Chapter 67: Sardinia Alliances
Chapter 67: Sardinia Alliances:

In Sardinia Hasdrubal the Bald had lost many troops and was very sure, that the Romans under Quintus Mucius Scaevola would soon advance on his army and the rebellious western and northern cities, loyal to Carthage. While he now controlled the western coastal road from Othoca over the revolutionaries capital Cornus along Bosa up to Carbia, Nura and Turris Libisanus he heard news that the Romans had landed troops on the northeast in Olbia. Hasdrubal knew that this army could take the western route to Luguido and Castra Felicia, advancing to Hafa from where they could turn north against Turris Libisanus or south over Molaria, Mocopsisa to Forum Traiani. From this city they could come down the river Thyrsius to directly attack Othoca or guard it to use it as a direct link over Biora to Carales in the south. The more western road from Carales over Aquae Neapolitanae or Othaca in the northeast had a crossroad to the left between both cities outside of Carthaginian controlled Sardinia. It led towards the southwestern cities of Neapolis, Metalla, Populum and Tegula, then turned east along the southern coast over Bita and Nora back to Carales. Because of this the southwestern roman loyal territories could easily be supplied from at least one road, making it hart for Hasdrubal to attack them without fearing to get surrounded, as long as he didn't control Aquae Neapolitanae and block the northern part of this circle road. At the moment Hasdrubal had other plans then to advance south to Caralis again and encircle the western loyal Roman cities, because of his recent losses in battle. Hasdrubal the Bald planned to send reinforcements to Turris Libisanus over the western coastal road, because the city could now be attacked from the south and the east. Hasdrubal also took preparations to march along the Thyrsius river towards Forum Triarum, so he could cut of the northern from the southern Roman army and by doing so secure the flank of Othoca, Turris Libisanus and Cornus. This was his main plan, because his emissary contacted the Balari, Ilienses and Ciculensii, mountain tribes of the central island that fought Rome now the same way they before had fought Carthage's colonies and foothold on the coast. Hasdrubal hoped that together with these tribes, he could cut the Roman part of Sardinia in half, advance towards the eastern coast and after that easily overrun the then remaining Roman territories in the northeast and south. Quintus Mucius Scaevola in the meantime planned to let part of his army march the middle road from the south to the north, to unite with the northeastern roman army and to crush the rebels on the northern coast around Turris Libisanus, Nura and Carbia.
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Chapter 68: A war unlike any other
Chapter 68: A war unlike any other:

(Romans raiding Punic ships)

With the beginning of the Second Roman War, the whole central Mediterranean had suddenly changed. Where before rich trade had taken place, now pirates and raids were common. The Carthaginian had raided traders and roman supplies along the coast of Sicily. One of this fleets, made up of twenty quinqueremes and loaded with 1,000 soldiers raided Liparaeae with eight ships. Full with loot from their plundering they were slow and engaged by a roman fleet. With a superior fleet of twenty quinqueremes the Romans engaged the Punic pirates in the naval battle of Lipera. It was still a whole year before the Carthaginian wold start to hire Dalmatian, Greek, Syrian, Egypt or even Gallic pirates and raiders. Together they would raid he coat of Italy and the surrounding sea in a similar manner, that the Romans and their allies raided the coast of Hesperia and Libya. This trade war would later become so important, that one year later the Carthaginians would assemble a fleet out of 70 quinqueremes that was desalinated raid the coast of Roman Etruria. This pirate fleet would tie up a Roman fleet of 120 quinqueremes that had to guard the trade in the Mare Tyrrhenum and the Mare Ligusticum and wouldn't be used anywhere else in the war for that time.

(Pirates paid by Carthage, raiding the coast of Italy)
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Chaper 69: What to do?
Chaper 69: What to do?


Thanks to a vast network of (mostly Gallic) spies all over Roman Republic, Hannibal was well aware of his enemies moves. He knew that Rome was still trying to extend their grip on Sicily, Corsica and Sardinia, that's why he attacked there to show that their previous victory and rule over the island was not holding forever. In the meantime the Romans had colonized and submitted the Gallic tribes of the Boii, Anari and Insubres in the Po valley. Together with their allies, the Cenomani, the Romans forced the Celts to sent an embassy to the Roman Senate, pleading for peace. Seeing an opportunity for a triumph for themselves, the consuls (Marcus Gladius and Gnaeus Cornelius) vigorously rejected the embassy, and the Gauls prepared for war with the Romans. They hired 30,000 mercenaries from beyond the Alps and awaited the arrival of the Romans. When the campaigning season began, the consular legions were marched into the Insubres territory again. A vigorous combat took place near Mediolanum, which resulted in the leaders of the Gallic revolt turning themselves over to the Romans. With this victory, the Padane Gauls were unhappily subdued, and ripe for revolt. This situation was playing into Hannibals hands because the Romans now had to pacify the territory by station one of their Legions there, similar to the Legions they had to send to Corsica, Sardinia and Sicily to repeal the Carthaginian invasions and the revolt of the natives against their rule. Just like Hannibal had planned he Romans were slowly overstretching their power on to many fronts at once. When he would arrive in Italy they would have to retreat from the Islands, southern Gaul and Hellas to face his army in Italy, leaving Hesperia and Libya safely without any possible Roman army to attack there.

Because of this exact situation, Hannibal had sent a number of embassies to the Gallic tribes in the Po valley. He had begun to communicate intimately with the Padane Gauls), and these embassies brought with them offers of money, food and guides to the Carthaginian. This mission had the specific aim of establishing a safe place for Hannibal to debouch from the Alps into the Po valley. Hannibal did not know a great deal about the Alps, but he knew enough to know that it was going to be a difficult march. Hannibal had had some scouts give him reports concerning this mountain chain, and he received reports of the difficulties to be encountered there from the Gauls themselves. That's why Hannibal did not desire to cross this rugged mountain chain and to descend into the Po valley with exhausted troops only to have to fight a battle. This was one of the reasons he wanted to have allies into whose territory he could march.

The Romans had poorly treated those Gauls whom they had recently conquered, distributing their land to Roman colonists and taking other unscrupulous measures to ensure the fidelity of these freshly conquered tribes. The Insubres, whose tribal territory immediately abutted the Alps, and the Boii, farther down the Po, were particularly pleased with Hannibal's proposed invasion. In addition, much of the Iberian peninsula was populated by related Gallic tribes, and those same Gauls were serving in Hannibal's army. In them Hannibal had found allies with the same dream and desire than himself, ready to beet the Romans and help him doing so together. Because they knew of Hannibals plan, the Romans sped up the construction of a number of fortresses in Cisalpine Gaul.

Unlike before with the Gauls and Illyrians, the Romans now had all time and manpower to focus on Carthage alone and prepared alliances with the Numidians, Iberians and Greek in the western Mediterranean that were also enemies of the Punics. In his campaign from conquering the northeast Hesperia to the southern middle of Gaul Hannibal's army had lost 13,000 men thanks to death, desertion or detachment to Hesperia and Libya.

Hannibals army marched towards the Rhone and most of that march must have been a pleasant change of pace for the Carthaginians, who had just spent the previous months subduing numerous fierce peoples living in the Pyrenees. The countries through which he then passed were of different opinions concerning the Carthaginians, the Romans and the passage of Hannibal's army through their land. Some of these tribes were friendly to his cause, others were opposed to him. Hannibal's skill in dealing with these people is made manifest to us through his march in this country, no reports are made of any fighting taking place in this country, in spite of the lack of homogeneity in political leadership among the peoples of this area. He dealt with each tribe as he marched through their territory. Employing only the means of persuasion at his disposal; his personal magnetism and his war chest.

Around Massilia, that feared the arriving Carthaginian army, and to this effect had sought to influence the native tribes on the left bank of the Rhone (The Eastern Bank) to take up the cause of the Romans this times where hectic. This they were able to ally with some of the barbarians in this country that would make Hannibal's crossing of the Rhone problematical. Since the Roman Senate had ordered most of his fleets and Legions to the theatre of war in Corsica, Sardinia and Sicily, they had not left enough troops to defend Massilia and start another attack on Hisperia at the same time. So the Roman Legion there was helping the allied city to strengthen it's defense against Hannibal and scouting along the Rhone to catch his army and engage it if possible. Meanwhile the Roman army of the Po valley was heading southwest to Monoecus. This blocked the easiest path across the alps directly at the Mare Ligusticum and forced Hannibal to cross the Rhone and Alps further north, if he did not wish to be surrounded by two roman and one Massilian army between Massilia, the Alps and Monoecus. Heading the Roman Po Valley army there was dangerous, mostly because the Boii and Insubres would arise afresh as soon as they were now aware that Hannibal was heading to them. The Romans already levied new Legions and had no reserve left to invade Hersperia and Libya at the moment to bring the war to the Carthaginians. The formation of a new army was a fairly easy matter for the Romans, but it took some time. There were so many citizens who were qualified for service in the army that all the government had to do was inform the citizenry that more soldiers were needed and they would be required to serve. Many Romans, being required to serve at some point, spent portions of their youth training to serve in the legions. It took only tree days for the remaining Roman fleet in the Mare Ligusticum from Massilia to Roman Italy and the Romans hoped that they could transport their troops and armies fast enough to engage Hannibal no matter where he was marching south from the alps.

Once the Roman army arrived in Massilia they learned that Hannibal was moving fast and some had already spotted him 4 days north of the city. With the Massiliots, the Allies of the Romans, that were busy rousing the tribes on the left (eastern) bank of the Rhone against the Carthaginians, the Roman Commander ordered a column of 300 cavalry up the left (east) bank of the Rhone with orders to ascertain the exact location of Hannibal's army. Hannibal received similar news to the effect that the Romans had just arrived with one of their consular armies (22,000 foot and 2,000 horse) and ordered 500 of his cavalry to scout for the the enemy. This first skirmish between Hannibal and the Romans in southern Gaul was a roman victory thanks to nearby reinforcements. This made the Roman Senate hope that the Gauls that were rousing against the Carthaginians could easily stop Hannibals army, or that they and Massilia themselves could finish the Punic army of once she would came down the Alps exhausted after all that.

