Prisoner of war
A prisoner of war is a person, whether a combatant or a non-combatant, held in custody by a belligerent power during or after an armed conflict. The earliest recorded usage of the phrase "prisoner of war" dates back to 1660. Belligerents hold prisoners of war in custody for a range of legitimate and illegitimate reasons, such as isolating them from enemy combatants still in the field, demonstrating military victory, punishing them, prosecuting them for war crimes, exploiting them for their labour, recruiting or conscripting them as their own combatants, collecting military and political intelligence from them, or indoctrinating them in new political or religious beliefs. For most of human history, depending on the culture of the victors, enemy combatants on the losing side in a battle who had surrendered and been taken as a prisoner of war could expect to be either slaughtered or enslaved; the first Roman gladiators were prisoners of war and were named according to their ethnic roots such as Samnite and the Gaul.
Homer's Iliad describes Greek and Trojan soldiers offering rewards of wealth to opposing forces who have defeated them on the battlefield in exchange for mercy, but their offers are not always accepted. Little distinction was made between enemy combatants and enemy civilians, although women and children were more to be spared. Sometimes, the purpose of a battle, if not a war, was to capture a practice known as raptio. Women had no rights, were held as chattel. In the fourth century AD, Bishop Acacius of Amida, touched by the plight of Persian prisoners captured in a recent war with the Roman Empire, who were held in his town under appalling conditions and destined for a life of slavery, took the initiative of ransoming them, by selling his church's precious gold and silver vessels, letting them return to their country. For this he was canonized. During Childeric's siege and blockade of Paris in 464, the nun Geneviève pleaded with the Frankish king for the welfare of prisoners of war and met with a favourable response.
Clovis I liberated captives after Genevieve urged him to do so. Many French prisoners of war were killed during the Battle of Agincourt in 1415; this was done in retaliation for the French killing of the boys and other non-combatants handling the baggage and equipment of the army, because the French were attacking again and Henry was afraid that they would break through and free the prisoners to fight again. In the Middle Ages, a number of religious wars aimed to not only defeat but eliminate their enemies. In Christian Europe, the extermination of heretics was considered desirable. Examples include the Northern Crusades; when asked by a Crusader how to distinguish between the Catholics and Cathars once they'd taken the city of Béziers, the Papal Legate Arnaud Amalric famously replied, "Kill them all, God will know His own". The inhabitants of conquered cities were massacred during the Crusades against the Muslims in the 11th and 12th centuries. Noblemen could hope to be ransomed. In feudal Japan, there was no custom of ransoming prisoners of war, who were for the most part summarily executed.
The expanding Mongol Empire was famous for distinguishing between cities or towns that surrendered, where the population were spared but required to support the conquering Mongol army, those that resisted, where their city was ransacked and destroyed, all the population killed. In Termez, on the Oxus: "all the people, both men and women, were driven out onto the plain, divided in accordance with their usual custom they were all slain"; the Aztecs were at war with neighbouring tribes and groups, with the goal of this constant warfare being to collect live prisoners for sacrifice. For the re-consecration of Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan in 1487, "between 10,000 and 80,400 persons" were sacrificed. During the early Muslim conquests, Muslims captured large number of prisoners. Aside from those who converted, most were enslaved. Christians who were captured during the Crusades, were either killed or sold into slavery if they could not pay a ransom. During his lifetime, Muhammad made it the responsibility of the Islamic government to provide food and clothing, on a reasonable basis, to captives, regardless of their religion.
