The Battle of Cannae Romes greatest defeat


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the Great Causes plus! But more of that later I’m going to talk to you about one of the bloodiest days in history, probably the bloodiest day in Roman history and a strong contender for the bloodiest day in the history of any civilization ever. This was the Battle of Cannae and it took place in August 216NK] during the Second Punic War. Some of you will need a little bit of backstory so the story so far. There was a general called Hamilcar Barca and he fought for the big long established Mediterranean Superpower Carthage, which is a city on the coast of North Africa, which had great trading networks going all the way around the Mediterranean and it was very rich and powerful and had a largely mercenary army and it clashed with this upcoming new city called Rome. Rome, which is in what we today call Italy and this they were they were rivals.

They Were Rivals Over The Control Off.

For instance Sicily, which is where Hannibal Barca fought and even though the Carthaginians overall lost the war. Hamilcar Barca himself was undefeated and he was a bit annoyed being recalled by Carthage and having all his support taken away from him and he just said God Don’t ruin we nearly had to we nearly atom right I’ll get them next time H human what army de laughed well he did what any self–respecting general of the time would do that is he conquered half of Spain got loads of silver mines and got stinking rich. I mean We think of Bill Gates today don’t we is worth a bob or two quite a rich man absolutely if he wants a big yacht. He can have a big yacht, but the Barkers and other people in the ancient world got rich beyond the possibility of imagination in the modern world.

Can We Imagine Bill Gates Or

anyone like him being so privately wealthy that he could feasibly fund a successful invasion of Russia. No no no one individuals that wealthy today, but the Barkers thought let’s give it a go now. Hamilkar had some daughters, but we don’t talk about them. Then later. He had three sons.

He Had The Eldest Hannibal And

then Hasdrubal and then Mako these became commanders After his death in the second Punic. War Hannibal himself had been on campaign since the age of nine, and he had a huge amount of leadership. experience and a very experienced army to lead and he decided right I’m gonna do this at this time. I’m not the make mistake of trying to use UK power. It’s gonna be a mainly a land invasion and I’m going to go over the Alps, which he famously did was an elephants which were almost irrelevant, but never mind to some elephants and then he fought a battle against the Romans that they the the river tikkun us and he beat them and then he fought another battle at the river Trivia and he decisively beat them and then the Romans started really taking him seriously.

They Sent Out Another Much Bigger Army, And

he ambushed that at Lake Joe Cemani and annihilated it and the Romans were wow really on the back foot. They were absolutely aghast this what he beat out but we’re Romans wit we don’t. lose what’s going on? So that’s the background to the Battle of Cannae now Winter has come and he has spent that at a town called Geranium and the in the ancient world not much fighting happened in winter normally and the the the Romans were licking their wounds from the campaign’s of the the year before and electing new consoles. Consuls were generals and they always had two of them because they were constantly in fear of one person getting control of the army and then taking over Rome and setting himself up as king or something so two consuls made them feel much safer and they limited their power demanding. For instance, if I ever came to together in the same place they would have to share command between them and alternating days was one of the mechanisms that they came up with, but it wasn’t the only.

One Anyway How We Know All

this well? We know this because various historians have told us they two principle historians documenting the Second Punic War are Polybius and living there are others Cornelius Nepos to talk Appian and so forth, but they are in the main writing later and not so relevantly to the Battle of Cannae. Now Polybius was writing only fifty years after the events he was describing and so he was able to talk to people who and have been there living. On the other hand, was writing more like two centuries later, and historians do they generally think of him as less reliable, Although he has given us a much more complete history of the entire war. After Cani Polybius his history’s just exist in the form of fragments, whereas a Livy we’ve got got most of Livi’s accounts oh, but maybe 10 10 is. Gonna be carried away and he adds in all sorts of detail and though they make good stories, we can’t always rely on them anyway, so the the console from the previously of previous year.

Flaminius Had Been Killed At The Battle

of Trisomy and so he was replaced by a chap called Regulus and the consoles from the previous year. They then become pro consoles who are still around because the army still needs to be out there needs to be commanded. There are still a job to be done, but they become pro consoles. When the new consoles are elected to replace them and then they hand over at a convenient time so civilian was still alive from the previous year and so he became a pro console and the new consoles were Lucius, Emelius Paulus and Gaius Terentius Varro and from now on I’m, just going to. call them powerless and Varro, but before I carry on I will make the point that if you read an account of Cannae and you say Palace I can’t find this guy Palace anywhere.

