In between the first and second wars, Rome also took advantage of internal disputes in Sardinia to seize the territory from Carthage. This was tantamount to a betrayal of the peace treaty and even Roman historians had a hard time excusing this greedy move. Carthage was powerless to resist as it might cause a war but the event did much to foster hate and distrust of the Romans.


The spark for the war came in the form of the town of Saguntum in spain. One mile from the coast, these people had been in contact with the Romans through trade and now sought the protection of the Italian power in the face of Carthaginian expansion.


Rome wished to protect Saguntum and believed they could bully the Carthaginians into backing down as they had with Sardinia. Hannibal had non of it. The treaty of Ebro was meant to keep Carthage from crossing the river and Saguntum was well within their rightful jurisdiction. Hannibal became involved in a local conflict between Saguntum and another tribe allied to the Carthaginians. Carthage sided with the tribesmen and took the city after 8 months of siege in 219 BC. He then returned with the spoils to New Carthage to rest his troops.


Rome was outraged by their emboldened neighbors and sent an embassy to Carthage. The group included outhoing consuls Lucius Aemellius Paullus and Marcus Livius Salinator. The group was lead by Quintus Fabius Maximus who would later be given the nickname "The Delayer" due to his later tactics against Hannibal.

The party demanded that the Carthage leaders surrender Hannibal and his officers to Rome. This outraged the Carthaginians who had had enough of Roman bullying. Tempers ran high and Maximus is supposed to have stood in the middle of the chamber and announced that he held both peace and war in his toga, and could let fall from it whichever the Cathaginians chose. In the shouting that ensued Maximus declared that he let fall war to which the Carthaginians responded "We accept it!"


Hannibal who had been back at New Carthage did not sit idly. He was amassing supplies for his planned invasion and made plans for the defense of North Africa and Spain. The Romans on the other hand began to raise legions in Northern Italy to go to Spain and prepared legions in Sicily for an invasion of North Africa.


Hannibal left New Carthage in 218 and started to head north towards the Ebro. Publius Scipio was now leading his forces by sea towards Spain and stopped in Massilia to resupply and rest his troops. There he heard the shocking news that Hannibal had already crossed the Ebro! This was news to the Romans who were expecting to fight the war on enemy territory.

Roman scouts bumped into Carthaginian horses and chased them back to Hannibal's camp. The scouts quickly turned back and brought the alarming news to Publius Scipio.


Scipio launched north to engage the Carthaginian in a pitched battle but arrived at the site of the camp to discover the Hannibal had left three days earlier in the direction of the alps. Publius made the important decision of sending Cnaeus Scipio with the forces onwards to Spain while he took a ship to join the legions still stationed in Northern Italy.

Hannibal paid and fought his way through the Alps. He recruited those who wished to join the invasion and slaughtered those who sought to halt his advance. The going was very rough and the Carthaginians lost half of their forces to attrition, desertion, and combat.

The army emerged onto the plains of Northern Italy with a force of 20,000 infantry and 6,000 cavalry. Hannibal quickly recruited disgruntled barbarians to his cause. The Romans were dumbfounded by his unbelievable feat and were slow to react to the invasion now on their door step. The following years would see Hannibal ravage the Italian countryside and its forces. He never lost a major battle on the Italian peninsula!


This is where I leave you! I hope you enjoyed and I hope this has made you appreciate the way in which this game will bring history to life. Anyways I love sharing my thoughts on ancient history.

If you are interested you can check out my channel here:http://www.youtube.com/user/THFEProductions

Post edited by Rivalmass on


  • Lord_IskenderLord_Iskender Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 1,204
    edited August 2013
    Nice info mate.
    Sometime you just need to relax

    My most wanted option in diplomacy "give region option" still hope it will finally make it in future patch.
  • DocHolidayDocHoliday Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 535
    edited August 2013
    Thanks Rival, History is amazing.
    We as Humans have the right to freely think. No one person should tell you how to think. If we give up on this right what are we then? We are nothing, simply machines being told what to do and how to think. Thus remember to be open minded to every situation no matter what, and remember think.


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  • XI Vanquish IXXI Vanquish IX Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 281
    edited August 2013
    I like how well of a summation you made here on the politics of their treaty and armistice. Even 2000 years ago, foreign policy was extremely hands-on and even more so, grave. It really is amazing to think how abstract, cunning, and intelligent men and women were so long ago. It really makes people look like baboons today.
    Tomorrow is nothing, today is too late; the good lived yesterday.
    Marcus Aurelius
  • RivalmassRivalmass Member Registered Users Posts: 83
    edited August 2013
    Yeah I really love ancient history! I went ahead an added more info to this post. I will also be working on a video recommending great reading material for those interested.
  • epic_159733007811cHJwei4epic_159733007811cHJwei4 Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 3,549
    edited August 2013
    Awesome post OP! Was a great refresher on the events depicted (or discussed) in the trailer!
  • Prince-Of-MacedonPrince-Of-Macedon Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 525
    edited August 2013
    Been subscribed to you for a while now, one of my favourite videos from you, I love anything historical! You should do more like this with Rome2 in game footage to describe other historical events/battles! :D
    "I'm holding a burning torch. Your argument is invalid."
    Publius Cornelius Scipio at the siege of Carthage, 146 BC