(actual map, green are the Sardinian mountain rebells at the moment not allied with Rome or Carthage)
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A little sick today so only a small post.

  • The Turdetani tax-rebellion in Hesperia is still coming!
  • As goes for some updates about Mago and his fight with the Numidians over the Libyan coast (including a major battle)!
  • And the final alliance between Carthaginian troops/rebells and the Sicilian mountain rebels!
  • The Battle of the Rhone crossing!
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Chapter 70: Of Hannibal’s Carthage, Part 1:
Chapter 70: Of Hannibal’s Carthage, Part 1:


( normal day in Carthage)

While in field for his march on Rome, Hannibal was still constantly writing orders and letters to Carthage, Carthago Nova, the Senate and his family Dynasty. His changes were coming thanks to some supporters in the Senate and because Hannibal understood, how to play the different Factions of the Carthaginian Senate against each other when he wanted to get a specific law trough the Senate with enough support that it would really work in daily life. One of the most important changes Hannibal made since he was Shophet instead of Hanno was the formation of a Formal Goucerment. Much like Alexander the Great and later the Seleucids the new Carthaginian Republican adopted a new structure of government to administer their territories. Some of it was modelled on the system of the Achaemenid Empire, conquered by Alexander the Great, with Persian concepts continuing to be used. Hannibal builder a more unified Carthage by allying the Ounic and Greek Colonies stronger than ever before and let his local tribes profit from Carthaginian trade, rule and protection of peace among them. New tribes allied with the Carthaginians to get protection from their enemies in Hesperia and Libya, Carthage build new trade networks and used the resources of this new regions. One of the main projects of Hannibal was forcing, was adopting methods of fertilisation with mixed farming, new agar methods, plants and animals that were exchanged between Hesperia and Libya (mostly coming with the families that resettled between the two parts of Carthage that brought their own culture, religion, techniques and way of living with them). Carthage even adapted the resting of the land between harvests, to allow their animal herds to naturally fertilise the soil. Drainage and irrigation was further widespread and Carthage build new roads, dam and canals. Libya was becoming a growing agricultural economy, further enriching the treasures of Carthage. Another major project was that Hannibal’s set up some government control to gain some of the prosperity that booming trade brought. He set up some preferred Markets and trade routes, even planned and build trade-cities that also functioned as garrisons and trade-posts along the newly discovered and cities located along established trade routes. Thanks to that he could enrich Carthage, pay for it's army and growth and also partly select those who grew rich and those who were doomed to poverty even among influential families. Because of the lost Libyan War and the (first and later second) Roman War, Carthage knew how it's trade over land and sea was endangered by bandits, pirates and other dangers. The Trade between cities promised huge profits for Carthage and Hannibal wanted the merchants, that played a vital role in distributing goods and raw materials secured. Merchants were given great freedom to conduct their activities but, when rivalry between cities escalated to violence, popular and rich trade routes became targets for tribal bandits. Powerful and wealthy individuals exploited such situations, with some selling protection at extortionate rates. So it became necessary for Carthage's government to offer armed escorts to ensure that valuable trade networks remained intact. On land this escorts were made up by mercenaries and soldiers that accompanied the caravan, but on sea the situation was more complex. Hannibal couldn't simple build more warships since they were expansive, their building needed some time and there could never be enough to secure all trade fleets at once without hurting the economy by such a massive war-fleet. Hannibal’s solution was simpler and much more cost effective. Since Carthaginian traders were the better sailors and their rowers well trained, he simply copied the Roman move from the First Roman War. The Romens had created the Corvus to fight with their land based army on sea and Hannibal and the Carthaginians now did something very similar. He ordered some of his troops and mercenaries on board of his own trading fleets to defend them against most pirates and enemy warships. The most effective troops to do so were archers that could easily use long range combat with faster ships than the enemy and weakening them even before they could come near them. Together with some fire arrows, this tactic was far superior to normal piracy, but not against real large enemy war-fleets with real trained soldiers on them.
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Of Hannibal’s Carthage, Part 2
Of Hannibal’s Carthage, Part 2:

The Agriculture in the east was often blieast was often blighted by erratic rainfall in a harsh landscape. Farmers soon realized that irrigation systems, like canals and dams, were ideal for storing and transporting the water they needed for 'dry-farming' in these areas. In Mesopotamia, the Euphrates and Tigris rivers were unpredictable and could often swell after sowing season, flooding the crops. Storage basins were therefore used to collect the surplus water, and a canal system was constructed to distribute it as needed to the fields. Just like the great states in the east Hannibal ordered the building of new streets, dams and canal systems that should help making the conquered land in Libya grow a rich agriculture along the rivers, dams, lakes and coast lands. As Carthages populations boomed the demand for food increased, driving farmers to use more intensive farming techniques. Technology played its part, with improved tools and the domestication of large animals to pull advanced and effective ploughs. Larger labour forces and the growth of other techniques, such as terraced farming, adopted from the east and Hesperia, opened new areas for cultivation. The construction of more complex canals and dams helped to turn arid landscapes into well-irrigated farming plots. Maybe even more important, Hannibal ordered new laws, one of the most important was the definition of a Trade Language for all in his Carthaginian Republic. As trade networks between countries and regions grew, the language of trade evolved. Merchants were no longer dealing with men from the next town over: vast trade routes like the 'Silk Road' linked Asia, the Mediterranean and Europe. Language skills became almost as valuable as spices. In eastern kingdoms, Aramaic remained the recognized language of trade, but a knowledge of the basics of Greek and Punic became essential as many goods, particularly spices, became sought after commodities in the west. Punic and Greek together would for the future be equal trade and official languages of Carthage and even used in Laws and Court. It began in Carthago Nova and Hesperia, where Greek influence was greater than in Libya, but Hannibal knew how important his plans were. For centuries Greeks and Punics had fought each other, but now a new competitor, Rome had arisen at the horizon, ready to eat them both. Every official text from now on would be published in both languages, weather it was for trade, law or other purpose.

With the trade from Hesperia, Libya and the eastern Mediterranean booming, Hannibal's more central government increased its intervention in trading matters, having previously allowed merchants much autonomy. By fixing tariffs on goods, Carthago's government could control the profits made, keeping powerful merchants and established markets in check. Such measures prevented prices from escalating as a resource, raw material or luxury item made its way across the ever expanding network of trade routes. To further unite Punics and the other tribes, people and ideas in the Carthaginian Republic, Hannibal had already mixed some of their cults and religions to a new, combined believe. Now he intended on unifying this cults and religions even more, by mixing and uniting their most important ceremonies and rituals in the Temples. The important rites of passage in life: birth, marriage and death were soon the same weather in a Greek, or Carthaginian colony in Carthage, weather in Hesperia or Libya as long as the people were willingly adapting them. Hannibal didn't force them to do so, that was not the Punic way, but he used his previous victories to present himself as chosen from the gods to make his ideas more popular. As it has ever been before, the traditions and culture of a nation can be eroded by the acceptance of foreign customs. Such a process played a significant role in the 'Hellenisation' of the ancient world. Greek ideas, philosophies and customs offered exciting new possibilities for people throughout the east, the southeastern Mediterranean and Asia. While such customs represented progress in their eyes, traditionalists and the old could only stand back and watch while foreign influences transformed their cities and culture. Just like Alexander the Great, Hannibal tried his cultural unification by marriage of whole tribes and towns, but without direct force as long as there was no resistance. Much more than military power, although that was often the leverage employed to get agreement, foreign policy in the ancient world encompassed diplomacy, treaties and tributes, the exchange and taking of hostages and prisoners, and trade. However, not everything was done for power, territory or wealth. With propaganda and presents Hannibal focused on winning the tribes in Libya, Hesperia, Gaul and Italy for his cause. Since he didn't want to conquer their lands he simple promised some the end of Roman rule and influence, that they could govern themselves as soon as the war would be over and Rome was beaten. On the other hand Hannibal also learned much from Alexander the Great,. The cultures of the eastern kingdoms were heavily influenced by Greek ways. Hellenism, the spread of Greek culture and ideas, eventually led to the demise of cuneiform writing, the ancient Mesopotamian system of pictographs. Given a choice, people of the east chose to read and write in Greek, as it allowed them to study the works of the great philosophers or pursue a career in politics. Rather than resist this cultural shift, the eastern kingdoms convinced themselves that Greek ideas were in fact their own, taken from them during Alexander’s campaign in Persia. Their adoption actually marked a return to 'traditional values'. Hannibal soon used the same tactic with Punic and Greek, allowing the tribes in his Carthaginian Republic to study in his Towns and Cities, to trade new technologies for their Resources with Carthage and to realize that the Punic way would benefit them all. Over the centuries some their cults and religion became famous in all of Carthage and some religious conformity was established thanks to some God's being more famous than others and some cults even promoted by the state and senate themselves to maintain order and spiritual rule. As these cults grew, their temples were free to improve their estates and accumulate wealth, owing only spiritual support to their governments. However, it was not long before rulers began to identify these religious establishments and their expanding estates as a potential source of power income, not just as houses of learning and religion. The Persian government, for example, stationed administrators within the temples of Mesopotamia to ensure that taxation was collected. Hannibal himself taxed the cults himself and even helped some new invented once to become state sponsored and grew further. Carthaginian society had a rigid structure of citizens and 'small ones', the non-citizens who had no political rights but were still expected to pay taxes to the ruling elite. Non-citizens and even foreigners could be given the advantages of a citizen if they were granted the honour of citizen Rights, they then would be called Metoikoi. These were given to those who had distinguished themselves in service to Carthage, be it through a good trade agreement or feats of bravery on the battlefield.

