Thursday, 26 January 2012

Why Did Rome Win?

Looking back over the long history of conflict between Carthage and Rome, what can we say about the reasons for the eventual victory of Rome and the Roman system?

Hannibal's Use of Espionage

As well as being the sole commander of the Carthaginian forces and its allies he was also its chief of intelligence - although no ancient James Bond.

Rome soon learned how effective advance intelligence could be in the hands of a skilled opponent such as Hannibal.

Hannibal's Route Across the Alps

Hannibal's most famous exploit was to cross the Alps with elephants, to invade Rome.

The route that Hannibal took across the Alps is unclear from the historical account. However, a well-argued case can be made for the most likely route. This route was first identified by Peter Connolly in his book Hannibal and the Enemies of Rome (1978 London) and the justification for the choice of route is described in more detail in an excellent article by Jona Lendering - some of which is used (with permission) below.

Freud and Hannibal

Perhaps surprisingly, the story of Hannibal had a great impact on Freud, the father of psychoanalysis.