History (B.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Timothy Teeter


The Second Punic War (218-201 BC), setting Rome against its rival state Carthage, is remembered because of the strategic maneuverings between Hannibal of Carthage and Scipio of Rome which would determine the master of the Mediterranean, laying the ground works for eventual plans for empire. Rome would eventually beat Carthage and historians since antiquity have tried to understand how Rome did so. Nigel Bagnall, in his book on the second Punic war describes the war in its entirety, making it a good overview. Polybius, a source written during the time of the Third Punic War, is one of the main sources the paper will use for he was present at the burning of Carthage; this means his information is the closest to the primary source of the war. Livy’s account will be very useful to use as well, for this author focuses on battles in depth as well as give overviews to the whole war. The first two case studies will focus on the use of strategies and tactics, respectively. The last case study will focus on the political struggles that Hannibal and Scipio had during the war. This paper shall focus on the individuals and their dealings in the war, as well as the fighting that took place. It is important to write about because many have forgotten the role that the war and the generals have played in the history of the Mediterranean and the ancient world.