Hannibal too introduced a set of laws that were not entirely subject to the whims of the ruler, legal institutions provided a framework of rules that decided how wealth could and should be distributed. Some of the greatest advances made in this area were put forward by a jurist known simply as Hasdro, his greatest work was broken into eight sections that discussed how people, things, intestate succession and actions should be governed by law. But to win his war with Rome, Carthage did not simple need to grow as a civilization and united state, Hannibal was sure, that unlike in the First Roman War not only the Senate, but also the population of Carthage had to be told, that a loss in Sicily, Corsica and Sardinia could not simply be balanced by acquire territory in Hesperia and Libya that could compensate this losses. Hannibal new that Rome would push further as long as there was a part of land they had not jet conquered no matter the costs and means. So the Carthaginian needed to learn that simple stepping aside and back would not end the Roman attacks, or the Roman hunger for their riches and lands. The only way to stop the Romans would be to face and beat them for good. Since the small coastal population of Carthage relied heavily on mercenaries to bolster its citizen armies, a strategy that worked well for short campaigns close to home, thinks needed to change for this war. Because when campaigns lasted longer than anticipated and coin was not forthcoming, mercenaries became less than trustworthy. After a group of mercenaries who had fought for Carthage during the First Roman War seized Tunis because they weren't paid and even build their own empire in Libya after the lost Libyan War the Senate realized that some thinks had to change soon to prevent such thinks in the future. To help prevent this situation from ever arising again Hannibal and Carthaginians began minting coins on campaign. They were made from silver, gold and electrum and were marked “from the camp”. Further more he began to recruit warriors from Lands under Carthaginian Rule in Hesperia, where a great pool of Manpower was now available for a strong army. A Idea arose in Hannibal that the time of purely Mercenary armies would end for Carthage and that own citizens could fight for their land, similar to Rome and Italy one day. After the war or a few decades of service they could be given special citizen rights, or even money and land won in the war, or still free for own use, thereby having them fight not only for Carthage but a own wealthy future as well.
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Of Hannibal’s Carthage, Part 3
Of Hannibal’s Carthage, Part 3:

In this more unified Carthage, taxation becomes futile when a populace are too poor to pay taxes. At such times in the ancient world, the poor were forced to work unpaid to help complete civil projects. Such measures were common practice at the time; in Egypt the Pharaoh would be merciless in the taxation of his subjects. Peasants were expected to work several days a month to help maintain roads and canals and to lend their muscle to construction and mining. Some governments could be strict in the extreme when imposing tax labor: in Babylonia, failure to fulfill labor obligations would see a man forfeit his lands. Part of this strategy would soon lead to the Turdetani tax-rebellion in Hesperia. At the same time the mines in Hesperia had becommen more and more modern. The ancients discovered that the use of water in mining, especially gold mining, eased extraction and washed ore from hillsides. Two main methods were employed, hushing and ground-sluicing. Hushing used large quantities of water, stored in tanks, which was poured down over the deposit. This dislodged sediment, exposed the deposit for easier mining and washed smaller deposits into sluicing boxes where they could be collected. Ground-sluicing achieved similar results but was a more controlled technique. Requiring a constant, steady flow of water, it often involved the redirection of natural streams and rivers. Both techniques left land stripped back to bedrock. With his victories in Hesperia and Mago's victories in Libya, the Carthaginian and the people living under their rule in both country parts had begun to live in new colonies and cities. As this cities changed and developed, consideration needed to be given to layout and design. They began to be built in an ordered fashion, in sectors divided using a common grid system. This formed the basis for the majority of the cities built across the Mediterranean, with the grids divided by fairly narrow thoroughfares. Mostly pedestrian traffic meant there was little need to create bigger routes. Only when the slope or curvature of the land changed, perhaps to accommodate a harbour, would a city plan waver from the established grid network. This planned cities also helped to combine artwork, architecture and thereby unify the families traveling to start a new life in this cities that were coming from different tribes, cultures and people just like Hannibal planned.

As building materials became more understood, and skills developed among architects and builders, new construction techniques became possible. Domes, arches and vaults became regular features in architecture, but a true dome was perhaps the pinnacle achievement of architects and builders of the time. They posed complex puzzles when it came to supporting the weight of the structure as it was being built, and it took time and a certain amount of trial and error for architects to perfect the system. As Carthage was the greatest City ever build in the world, most major new public buildings that Hannibal had ordered or would some day order and build were among some of the biggest ever seen by mankind, except for some the world wounder maybe. After his campaign in Italy, Hannibal brought new ideas for Concretus with him, derived from the Latin term 'concretus', meaning 'grow together', the development of concrete transformed Roman and later Carthaginian construction methods. The addition of 'pozzolana', a sandy black volcanic ash named after an area around the Bay of Naples, created a stronger paste which allowed for construction underwater, something crucial for bridge building. Concrete also allowed the construction of elaborate architectural features, such as curved columns and arches.

Hannibal also untied measuring instruments in the same way he unified lengths and weights later for a better and secure trade. Instruments to measure distance and the slope of the land helped to develop the ancient art and profession of land surveying. It is widely believed that the Egyptians were the first to invent such instruments, although one of the most influential tools, the 'groma', is said to have come from Mesopotamia. This tool was simple in appearance: a two-metre staff supported a crossed bracket, with a plumb bob hanging from each of the four cross points. It was used to assess lines and angles, and was imported by the Greeks from Mesopotamia and then introduced to the Romans and Carthaginian by the Etruscans. With such instruments advancing architectural techniques, together with improved transport, removed some limits on monumental building works. With organized mass labor, monuments could be constructed on a vast scale. Egyptian tombs and pyramids are some of the earliest examples of monumental architecture in the ancient world. The Greeks built magnificent temples, triumphal arches and monumental columns, as did the Romans and Carthaginians later. Such monuments were often erected to honor deities or victorious leaders. In conquered lands, they were an effective way of overawing the subject population and reminding them of their loyalties.
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Of Hannibal’s Carthage, Part 4
Of Hannibal’s Carthage, Part 4:

(the Carthaginian Gastraphetes as invented by Hannibal and Archimedes)

Hannibal's ideas and influence came from many ancient philosophers and engineers, some he knew, some he read of ans some that worked directly for Carthage like Archimedes later. Hannibal knew that constant and proper training for his troops and garrisons was essential for his victory. The war elephant could be the most powerful weapon in the field, but when its brute strength was brought to bear during a siege assault it was truly devastating. Although a lone elephant could inflict heavy damage on a unit of infantry or a poorly defended gatehouse, the Ghaznavids were not satisfied by this and developed an elaborate ramming device powered by no less than five elephants. This powerful siege weapon was transported by four beasts while a fifth, controlled by a driver, the ‘mahout’, pushed and pulled the iron-tipped ram. Siege equipment on the other hand was, with the exception of some specialist pieces, always constructed on campaign. This meant that those who were expected to use it needed a good level of engineering knowledge. As well as a working knowledge of the workings of their machinery, the crew were expected to carefully manage the projectiles, making sure that they were the correct weight and could reach the required range. Similar weapons could not only be used to take, but also to defend a city. Artillery provided defenders with greater firepower, but required large amounts of ammunition which had to be stored inside the settlement walls, or in camps and transported in case of moving armies. Stone balls of varying sizes were stored within fortifications for use when the time came. Excavations in Carthage and the Greek city of Dora provide evidence that large-scale production of ammunition took place in order to prepare for the onset of any siege. Over 5,600 artillery balls have been found within the site of Carthage. Large torsion-powered catapults and siege engines were powerful weapons that could devastate densely packed enemies in open battle, or topple walls during sieges. However, these were heavy and cumbersome machines, requiring large operating crews. Loading and firing took time and left the crew members vulnerable to enemy attacks, particularly from fast-moving cavalry. Placing other units nearby to guard the crew members went some way to protecting them, but arming them and improving their personal armor would allowed them to protect themselves Hannibal said. As armies strengthened their siege engines and developed artillery capable of pummeling settlement walls, defenders were forced to adapt their tactics and equipment to counter the threat. A gateway flanked by towers was no longer enough to repel a determined foe. Defensive towers and platforms grew to accommodate not only archers and slingers, but also artillery engines as well. During the siege of Lilybaeum in 274 BC, the Carthaginians placed catapults along the length of their walls to fend off the armies of Pyrrhus; his men were forced to abandon the attack by the weight of the defensive artillery bombardment. Later near the end of the Second Roman War, Hannibal and Archimedes would invent a modern version of the Carthaginian Gastraphetes ("belly-releaser"), a hand-held crossbow that Hannibal would make famous among Carthaginian army's and ship crews.


