The gens Cassia was a Roman family of great antiquity. The earliest members of this gens appearing in history may have been patrician, but all those appearing in times were plebeians; the first of the Cassii to obtain the consulship was Spurius Cassius Viscellinus, in 502 BC. He proposed the first agrarian law, for which he was charged with aspiring to make himself king, put to death by the patrician nobility; the Cassii were amongst the most prominent families of the Republic, they held high office, lasting well into imperial times. Among their namesakes are the Via Cassia, the road to Arretium, the village of Cassianum Hirpinum an estate belonging to one of this family in the country of the Hirpini, their most famous member is an assassin of Julius Caesar alongside Brutus. A possible clue to the origin of the Cassii is the cognomen Viscellinus or Vecellinus, borne by the first of this gens to appear in history, it appears to be derived from the town of Viscellium or Vescellium, a settlement of the Hirpini, mentioned by Titus Livius in connection with the Second Punic War.
The town was one of three captured by the praetor Marcus Valerius Laevinus after they had revolted in 215 BC. Its inhabitants, the Viscellani, are mentioned by Pliny the Elder; this suggests the possibility that the ancestors of the Cassii were from Hirpinum, or had some other connection with Viscellium. The existence of a substantial estate of the Cassii in Hirpinum at a time further supports such a connection. Spurius Cassius Viscellinus, thrice consul at the beginning of the Republic, has traditionally been regarded as a patrician, in part because all of the consuls before 366 BC were supposed to have been patricians; the previous year saw the passage of the lex Licinia Sextia, formally permitting the plebeians to stand for the consulship. However, scholars have long suspected that a number of consuls bearing traditionally plebeian names during the nearly century and a half before this law were in fact plebeians, that the original intent of the lex Licinia Sextia was not to open the consulship to the plebeians, but to require the election of a plebeian consul each year, although this was not permanently achieved for a number of years after its passage.
Viscellinus may thus have been a plebeian, who made enemies of the patricians through his efforts at agrarian reform, his proposed treaty with Rome's allies during his last consulship. However, this point cannot be settled. Many patrician families had plebeian branches, it was common for families to vanish into obscurity for decades or centuries, before returning to prominence in the Roman state. Patricians could be expelled from their order, or voluntarily go over to the plebeians, it may be that the sons of Viscellinus were expelled from the patriciate in lieu of being executed, or that they chose to pass over to the plebeians following their father's betrayal and murder. From the imagery on their coins, it appears that the Cassii had a special devotion to the Aventine Triad of Ceres and Libera, for whom Spurius Cassius Viscellinus built a temple on the Aventine Hill in 494. Libertas, a goddess associated with Liber and Libera features on their coins, she was the emblem of the Liberatores during the Civil War led by Gaius Cassius Longinus and Brutus against Octavian and Mark Antony.
The principal names of the Cassii during the Republic were Lucius and Quintus. The praenomen Spurius is known only from Spurius Cassius Viscellinus, at the beginning of the Republic, while Marcus appears in the first century BC; the chief family of the Cassii in the time of the Republic bears the name of Longinus. A single Caecianus is known, he might have been related to the Longini. The other cognomina during this time are Hemina, Sabaco and Viscellinus. A number of other surnames are found from the final century of the Republic onwards; the famous censor Lucius Cassius Longinus used the agnomen Ravilla. This list includes abbreviated praenomina. For an explanation of this practice, see filiation. Spurius Cassius Viscellinus, consul in 502, 493, 486 BC, the first magister equitum in 501. Cassii Viscellini, three sons of the consul Viscellinus, whose praenomina are unknown, were spared by the senate after the murder of their father, they or their descendants may have been expelled by the patricians from their order, or have voluntarily passed over to the plebeians.
