"In retrospect, the only thing on the ancient battlefield more dangerously unpredictable than a well-trained elephant was an ill-trained elephant."
|--||Robert L. O’Connell,|
The Ghosts of Cannae
- For much of the Second Punic War (218-201 BC), the daily pay of a Roman infantryman was only 4 asses, considerably less than the 12 that a manual laborer could get; though of course the workman was only paid on days he could find a job.
- During his famous march from Spain to Italy in 218 BC, all 37 of Hannibal’s elephants made it over the Pyrenees and the Alps, of which 36 died during the following winter, the survivor being an Indian female named Syras or Suras, who was later hailed as the bravest elephant in the war.
- At least sixteen Roman consuls or former consuls, as well as about a third of the members of the Senate, were killed in action during the Second Punic War.
- For several years during his protracted campaign in Italy (218-203 BC), the Carthaginian general Hannibal had a long liaison with a woman from the city of Salapia (modern Salapi), a matter of civic pride in the town for centuries afterwards.
- Out of a pool of available male Roman citizens that probably never exceed about 340,000, about 120,000 died in the Hannibalic war, as many as 80,000 of them as a result of combat; losses probably matched by Rome’s Italian allies.
- In an early example of “Swift Boating”, although the 18-year-old Scipio Africanus had won the Civic Crown for having saved the life of his father at the Battle of the Ticinus (November 218 BC), in later life his political enemies circulated rumors claiming the heroic deed had actually been done by a slave.
- An uncertain ancient tradition has it that Hannibal suffered from epilepsy, a condition also said to have afflicted Alexander the Great and Caesar.
- In the course of the Second Punic War, the 55 legions Romans raised (including four composed of the discharged veterans of 30 legions that were disbanded during the conflict, plus four more from the remnants of the 15 that were destroyed in combat, and two composed of slaves who volunteered in exchange for freedom) served an average of five years, though a handful served only one or two years, and several more than ten.
of "Al Nofi's CIC" have appeared previously in Military Chronicles,
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