To further support his advancing armies on their march, as well as having supplies in case of a harsh winter, or even sieges, Hannibal ordered to build grain storage all across the major cities and roads. As populations grew and the demand for food increased, long-term storage of grain became vital. With improved transport allowing for the movement of grain, it became possible to construct vast storage warehouses to hold shipped-in food stock. The incoming food would be dispersed around the city and town population but much was stored within huge warehouse complexes built right outside, nearby sometimes even within the cities. A vast network of warehouses were built along the rivers to and southern Hesperia as well as northern Libya became soon known as one of the most important breadbaskets in the Mediterranean, much like Egypt. To further improve his grip on the newly conquered lands in Hesperia and Libya, Hannibal, Hasdrubal and Mago invented new strategies that would also help them pay the big mercenaries army's after the war. For centuries it was deemed unnecessary to pay soldiers, let alone provide them with a pension on retirement. Military service was seen as a privilege, duty and price of citizenship. Soldiers paid their own way, supplying their own weapons and equipment. In order to recruit larger, professional, full-time armies, it was sensible to pay troops and offer land on completion of military service. During the Peloponnesian War, Athens provided their troops with a living allowance which then progressed to full remuneration. Other Greek cities swiftly followed, and the military landscape began its transformation as armies turned professional rather than being mere citizen militias. Before, mostly Mercenaries have existed for thousands of years but the earliest written record of them dates back to the 7th century BC, when Greek Hoplites sought employment as bodyguards serving Pharaohs and Greek tyrants alike. Mercenaries became a great way to bolster troop numbers during times of war, something to which the Carthaginians resorted during their war with Rome. They exploited their trade links to recruit troops from the Hesperian peninsula and the Balearic islands. The Romans were more sparing with their use of mercenaries, but acknowledged the shortcomings within the Legion, notably archers and cavalry, by making up for the lack with carefully chosen mercenary troops.
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Of Hannibal’s Carthage, Part 5
Of Hannibal’s Carthage, Part 5:


By the 5th century BC naval battles were changing, as the ship’s ram became the principle weapon, making artful seamanship and carefully timed manoeuvres the key to success. There were a range of recognized tactics, including the 'periplous' - an outflanking manoeuvre - and the 'diekplous' - a more complex movement which was also known as "breaking the line". Here an attacking ship would navigate between two enemy vessels and rely on superior speed and agility to ram the midships or stern of its target. This tactic could be aided by sailing close enough to the enemy to shear off their oars, immobilizing them before ramming. Traditionally, artillery in naval warfare was restricted to the use of javelins, slings and archers. It was the Syracusans who made the first steps towards creating artillery pieces that could be used at sea. They designed a contraption known as the 'gastraphetes' or 'belly bow'. This oversized composite bow rested on the stomach of its user and was pulled back when braced by his feet. It could fire a substantial bolt some fifty yards further than a regular bow. This technology was then scaled up to form the basis of the early 'scorpion', which eventually evolved into an array of torsion-powered artillery pieces that became commonplace on the decks of ancient ships. Carthage and many other naval powers adopted this technology. The marines of ancient Greece were paid volunteers who tended to be from the lower citizen classes. This was possibly because they were more likely to be available for naval service and not likely to be called for regular Hoplite service. Fighting from the deck of a moving ship required skills that could only be developed through experience, so it is likely that the soldiers employed by Greek navies made their living as marines. Despite their low birth, marines were next to the captain in a ship's hierarchy and took part in ceremonies and political discussions. Thucydides even called the marines of one fleet “the best men” to fall in the Peloponnesian War. Carthage later had one of the greatest and strongest fleets in the whole Mediterranean. Such standing armies and fleets didn't only need good equipment, they needed well trained professionals too. Each army of that time had its own training methods. Nations with hoplite-heavy armies believed dancing and athletics were sufficient to prepare a man for battle. Under Hannibal, Carthaginian generals took a slightly different view. They trained with a wooden weapons and shields in man to man combat and in formations, sometimes against a wooden post instead of a human. Against this wooden post they would train for hours, practicing stabs, thrusts and feints against their immobile opponents. This would then progress to fencing practice with other recruits, using wooden swords, or swords with covered tips, before the finely-honed weapon skills were taken into full mock battles. But not only training was important, Hannibal also encouraged his commanders to use the different fighting tactics and traditions of their mixed armies to their advantages. The heavy phalanx did not disappear from the Hellenistic world overnight, but there was a definite move to compliment it with more flexible and mobile fighting forces, made up of light troops and cavalry. Greek and later Carthaginian armies under Hannibal began to equip their troops with lighter armour and placed greater emphasis on skirmishing and one-on-one combat. They developed the Falcatesair infantryman, more mobile than a hoplite, these men could protect and reinforce the phalanx, attack an enemy from the flanks and generally bridge the gap between the heavy spearman and the light peltast skirmisher.

As Carthages armies adopted flexible forces, subdivided into units, each with their individual function and strengths, tactical drills became the difference between victory and defeat. Layered tactical maneuvers could be planned and executed to counter any enemy and overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. The Roman army undoubtedly set the standard and demonstrated the gains from their disciplined tactics in numerous battles, but other powers such as Carthage soon adapted. While battles were traditionally fought on vast, open landscapes, there were exceptions and a clever strategist could use these to his advantage. Terrain was an effective form of defense, with high ground, woods and forests used to protect the rear and flanks of an army, particularly when faced with a cavalry-heavy opponent. Such features also offered cover for ambush attacks, and knowledge of their terrain became a key factor in the success of the Germans and Gauls who used guerrilla tactics to counter the organized ranks of the Roman army. Due to Hannibal’s victories in Hesperia and his trek across the Alps, Carthage has been remembered for its use of war elephants. So great was their love for these beasts that stables were built within the city's walls, large enough to house 400 elephants. They favored North Libyan elephants, a species thought to be smaller than their Indian and sub-Saharan Libyan cousins, and use of the breed eventually drove it to extinction. As native stocks dwindled, Carthage started importing elephants for use in war from central Libya, Egypt, Syria or even India; Hannibal’s favorite elephant Surus was believed to be from Syria.
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Of Hannibal’s Carthage, Part 6
Of Hannibal’s Carthage, Part 6:

Along with the canals and irrigation new tanks to hold unused water in rainy times for later use were additionally build. This enabled new herds and farms to be generated all over Hesperia and more important all over Libya. Agriculture granary was growing, while libraries and theaters educated and entertained the population. Markets were build along new trading routes. To further increase this trade, public auctions became common. A auction was an institution in the Hellenistic world, with Greek states using them as an effective method of redistributing land and gathering extra funds. Land in Greece itself was a precious resource, and advancing agricultural techniques along with a growing network of trade allowed landowners to make their plots profitable through farming and animal husbandry. Like so many Greek institutions, the auction of land became common in other territories like Carthage, as a means for governments to profit from their land, particularly disused and derelict plots. While a lack of suitable land restricted the opportunities for arable farming, the mountainous regions of Greece provided vast areas suitable as pastures for livestock. Goats and sheep were the most profitable stock, as their meat, milk and wool were always in demand by growing populations and campaigning armies. Not surprisingly, the state began to seek their share of the profitable livestock trade, introducing taxes that applied when farmers transported their flocks through cities, a method also adapted by Hanno the Great. Basic irrigation systems were widespread in the ancient world because they were simple to maintain. Perennial irrigation was rarer, and required longer canal systems, a method of storage, and better maintenance to ensure that silt and salt build-up was kept in check. In Mesopotamia, the river system was able to supply water to the surrounding arable land in the dry season through a system of canals, closed off by dykes and sluice gates. Water was stored in reservoirs, either natural or man-made, and then lifted into the irrigation channels. While this was a labour-intensive task, the results of such toil were remarkable and hugely beneficial to harvests in the area. All this techniques were used in great extent by Hannibal in Libya to make the land richer and to generate a living stock for all the new settlers coming.

As trade and commerce improved, education and research blossomed and so documentation rapidly increased. Archiving records and documents became crucial to maintaining legal institutions and promoting further learning. The first libraries and archives were set up locally, collecting the information pertinent to the surrounding area. The most significant universal archive of information in the ancient world was the Library of Alexandria, which was said to have housed over half a million documents and scrolls. With its vast store of knowledge, it became the center of education and is recognized as one of the birthplaces of science. With knowledge growing and technologies wildly used across the Carthaginian Republic, Hannibal had turned to the well known Greek Gennadios of Bithynia for a opportunity unlike many others. The Greek had purchased in agricultural projects in Libya and Mining in Hesperia, he was a good trader with many contacts to the eastern Mediterranean and even inside the lands that Carthage traded with in the west. Hannibal wanted to expand his income and influence some of the eastern nations, by using Carthaginian traders and investors for projects in their states too. To do so Hannibal needed a new form of investment for these Carthaginian that wanted to use this opportunity in their advantage. He also believed that this would guarantee a safe backwater for profits that the Romans were not attacking, unlike direct Carthaginian land in Hesperia and Libya. To enable this new form of trade and investment, Hannibal and Gennadios increased the state bank of Carthage dramatically with some of the riches he had required by raiding the enemies land and by conquering new own land. The first form of such banking was carried out by priests, with temples housing deposits and authenticating coinage, exchanging gold and dealing with loans. Throughout Greece, religious buildings doubled as financial institutions, with the Parthenon in Athens at the centre of the Greek financial world. The first bankers began to emerge around the 4th century BC when money-changers, who were normally alien residents or 'metics', set up tables in markets for loans and money exchanges. These lenders went on to become fully-fledged bankers, and state banking was gradually established as the depositing of money moved from the temples to state-run institutions.
Of Hannibal’s Carthage, Part 7
Of Hannibal’s Carthage, Part 7:

Hannibal knew that contracts between two parties are far easier to enforce when supported by written legal documents. However, with writing skills far from widespread the 'stipulatio', a basic contract between two parties, was agreed orally by both. This form of agreement was the norm in Carthage and most parts of the ancient world and it took time for written contracts to be accepted. Greek law, on the other hand, had always been based on the principles of written contracts and its influence gradually encouraged the Carthaginians and Romans to bind oral contracts within written terms. Based on the writings of Hippocrates, the Greek physician labeled the “father of medicine”, the Hippocratic Oath forms the basis of medical ethics which are still honored today. Ancient physicians swore to adhere to approved medical practices and to never abuse the knowledge and abilities bestowed upon them. The oath also stated that a physician would never administer poisons, divulge patient information or carry out an abortion, and would refrain from “mischief” and attempting any sexual advances on a patient, regardless of whether they were free or a slave. Although medical treatment still relied on a certain amount of mysticism, the Carthaginians, Romans and Greeks made many great discoveries thanks, in part, to the large number of injured men on hand as experimental subjects. Wine was used as an antiseptic, the alcohol content helping to clean the wound and keep infection at bay. Opium poppies and henbane seeds were used as painkillers, and surgeons could even lave spilled innards with a concoction of oil and water before packing them back into the owner's abdomen.