Quintus Cassius Longinus, military tribune in 252 BC, during the First Punic War. He was deprived of his command following a severe defeat, after engaging the enemy against the orders of the consul, Gaius Aurelius Cotta. Lucius Cassius Q. f. Longinus, son of Quintus Cassius Longinus, the military tribune. Gaius Cassius Longinus, grandfather of Gaius Cassius Longinus, the consul of 171 BC. Gaius Cassius C. f. Longinus, the father of Gaius Cassius Longinus. Gaius Cassius C. f. C. n. Longinus, consul in 171 and censor in 154 BC. Quintus Cassius L. f. Q. n. Longinus, consul in 164 BC, died during his year of office. Lucius Cassius C. f. C. n. Longinus Ravilla, the elder son of the consul of 171, as tribune of the plebs in 137, he passed the third Lex Tabellaria, he was consul in 127, censor in 125 BC. In 113 he was elected special prosecutor to investigate an incest scandal among the vestal virgins. Gaius Cassius C. f. C. n. Longinus, consul in 124 BC.
In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman civilization from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, encompassing the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and Roman Empire until the fall of the western empire. The civilization began as an Italic settlement in the Italian Peninsula, conventionally founded in 753 BC, that grew into the city of Rome and which subsequently gave its name to the empire over which it ruled and to the widespread civilisation the empire developed; the Roman Empire expanded to become one of the largest empires in the ancient world, though still ruled from the city, with an estimated 50 to 90 million inhabitants and covering 5.0 million square kilometres at its height in AD 117. In its many centuries of existence, the Roman state evolved from a monarchy to a classical republic and to an autocratic semi-elective empire. Through conquest and assimilation, it dominated the North African coast and most of Western Europe, the Balkans and much of the Middle East.
It is grouped into classical antiquity together with ancient Greece, their similar cultures and societies are known as the Greco-Roman world. Ancient Roman civilisation has contributed to modern language, society, law, government, art, literature and engineering. Rome professionalised and expanded its military and created a system of government called res publica, the inspiration for modern republics such as the United States and France, it achieved impressive technological and architectural feats, such as the construction of an extensive system of aqueducts and roads, as well as the construction of large monuments and public facilities. The Punic Wars with Carthage were decisive in establishing Rome as a world power. In this series of wars Rome gained control of the strategic islands of Corsica and Sicily. By the end of the Republic, Rome had conquered the lands around the Mediterranean and beyond: its domain extended from the Atlantic to Arabia and from the mouth of the Rhine to North Africa.
The Roman Empire emerged with the dictatorship of Augustus Caesar. 721 years of Roman–Persian Wars started in 92 BC with their first war against Parthia. It would become the longest conflict in human history, have major lasting effects and consequences for both empires. Under Trajan, the Empire reached its territorial peak, it stretched from the entire Mediterranean Basin to the beaches of the North Sea in the north, to the shores of the Red and Caspian Seas in the East. Republican mores and traditions started to decline during the imperial period, with civil wars becoming a prelude common to the rise of a new emperor. Splinter states, such as the Palmyrene Empire, would temporarily divide the Empire during the crisis of the 3rd century. Plagued by internal instability and attacked by various migrating peoples, the western part of the empire broke up into independent "barbarian" kingdoms in the 5th century; this splintering is a landmark historians use to divide the ancient period of universal history from the pre-medieval "Dark Ages" of Europe.
The eastern part of the empire endured through the 5th century and remained a power throughout the "Dark Ages" and medieval times until its fall in 1453 AD. Although the citizens of the empire made no distinction, the empire is most referred to as the "Byzantine Empire" by modern historians during the Middle Ages to differentiate between the state of antiquity and the nation it grew into. According to the founding myth of Rome, the city was founded on 21 April 753 BC on the banks of the river Tiber in central Italy, by the twin brothers Romulus and Remus, who descended from the Trojan prince Aeneas, who were grandsons of the Latin King Numitor of Alba Longa. King Numitor was deposed by his brother, while Numitor's daughter, Rhea Silvia, gave birth to the twins. Since Rhea Silvia had been raped and impregnated by Mars, the Roman god of war, the twins were considered half-divine; the new king, feared Romulus and Remus would take back the throne, so he ordered them to be drowned. A she-wolf saved and raised them, when they were old enough, they returned the throne of Alba Longa to Numitor.
