Presentation on theme: "Punic War #2 Part 2 Options 6 to 10 Watch for these two commanders: Fabius and Scipio."— Presentation transcript:
Punic War #2 Part 2 Options 6 to 10 Watch for these two commanders: Fabius and Scipio
After Flaminius’s disaster, the senate decided to create a dictator to end the war once and for all. The very intelligent Fabius Maximus too command and decided that the only way to beat Hannibal was to starve him out and avoid his traps. Fabius sent Romans out of the country side, had them burn their houses and any food they left behind so Hannibal could not take it. Fabius continually moved his troops between Hannibal an possible food supplies. He refused to actually fight Hannibal, always remaining just out of reach, and avoiding any of Hannibal's tricky traps. This strategy made Hannibal crazy, but he continued to look for a weakness in the Roman plan. Like pieces in a great chess match, the two armies circled and moved around each other, looking for some sort of weakness. Unfortunately for Fabius, his tactics were becoming very unpopular at home. The senate demanded he fight Hannibal. Knowing the countryside was to his advantage, and, by clever maneuvering, he eventually moved Hannibal's army into a box canyon among the mountains. By placing a line of troops all around the rim of the canyon, he prevented Hannibal from being able to escape up the mountains. (It is almost impossible to break through any line when attacking uphill.) The main body of the Roman force was kept at the entrance to the canyon, acting as the cork in a bottle. There would be no room here for any of Hannibal's fancy tricks! Choice #6 Background
Hannibal, of course, cannot be expected to take all this without a fight. It is certain that he will do something here, the only question is what. If you were Fabius, you'd expect some sort of action from Hannibal, and it will help you win if you can predict his action correctly. Hannibal seems to be faced with only two options: attack up the hill, or attack through the pass. (It is unreasonable to expect that he will surrender without a fight. This is a man who has already lost the sight in one eye, due to an infection he did not treat because he was busy leading his men into battle.) So, what do you think he will do? I think Hannibal will attack the line on the hilltops I think Hannibal will attack the army in the pass
Fabius was punished for following the Senate’s orders and eventually they gave another man power. Minucius was decreed “co-dictator” and given equal power of the army. Fabius was, of course, terribly upset over this turn of events, but resolved to make the best of a bad situation. Upon returning to camp, he sat down to determine the best way for him and Minucius to divide control. They could each rule the army on alternating days, or they could split the army in two, equally. Minucius vowed to accept Fabius' choice in the matter as final. Fabius, even though his feelings had been hurt and his reputation damaged, wished to do what would be best for the safety of Rome. Which option do you think he chose? Choice #7 Background I choose to divide the army in two I choose to alternate days of control
Fabius' dictatorship had expired, and he returned home, retiring with class. His final act was to sell his farm property to pay the ransom for soldiers in his command that Hannibal had captured. He still had no doubts that his strategy was the most effective way to defeat Hannibal, so when the Romans selected new consuls, he advised them to do as he had done. One of the new consuls, Paulus Aemilius, came from a patrician family, and listened carefully to Fabius' advice. Fabius told him, "We grow strong while Hannibal grows continually weaker by delay. He can only prosper so long as he can fight battles and perform brilliant exploits. If we deprive him of this power, his strength will be continually wasting away, and the spirit and courage of his men waning." The other consul at this time was Varro, a member of the plebeian class. It often seems that the Romans were excellent at choosing two completely different personalities as consul, so that the strengths of one balanced the weaknesses of the other. It also seems that during the Punic Wars, they were always choosing one sensible leader, along with an impetuous and rash one. As a popular hero, Varro saw his chance to become a legend, by leading his army to victory over Hannibal. All he needed was an opportunity. Hannibal tried to provide that opportunity to him. Varro and Aemilius had decided to alternate power daily, so there was continual confusion about what strategy was being pursued. Varro, on his day, defeated one of Hannibal's scouting party, and became quite inflamed with the idea of Hannibal's destruction. Roman scouts came across Hannibal's camp, and found it deserted. Varro was certain that this was the time to chase Hannibal down and finish him, but an officer convinced him that it was a trap. The Romans avoided this trap. (It's about time!) Choice #8 Background
A few days later, Hannibal really did abandon his camp (though making it look like another trap), and was able to slip away from the Romans, heading south. Varro was certain that this was his great opportunity. Near the city of Cannae, the two armies once again came into contact. It was an interesting dance, with Varro preparing for war on his days, and Aemilius maneuvering the troops away on his days. Sooner or later, there would have to be a final decision. What would you think best to do? I choose to go with Varro to attack Hannibal I choose to retreat with Aemilius for defense
Choice #9: Background After the Aemilius fiasco, Rome brought their troops home to protect their Roman city. With winter coming, Hannibal asked for more supplies and soldiers from Carthage. Eight years passed while Hannibal awaited help. Because of the Port Problem, his assistance would have to come by land. Rome defended their cities, but did not try to defeat Hannibal. Eventually, word came that Hannibal's brother, Hasdrubal (different from the one you met in the beginning), was on his way over the Alps with a new army. By now, of course, the Romans had an entirely new set of consuls. Livius was given an army to take north, where he was ordered to meet up with, and destroy, Hasdrubal. Nero (not the much later Emperor) was in charge of the southern armies, and was responsible for containing (at least) Hannibal. As it had been all along, their orders were very specific. Hasdrubal sent a message to Hannibal that he had crossed the Alps, and would soon join with his brother to rid the world of the accursed Romans. Unfortunately for him, he had been very specific in his plans, which were intercepted by Roman agents. These plans were brought to Nero, who was faced with the most important choice of his life.
Nero was fairly certain that Livius could not defeat Hasdrubal with the forces he had available. Knowing Hasdrubal's plans meant that Nero could be of great help to Livius if he took part of his army to the north. This, of course, would be in direct violation of the Specificity of Orders Problem, and could cause him to be branded a traitor. Worse yet, there was no time to send to Rome for Senate approval. If Nero chose to go north, it would leave his army almost defenseless against Hannibal. If Hannibal defeated the southern army, it would leave Rome defenseless against Hannibal's attack. What a dilemma! What should Nero do? I choose to stay put and defend Rome I choose to go north and help Livius
Choice #10: Background It was now 204 BC, and the war had been continuing for most of one generation. One of new consuls in Rome was Scipio, son of the previous Scipio we met. He had had great successes in Spain, and was awarded a triumph for them. He is considered one of Rome's greatest heroes. Scipio dutifully went to Sicily, to secure Roman possessions there, and ensure stability. Having done so, he used his freedom to travel, taking his army to Africa, endangering Carthage itself. Wisely, he recognized that the best way to prevent Hannibal from destroying Rome was to threaten the destruction of his home town. Surely the Carthaginian Senate would call Hannibal home for defense, and the threat to Rome would be removed. It occurred in just this way, and we can now clearly see the end of the Second Punic War approaching. Hannibal was, indeed, called home, and even came face-to-face with Scipio himself. There was now only one choice left to be made.
Hannibal knew that his army was likely to lose any further battles. Scipio's forces were sharp and disciplined, Hannibal's were weary and disillusioned. Still, peace has a price, and both had to decide what price they could pay. As the likely victor, Scipio could demand almost any terms he chose, but he needed to choose wisely to avoid any further conflict with the Carthaginian army. Still, the war had been long and costly, and the Roman Senate would demand retribution for its losses. Scipio could offer terms that would be easy for the Carthaginians to swallow and end the war without another battle, or he could demand great sacrifices from them, as punishment for their aggression which they might not agree to and fight another battle. Which should he do? I choose to conclude a just peace I choose to punish Carthage for aggression