Although any citizen or freeman could own land only the very rich could afford to develop it effectively. By investing in a huge labor force these estate owners were able to swallow up smaller, family-run farms and monopolies the market. They employed a seemingly endless supply of landless citizens, ordered into groups and, where possible, closely supervised to ensure that their productivity remained high. Although such workers were often labeled “slave labor”, rations, rewards and even a wage structure were used to incentivise the workers, ensuring that the estates operated efficiently. Consensual contracts were introduced by the Carthaginian and proved pivotal in their growth and prosperity as a trading nation. Contracts did exist prior to this point but consensual contracts allowed transactions to take place without property changing hands: there merely needed to be consensus or agreement between the involved parties. There were four types: first was a contract for the exchange of goods; second was a contract for the hire of goods; while third was governed partnerships. The final consensual contract outlined the difference for Punic and Metoikoi traders.
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Of Hannibal’s Carthage, Part 8
Of Hannibal’s Carthage, Part 8:


Invented by the Greek engineer Polyidus of Thessaly, the Helepolis or 'city-taker' was the biggest siege engine ever constructed. King Demetrius I of Macedon commissioned the architect Epimachus of Athens to build the biggest recorded Helepolis, which he used in the failed siege of Rhodes in 305 BC. This huge construction was said to be nearly forty meters tall, split into nine storeys, with catapults at its base and two stairways giving access to its multiple levels. Built entirely of wood, it was covered with iron plates to protect it from fire. During the siege the Rhodians managed to dislodge some of these plates, prompting Demetrius to withdraw the weapon for fear of its destruction. Hannibal himself hired Greek engineers for his Second Roman War and later the Third Roman War. When on campaign, the armies of the ancient world expected to live off the land by purchasing food and pillaging enemy territory. This made them especially vulnerable to scorched earth tactics, where defenders would purposely destroy crops to starve invaders. While naval vessels were able to deliver supplies, their use limited armies to coastal expeditions and it was not until the development of new, land-based supply methods that warfare changed significantly. These methods increased the efficiency and self-sufficiency of armies and provided a significant advantage over enemies, as evidenced by the success of the reformed Carthaginian Armies. The military reforms of Hannibal in Carthage in the Second Roman War marked a significant change in pay for Carthaginian soldiers. Falcatesair did now consider the new annual salary of 100 denarii, complimented by payment in land or cash up to 2,000 denarii, suitable payment for 24 years hard service. Hannibal was quick to identify the role that the dissatisfied troops had played in the years of strife. He set up the Military Treasury, a pot of money initiated by his own funds and topped up by regular citizen tax payments; it provided soldiers with a pension equivalent to 16 years' pay.

The science of measurement, metrology, was invented by the Egyptians during the Bronze Age. Its creation was inspired by a lust for money as Pharaoh Sesostris wanted to measure and tax his subjects' arable land. Units of measurement were typically based on parts of the human body or a man’s capacity: the digit, palm, foot and pace for example. Not surprisingly there were many local variations, but as trade between cities and states increased there were attempts to introduce standard quantities of everything. The Greek king Pheidon is widely recognized as the creator of the first set of agreed common weights and measures. Hannibal did the same for Carthage and provided a fixed system that would benefit the trade in his whole Republic and their trade partners. Throughout the ancient period there was a drive to find new exploitable land, either through clearing forests or, more frequently, draining lakes, marshes and flooded plains. The Greeks set their sights on draining Lake Copais, a swampland north of Athens that was flooding fertile land around it as the natural flow of water was blocked due to regular earthquakes. In 325BC an engineer, Crates, sought to solve the problem by supplementing the natural drainage in the area with a long tunnel. The work was halted by the military ambitions of Alexander the Great but resumed centuries later. In 1890 the lake was finally drained and the area is now used for farming. Hannibal's had similar goals in Libya as he cultivated and watered more and more land for use by the new colonists. Additional there was a simple principle of seed selection, sowing the best quality seeds provided the best quality crop. The strength of a crop was affected by the seed from which it was grown and through seed selection a farmer could develop a crop free of disease that offered a more profitable yield. The farmer had to take the time to select only seeds from the most healthy and strong plants in a crop, removing the small, withered, discolored or inferior seeds. Selecting the seed was usually simple: the best seed was the heaviest, and would therefore be found settled on the very bottom of the grain on the threshing floor.

There is some debate as to the exact origins of the first coins, although it is widely accepted that some of the Mediterranean’s earliest coinage came from Lydia in Asia Minor. The first Greek coinage was produced on the island of Aegina, some 24 km south of Athens. Aegina was a trading nation that minted a coin known as the 'turtle', named for the sea-turtle design punched into it. Pebble-like in appearance, these early coins were made from electrum, an alloy of gold and silver. The Barcas family of Hannibal under their separate Empire of Nova Carthago had begun to make their own coinage and Hannibal later did so too for all of Carthage. In 420BC the Greeks made their first attempt to introduce a standardised currency. The Carthaginians under Hannibal soon realized the need for a system of fixed coinage and minted their coins to be worth the weight of their gold and silver 'bullion' content. This, unfortunately, lent itself to a gradual debasement as the more corrupt states began to mint their own - alloying the metals in the coins to maintain weight while using the spare gold and silver to make more debased ones. As ever-increasing populations demanded more goods it became necessary to explore the principles of mass-production. This led to the development of piecework: the construction of component parts that could be produced quickly and in large quantities. Teams of workers would then assemble these parts into goods. Punic philosopher and writer, Melkharbal the Elder, tells of shops dedicated to the production of individual chandelier parts. There is also evidence to suggest that factory-like production was used in urban areas for the manufacture of pots, building parts and military items like near the harbor of Carthage.

The Romans inherited their knowledge of brickmaking from the Etruscans. Distrustful of a foreign technique, early Roman fired bricks were made from roof tiles which had already proved durable. By the Republican era fired bricks were widely used due to the perfection of a baking process whereby the mortar was absorbed. Roman bricks were standardized and came in four sizes, ranging from the 'bassalis' which was eight Roman inches square or around twenty centimeters, right up to the 'bipedailis' which was two Roman feet square, around sixty centimeters. Brickmakers often stamped their wares with their names and dated them by adding the names of the Consuls in office at the time. After his Second Roman War in Italy, Hannibal adapted the Etruscn technique and traded bricks and technologies with them for his own building projects. Hannibal also imported modern sewers as an engineering achievement more stupendous than any. The system grew into a complex network of sewers that expanded with the cities of Carthage and collected the excrement to later use them as fertilizer.


During the Second and Third Roman War, Hannibal introduced radical reforms which changed how the Carthaginian army was recruited and structured, and therefore how it fought in battle. Regular soldiers instead of Mercenaries were trained. The Falcaten (Carthaginian Legion) organization was scrapped with the group becoming the basic unit. Hannibal also reformed the weaponry and fighting methods of the Carthaginian army. Not every man was equipped identically, but the most common used types of weapons and armor became standardized and groups with such units were educated in Punic commands. Many groups from areas all over the Carthaginian territories in one army did not understand each others tongue, but they had learned basic Punic and followed their Carthaginian Commanders loyal. Traditionally, the citizen armies of the ancient world were supplied by a combination of mercenaries, levies and volunteer troops. Often farmers and landowners, these men ultimately looked to return to their plots and families, comforted by the spoils of war. The professional solider was a different beast entirely. He gave his life to the army, never wavering to think on what awaited him back home. However, when a state discharged these men without suitable reward, they often turned to their generals. If successful in finding the spoils to offer his men, a general could exert huge influence and power. Hannibal used such troops in the last years of his life in exile away from Carthage, but this tactics and army type traveled back to Carthage with his body after his death, well preserved in his written texts about state and military art.

Wooden ships routinely sprang leaks and the accumulation of water within a large hull had to be bailed out by hand, a slow and sometimes dangerous task. It was a job made easier by the invention of the screwpump. The Greek inventor,Archimedes of Syracuse invented the Archimedean screw or screwpump. With this device bigger and better trade ans warships would be build in the Greek states and Carthage. All states built their navies to safeguard their merchants' vital trade across the Mediterranean. The Carthaginians were the most daring seafarers of the ancient world, preferring to hire mercenaries for their land wars whilst concentrating on the construction of a huge fleet of ever-larger ships. As Carthaginian trade and the need to transport troops increased, so did the importance of sea control. They built vast war galleys manned by citizen rowers. Alongside Greek-style triremes, quinqueremes ('fives') and septiremes ('sevens'), reinforced for ramming, were constructed. Even so, the largest ship of the ancient world was the Syracusia, designed by Archimedes and built in 240 BC by King Hiero II. It used some sixty times the resources needed for an average trireme and took 300 skilled workmen over a year to build. The palace ship later used to travel the body of the dead Hannibal from Quart Hnba'albrq (Quart Hannibal Barkas) back to Carthage had a similar design.
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Chapter 71: Mago's Masaesyli War (218 - 212 BC):
Chapter 71: Mago's Masaesyli War (218 - 212 BC):

