Sacred band of carthage and thebes.

Users who are viewing this thread

kurczak said:
Scitpi is hugely overrated.

...the man beat Hannibal.

kurczak said:
He scored some surprisingly swift victories in the African campaign

Also Spain.

kurczak said:
but the outcome of the war had been decided at Metaurus by the true unsung hero of the second war - Claudius Nero who pulled Rome's chestnuts out of the fire

Indeed, but without Scipio's activity in Spain, even that battle would perhaps not happen the way it did.

kurczak said:
after Scipio had failed to stop Hasdrubal in Spain.

Was it not that Hasdrubal left Spain because he could no longer contend with Scipio, not the other way around?

It was not Scipio's mission to contain Hasdrubal, his mission was to take Spain, which he did.
I'm not dissing the man. He obviously played a huge role in the war. But saying that he single-handedly won the war is an overstatement. No single person won the war.

The war was just as much won by Claudius Nero at Metaurus. It was also won by Fabius who managed to prevent Hannibal from capitalizing on his victories at Cannae and Trasimene. And yes, obviously Scipio dealt the final blow at Utica and Zama. But if Fabius hadn't bought Rome time, Scipio would have never even left for Spain because the war would have been over. If Nero hadn't won at Metaurus, Scipio's success in Spain would have been meaningless.

I'm not even really blaming him for failing to stop Hasdrubal, maybe it was just too big a bite for his relatively small army and he did what he could. Maybe not, we'll never find out. But it doesn't change the fact that he was ultimately "only" one of several people behind the Roman victory.
In a nutshell, there has been a long standing image of the Romans -- a fledgling empire, still in its early stages -- fighting an old and powerful empire of Carthaginians -- the original 'super power' of the Mediterranean.

The question would be whether any of the above would be a matter of fact. In the premodern ages where technology and the use machinery was not as powerful a force multiplier as nowadays, simply put, population count = manpower = economical strength = military power. By the time the Italian peninsula was 'unified' into a federation of city states, I'm not sure if there's any element in regards to the 'war machine' that the Carthaginians held in advantage. The Romans held everything under their favor.

From a larger perspective of things, the 2nd Punic War would be an odd incident where the influence of a single genius almost altered the course of normal outcome, which would be the 1st and 3rd Punic wars. With the benefit of hindsight, we know that the Romans were clearly superior to the Carthaginians in their ability to wage war. Higher population count, more manpower, stronger economic basis, stronger political unity, stronger military, and after a series of battles, more experienced as well.

The war was already half-won before it began, methinks.
True, but there were plenty of half-won wars that were eventually lost. Potential is one thing, realization of the potential another.
jacobhinds said:
If there was a land bridge between Italy and Tunisia I think the Romans would have been even more screwed. Mercenary doesn't mean "ineffective at fighting", especially for the carthaginians. It's probably the opposite in most cases since being a mercenary is a profession rather than an obligation or temporary assignment, as it was for rome's standing armies.

...which also means "job".  You're in it for the money. Fight to make a living, not for a cause.

Hence, in situations where it becomes bad enough that the company'd likely be dead before getting a chance to be paid, the true mettle of that company would be put to the test. Fight or flight? Plenty of cases the company chose the latter.

There's a reason people note the rise of nationalism and its impact on military history, you know.
Top Bottom