A History of Rome in Paintings: 10 War with Carthage

The Eclectic Light Company

The first of the Punic Wars saw Rome defeat Carthage after twenty-three years of costly and destructive fighting over the island of Sicily. The cost to Carthage was increased by the reparations it was made to pay to Rome, and its loss of control over the seas around Sicily. The Carthaginians used the following (relative) peace to take rich possessions in the south-east of Iberia (modern Spain), and in 221 BCE Hannibal became their ruling viceroy. Two years later he captured the Roman city of Saguntum there, drawing Carthage into a second war with Rome.

During the summer of 218 BCE, Hannibal famously led a huge army equipped with war-elephants north-east along the coast into Gaul (France) and crossed the Alps to arrive in northern Italy at the start of winter. The Romans, led by consul Gaius Flaminius, fought the Carthaginians by the river Trebia. In the midst of the…

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