Mago's fight in Libya against Masaesyli was not going like planned, because the enemy despite his good strategies (like the Monopáti and the Astrapí) still retreaded and used new tactics to avoid open fights. Because of that Mago relied on a new strategy, he marched his army along the new Libyan Shophet-road and secured the coastal towns and cities of Hippo Regius, Rusidae, Chullu, Igilgili, Salade, Rusuccuru, Rusguniae, Tipsas, Iol and Cartenna. He build fortified wall and fort sections along the coast he intended to protect and left string Garrisons behind. He ten turned towards Portus Magnus and Siga, conquering both places with his strong forces. With that the Shophet-road finally linked all of Carthaginian north Libya and denied the Masaesyli a direct link to the sea and the trade coming from there. The Masaesyli in the meantime had learned the tactic and strategy used by Mago and tried to counter it with murder, bribery, treachery, and assassination. It should be another six years before Mago finally beat the Masaesyli and pacified their former part of northern Libya. The attacks from the Masaesyli were growing since a few weeks, not decreasing like before and Mago thought this was because the enemy was finally getting so week that he had to take huge risks. But Mago was wrong the enemy wanted to tempt him for a more risky, direct battle tactic were he would advance to deep into Masaesyli lands. The attack on Massyliis capital city of Cirta, now part of Carthage as a federate tribe forced Mago to counterattack and at the same time the Massylii were outraged the Carthaginians were unable to defend them, while their brothers from Masaesyli earned most of their hate. Mago managed to surround the enemy army but they surrendered before a true battle occurred. Mago let them go like many tribes before as they gave up their loot and weapons for a chance of peace. But as soon as the Masaesyli were in safety they rearmed and the raids started again. Mago send one of his armies after the enemy, but his troops were defeated together with his Punic Commander. At the same time Mago was able to defeat a Masaesyli together with the Massylii at the Great Plains near Hippo. Still this victory just stopped the enemy from further attacking the allied Massyli and even retook Cirta soon after that was slowly rebuild by Carthaginian and allied Numidians. The next year of the war, in 217 BC Mago successful managed to destroy most of Masaesyli's supply lines by own raids (much like Hanno the Great had did before with his partly successful campaign against Numidia), but could not actually defeat him. Still Hannibal and the Senate were pleased that he managed to secure the coast and the Carthaginian heartland from the enemy. Together with Mauretani, Massylii and Hesperian supporting troops, Mago managed to further advance into his enemies land. Mago now aggressively advanced along the rivers and builds fortified cities, castles and garrisons along the way. He managed to beat the Numidians in the Battle if Igilgili, Tipesa and between Rusadir and Siga. Later Mago adapted the same tactic for Oasis and springs, trying to cut of the nomads from enough water supplies. With this strategy and after years of guerrilla-war, Mago managed to conquer and hold the cities of Sitifis and Auzia, finally breaking the Masaesyli once and for all even before Hannibal's Second Roman War was half over. This last battles were the hardest because the Romans had send some instructors that trained the Masaesylian armies well and Mago hat many causalities in the whole war. Syphax the king of Masaesyli was brought to Carthage, where he was thrown in a pit in 212 BC. The once strong, ambitious and feared numidian leader of Masaesyli, a free nomad as Syphax called himself, would never see the wide mountains of his homeland, or even the sun ever again and die in Carthaginian prison some years later. His lands would later be resettled by the mixed colonies of the Punics, the Massylii, Mauretani and Hesperian, while that part of his tribe that didn't surrender and obey the Carthaginians would emigrate south trough deadly and dry desert, until they reached a rich land with many rivers, seas and great forests. There they came in contact with some of the tribes that Hanno the Navigator had traded with as he traveled down the western coast of Libya and contacted them from the coast south of the new lands of the Masaesyli.
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I did read something about some Berber tribes reaching Senegal...
And Carthage marches on...

Actually Carthage has not the manpower to do so on all fronts, the presence of Hesperian settlers, mercenaries and other troops is pushing the Berber further down, away from the coast. While Carthaginian/Greek culture will be dominant in Hannibal's Republic, Hesperian tribes and people will be dominant because even combined Helleni-Phoenicians make only a small part of the population (about 500,000 in Hesperia/Libya), Hesperia/Ibero-Phoenicians (Hesperian tribes and some Carthaginian/Greek colonies make up the majority of 3,000,000 – as much as Roman Italy with 3,7000,000), while Liby-Phoenicians (Libyan Hesperian tribes and some Carthaginian/Greek colonies make up 1,500,000). This Carthage despite Hannibal's politics and efforts will already be very different than it was OTL thanks to the cultural, religious and partly even language (idioms) that will influence Carthage, as much as it's Republic influences them. And since Carthage isn't Rome the plan of Hannibal in Hesperia and the Pyrenees was to create as safe boarder against Gaul/Rome, not to totally annex or even assimilate these regions into his own state (something Carthage hasn't the population to do for). The same could be said about the plans for southern boarder in Libya. So the autonomy of these areas (as long as they pay taxes, give warriors/ mercenaries or allow Punic trade) will be very high compared to what Rome did OTL. Carthage wants dominance and that is what is (and for a long time will be) shown on the maps, Carthaginian hegemony, not total control or imperial rule over these lands. The fact that Mago's war took so long in total against just the Numidians also shows that Carthage still with all these reforms isn't like Rome (or Roman Armies and has a long way to go before it may or may not reach the level Rome at this time already has in army and state). Carthage may wish to annex the territories lost in and after the First Roman War, but not more than that. ;D
Chapter 72: Battle of the Rhone Crossing
Chapter 72: Battle of the Rhone Crossing:

Massilia managed to convince the Volcae an aggressive local Gallic tribe to stop Hannibal from crossing the Rhone long enough, until the Romans could arrive to finish him. Before crossing the Pyrenees, Hannibal left Hanno with 11,000 soldiers to guard the newly conquered area, along with all the heavy baggage, and released 10,000 reluctant soldiers from the invasion. Hannibal had used diplomacy to pacify the Gallic tribes beyond the Pyrenees, and his march was not contested until they reached the territory of the Volcae on the banks of the Rhone by late September. By then, his army had shrunk to 38,000 foot and 8,000 horsemen. After reaching the west bank of the river, Hannibal decided to rest for three days. Hannibal took advantage of the pre-existing hatred the Celts had for the Romans on the right (west) bank, and persuaded them to aid him in his crossing of this formidable obstacle. He secured from them a number of boats that were capable of making trips at sea, and a numerous collection of canoes of all sorts that must have been employed by the natives of that country. In addition to purchasing these,he was able to acquire their aid in building still other boats. This process of preparing to cross the Rhone took two days. The Carthaginians collected boats and built rafts as they prepared to cross the river. Hannibal's strategy was to send his nephew Hanno with a detachment of troops north. He was to cross the river upstream and surprise the Volcae. Although the Volcae inhabited both banks of the river, they had retreated to the eastern where they encamped and awaited the Carthaginian crossing attempt. Hannibal bought up all the local boats, canoes and anything that would get his huge army and baggage train across the fast flowing river. The Rhone at this time was a very wild river. Crossing it was a dangerous obstacle and Hannibal seemed to be very diligent in his preparations, since this was his first major problem on his way to Italy. Awaiting the Carthaginian army on the left bank of the Rhone was a tribe of Gauls called the Cavares. This tribe had fortified a camp on the far side of the river, and was awaiting Hannibal's army to cross, so as to attack them as they crossed.Hannibal knew of Alexander the Great's crossing of the Hydaspes river in India and copied that movement. Hannibal formulated his plan according to this model ordered one of his lieutenants, Hanno the Son of Bomilcar to make a northern circuit, to cross the Rhone at a location that he deemed to be suitable for the purpose, and then by forced marches, march south and to take the Barbarian army in flank while he was crossing the river. Hanno, son of Bomilcar, now in charge of a mobile column made up of infantry and cavalry on the third night, and sent this force upriver under cover of darkness to find another suitable crossing place. The day and the night after all of the boats had been built and gathered, Hanno was ordered up the bank and guided by native Gauls, until they reached an island that divided the Rhone into two small streams. Led by local guides, Hanno located a crossing about 25 miles (40 km) to the north of the Carthaginian camp near an "island", and crossed the river undetected with the aid of hastily built rafts from materials that were at hand. The Carthaginian detachment chopped down trees, lashing the logs together with reliable ropes they had brought with them from the army's stores. By this means, Hanno's corps crossed the river and immediately proceeded south to the barbarian location. Some Iberians crossed the river using inflated animal skins. This detachment then rested for a day. They moved south on the following night (the second night after leaving the main army) and arrived behind the Volcae camp at dawn. Hanno signalled Hannibal by lighting a beacon and using smoke.During this time, Hannibal had been completing his preparations to cross the Rhone. At this, the Carthaginian preparations had been particularly obvious and loud, Hannibal had ordered the preparations to be made without concern for secrecy, knowing full well that Hanno's corps was marching down the left (eastern) bank of the Rhone to attack the Cavares. His preparations were designed to draw their attention away from their northern flank and focus their attention on his own preparations. Three days after setting out, Hanno arrived behind a tributary of the Rhone and gave the previously agreed upon signal to let Hannibal know that his force had arrived. Hannibal immediately ordered the boats to cross. The small corps was observing the principal army closely, and on seeing it start its crossing, prepared to descend on the Cavares while the army was crossing. Once Hanno had sent a smoke signal to notify his uncle he was in position, Hannibal embarked with his main force and the Punic army started to cross the 1000 yard wide river. The rafts carrying Numidian cavalry were furthest upstream, while boats carrying dismounted cavalry crossed below them, with three or four horses in tow, tied to their boats. These took the brunt of the river's current and the mobile infantry in canoes were placed below them. Some soldiers may have crossed the river by swimming. The crossing itself was carefully designed to be as smooth as possible. Every detail was well thought out. The heavy horsemen were put across furthest upstream, and in the largest boats, so that the boats that Hannibal had less confidence in could be rowed to the left (eastern) bank in the lee of the larger and more sturdy craft. As for the horses themselves, most of them were swum across the river at the side and stern of each boat. However, some were put on boats fully saddled and ready for immediate use, so that, once they debouched from the river, they could cover the infantry and the rest of the army while it formed up to attack the barbarians. Hannibal himself was among the first to cross, and the rest of the Carthaginian army assembled on the western bank to cheer their comrades while they waited their turn to cross.Seeing that the Carthaginians were finally crossing, the Cavares rose from their entrenchments and prepared their army on the shore near the Carthaginian landing point. The armies started to shout and jeer at each other while the Carthaginian army was in the midst of crossing. These sort of exchanges consisted primarily of encouraging their own men and challenging the other army to battle. Often in antiquity, to intimidate their enemy, armies would be ordered to pound their shields with their weapons and raise loud cries at exactly the same moment to create the greatest amount of noise. When he landed on the opposite bank Hanno sprung his ambush. Battle was soon joined on the eastern shore but the Carthaginians managed to establish a foothold. It was at precisely this moment, while the Carthiginian army was in the middle of the stream jeering at the enemy from the boats and the Cavares were challenging them to come on from the left bank, that Hanno's corp revealed itself and charged down on the rear and flanks of the Cavares. A small detachment of Hanno's force was assigned to set the Cavares camp on fire, but the majority of this force reeled in on the stunned Cavares. Some of the Cavares rushed to the defense of their camp,but the majority remained at the location where they had been awaiting the arrival of what they had thought was all of Hannibal's army. They were divided; and Hannibal, who was on one of the first boats, landed his men on the left bank of the Rhone amidst the dazed and confused Cavares and with a will led his men in upon them. There was barely even a semblance of resistance, surrounded as they were, pandemonium took control of their ranks, and each man looked to his own safety as they retreated pell-mell away from the carefully arrayed Carthaginian phalanx. Once Hannibal had set up his beachhead on the east bank of the Rhone he began the extensive operation of getting the rest of his troops across the river. Smaller boats crossed in the lee of larger vessels so they didn't bear the full brunt of the current. The cavalry swam with their rides but the elephants needed more persuasion. For this Hannibal built rafts, covered them with soil and urged a female elephant onto these floating islands and the rest of the herd followed. However, once the rafts were detached from the bank, the elephants panicked and were forced to make their own way across to the other side, they simple walked across the bottom of the river using their trunks as snorkels. Some of the elephant driver were tossed in the river by this and some even died, while some elephant driver swum desperately fast to the other side of the river. Once Hannibal's army was across the Rhone he sent three hundred of his Numidian cavalry to scout the surrounding areas.While the actual conflict only took a matter of minutes, Hannibal had spent five days preparing this dangerous and risky operation from every angle, ensuring that it was ready at all points and as little as possible was left to chance. The Roman Commander who had just landed in Massilia sent some of his scouts north to locate Hannibal's army. He originally was at the mouth of the Rhone and on his way to Spain to intercept Hannibal. It was a surprise to both cavalry forces when they met in a fierce but brief engagement. This was the first direct clash between only Rome and Carthage in the Second Roman War and the Romans had the better of the skirmish, losing less troops and forcing the Numidians to flee back to camp. Once Hannibal learned of the proximity of the Roman army he had a decision to make, stay and fight or speed on to Italy. With so much to gain from making war in Italy, he chose the latter and headed north away from the Romans and towards the Alps. Hannibal needed to reach the Alps quickly in order to beat the onset of winter. He knew that if he waited until springtime on the far side of the mountains, the Romans would have time to raise another army. He had intelligence that the consular army was camped at the mouth of the Rhone. He sent 500 Numidian cavalry down the eastern bank of the river to acquire better information concerning the forces massed to oppose him. This force encountered 300 mounted Romans who had been sent up the river for the same purpose. The Numidians were defeated with 240 of their number killed in this exchange between scouting parties; in addition to 140 Roman losses. The Numidians were followed back to the Carthaginian camp, which was almost assembled excepting the elephants, which required more time getting across. Upon seeing Hannibal had not crossed with the whole of his force, the scouts raced back to the coast to alert the consul. Upon receiving this information, the consul dispatched his army up the river in boats, but arrived too late. The Roman Commander, after the cavalry skirmish aware of the locate the Carthaginian camp as well, but was still unable to cut him off. Despite outnumbering the Romans at this point, Hannibal decided to push towards the Alps and started marching north following the eastern bank of the Rhone. The Romans, loaded their heavy baggage onto the ships and marched north with his army to confront Hannibal. But they only arrived at the deserted Carthaginian camp, and finding that the Carthaginians were three days' march away, returned to Massalia. There the Romans put their army under the command a veteran of the previous Iberian Campaign and ordered him to sail for Iberia. The Roman Commander himself returned to Italy to organize the defenses against Hannibal's anticipated invasion and prepared for war on Roman soil.