The freeing of prisoners was recommended as a charitable act. On certain occasions where Muhammad felt the enemy had broken a treaty with the Muslims, he ordered the mass execution of male prisoners, such as the Banu Qurayza. Females and children of this tribe were divided up as spoils of war by Muhammad; the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, which ended the Thirty Years' War, established the rule that prisoners of war should be released without ransom at the end of hostilities and that they should be allowed to return to their homelands. There evolved the right of parole, French for "discourse", in which a captured officer surrendered his sword and gave his word as a gentleman in exchange for privileges. If he swore not to escape, he could gain the freedom of the prison. If he swore to cease hostilities against the nation who held him captive, he could be repatriated or exchanged but could not serve against his former captors in a military capacity. Ea
Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus known as Scipio Africanus-Major, Scipio Africanus the Elder and Scipio the Great, was a Roman general and consul, regarded as one of the greatest military commanders and strategists of all time. His main achievements were during the Second Punic War where he is best known for defeating Hannibal at the final battle of Zama in 202 BC, one of the feats that earned him the agnomen Africanus. Prior to this battle Scipio conquered Carthaginian Iberia, culminating in the Battle of Ilipa in 206 BC against Hannibal's brother Mago Barca. Although considered a hero by the general Roman populace for his contributions in the struggle against the Carthaginians, Scipio was reviled by other patricians of his day. In his years, he was tried for bribery and treason, unfounded charges that were only meant to discredit him before the public. Disillusioned by the ingratitude of his peers, Scipio withdrew from public life. Publius Cornelius Scipio was born by Caesarean section into the Scipio branch of the gens Cornelia.
His birth year is calculated from statements made by ancient historians of how old he was when certain events in his life occurred and must have been 235/6 BC stated as circa 236 BC. The Cornelii were one of six major patrician families, along with the gentes Manlia, Aemilia, the Claudia, Valeria, with a record of successful public service in the highest offices extending back at least to the early Roman Republic. Scipio's great-grandfather, Lucius Cornelius Scipio Barbatus, grandfather Lucius Cornelius Scipio, had both been consuls and censors, he was the eldest son of the consul Publius Cornelius Scipio by his wife Pomponia, daughter of plebeian consul Manius Pomponius Matho. Scipio joined the Roman struggle against Carthage in the first year of Second Punic War when his father was consul. During the Battle of Ticinus, he saved his father's life by "charging the encircling force alone with reckless daring."He survived the disaster at the Battle of Cannae, where his would-be father-in-law, the consul Lucius Aemilius Paullus, was killed.
After the battle, with the other consul surviving elsewhere and Appius Claudius Pulcher, as military tribunes, took charge of some 10,000 survivors. On hearing that Lucius Caecilius Metellus and other young nobles were planning to go overseas to serve some king, Scipio stormed into the meeting, at sword-point, forced all present to swear that they would not abandon Rome. Scipio offered himself as a candidate for aedilis curulis in 213 BC alongside his cousin Marcus Cornelius Cethegus; the Tribunate of the Plebs objected to his candidacy, saying that he could not be allowed to stand because he had not yet reached the legal age. Scipio known for his bravery and patriotism, was elected unanimously and the Tribunes abandoned their opposition, his cousin won the election. In 211 BC, both Scipio's father, Publius Scipio, uncle, Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Calvus, were killed at the Battle of the Upper Baetis in Spain against Hannibal's brother, Hasdrubal Barca. At the election of a new proconsul for the command of the new army which the Romans resolved to send to Hispania, Scipio was the only man brave enough to ask for this position, no other candidates wanting the responsibility, considering it a death sentence.
In spite of his youth, his noble demeanour and enthusiastic language had made so great an impression that he was unanimously elected. In the year of Scipio's arrival, all of Hispania south of the Ebro river was under Carthaginian control. Hannibal's brothers Hasdrubal and Mago, Hasdrubal Gisco were the generals of the Carthaginian forces in Hispania, Rome was aided by the inability of these three figures to act in concert; the Carthaginians were preoccupied with revolts in Africa. Scipio landed at the mouth of the Ebro and was able to surprise and capture Carthago Nova, the headquarters of the Carthaginian power in Hispania, he obtained an excellent harbour and base of operations. Scipio's humanitarian conduct toward prisoners and hostages in Hispania helped in portraying the Romans as liberators as opposed to conquerors. Livy tells the story of his troops capturing a beautiful woman, whom they offered to Scipio as a prize of war. Scipio was astonished by her beauty but discovered that the woman was betrothed to a Celtiberian chieftain named Allucius.
