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Battle of the Trebia, 218 BC

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Hannibal Barca versus Tiberius Sempronius Longus: A Carthaginian army under Hannibal Barca entices a Roman army under Sempronius to attack across a river into a trap. The Romans outnumber the Carthaginians but will Sempronius still become a footnote to one of Hannibal’s masterpiece battles? Click on images below to view; first image opens video presentation and second image opens PowerPoint presentation. | Legend |
 
 
This is the first of a few Roman armies to be annihilated by Hannibal in the Second Punic War, each of them destroyed by flashy tactical maneuvers. Any historian knows that the victories were hollow for Hannibal did not win the war, outgeneraled strategically.
 
This battle was over before it really began; Hannibal harassed the Roman camp with his cavalry and lured the Romans through a frigid river while the Carthaginians rested by the fire. Even so, the battle demonstrates how important mobile forces are because the defeat only became a crushing defeat when the outnumbered Roman cavalry were chased from the field.
 
 
I had no plans of animating any of Hannibal’s battles until Season IV at the earliest because there are just that many interesting battles to animate but viewers pressured me to spotlight Hannibal along with three of his battles. As stated previously, Hannibal’s battles are exciting masterpieces but they are nothing more than that. However, if they stir interest in the field of military studies, they are certainly worthwhile animating.
 
- Jonathan Webb
 
Works Consulted
 
Cottrell, Leonard. Enemy of Rome. London: Camelot, 1960.
 
Dodge, Theodore. Great Captains: Hannibal. New York: Riverside, 1891.
 
Lamb, Harold. Hannibal: One Man Against Rome. New York: Doubleday, 1958.
 
Rickard, J. “Battle of Trebia, late December 218 BC.” History of War. http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_trebia.html (accessed Dec. 14, 2008).
 
United States Military Academy History Department. “Atlas for Ancient Warfare.” United States Military Academy. http://www.dean.usma.edu/history/web03/atlases/AncientWarfare/index.htm (accessed Dec. 14, 2008).

Images
 
Carthaginian cavalry: http://rtw.heavengames.com/rtw/info/units/carthaginian_units/index.shtml
 
Carthaginian infantry: http://rtw.heavengames.com/rtw/info/units/carthaginian_units/index.shtml
 
Carthaginian war elephant: http://rtw.heavengames.com/rtw/info/units/carthaginian_units/index.shtml
 
Hannibal Barca: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hannibal
 
Roman infantry: http://rtw.heavengames.com/rtw/info/units/rome/
 
Roman cavalry: http://rtw.heavengames.com/rtw/info/units/rome/
 

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  1. 9 Comments to “Battle of the Trebia, 218 BC”

  2. The PowerPoint animation isn’t quite working properly. When it comes to the battle scene animation, all the text appears in the same space pretty much at once, making it illegible. Would be good if you could fix this. (maybe it’s only a problem on Mac?)

    By Barcus on May 23, 2009 at 10:00 pm

  3. Hmm, I’ve come across this before under different circumstances. Usually this happens when the program opening it doesn’t recognize the timings I’ve put in place and I’m not sure why.

    Try downloading Microsoft’s Powerpoint Viewer 2007 on their website and update me if it worked: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=048DC840-14E1-467D-8DCA-19D2A8FD7485&displaylang=en

    By Jonathan Webb on May 23, 2009 at 10:42 pm

  4. I could not get the video to work on the full screen mode. WHY?

    By A.J. CASTA on Aug 20, 2011 at 3:09 pm

  5. What is the name of Hannibals battle tactic? Did the Romans ever use this tactic in future battles knowing how effective it could be?

    By Payton on Jan 4, 2012 at 10:25 pm

  6. You can play this battle here: http://www.gamefront.com/files/3612012/Rome__Total_War_Demo

    By Dude on Jan 30, 2012 at 2:19 pm

  7. Encountering your blog totally made my day. You have no idea.

    By visit website on May 24, 2013 at 7:44 am

  8. Carthaginian Army was 20,000 Gallic, Spanish and North African infantry in the main battle line, but also an additional 8,000 Spanish and North African skirmish infantry in front.

    Also there were 38 - 38 Elephants at the Trebia, though all but one died soon after the battle, probably of cold and starvation.

    Only around 4,000 of the Roman infantry were allied Gauls. The majority of the infantry were Roman legionary infantry and allied Italian legionary infantry. Roman practice was to field armies of equal numbers of legions with the Roman legions in the centre and Italian legions at each side of them.

    By Carolyne Kershaw on Jul 13, 2013 at 9:51 pm

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  2. Dec 18, 2012: Uncurrent Events 12/18 « YouViewed/Editorial
  3. Oct 9, 2014: The 10-Point Hannibal Trail: Follow In The Footsteps of History’s Greatest Military General | Autotraveler

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