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Second Punic War Could Have Been Avoided History Essay

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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016

I was born as Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus, I am also known as Scipio Africanus, otherwise referred to as Scipio the Elder. I was the statesman of the Roman Republic and later a general during the Second Punic War. I defeated Hannibal during the final battle of the Second Punic War which took place at Zama. The victory at Zama earned me the name the Roman Hannibal, the agnomen Africanus; I am as well recognized as the best commander-in-chief in military history.

The Second Punic War took place from 218 BCE to 201 BCE. The second Punic war could have been avoided, but since Carthage felt that the First Punic War was concluded on harsh terms, they ensure that another war followed in 218BC, approximately twenty three years after the end of the First Punic War. I believe that the treaty was fair, but since Hannibal hated Rome he believed that the treaty was complicated, and had several political results. Since Carthage violated the treaty, we asked them to totally relinquish Sicily and the Aegadian Islands, which was positioned on west of it, in addition to the tiny islands that located between Sicily and Africa. The most instant political consequence of the First Punic War was the collapse of Carthage’s naval authority.  They as well had to return all our prisoners of war without ransom to Rome; nevertheless they had to make a huge payment for the Carthaginians. The Carthaginians were not allowed to hit Syracuse and her associates, and the associates of both Rome and Carthage were not permitted to have conficts on each other. An undersized group of Islands, Aeolian Islands which is north of Sicily as well as Ustica that had earlier belonged to Carthage were to be reassigned to Rome’s control (Tim, Boris and Philip, 10).  

We equally had great powers of the Mediterranean; we had friendly agreements with each other that is, Rome and. Nevertheless, tensions increased as the economic interests of every party commenced to leave no space for the other. Whereas Carthage was larger and better-off with an excellent Navy, we had a strong government supported by inexhaustible land mass of citizens. I believe that conflicts particularly took place because of a clash of economic interests between Carthage and our country Rome. The Sicilian War as well referred to as the First Punic War started in 264BC because of both Rome and Carthage wanted to have exclusive power over Sicily. We became victorious in the Aegates Islands following twenty three years of war, by struggling to match Carthage’s tough naval power.  We decided the terms of the treaty ensuring that there was peace between Rome and Carthage (Howard, 16).

Hannibal Barca’s father imposed hatred in him when he was still young which made him dislike Rome. When Hannibal felt that Rome violated an accord which his brother-in-law, Hasdrubal the Fair of Carthage signed with the Romans at the end of the First Punic War, he decided to plot a Romans attack. Hannibal initiated the war, which could have been avoided through negotiations and understanding, between us the Romans and Carthage (Richard, 64).

We both upheld the Ebro Treaty shortly after the Romans defeated Hamilcar Barca of Carthage in the First Punic War. This treaty signed at the end of the First Punic War enabled carthage to patrol and build up any land towards the south River Ebro, near the northeast of Barcelona, nevertheless the treaty did not allow the Carthaginians to cross River Ebro. As a roman leader, I suggested I wanted the treaty to stop land acquisition in southern Ebro, and thought it was generous to grant Carthage the right to use any region at all not previously under Carthaginian control. Hannibal felt that the Ebro treaty restricted his right to use north of the Ebro which he believed was amongst the unconquered territories. We could have settled this matter without any fighting but Hannibal detested Rome so much that he was not ready to have any peace talks (Tim, Boris and Philip, 27).

As Romans we were afraid that Carthage was on the limit of breaking the Ebro treaty and as a result Hannibal would gain control of Carthage’s Iberian venture, that is why we chose to violate the Ebro Treaty first and united with Saguntum, a city which is south of the Ebro, I afterward expelled Carthaginian representatives from the city. Consequently the young Carthaginian leader Hannibal laid barricade to the town, which collapsed after eight months. Even though Saguntum was located in a good position in south of the Ebro, we still thought that by Hannibal attacking the town, which had sensitive relations with our country, was Carthage’s part of violating the Ebro Treaty, that is why we sent various officials to Carthage, commanding reparations.

Carthaginian senate backed Hannibal this time despite having had many differences. Carthage sent back my roman people with the message that they supported their young commander Hannibal, and they felt that the treaty was totally voided. Hannibal had previously been in command of Carthage’s Iberian efforts, nevertheless he had been setting up a military invasion of the Mediterranean for approximately two years before his ultimate siege of Saguntum, and consequently he twisted that Iberian coastal town into a Carthaginian base, and chose to set his implement his plans (Richard, 36).

Carthage’s prime foundation in Europe at the era, was New Carthage which was west of Saguntum inside Iberia, moreover, after the disbanding of the Ebro Treaty as well as the siege of Saguntum, this is where Hannibal Barca assembled his men and prepared to protest through Gaul , and downward through the Alps to attack us. Even though he was militarily very skilled, and was competent to secure major conquests, for instance at the Battles of Trebia as well as Cannae we were just too strong for Carthage. Hannibal returned to Carthage defeated, furthermore the city’s control of Iberia in addition to many other countries was handed us.

In conclusion, I believe that the Second Punic War could have been avoided, as the Rome general, I was ready to hold peace talks with Hannibal but he was not willing. Under the circumstances negotiation could not have occurred and as a consequence, there was no mutual understanding between us. The nullification of the Ebro Treaty between Rome and Carthage was the main cause of The Second Punic War. Carthage pushed us to first violate the Ebro Treaty they could have chose to communicate to us but instead the reacted violently, the Second Punic War could not have occurred.


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