He returned the woman to her fiancé, along with the money, offered by her parents to ransom her. This humanitarian act encouraged local chieftains to both reinforce Scipio's small army; the woman's fiancé, who soon married her, responded by bringing over his tribe to support the Roman armies. In 209 BC, Scipio fought his first set piece battle, driving back Hasdrubal Barca from his position at Baecula on the upper Guadalquivir. Scipio surround his small army. Scipio's objective was, therefore, to eliminate one of the armies to give him the luxury of dealing with the other two piecemeal; the battle was decided by a determined Roman infantry charge up the centre of the Carthaginian position. Roman losses are uncertain but may have been considerable in light of an effort by the infantry to scale an elevation defended by Carthaginian light infantry. Scipio orchestrated a frontal attack by the rest of his infantry to draw out the remainder of the Carthaginian forces. Hasdrubal had not noticed Scipio's hidden reserves of cavalry moving behind enemy lines, a Roman cavalry charge created a double envelopment on either flank led by cavalry commander Gaius Laelius and Scipio himsel
Battle of Ager Falernus
The Battle of Ager Falernus was a skirmish during the Second Punic War between the armies of Rome and Carthage. After winning the Battle of Lake Trasimene in Italy in 217 BC, the army commanded by Hannibal marched south and reached Campania; the Carthaginians moved into the district of Falernum, a fertile river valley surrounded by mountains. Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus, elected Roman dictator and commander of the Roman field forces after the disastrous defeat at Lake Trasimene, had dogged Hannibal and stuck to a strategy to fight only under favourable conditions, he now occupied all the river crossings and mountain passes leading out of the valley, thus blocking the Carthaginians inside. After stripping the area of grain and other supplies, Hannibal displayed brilliant tactics to provoke the Roman guard to leave one of the passes. Despite the protests of his staff officers Fabius, camped near the pass with his main forces, refused to attack the Carthaginian army and it escaped the trap unscathed.
The Carthaginian victory in the Battle of Lake Trasimene had removed the Roman consular army which had prevented the Carthaginians from marching on Rome. The second Roman consular army in Northern Italy, under Gnaeus Servilius Geminus, was on the other side of the Apennine Mountains, near Ariminum, it was in no position to hinder Hannibal from marching south; this force had lost most of its reconnaissance capabilities as its cavalry of 4,000 men had been destroyed in an ambush by Hannibal's lieutenant Maharbal near Assisi after the battle of Lake Trasimene. The Roman army retreated back to Ariminum after this debacle, was busy checking the Gallic raids taking place near the Po valley; the initiative now rested with Hannibal, the Romans had temporarily lost the ability to defend their Italian socii allies until a new army could be raised. Hannibal chose not to march on Rome after the victory at Trasimene; the Carthaginian army instead marched south-east into Umbria, through Perugia, although Livy refers to a failed siege of Spoletum, a Latin colony, Polybius does not mention it, it is that only Carthaginian raiders troubled the Latin colony.
Hannibal ordered his men to kill all military-aged males they came across as they marched through Picenum towards the Adriatic coast, reaching Herita 10 days after leaving Lake Trasimene. Here Hannibal rested his army, suffering from scurvy, refitted the Libyan/African troops with captured Roman equipment and retrained them, by using low grade local wine as an ointment, brought the cavalry horses back to health. With no Roman army situated near him, Hannibal was free to choose his next course of action unhindered. There was panic and disorder in Rome when rumors about Trasimene spread among the city population, which were confirmed when the praetor Marcus Pomponius curtly announced in the Forum "We have been defeated in a great battle"; the Senate met in continual session to debate the next course of action until three days the news of the defeat of the Roman cavalry by Maharbal arrived in Rome. The Roman senate and the people, realizing the gravity of the situation, decided to elect a dictator to direct the war effort.
As one of the elected consuls was dead and the other one away with his army, the dictator was elected by the senate instead of being nominated by one of the consuls. Quintus Fabius Maximus, a member of the patrician Fabii, who had suggested that an election should be held, was elected into office by the assembled centuries of the people, his term in office being set for the next six months. Fabius, 58 years of age, 28 years older than Hannibal, at that time carried the nickname "Verrucosus" or "Spotty" because of a wart on his face, his past political record was anything but spotty. A dictator chose his own deputy, the Master of Horse, but Fabius received as his Master of Horse Marcus Minucius Rufus, in an unusual political gesture, it was suggested that the post of Fabius was that of a pro-dictator, but it seems Fabius enjoyed all the powers of a dictator during his term. The Romans needed to prepare a proper reception should Hannibal decided to show up outside Rome with his army. Fabius first set about restoring the morale of the Roman people and tackled the task of preparing the defences of Rome after receiving his post.