The twins founded their own city, but Romulus killed Remus in a quarrel over the location of the Roman Kingdom, though some sources state the quarrel was about, going to rule or give his name to the city. Romulus became the source of the city's name. In order to attract people to the city, Rome became a sanctuary for the indigent and unwanted; this caused a problem, in that Rome was bereft of women. Romulus visited neighboring towns and tribes and attempted to secure marriage rights, but as Rome was so full of undesirables he was refused. Legend says that the Latins invited the Sabines to a festival and stole their unmarried maidens, leading to the integration of the Latins with the Sabines. Another legend, recorded by Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus, says that Prince Aeneas led a group of Trojans on a sea voyage to found a new Troy, since the original was destroyed at the end of the Trojan War. After a long time in rough seas, they landed on the banks of the Tiber River. Not long after they landed, the men wanted to take to the sea again, but the women who were traveling with them did not want to leave.
One woman, named Roma, suggested that the women burn the ships out at sea to prevent their leaving
The gens Herennia was a plebeian family at Rome. Members of this gens are first mentioned among the Italian nobility during the Samnite Wars, they appear in the Roman consular list beginning in 93 BC. In Imperial times they held a number of military commands; the empress Herennia Etruscilla was a descendant of this gens. The extensive mercantile interests of the Herennii are attested by several authors, who describe the family's participation in the Sicilian and African trade, their involvement in purchasing and exporting silphium, a medicinal herb of great value in antiquity, which grew only along a short stretch of the African coast, defied all attempts to cultivate it; the Herennian interest in trade is attested by the surname Siculus, the settlement of a merchant named Herennius at Leptis Magna, the legend of the founding of a temple to Hercules at Rome, a coin of the gens bearing a representation of the goddess Pietas on the obverse, on the reverse Amphinomus carrying his father, a reference to the legend of the two brothers of Catana, who escaped an eruption of Mount Aetna carrying their aged parents.
The Herennii were Samnites from Campania, but they were absorbed into the Roman state following the Samnite Wars. The nomen Herennius appears to be a patronymic surname; the Marii were their hereditary clientes. Livy mentions a Herennius, one of the leading members of the senate of Nola in Campania, many of the Herennii remained in this region of Italy; the Herennii preserved a Sabellic custom by assuming matronymic and gamonymic surnames, the arrangement of which could vary considerably. Livy records an example of this in connection with the panic over the discovery of the Bacchanalia at Rome in 186 BC: Minius Cerrinius was the son of a Cerrinius and Minia Paculla. Herennius Etruscus Messius Decius was the son of the emperor Decius and Herennia Etruscilla; the Herennii of the Republic favoured the praenomina Gaius and Lucius, the three most common names throughout Roman history. At least one was named Titus among the most common praenomina. In the time of the Republic, the cognomina found for the Herennii include Balbus, Cerrinius and Siculus.
Many other surnames occur in Imperial times. Balbus and Bassus were common surnames, the former referring to one who stammers, the latter to one inclined to stoutness. Cerrinius and Pontius were Samnite nomina, the latter cognate with the Latin Quinctius. Siculus refers to an inhabitant of Sicily. Picens, attributed to the consul of 34 BC, would, if accurate, suggest that a branch of the Herennii had settled in Picenum; this list includes abbreviated praenomina. For an explanation of this practice, see filiation. Gaius Herennius, according to some sources one of the commissioners for assigning land to the Latin colony at Placentia in 218 BC, he and his colleagues were obliged to seek refuge at Mutina following an insurrection of the Boii, but according to Polybius they were captured by the Gauls. Herennius Bassus, one of the leading senators at Nola in 215 BC, during the Second Punic War. In answer to the embassy of Hannibal urging the town to desert the Roman cause, Bassus said that the city was satisfied with its alliance with Rome, had no desire to change sides.