(Hannibals next possible routes to Italy)
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Chapter 73: From the Rhone to the Alps
Chapter 73: From the Rhone to the Alps

(marching to the Alps)

Hannibal needed to reach the Alps quickly in order to beat the onset of winter. He knew that if he waited until springtime on the far side of the mountains, the Romans would have time to raise another army. He had intelligence that the consular army was camped at the mouth of the Rhone. He sent 500 Numidian cavalry down the eastern bank of the river to acquire better information concerning the forces massed to oppose him. This force encountered 300 mounted Romans who had been sent up the river for the same purpose. The Numidians were defeated with 240 of their number killed in this exchange between scouting parties; in addition to 140 Roman losses. The Numidians were followed back to the Carthaginian camp, which was almost assembled excepting the elephants, which required more time getting across. Upon seeing Hannibal had not crossed with the whole of his force, the scouts raced back to the coast to alert the consul. Upon receiving this information, the consul dispatched his army up the river in boats, but arrived too late. In the face of winter and hostile tribes, the consul decided to return to Italy and await the arrival of Hannibal as he descended from the Alps. However, in accordance with the Senate's orders, the consul ordered one Roman army to Iberia. The Romans proposed attacking Hannibal's over-extended and vulnerable lines of communications and supply. Despite their established tactical system, the Romans were used to fighting by marching their troops to their enemies' army, forming their army up and attacking. They did not know how to force an enemy to battle by cutting off their communications, they were not aware of which flank was the strategic flank of an enemy in a battle. In addition, they were negligent about their order of march, and early Roman history is littered with massacres of consular armies by other nations because of their lack of proper precaution against these evils. On getting the whole of his army on the left bank of the Rhone, Hannibal introduced his army to Magilus, and some other less notable Gallic chiefs of the Po valley. Hannibal's purpose was to inspire his men with confidence in the planned expedition by showing them Padane Gallic chieftains who offered them their aid. Speaking through an interpreter, Magilus spoke of the support that the recently conquered Padane Gauls had for the Carthaginians and their mission of destroying Rome. Hannibal then addressed the officers himself. The troops' enthusiasm was uplifted by Hannibal's inspiring address. Upon crossing the river, Hannibal ordered his infantry to start their march the day after the assembly, followed by the supply train. Not knowing that the Romans were eventually going to set out for Italy, when his cavalry had crossed the river he ordered them to curtain his march on his southern flank, towards the sea. His cavalry would have formed a screen which would have been employed to protect him from the Romans were they to advance upon him from that direction. The cavalry would skirmish with the Roman scouts, while giving the rest of the army time to form up. This contingency did not occur. Hannibal was in the rearguard with the elephants. This was the direction that he assumed that the Romans would be most likely to advance from (that is from the west) as he had some idea that they were behind him. The rearguard was well manned to ensure that it could skirmish with the Roman army while the main body of his infantry and cavalry could form up for battle against the Romans if they should attack from that quarter. This contingency, however, also did not occur. While assuming this order of march, Hannibal marched towards the Insula. He had ordered his infantry to get a head start, and it marched to the Isere in six days, marching 12.5 miles per day. The cavalry and rear guard only took four days, a march of 19 miles per day. In this period, the body as a whole had marched 75 miles. When Hannibal's army made contact with the Insula, he arrived in a Gallic chiefdom that was in the midst of a civil conflict. For whatever reason, Hannibal chose the cause of the elder of the two combatants, Brancus. After putting away the cause of the younger and less popularly supported one, he formed an alliance with Brancus. From this tribe he received supplies that were required for the expedition across the Alps. In addition, he received Brancus' diplomatic protection. Up until the Alps proper, he did not have to fend off any tribes.
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Chapter 74: Corsican Problems
Chapter 74: Corsican Problems:

On Corsica, the Roman Commander Gaius Samnion Pulcher was facing problems, as his northern and southern armies had reached Mariana, Mantinum, Portus Favonii, Syracusanus Port, Palla and Marianum. Until then there were roads supporting his movements, but now they had to reach the western part of the island over trail or by sea. Ficaria, Titianus Portus, Pauca, Aiacium and Ureinium were hard to reach by this strategy and the current defeat of his army part in the mountains by Mahar the Skilled made Gaius aware that the enemy was not simple retreading, but had prepared a well thought strategy against him. Gaius ordered some of his troops back, to defend Aleria against any possible counter attack of Mahar, because he was sure the Punic Commander would try to retake the City once again.

Sardinian opposition:

(map of the war at the moment)

In Sardinia it at first didn't look to good for Quintus Mucius Scaevola and his Roman armies and their supporting troops, since Hampsicora and Hasdrubal the Bald had managed to ally themself with the Balari, Ilienses and Ciculensii mountain tribes by offering them money, weapons and a outonomy of their way of living after the Carthaginian victory alongside Carthage without forcing thei Punic way of living on them like the Romans did with their Romanization. This alliance helped Hasdrubal to get the mountain cities of Caput Tyrsi, Aquae Lisitanae and Sorabile to his side and together they conquered the city of Forum Trraiani, cutting off the northern Roman part of the Island from the southern Roman part and securing Othoca by doing so. The Romans immediately send their armies out to counter attack this new rebellions and enemy presence in the central Island, while Hasdrubal was undecided. Weather or not he should take the northern route to Macopsisa, Molaria and Hafa to secure Turris Libisanis against the second Roman army in Olbia and the northeast, or focus his remaining power in weakening the southern Roman army with another attack over Valentia, Biora and Aquae Neapolitanae to conquer Carales and push them out of the southern part of the island. That Hasdrubals tribal mountain warriors were helping his before shrinking numbers thanks to his defeat in the Battle of Othoca were true, but unlike Quintus, Hasdrubal didn't realize that his new alliance had stretched his lines of supply and the territory to secure even further, thereby weakening his position instead of strengthening it.