He took meticulous care in observing all the religious procedures attached to state affairs and all the civil procedures related to state administration to boost the morale of the city population, after having blamed the Trasimene disaster on the lack of proper religious observations by the dead consul Flaminius. The senate consulted the Sibylline Books at the suggestion of Fabius and a praetor was assigned to appease the Roman gods through generous sacrifices. Divine duties taken care of, Fabius next went about preparing for Hannibal's anticipated visit to Latium, being ignorant of his location and intention at that time; the city walls were repaired. The unwalled towns in Latium were ordered to be abandoned, their inhabitants were moved into walled towns. Certain bridges were torn down to deny the Carthaginians easy passage through Latium. Once it was clear that Hannibal was not marching towards Rome, Fabius ordered the army of Servilius into Latium. Fabius left Rome and took over command of the army of Ser
Battle of Beneventum (212 BC)
The Battle of Beneventum was fought between Carthage and Roman republic in 212 BC. During this conflict Hanno the Elder was defeated by Quintus Fulvius Flaccus. Livy gives a short account of this battle at 25.13-14
Second Punic War
The Second Punic War referred to as The Hannibalic War and by the Romans the War Against Hannibal, was the second of three wars between Carthage and the Roman Republic, with the participation of Greek polities and Numidian and Iberian forces on both sides. It was one of the deadliest human conflicts of ancient times. Fought across the entire Western Mediterranean region for 17 years and regarded by ancient historians as the greatest war in history, it was waged with unparalleled resources and hatred, it saw hundreds of thousands killed, some of the most lethal battles in military history, the destruction of cities, massacres and enslavements of civilian populations and prisoners of war by both sides. The war began with the Carthaginian general Hannibal's conquest of the pro-Roman Iberian city of Saguntum in 219 BC, prompting a Roman declaration of war on Carthage in the spring of 218. Hannibal surprised the Romans by marching his army overland from Iberia to cross the Alps and invade Roman Italy, followed by his reinforcement by Gallic allies and crushing victories over Roman armies at Trebia in 218 and on the shores of Lake Trasimene in 217.
Moving to southern Italy in 216, Hannibal at Cannae annihilated the largest army the Romans had assembled. After the death or imprisonment of 130,000 Roman troops in two years, 40% of Rome's Italian allies defected to Carthage, giving her control over most of southern Italy. Macedon and Syracuse joined the Carthaginian side after Cannae and the conflict spread to Greece and Sicily. From 215–210 the Carthaginian army and navy launched repeated amphibious assaults to capture Roman Sicily and Sardinia but were repulsed. Against Hannibal's skill on the battlefield, the Romans adopted the Fabian strategy – the avoidance of battle against Hannibal and defeating his allies and the other Carthaginian generals instead. Roman armies recaptured all of the great cities that had joined Carthage and defeated a Carthaginian attempt to reinforce Hannibal at Metaurus in 207. Southern Italy was devastated by the combatants, with hundreds of thousands of civilians killed or enslaved. In Iberia, which served as a major source of silver and manpower for the Carthaginian army, a Roman expeditionary force under Publius Cornelius Scipio captured Carthago Nova, Carthage's capital city in Iberia, in 209.
Scipio's destruction of a Carthaginian army at Ilipa in 206 permanently ended Carthaginian rule in Iberia. He invaded Carthaginian Africa in 204, inflicting two severe defeats on Carthage and her allies at Utica and the Great Plains that compelled the Carthaginian senate to recall Hannibal's army from Italy; the final engagement between Scipio and Hannibal took place at Zama in Africa in 202 and resulted in Hannibal's defeat and the imposition of harsh peace conditions on Carthage, which ceased to be a great power and became a Roman client state until its final destruction by the Romans in 146 BC during the Third Punic War. The Second Punic War overthrew the established balance of power of the ancient world and Rome rose to become the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin for the next 600 years. Carthage's defeat in the First Punic War meant the loss of Carthaginian Sicily to Rome under the terms of the Roman-dictated 241 BC Treaty of Lutatius. Rome exploited Carthage's distraction during the Truceless War against rebellious mercenaries and Libyan subjects to break the peace treaty and annex Carthaginian Sardinia and Corsica to Rome in 238 BC.