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According To This Account, It Was Emelius Who

was in command of the Romans. So did this this lloyd chap on the linear base channels got it all wrong ah no he was Lucius Emelius Palace and I’m calling him by his last name, but that doesn’t need to be a very rigid convention here. Different historians pick one of the Romans 3 names and they tend to just use that all the time rather than using all three. So if you reads another account and it’s Emelius and not powers in command of the Romans well that’s why okay sorry for the confusion, but I hope that at least clears things up a bit. The Romans typically had three names and one of them just gets picked seemingly random by historians to be that the one when the full name isn’t used so these two men were quite different from each other.

Paulus Was A Patrician.

He was no bull descent and he was he was one of the nobles in with the nobles respected by the nobles and they felt that yeah he’s our guy, whereas this Varro guy is. It’s the son of a lowly butcher. He’s come up. He’s a man of the people he’s a demagogue he’s a rabble rouser.

His Supporters Are Are Described By Polybius

as noteworthy for their numbers rather than. Their dignity, I think you get the attitude so Barrow was not one of us as far as the patricians would contend that so it seems anyway. He’d come up through the ranks and by getting the popular opinion behind him. He’d been elected to high office and now this Varro guy was a consul and given command of an army now. This was a very special year.

Normally A Consular Army Would Be Perhaps

two legions. It might have the same number of allies or two Roman legion, so it isn’t your time. The same number of allies drawn from the subjugated states around Rome, so they might be Etruscans or some Knights people like that well that would be a four Legion army, and that was normally it considered adequate to to see off any further room might face, but they are up against Hannibal who seem to. just annihilate large army sent against him so they thought right okay. This made it seem like a hammer to crack a nut, but let’s just go for a wild overkill let’s just defeat this guy once and for all let’s put an army in the field that is so staggeringly gargantuan done even if he does some clever ruse he does these ambushes and things even if he’s got some clever ruse He’s still can’t beat us because we will just overwhelming with overwhelming with just sheer numbers, so they put into the field.

16 Legions And The Two Consular Armies Would

join together. So this was 16 legions in one enormous great lump and these are not ordinary lesions that normally in the past a legion would be four thousand infantry, but they boosted that these were 5000 infantry legions so they’re extra strength as well normally you’d. have maybe 200 cavalry, but they made it 300 cavalry and the Allies were supposed to supply three times as much cavalry as the Romans. Although it seems to me that they didn’t. Polybius says that it wasn’t the norm, but then doesn’t go on to say but they didn’t actually supply it, But when he describes the numbers of cavalry that the Romans have he said they had 6,000 cavalry well they would have had 9600 cavalry.

If The Allies Had Put In Three

times as many. So it seems that the Allies put in maybe one and a half times as many as the Romans, but even so so you’ve got a usual amount. So the Romans have not that many cavalry, but they’ve got an enormous great block of infantry 16 legions. It just is it’s staggering so what were they going up against well. Hannibal had.

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Maybe 40,000 Infantry And But He Had 10,000

cavalry so if you go with the 9600 figure for the Romans cavalry, then he had a slight advantage in cavalry, but most people. Most historians agree that he had a significant advantage so it looks like 10,000 Carthaginian cavalry against 6,000 Roman cavalry not staggeringly overwhelming. They don’t have more than double a number, but that’s a significant advantage to the Carthaginians in cavalry, but a significant disadvantage in infantry so good that they could beam outnumbered two to one if we go with plebis figures, but there are loads of problems with all the figures for troops for this battle and ancient battles in general I’ll get I’ll get onto that later so those a third Roman army by the way that was sent as a diversion up to Gaul and that was quite significant because a lot of Hannibal’s. Army was made up of Gauls from what we call Cisalpine Gaul You’ll remember that what we think of today is Italy. The northern part of it was actually a Celtic speaking, so they they were Gauls and they were not part of the Roman sphere.

In This Period They Hadnt They

haven’t been conquered yet and a lot of those goals were had gone down south with Hannibal and had been fighting very successfully with him against the Romans and getting revenge for slights against them. In the past of the rooms of perpetrated and it seems being pretty enthusiastic warriors, so by sending a diversionary attack up north. Perhaps they could persuade some of those.


The Battle of Cannae took place in August 216NK] during the Second Punic War . It was probably the bloodiest day in Roman history and a strong contender for the bloodyest day in the history of any civilization ever . The Barkers and other people in the ancient world got rich beyond the possibility of imagination in the modern world . Can we imagine Bill Gates or anyone like him being so privately wealthy that he could feasibly fund a successful invasion of Russia? We think of Bill Gates today don’t we is worth a bob or two quite a rich man absolutely if he wants a big yacht, but the Barkers thought let’s give it a go now. We nearly had to we nearly atom right I’ll get them next time H human what army de laughed well I will get them back. In this video, which has been sponsored by the Great Causes plus! But more of that later I’m going to talk to you about the Bloodiest Day of the Day. In the video,…. Click here to read more and watch the full video