Revision and Reconstruction in the Punic Wars: Cannae Revisited

By:
Prof. Yozan D. Mosig,
Imene Belhassen
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The history of the wars between Carthage and Rome was rewritten by two pro-Roman historians, Polybius and Titus Livius. The former, while usually more reliable, revised facts that would have shown his employers, the Scipionic family, in an unfavorable light, while the latter, a clear Roman patriotic propagandist, embellished history to suit his purposes. Accounts of the wars by Carthaginian historians seem to have been lost or been conveniently destroyed. Nevertheless, gaps and contradictions in the Roman accounts, together with a modern understanding of human motivation and environmental circumstances, allow for the reconstruction of the original events. A case in point is the battle of Cannae, in 216 B.C.E., where a modern analysis reveals the real reasons for Hannibal’s victory, the true strengths of the armies of Romans and Carthaginians, the identity of the actual commander of the Roman forces, correct casualty figures, and the likely reasons for Hannibal’s refusal to march on Rome following his great victory.


Keywords: Historical Revisionism, Hannibal, Punic Wars, Cannae, Polybius, Titus Livius, Historical Reconstruction
Stream: History, Historiography
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Revision and Reconstruction in the Punic Wars


Prof. Yozan D. Mosig

Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychology,
UNK,
Kearney, NE 68849
USA, University of Nebraska-Kearney

USA

Dr. Mosig has published numerous articles in psychological and literary journals, as well as a book on the New England fantaisiste H. P. Lovecraft. He has received the Robert Bloch Award from the New England Lovecraft Society for his research, as well as the Pratt-Heins Award in Scholarship from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. He is currently conducting research on the Punic Wars and the life and personality of Hannibal Barca (247-183 B.C.E.), the great Carthaginian general who led an army (with 37 elephants) over the Alps to invade Italy and defeated the Romans in a series of battles (including the one at Cannae, on August 2, 216 B.C.E., widely regarded as the most brilliant military victory in history).

Imene Belhassen

Graduate Assistant, Department of English,
UNK,
Kearney, NE 68849,
USA, University of Nebraska-Kearney

USA


Ref: H06P0266