Under the leadership of Hamilcar Barca and his family, Carthage defeated the rebels and began the Barcid conquest of Hispania from 237 BC onward. Control over Spain gave Carthage the silver mines, agricultural wealth, military facilities such as shipyards and territorial depth to stand up to future Roman demands with confidence; the Second Punic War was ignited by the dispute over the hegemony of Saguntum, a Hellenized Iberian coastal city with diplomatic contacts with Rome. After great tension within the city government, culminating in the assassination of the supporters of Carthage, Hannibal laid siege to the city of Saguntum in 219 BC; the city called for Roman aid. Following a prolonged siege of eight months and a bloody struggle, in which Hannibal himself was wounded, the Carthaginians took control of the city. Many of the Saguntians chose to commit suicide rather than face subjugation by the Carthaginians; the loss of Saguntum as a potential base of operations in Carthaginian Iberia was a serious setback to the main Roman strategic objective in Spain: the eviction of the Carthaginians from the peninsula.
The Roman Senate sent an embassy to the Carthaginian Senate that declared war on Carthage in early 218 BC over the attack on Rome's Saguntine ally. Before the war and Hasdrubal the Fair had made a treaty. Livy reports that it was agreed that the Iber should be the boundary between the two empires and that the liberty of the Saguntines should be preserved; the highest priority in Carthaginian strategy was to keep the war away from Carthage's agricultural heartland in Africa and protect the property of the wealthy Carthaginian landowners who controlled Carthaginian politics. Spanish mines and sources of manpower comprised the second pillar of the Carthaginian power base and their protection was essential to maintaining Carthage's status as an independent continental great power. Hannibal's invasion of Italy forced the Romans to abandon their intended invasion of Africa and de-prioritize the reinforcement of Roman armies in Spain. Most Roman troops during the war fought in Italy, which became the main theater of the war as a result of Hannibal's offensive.
Africa remained undisturbed by a Roman invasion army until 204 BC and the Roman military presence in Spain was confined to its northeastern corn
Hasdrubal Barca, a latinization of ʿAzrubaʿal son of Hamilcar Barca, was a Carthaginian general in the Second Punic War. He was the brother of Mago Barca. Little is known of Hasdrubal's early life, he was present, along with his brother Hannibal, when his father, besieged the city of Helike. Hamilcar was drowned in the Jucar River. Little is known about his activities during the time Hasdrubal the Fair led the Punic forces in Spain, or during the campaigns of Hannibal Barca in Spain and his Siege of Saguntum. Hannibal, when he set out for Italy in 218 BC, left a force of 13,000 infantry, 2,550 cavalry and 21 war elephants in Iberia; the Punic navy had a fleet of 5 triremes stationed there. However, only 32 Quinqueremes were manned at the start of the Second Punic War. Hasdrubal was to set out for Italy in 217 BC to reinforce Hannibal. Hannibal left another army under Hanno in Catalonia, consisting of 10,000 foot and 1,000 horse on his way to Italy in 218 BC. Left in command of Hispania when Hannibal departed to Italy in 218 BC, Hasdrubal was destined to fight for six years against the brothers Gnaeus and Publius Cornelius Scipio.
The expedition led by Gnaeus Scipio in 218 BC had caught the Carthaginians by surprise, before Hasdrubal could join Hanno, the Carthaginian commander on the North of Ebro River, the Romans had fought and won the Battle of Cissa and established their army at Tarraco and their fleet at Emporiae. Hasdrubal, commanding only 8,000 troops and outnumbered by the Romans, raided the Romans with a flying column of light infantry and cavalry, which inflicted severe losses on their naval crews and reduced the fighting strength to 35 ships; this loss was offset by the arrival of an allied Greek contingent from the city of Massilia. In the spring of 217 BC, Hasdrubal led a joint expedition north to fight the Romans, he commanded the army. The Punic Army and the fleet encamped on the mouth of the Ebro River. Carelessness of the Carthaginian fleet enabled Gnaeus Scipio to surprise the Carthaginians and crush their naval contingent at the Battle of Ebro River. Hasdrubal retreated without fighting the Roman army.
