The Punic Wars In Livy's History Of Rome

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In History of Rome, Livy discusses the Punic Wars. In 218BC, Hannibal and the Carthaginians enter Italy in the hopes of taking Rome for themselves. In response, Rome elected Servilius and Flaminius as consuls to fight against Hannibal, and they were each given power over their own army to combat him. In order to gain knowledge of his enemy, Hannibal sends out scouts, who return with the knowledge that Flaminius has an “overbearing temper,” which he would use to his advantage by trying to anger Flaminius.1 The use of scouts is something Sun Tzu would have encourages, and he says “The end and aim of spying in all its five varieties is knowledge of the enemy,” because knowing the enemy is essential to winning a battle.2 Hannibal used the knowledge …show more content…

Fabius couldn't beat Hannibal if he tried fighting on Carthaginian terms, and him dragging out the war was hurting Hannibal more than it was him. Sun Tzu advises against keeping an army in action in enemy lands because “There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare,” and for every day Hannibal sat in Rome waiting for an opportunity to attack, he wasted more resources and money.7 Had Fabius stayed in control of the Roman army, there's no doubt he would have triumphed over Hannibal. Although the Carthaginians successfully defeated Flaminius, they were not able to counter a general who actually knew not to fall for their tactical tricks. In Julius Caesar's Gallic Wars: Book 2, Caesar writes about the Gauls rebelling against the Romans. Caesar, who was part of the first triumvirate of Rome that also include Pompey and Crassus, evidently took the threat of revolution seriously enough that he immediately departed to put an end to it. Caesar is able to make many allies using diplomacy and intimidation, and according to him when the townspeople saw him coming, “the boys and the women from the wall, with outstretched hands, after their custom, begged peace from the …show more content…

Near the end of the war, Caesar and Vercingetorix face off in the town of Alesia. Vercingetorix had drawn all of his men back after losing the previous battles, and Caesar gave chase. Alesia is described as being “situated on the top of a hill, in a very lofty position, so that it did not appear likely to be taken, except by a regular siege.”12 So Caesar commands the Roman army to erect fortifications around Alesia, and then he writes “and having inclosed an area of fourteen miles, he constructed, against an external enemy, fortifications of the same kind in every respect,” meaning that not only did he blockade the city of Alesia, but he also fortified the area surrounding his army from the outside so that they could not be attacked by reinforcements.13 That was keen insight on his part, and although Sun Tzu doesn't necessarily approve of of sieges, he does say “not to besiege walled cities if it can possibly be avoided,” and in this situation it is necessary for Caesar to stop the Gaul's rebellion, so the siege can't be avoided.14 Caesar besieges Alesia, but he is smart about it, he makes the right choices, and he knows that his army can last that long, so Sun Tzu would have understood the situation. Caesar also writes that “Caesar, having selected a commanding situation, sees

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