Herennius Cerrinius, a priest who officiated at the Bacchanalia held at Rome in 186 BC, having been initiated into the rites by his mother, Minia Paculla. The exposure of the rites and rumours about the immoral behaviour of participants caused a general panic at Rome, they were brutally suppressed, in the course of which Cerrinius perished. Marcus Octavius Herennius, according to legend, a flute-player who became a successful trader, he dedicated a tenth of his gains to Hercules, after fending off an attack of pirates, the god appeared to him in a dream, stating that he had given Herennius the strength. In gratitude, Herennius built a chapel to Hercules at the foot of the Aventine Hill, near the Porta Trigemina. Herennius Siculus, a haruspex, a friend of Gaius Sempronius Gracchus, was arrested because of his association with Gracchus. Gaius Herennius, the patron of Gaius Marius, summoned to testify against Marius on a charge of bribery. Herennius refused, on the grounds, he lived near Arpinum.
Marcus Herennius, consul in 93 BC, who won election against the noted orator Lucius Marcius Philippus, despite his own humble birth and limited oratorical skill. Large amounts of the expensive medicinal herb silphium reached Rome during his consulship due to the trading connections of the Herennii. Gaius Herennius, tribune of the plebs in BC 80, opposed Sulla's proposal to recall Gnaeus Pompeius from Africa, he was the same person as the legate Herennius who served under Sertorius in Hispania. He may be the same as the senator Gaius Herennius, convicted of peculatio at some point before 69. Titus Herennius, a banker at Leptis Magna, whom Verres had put to death during his praetorship, despite more than one hundred Roman citizens at Syracuse who attested to his good character and innocence of any crime. Gaius Herennius, the addressee of a treatise on rhetoric attributed to Cicero. Marcus Herennius, a decurion at Pompeii in
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
The Liri is one of the principal rivers of central Italy, flowing into the Tyrrhenian Sea a little below Minturno under the name Garigliano. The Liri's source is in the Monte Camiciola, elevation 1,701 metres, in the Monti Simbruini of central Apennines, it flows at first in a southeasterly direction through a long trough-like valley, parallel to the general direction of the Apennines, until it reaches the city of Sora. In the upper part of Isola del Liri it receives the waters of Fibreno and it divides into two branches which rejoin, surrounding the lower part of the town. One branch makes a 28-metre high waterfall situated in a unique case in Europe. A dam is built on the river after the conjunction with the Sacco River at Ceprano; the last important Liri's tributary is the Melfa. After Cassino it receives the waters of the Gari, afterwards it is known as Garigliano; the Liri-Garigliano system has a total water drainage basin of 5,020 square kilometres. Both Strabo and Pliny tell us that it was called Clanis, a name which appears to have been common to many Italian rivers.
The surrounding area was devastated by Hannibal during his invasion in response to the locals' having burnt the bridges over the river. In 238 BC, the adjacent city of Fregella was the site of a crushed rebellion against Roman rule; the Liris is noticed by several of the Roman poets, as a gentle and tranquil stream, a character which it well deserves in the lower part of its course, where it was described by a nineteenth century traveller as a wide and noble river, winding under the shadow of poplars through a lovely vale, gliding towards the sea. At the mouth of the Liris near Minturnae, was an extensive sacred grove consecrated to Marica, a nymph or local divinity, represented by a tradition, adopted by Virgil, as mother of Latinus, while others identified her with Circe, her grove and temple were not only objects of great veneration to the people of the neighboring town of Minturnae, but appear to have enjoyed considerable celebrity with the Romans themselves. Adjoining its mouth was an extensive marsh, formed by the stagnation of the river itself, celebrated in history in connection with the adventures of Gaius Marius.
About 70 miles upstream from its mouth, the river passes what used to be Lake Fucino, separated from the lake basin by the mountain ridge of Monte Salviano. The Roman emperor Claudius had a tunnel dug through the ridge in an attempt to drain the lake, which had no natural outlet, to the Liri; the emperor Hadrian tried to improve the tunnel but, after the fall of the empire, tunnel maintenance was not maintained and it was blocked by silt and debris, allowing the lake to refill. A new tunnel was completed in the 1860s, the basin of the former lake still drains to the Liri via that tunnel, through the ridge near the town of Avezzano. During the Italian Campaign of the Second World War, the German defenses of the Gustav Line followed the Liri valley. Liri came from Illyrian "lirë" which mean “free”. Manco, The Italian hydronym: lagno, Università di Napoli L'Orientale, p. Attribution This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Bunbury, Edward Hurbert. "Liri". In Smith, William.
Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. 2. London: John Murray. P. 196. "Liri". Encyclopædia Britannica. 1911
Hannibal Barca was a general and statesman from Ancient Carthage, considered one of the greatest military commanders in history. His father, Hamilcar Barca, was a leading Carthaginian commander during the First Punic War, his younger brothers were Mago and Hasdrubal, he was brother-in-law to Hasdrubal the Fair, all commanded Carthaginian armies. Hannibal lived during a period of great tension in the western Mediterranean Basin, triggered by the emergence of the Roman Republic as a great power after it had established its supremacy over Italy. Although Rome had won the First Punic War, revanchism prevailed in Carthage, symbolised by the alleged pledge that Hannibal made to his father to never be a friend of Rome; the Second Punic War broke out in 218 after Hannibal's attack on Saguntum, an ally of Rome in Hispania. He made his famous military exploit of carrying war to Italy by crossing the Alps with his African elephants. In his first few years in Italy, he won a succession of dramatic victories at the Trebia, Lake Trasimene, Cannae.
He distinguished himself for his ability to determine his and his opponent's respective strengths and weaknesses, to plan battles accordingly. Hannibal's well-planned strategies allowed him to conquer. Hannibal occupied most of southern Italy for 15 years, but could not win a decisive victory, as the Romans led by Fabius Maximus avoided confrontation with him, instead waging a war of attrition. A counter-invasion of North Africa led by Scipio Africanus forced him to return to Carthage. Scipio had studied Hannibal's tactics and brilliantly devised some of his own, he defeated Rome's nemesis at the Battle of Zama, having driven Hannibal's brother Hasdrubal out of the Iberian Peninsula. After the war, Hannibal ran for the office of sufet, he enacted political and financial reforms to enable the payment of the war indemnity imposed by Rome. During this time, he lived at the Seleucid court, where he acted as military advisor to Antiochus III the Great in his war against Rome. Antiochus met defeat at the Battle of Magnesia and was forced to accept Rome's terms, Hannibal fled again, making a stop in the Kingdom of Armenia.
His flight ended in the court of Bithynia, where he achieved an outstanding naval victory against a fleet from Pergamon. He was afterwards betrayed to the committed suicide by poisoning himself. Hannibal is regarded as one of the greatest military strategists in history and one of the greatest generals of Mediterranean antiquity, together with Philip of Macedon, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Scipio Africanus. Plutarch states that Scipio asked Hannibal "who the greatest general was", to which Hannibal replied "either Alexander or Pyrrhus himself" Military historian Theodore Ayrault Dodge called Hannibal the "father of strategy", because Roman armies adopted elements of his military tactics into its own strategic arsenal. Hannibal has been cited by various subsequent military leaders, such as Napoleon Bonaparte, as an inspiration and the greatest strategist of all time; the English form of the name is derived from the Latin. Greek historians rendered the name as Anníbas Bárkas. Hannibal was a common Carthaginian masculine given name.
The name was recorded in Carthaginian sources as ḤNBʿL. It is a combination of the common Carthaginian masculine given name Hanno with the Northwest Semitic Canaanite deity Baal, its precise vocalization remains a matter of debate. Suggested readings include Ḥannobaʿal, Ḥannibaʿl, or Ḥannibaʿal, meaning "Baʿal/The Lord is Gracious", "Baʿal Has Been Gracious", or "The Grace of Baʿal". Barca was the Semitic surname of his aristocratic family, meaning "shining" or "lightning", it is thus the Phoenician equivalent to the Arabic name Barq or the Hebrew name Barak or the ancient Greek epithet Keraunos, given to military commanders in the Hellenistic period. In English, his clan are sometimes collectively known as the Barcids; as with Greek and Roman practice, patronymics were a common part of Carthaginian nomenclature, so that Hannibal would have been known as "Hannibal son of Hamilcar". Hannibal was one of the sons of a Carthaginian leader, he was born in what is present day northern Tunisia, one of many Mediterranean regions colonised by the Canaanites from their homelands in Phoenicia.