The year 216 was spent quelling an uprising of Iberian tribes the Turdetanii around the area near Gades. Hasdrubal was reinforced by 4,000 infantry and 500 cavalry and was ordered by the Carthaginian senate to march to Italy in the same year, he left Himilco the Navigator in charge at Cartagena and marched for the Ebro river, but was defeated in the Battle of Dertosa in the spring of 215 BC. This defeat prevented reinforcements reaching Hannibal from both Iberia and Africa at a critical moment of the War, when the Carthaginians held the upper hand in Italy; the Carthaginians from on were forced to contest the Romans in the area between the Ebro and Jucor rivers. This defeat led to Mago and Hasdrubal Gisco arriving in Iberia with two armies and ending the undisputed command of the Barcid family in Iberia; the Carthaginains fought the Scipio brothers and had on the whole the worst of the conflict between 215 and 212 BC, but managed to prevent the loss of any territory. At the instigation of the Romans, one of the kings of the Numidian tribes, attacked Carthaginian territories in Africa in 213/212 BC.
The situation in Iberia was sufficiently under control, because Hasdrubal and his Iberian army crossed over to Africa and crushed the threat of Syphax in a battle where 30,000 Numidians were killed. With his Roman-trained army shattered, Syphax fled to Mauritania; the aid of Masinissa, a Numidian prince, was invaluable during this episode, he crossed over to Iberia with Hasdrubal after the African expedition ended with 3,000 Numidian cavalry. In late 212 BC, with timely cooperation from Mago Barca and Hasdrubal Gisco routed his opponents at the Battle of the Upper Baetis, destroying the majority of the Roman army in Iberia and killing both the Scipios. Carthaginians gained control of Iberia up to the Ebro as a result of this victory. However, the lack of cooperation between the Carthaginian generals led to the surviving Roman force of 8,000 retiring safely to the north of the river Ebro; these troops somehow managed to keep the Carthaginian armies from gaining a foothold north of the Ebro. The Romans reinforced this detachment with 10,000 troops under Claudius Nero in 211 BC and with another 10,000 soldiers under Scipio Africanus Major in 210 BC, who spent the year training his army and improving his diplomatic contacts.
The Carthaginian armies had dispersed into the interior of Iberia in 209 BC to maintain control over the Iberian tribes, which they were dependent on for soldiers and provisions. The Carthaginian armies were subsequently outgeneraled by Scipio Africanus Major, taking advantage of the absence of the three Carthaginian armies in 209 BC, captured Carthago Nova and gained other advantages. Hasdrubal was defeated by Scipio at the Battle of Baecula but managed to retreat with two-thirds of his army intact. In 209 BC, Hasdrubal was summoned to join his brother in Italy, he eluded Scipio by crossing the Pyrenees at their western extremity and safely made his way into Gaul in the winter of 208. Hasdrubal had waited until the spring of 207 to make his way through the Alps and into Northern Italy. Hasdrubal made much faster progress than his brother had due to the construction left behind by Hannibal's army when he had passed via the same route a decade earlier, but due to the removal of the Gallic threat that had plagued Hannibal early on.
