Battle of Zama, 202 BC
Scipio Africanus versus Hannibal Barca: A Roman army under Scipio fights a Carthaginian army under Hannibal in his homeland. Which of these military geniuses will outwit the other and win the day? Click on images below to view PowerPoint presentation. | Legend |
This battle ended the Second Punic War after sixteen grueling years. Rome, the entity Hannibal sought to destroy, may have actually become stronger in order to overcome his vicious threat to its existence.
This battle features two of the most talented, evenly matched commanders in history. Hannibal relied too heavily on the initial war elephant charge to disrupt Scipio’s formation, a rare weakness in creativity on Hannibal’s part. Scipio’s victory is strangely reminiscent of Hannibal’s victory at Cannae, which Scipio among few others escaped from. In this battle, Hannibal was simply defeated by an arguably superior commander who anticipated his maneuvers.
I did not intend to animate this battle but changed my mind abruptly as part of a new doctrine of animating more famous battles. Too often, too many lesser-known battles were animated to appeal to learned military history fans looking to be exposed to less typical battles. However, famous battles such as Zama appeal to a wider audience in the hopes of sparking an interest in military history as a whole. The site therefore assumes a few dimensions where those with different levels of interest can enjoy content balanced among them.
- Jonathan Webb
Bagnall, Nigel. The Punic Wars. London: Random Century, 1990.
Carey, Brian Todd. Hannibal’s Last Battle: Zama and the Fall of Carthage. Barnsley: Pen & Sword Military, 2007.
Cottrell, Leonard. Hannibal: Enemy of Rome. London: Camelot, 1960.
Dodge, Theodore. Great Captains: Hannibal. New York: Riverside, 1891.
Dupuy, Trevor N. The Harper Encyclopedia of Military History: From 3500 BC to the Present, Fourth Edition. New York: HarperCollins, 1991.
Scullard, H.H. Scipio Africanus: Soldier and Politician. New York: Cornell University, 1970.
Warry, John. Warfare in the Classical World. London: Salamander, 1980.
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/
Scipio Africanus: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Old_man.JPG
Tags: 200s BC, Ancient Era, Carthaginians, cavalry, envelopment of both flanks, Hannibal Barca, infantry, land, light infantry, modern day Tunisia, Northern Africa, Romans, Scipio Africanus, Season 5, Second Punic War, war elephant
Weider History Group