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Ancient texts

Livius (25.22); (26.4-16)
Livius (27.20-29)
Polybius (10.32-33)

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Italy 208-204 bc

2nd Punic war in Italy 214-208bc

Problems for Hannibal
Hannibal had to divide his troops over the cities that had chosen his side. Either to protect them or to threaten them in case that city had not volunteered. He had gotten Tarentum in his power by treason, but the citadel had remained in Roman hands. For his attempts to conquer this too he needed a lot of manpower. When the Roman consuls attacked and besieged Capua, which was an important city for both parties, he would have to give up these attempts in Tarentum.

Conquest of Capua
Hannibal decided the loss of Capua was a too high price and moved his army towards Capua, where the consuls were preparing a siege. The first meeting of the armies there ended in a draw. For the next morning the consuls had decided to try and lure Hannibal away from Capua. This resulted in 2 more battles (near Herdonea) won by Hannibal. Still Hannibal Barca couldn't raise the siege. On his turn he tried to lure away the Romans by moving his army to Rome itself. Now almost 5 years after the battle of Cannae this had not the result Hannibal had hoped for and the siege of Capua ended with surrender. As a punishment all the inhabitants of Capua were moved to another location.

Scipio Jr. proconsul
In 213 bc already young Scipio had opted for the function of curule aedile. His age then was 22. The peoples tribunes protested because the minimum age for that function was 27. Scipio replied: "If the people all vote for me I'll be old enough". According to Livius he was elected unanimous.
Now just two years later both his father and uncle were killed in the war in Spain. A new proconsul for Spain was needed, but no one of the experienced men had the guts to opt for this function. When the young Scipio said he would be available, no one protested and Scipio was sent to Spain with a fresh army. For his achievements there look here.

    Ares or Mars god of war    

Mars god of war
Museo Nazionale Romana Roma


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