Carthage's new Sicilian Army:

On Sicily things were looking better for Carthage, because of Hannibal's overal tactic, Africa and Hesperia seamed secure from direct attacks at the moment. This allowed Hesperian troops to travel to Libya were they helped Mago against the native nomad tribes, while Libyan troops could finally be send to support the Sicilian campaign in the North. They landed in Lilybaeum and travelled over the northern route from Drepanum to Segesta and to Panormus. They came just in time to reinforce the city, because the northern Roman army had already retaken Thermae and Soloeis (before the walls could finally be repared from the last battle). Now they were advancing towards Panormus. While the Carthaginian mountain raid of Proxiancos had helped to cut of their western route to the north at the moment, the Romans knew that the Carthaginian did not control all of it now and because of that would not easily be able to attack their army from behind any time soon with the southern Roman army in Agrigentum (Acragas). Hanno the Short planned on supporting the northern defense of Panormus, by putting pressure on the southern Roman flank, marching from Heraclea to attack the Roman army in Agrigentum even if he had neither the man, nor the equipment to be sure of a victory against the strong roman army and newly build defenses that protected the city now.
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Chapter 75: Sicilian stagnancy?! - The Battle of Panormus and Soloeis, as well as the almost Battle of Agrigentum (also called the Sham Battle of Agrigentum):
Chapter 75: Sicilian stagnancy?! - The Battle of Panormus and Soloeis, as well as the almost Battle of Agrigentum (also called the Sham Battle of Agrigentum):


In northern Sicily things were getting ready for battle, since the Romans had retaken Soloeis and were ready to march on Panormus. The Roman Commander ordered to march forward, believing that after the fall of Soloeis the Carthaginian had either retreated further back to their original landing and supply harbors in the west of the island, or simple had no northern army left. So he marched to Panormus to take the city. At the same time the Carthaginian Commander was ready to take back the previous lost Soloeis from the Romans and maybe even conquer Himera after defensing them. The two armies met between both cities and soon the battle of Panormus and Soloeis, or Soloeis and Panormus took place. The Carthaginians had kind of a L formation, or a spearhead formation, pointing at the Romans and hoping to defeat them. The smaller right Carthaginian flank was positioned up a hill and the Punic Commander thought it would be the most secure position, as the Roman center attacked his spearhead formation directly. Luckily for the Romans, the Punic defenders did not see their great turn around the hill flank and were quiet surprised as a massive amount of Roman troops stormed over the hill to attack their weakest flank, while the main Roman and Carthaginian line were deadlocked into close combat with each other. The right Carthaginian flank on the hill was soon crushed and Roman troops managed to break trough a hole in the enemies lines. Sadly the Roman troops smelled victory already and instead of regrouping and managing to adapt their overall attack to the new positioning and chances, they missed their opportunity. These Roman Legionaries that had broken trough the Carthaginian lines simple tried to attack the enemy center from behind, hoping to surround the right enemy flank and break the Punic troops into two. But the Carthaginian Commander did not lose his head and was able to regroup the reserves and the right flank so that the roman breakthrough could be stopped by these troops. The remaining Romans on the Punic left flank and the center of the battle were now separated by the troops on the hill and these that had been breaking the enemy lines. They were to widely spread out and unconnected to make this battle the perfect Punic Cannae by completely surrounding the Carthaginian forces and missed their chance to quickly turn the war in Sicily in a Roman favor. Pretty exhausted and nearly breaking the battle was a stalemate for both factions and remained undecided as the Romans retreaded their exhausted troops slowly from the enemy and the Carthaginian already nearly breaking themselves and without any fresh reserves left could also not fight on any longer. Both sides hat taken thousand of losses and many wounded so they simple retreated to the cities that they had stayed in previously.

In the south of Sicily Hanno the Short had tried to make a feint attack with his army from Heraclea to Agrigentum (Acragas), simple to prevent the Romans from sending troops from their southern army north. But Agrigentum was to good fortified with such a big Roman Army and Hanno had not quiet yet build or brought all his siege equipment to Heraclea. So his army simple marched in seeing range of Agrigentum, showing the Roman Commander Tiberius Sempronius Longus that he was ready and eager to fight. Tiberius on the other hand also marched part of his troops up for a open field battle, but in reality just wished to convince the Punic troops not to turn north and join their army against the Roman army there. A few skirmishes were fought between both army scouting troops, but neither side wanted to start a real battle in the south at the moment. Hanno wanted to wait till all of his siege equipment's were ready and the northern flank a little more secured thanks to a Punic victory, Tiberius didn't want to endanger the Roman position in the greatly important city of Agrigentum by maybe losing a battle against Hanno and then having to few troops left to defend the city while the outcome of the northern Roman advance was still unclear. Nothing was decided by this fights in Sicily and the Island would continue to tie down Roman and Carthaginian armies and navies.
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Chaper 76: Hannibal's crossing of the Alps
Chaper 76: Hannibal's crossing of the Alps:

Hannibal marched in the direction of a mountain pass towards the village of Aquste and from there to Chevelu to the pass the Alps. There he found that the passes were fortified by the Allobroges. He sent out spies to ascertain if there was any weakness in their disposition. These spies found that the barbarians only maintained their position at the camp during the day, and left their fortified position at night. In order to make the Allobroges believe that he did not deem a night assault prudent, he ordered that as many camp-fires be lit as possible, in order to induce them into believing that he was settling down before their encampment along the mountains. However, once they left their fortifications, he led his best troops up to their fortifications and seized control of the pass. Hiding his men in the mountain brush on a cliff that arose immediately above and to the right off Hannibal's route of march, about 100 feet or so above the path, Hannibal stationed his slingers and archers there. This overhang was an excellent place from which to attack an enemy while it was marching in column through the pass. The descent from this pass was steep, and the Carthaginians were having a hard time marching down this side of the pass, especially the baggage animals. The Barbarians, seeing this, attacked anyway, in spite of their disadvantageous position. More baggage animals were lost in the confusion of the Barbarian attack, and they rolled off of the precipices to their deaths. This put Hannibal in a difficult situation. However, Hannibal, at the head of the same elite corps that he led to take the overhang, led them against these determined barbarians. Virtually all of these barbarians died in the ensuing combat, as they were fighting with their backs to a steep precipice, trying to throw their arrows and darts uphill at the advancing Carthaginians. After this contest of arms, the baggage was held together in good order and the Carthaginian army followed the road down to the plain.

This plain was 4 to 6 miles wide at most places, and was almost entirely stripped of defenders since they were all stationed at the pass. Hannibal marched his army down the road and took their city easily, stripping it of all its horses, captives, beasts of burden and corn. In addition, there were enough supplies for three days' rations for the army. This must have been welcome considering that no small portion of their supplies had been lost when the pack animals had fallen over the precipice in the course of the previous action. He then ordered this town to be destroyed, in order to demonstrate to the Barbarians of this country what would happen if they opposed him in the same fashion as this tribe had. Hannibal encamped there to give his men time to rest after their exhausting work, and to collect further rations. Hannibal then addressed his army, and we are informed that they were made to appreciate the extent of the effort they were about to undergo and were raised to good spirits in spite of the difficult nature of their undertaking. The Carthaginians continued their march and encountered the Centrones, who brought gifts and cattle for the troops. In addition, they brought hostages in order to convince Hannibal of their commitment to his cause. Hannibal was concerned and suspicious of the Centrones, though he hid this from them and the Centrones guided his army for two days. As they marched through the pass near a village, the pass narrowed and the Centrones turned against the Carthaginians.

The Centrones waited to attack, first allowing half of the army to move through the pass. This was meant to divide Hannibal's troops and supplies and make it difficult for his army to organize a counterattack, but Hannibal, having anticipated deceit by the Centrones, had arranged his army with elephants, cavalry and baggage in front, while his Hoplites and Falcatesair followed in the rear. Centrone forces had positioned themselves on the slopes parallel to Hannibal's army used this higher ground to roll boulders and rain rocks down at the Carthaginian army, killing many more pack animals. Confusion reigned in the ranks caught in the pass. However, Hannibal's heavily armed rearguard held back from entering the pass, forcing the Barbarians to descend to fight. The rearguard was thus able to hold off the attackers, before Hannibal and the half of his army not separated from him were forced to spend the night near a large white rock, that afforded them protection and as a military position, its occupation secures the defence of the pass. By morning, the Centrones were no longer in the area. The army rested here for two days. It was the end of October and snowy weather, the length of the campaign, ferocity of the fighting, and the loss of animals sapped morale in the army's ranks. From their outset in Iberia, the Hannibal's troops had been marching for over five months and the army had greatly reduced in size. The majority of Hannibal's fighters were unaccustomed to extreme cold of the high alps, being mostly from Libya and Hesperia. Hannibal assembled his men, declared to them that the end of their campaign was drawing near; that soon they would be in the Po Valley. In this account he is said to have gestured to the view Italy, showing his soldiers the Po Valley and the plains near it, and to have reminded them of Magilus, who had assured him of Gallic friendship and aid. He then gestured in the direction of Rome, raising spirits in the ranks. After the two days of rest, Hannibal ordered the descent from the Alps to begin.
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