    Veni, Vidi, Patchi

    Disclaimer: Not the YouTube POM, just an uncreative fan.
  • sharptoothuk88sharptoothuk88 Member Registered Users Posts: 67
    edited August 2013
    Just watched the video. It was intriguing, intelligent and well thought-out piece on Roman history. I studied Ancient History at uni a few years ago now, and I wish the lectures were like this, so it would not be as boring! Interaction with students using visual stimuli would be so much better than watching a boring slideshow as well as listening to a monotone voice of the teacher!
  • Albert103Albert103 Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 280
    edited August 2013
    Very good summary, thank you
    i4570K OC 4.4Ghz, 16Gb Ram, 128Gb SSD, 2TB HD, GTX 770 OC
  • NelecNelec Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 417
    edited August 2013
    Awesome, great job!
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  • SteelFaithSteelFaith Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 1,000
    edited August 2013
    Great post, thanks for the work and info!

    I sent you a PM Rivalmass, let me know what you think.
  • messyfingersmessyfingers Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 279
    edited August 2013
    gjdm. mirin sources.
  • BattlehardenedBattlehardened Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 120
    edited August 2013
    Thanks for the info
    “If you win, you need not have to explain...If you lose, you should not be there to explain!”
    ― Adolf Hitler
  • KingofBabylonKingofBabylon Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 903
    edited August 2013
    yeah i subscribed a while back and i just noticed you were on the total war forums lmao great vids btw keep them up
    An army of sheep led by a lion would defeat an army of lions led by a sheep. - Babylonian Proverb
  • NorsaNorsa Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 997
    edited August 2013
    Really really nice work! My hat off yo you :)
  • VisorVisor Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 631
    edited August 2013
    There is a movie called Hannibal which covers this plus you get to see the fighting :D

    Very good work though
  • smo0omsmo0om Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 248
    edited August 2013
    really greet work keep up the good work i have been subscribed to ur channel for a while now and ur doing a really gd job
  • MattgudenauMattgudenau Member Registered Users Posts: 37
    edited August 2013
    Wow great read, nice job
  • Soslick22Soslick22 Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 558
    edited August 2013
    I like how well of a summation you made here on the politics of their treaty and armistice. Even 2000 years ago, foreign policy was extremely hands-on and even more so, grave. It really is amazing to think how abstract, cunning, and intelligent men and women were so long ago. It really makes people look like baboons today.

    The baboons of today have landed on the moon. Different times, different focus of our intelligence.
  • VratixVratix Senior Member Iowa, U.S.Registered Users Posts: 1,426
    edited August 2013
    Great read. We need more of this. MOREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    "When the strong have fallen...we must call in the weak...because now...they are the strong"
    Me..when...just now...at that one time...at that one place....upside down...
  • DonniMalakaDonniMalaka Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 613
    edited August 2013
    Thanks, good job!
    My Rig- i5 4670K 3.8ghz, 8gb RAM, GTX 970 Asus Direct CUII OC Edition
  • PhlebiacPhlebiac Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 373
    edited August 2013
    Very interesting read and looking forward to the follow ups!
    I dream of the day that the creators of "Total War" and "Warhammer" get together and make a baby. That baby will be called "Total Warhammer" and it will be Lord of all EPIC! - Update: The bun is in the oven and it's name is "Total War: Warhammer", brings a tear to me eye!
  • RivalmassRivalmass Member Registered Users Posts: 83
    edited March 2014
    I have updated this thread to include more information in light of the new DLC "Hannibal at the Gates"
    This includes information I have gathered and presented on the First Punic War in a YouTube series.

    My goal is to inform others and help spread a deeper understanding of the context in which this game is set which exponentially helps with immersion and roleplaying
  • redamo27redamo27 Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 322
    edited March 2014
    I hope this DLC lives up to the hype.
    On Hannibal "No captain ever marched to and fro among so many armies of troops superior to his own numbers and material as fearlessly and skillfully as he. No man ever held his own so long or so ably against such odds." Theodore Ayrault Dodge
  • dge1dge1 Moderator Arkansas, USARegistered Users, Moderators, Knights Posts: 23,596
    edited March 2014
    In light of the OP's effort to update the thread to current conditions it will not be closed for necro-posting.

    Discussion, however, must still remove on the topic of the thread.

    "The two most common things in the universe are Hydrogen and Stupidity." - Harlan Ellison
    "The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously." - Hubert H. Humphrey
    "Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” - George Carlin/Mark Twain
    “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”–George Santayana, The Life of Reason, 1905.

  • -PAIOLETTI-PAIOLETTI Banned Banned Users Posts: 270
    edited March 2014
    ive been hoping for a nxt video from u, its been a while i thought u gave up.......very nice work!
  • -PAIOLETTI-PAIOLETTI Banned Banned Users Posts: 270
    edited March 2014
  • -PAIOLETTI-PAIOLETTI Banned Banned Users Posts: 270
    edited March 2014
    when will we see a 3rd installment?
  • ranknfileranknfile Senior Member New OrleansRegistered Users Posts: 7,508
    edited March 2014
    Very nice - thanks!

    BTW, if you have not read it yet, Adrian Goldsworthy's "Antony and Cleopatra" is quite excellent.
    "Whoever desires is always poor" - Claudian
  • BloodSpillerBloodSpiller Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 545
    edited March 2014
  • StibokStibok Member Registered Users Posts: 64
    edited March 2014
    thank you, great post!

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