He had several sisters and two brothers and Mago. His brothers-in-law were the Numidian king Naravas, he was still a child when his sisters married, his brothers-in-law were close associates during his father's struggles in the Mercenary War and the Punic conquest of the Iberian Peninsula. In light of Hamilcar Barca's cognomen, historians refer to Hamilcar's family as the Barcids. However, there is debate as to whether the cognomen Barca was applied to Hamilcar alone or was hereditary within his family. If the latter Hannibal and his brothers bore the name "Barca". After Carthage's defeat in the First Punic War, Hamilcar set out to improve his family's and Carthage's fortunes. With that in mind and supported by Gades, Hamilcar began the subjugation of the tribes of the Iberian Peninsula. Carthage at the time was in such a poor state. According to Polybius, Hannibal much said that when he came upon his father and begged to go with him, Hamilcar agreed and dem
Battle of the Caudine Forks
The Battle of Caudine Forks, 321 BC, was a decisive event of the Second Samnite War. Its designation as a battle is a mere historical formality: there was no fighting and there were no casualties; the Romans were trapped in an enclosed valley by the Samnites before they knew what was happening and nothing remained but to negotiate an unfavorable surrender. The action was political, with the magistrates on both sides trying to obtain the best terms for their side without disrespecting common beliefs concerning the rules of war and the conduct of peace. In the end the Samnites decided it would be better for future relations to let the Romans go, while the Romans were impeded in the prosecution of their campaign against the Samnites by considerations of religion and honor. According to Livy's account, the Samnite commander, Gaius Pontius, hearing that the Roman army was located near Calatia, sent ten soldiers disguised as herdsmen with orders to give the same story, that the Samnites were besieging Lucera in Apulia.
The Roman commanders taken in by this ruse, decided to set off to give aid to Lucera. Worse, they chose the quicker route, along a road to become the Appian Way, through the Caudine Forks, a narrow mountain pass near Benevento, Campania; the area round the Caudine Forks was surrounded by mountains and could be entered only by two defiles. The Romans entered by one, they returned at once to the first defile only to find it now securely held by the Samnites. At this point the Romans, according to Livy, fell into total despair, knowing the situation was quite hopeless; the Samnites had no idea. Hence Pontius was persuaded to send a letter to Herennius; the reply came back that the Romans should be sent on their way, unharmed, as as possible. This advice was rejected, a further letter was sent to Herennius; this time the advice was to kill the Romans down to the last man. Not knowing what to make of such contradictory advice, the Samnites asked Herennius to come in person to explain; when Herennius arrived he explained that were they to set the Romans free without harm, they would gain the Romans' friendship.
If they killed the entire Roman army Rome would be so weakened that they would not pose a threat for many generations. At this his son asked. Herennius insisted that any middle way would be utter folly and would leave the Romans smarting for revenge without weakening them. Modern historians have cast doubt on the details of Livy's account. Neither defile leading to the central plain is as narrow and steep as Livy's dramatic description would suggest; the western defile is over a kilometre wide, it is unlikely that the Samnites would have had time to block it in the brief time the Romans would have taken to cross the plain to the eastern defile and return. The eastern end, narrower, is wide enough to make it possible to march through while keeping out of range of missiles thrown from the hills on either side. Horsfall suggests that Livy's geography may have been influenced by accounts of the campaigns of Alexander the Great which were contemporary with this event. According to Livy, Pontius was unwilling to take the advice of his father and insisted that the Romans surrender and pass under a yoke.
This was agreed to by the two commanding consuls. Livy describes in detail the humiliation of the Romans, which serves to underline the wisdom of Herennius's advice. Livy contradicts himself as to whether Rome honored or repudiated the Caudine Peace. Livy claims the Roman Senate rejected the terms but, claims Rome honored the Caudine Peace until hostilities broke out afresh in 316. Livy 9, 2-6 Rosenstein, Nathan S. Imperatores Victi: Military Defeat and Aristocratic Competition in the Middle and Late Republic. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990. Http://ark.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/ft967nb61p/ Hammond, N. G. L. & Scullard, H. H.. The Oxford Classical Dictionary. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-869117-3. Livy's Book 9, which includes his account of the battle