The Gauls now feared and respected the Carthaginians, not only was Hasdrubal allowed to pass through the Alps unmolested, his ranks were
Battle of Lake Trasimene
The Battle of Lake Trasimene was a major battle in the Second Punic War. The Carthaginians under Hannibal defeated the Romans under the consul Gaius Flaminius. Hannibal's victory over the Roman army at Lake Trasimene remains, in terms of the number of men involved, the largest ambush in military history. In the prelude to the battle, Hannibal achieved the earliest known example of a strategic turning movement; the Romans alarmed and dismayed by Tiberius Sempronius Longus’ defeat at Trebia made plans to counter the new threat from the north. Sempronius returned to Rome and the Roman Senate resolved to elect new consuls the following year in 217 BC; the new consuls were Gaius Flaminius. The latter was under threat of recall from the Senate for leaving Rome without carrying out the proper rituals after being elected consul; the Senate commissioned Servilius to replace Publius Cornelius Scipio and take command of his army, while Flaminius was appointed to lead what remained of Sempronius’s army. Since both armies had been weakened by the defeat at Trebia, four new legions were raised.
These new forces, together with the remains of the former army, were divided between the two consuls. After the battles of Ticinus and Trebia, Flaminius' army turned south to prepare a defence near Rome itself. Hannibal followed, but marched faster and soon passed the Roman army. Flaminius was forced to increase the speed of his march in order to bring Hannibal to battle before reaching the city. Another force under Servilius was due to join Flaminius. Before this could happen, Hannibal lured Gaius Flaminius' force into a pitched battle, by devastating the area Flaminius had been sent to protect. Polybius wrote that Hannibal calculated that he could draw out Flaminius into battle and that "no sooner had he left the neighbourhood of Faesulae, advancing a short way beyond the Roman camp, made a raid upon the neighbouring country Flaminius became excited, enraged at the idea that he was despised by the enemy: and as the devastation of the country went on, he saw from the smoke that rose in every direction that the work of destruction was proceeding, he could not patiently endure the sight."
At the same time, Hannibal tried to sever the allegiance of Rome's allies, by proving that the Republic was powerless to protect them. Flaminius remained passively encamped at Arretium. Unable to goad Flaminius into battle, Hannibal marched boldly around his opponent's left flank and cut Flaminius off from Rome, providing the earliest record of a deliberate turning movement in military history. Military historian Theodore Ayrault Dodge describes the significance of this maneuver and its intended effects on the campaign: We are told nothing about it by the ancient authors, whose knowledge of war confined them to the description of battles, but it is apparent enough to us By this handsome march Hannibal cut Flaminius off from Rome... as he was apt to move by the flank past the Roman camp to taunt the Roman general. Here is shown...the clear conception of the enemy’s strategic flank, with all its advantages Nor by his maneuver had Hannibal recklessly cut himself loose from his base, though he was living on the country and independent of it, as it were.
A more perfect case of cutting the enemy from his communications can scarcely be conceived.... If he fought, it must be materially worse conditions than if his line was open. Still, Flaminius stubbornly kept his army in camp. Hannibal decided to march on Apulia, hoping that Flaminius might follow him to a battlefield of his own choosing. Flaminius, eager to exact revenge for the devastation of the countryside, facing increasing political criticism from Rome marched against Hannibal. Flaminius, like Sempronius, was impetuous and lacking in self-control, his advisors suggested that he send only a cavalry detachment to harass the Carthaginians and prevent them from laying waste to any more of the country, while reserving his main force until the other consul, arrived with his army. It proved impossible to argue with the rash Flaminius. Livy wrote that "Though every other person in the council advised safe rather than showy measures, urging that he should wait for his colleague, in order that joining their armies, they might carry on the war with united courage and counsels...
Flaminius, in a fury... gave out the signal for marching for battle." As Hannibal passed Lake Trasimene, he came to a place suitable for an ambush, hearing that Flaminius had broken camp and was pursuing him, made preparations for the impending battle. To the north was a series of forested hills where the Malpasso Road passed along the north side of Lake Trasimene. Along the hill-bordered skirts of the lake, Hannibal camped where he was in full view of anyone entering the northern defile, spent the night arranging his troops for battle. Below the camp, he placed his heavy infantry upon a slight elevation. Here, they had ample ground from which they could charge down upon the head of the Roman column on the left flank, when it should reach the position, his cavalry and Gallic infantry were concealed in the hills in the depth of the wooded valley from which the Romans would first enter, so that they could sally out and close the entrance, blocking the Roman route of retreat. He posted his light troops at intervals along the heights overlooking the plain, with orders to keep well hidden in the woods until signalled to attack.
The night before