The Secchia is an Italian river. One of the main right bank tributaries of the Po, it flows through the Emilia-Romagna region in northern Italy, it is 172 kilometres long, has a drainage basin with a catchment area of 2,292 square kilometres, alternating between aridity in the dry summer months and higher flows during the wet spring and autumn periods. It originates at Alpe di Succiso at an elevation of 2,017 metres, close to the pass of Cerreto in the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines it heads north, touching on the territory of Frignano, passing into the territory of the commune of Pavullo nel Frignano and reaching the Po Valley close to Sassuolo. Here it touches on the city of Modena and, with its riverbank protected by embankments, runs into the Po just south of Mantua, close to the mouth of the Mincio. North of the Via Aemilia, the course of the river suffered many alterations. In 1288–1360 it was deviated to its present course, after an agreement made by the cities of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena and Ferrara, which baptized, in honour of this alliance, the city located on the shores of the Secchia as Concordia sulla Secchia.
The river was called Sicla or Secia in Latin, in Italian it is a masculine noun for the natives of Reggio Emilia and a feminine one to the natives of Modena
The Tanaro, known as Tanarus in ancient times and Tane or Tani in piedmontese language, is a 276-kilometre long river in northwestern Italy. The river begins in the Ligurian Alps, near the border with France, is the most significant right-side tributary to the Po in terms of length, size of drainage basin, discharge; the Tanaro proper begins in Liguria at the confluence of two small streams, the sources of which are in Piedmont: the Tanarello and the Negrone. The main source of the Tanarello is on the slopes of Monte Saccarello above Monesi, a village belonging to the commune of Triora; this mountain straddles the French département of Alpes-Maritimes, the Piedmontese province of Cuneo and the Ligurian province of Imperia and marks the juncture of the watersheds between three drainage basins: that of the Tanaro itself. The sources of the Negrone are some 10 kilometres to the north, south of Punta Marguareis and close to the French border; the Tanaro flows past the towns Ceva, Alba and Alessandria before entering the Po near Bassignana in the Province of Alessandria.
At its confluence with Po, it is longer by about 50 kilometres than the upper Po, a case similar to the famous Missouri tributary being longer than Mississippi in the United States. The main tributaries to the Tanaro are the Stura di Demonte and the Borbore from the left and the Bormida and the Belbo from the right; the flow is subject to a great deal of seasonal variation. Although the river has an Alpine origin, unique among the Po’s right-side tributaries, the Ligurian Alps are of an insufficient elevation and too close to the sea to allow for the formation of snow fields or glaciers large enough to provide a steady source of water during the summer. Furthermore, the Alpine zone forms only a part of the basin drained by the Tanaro; the seasonal regime of the river is therefore more typical of an Apennine stream, with a maximum discharge that can reach 1,700 cubic metres per second, in spring and autumn and a low rate of flow in the summer. The river is prone to flooding. During the two hundred-year period between 1801 and 2001, sections of the Tanaro basin were affected by floods on 136 occasions, the most devastating being those in November 1994, when the whole of the river valley was affected by severe flooding the town of Alessandria.
The left bank of the Tanaro River near Asti is the scene of the Battle of Pollentia on April 6, 402. The article draws on material from related articles in the Italian and German Wikipedias, as retrieved 14 June 2006 SUL MONTE SACCARELLO:: Una camminata alla scoperta delle sorgenti del Tanaro Luino, F.. "Chapter 49: Flooding Vulnerability of a Town in the Tanaro Basin: The Case of Ceva". In V. R. Thorndycraft. C. Llasat. Palaeofloods, Historical Floods and Climatic Variability: Applications in Flood Risk Assessment. Retrieved 2006-06-18. Luino F.: “The flood and landslide event of November 4–6, 1994 in Piedmont Region: causes and related effects in Tanaro Valley”. XXII General Assembly dell’European Geophysical Society, Vienna. 21–25 April 1997. Ed. Elsevier Science Ltd, Vol. 24, N. 2, p. 123-129
Devil's Bridge is a term applied to dozens of ancient bridges, found in Europe. Most of these bridges are stone or masonry arch bridges and represent a significant technological achievement; each of the Devil's Bridges has folktale. Local lore wrongly attributes these bridges to the Roman era, but in fact many of them are medieval, having been built between 1000 and 1600 AD. In medieval times some Roman roads were themselves considered beyond human capabilities and needs, therefore had to have been built by the devil; the bridges that fall into the Devil's Bridge category are so numerous that the legends about them form a special category in the Aarne-Thompson classification system for folktales. Some legends have elements of related folktale categories, for example Deceiving the Devil, The Devil's Contract, The Master Builder legends. One version of the tale presents the Devil as adversaries; this reflects the fact that such as in the case of the Teufelsbrücke at the St Gotthard Pass, these bridges were built under such challenging conditions that successful completion of the bridge required a heroic effort on the part of the builders and the community, ensuring its legendary status.
Other versions of the legend feature a simple herder who makes a pact with the Devil. In this version the devil agrees to build the bridge, in return he will receive the first soul to cross it. After building the bridge the devil is outwitted by his adversary, for example by throwing bread to lure a dog over the bridge first, is last seen descending into the water, bringing peace to the community. In the case of the Steinerne Brücke in Regensburg, the legend speaks of the devil helping in a race between the builders of the bridge and of the cathedral, a slight bump in the middle of the bridge is said to result from the devil's leaping with rage upon being tricked out of his prize. In the legend of Teufelsbrück in Hamburg, which only leads over a small stream, the carpenter had a pact with the devil, he promised him the first soul crossing the bridge. On the day of inauguration, while the priest and county councillor debated who should step on the bridge first, a rabbit crossed it and the disappointed devil disappeared.
A statue refers to the legend there. The legend of Ponte della Maddalena in Borgo a Mozzano, Province of Lucca, tells of a local saint Saint Julian, the Hospitaller, who made the pact with the devil. On the day of delivery, the saint sets fire to a dog or a pig that crosses the bridge and deceives the devil. Most of the bridges that have received the Devil's Bridge appellation are remarkable in some regard, most for the technological hurdles surpassed in building the bridge, but on occasion for its aesthetic grace as well, or for its economic or strategic importance to the community it serves. There are 49 Devil's Bridges in France, including: Pont du Diable – Aniane Pont du Diable – Villemagne-l'Argentière Pont du Diable – Beaugency Pont du Diable – Céret Pont du Diable – Foix Pont du Diable – Olargues Pont du Diable – Valentré Pont du Diable – Crouzet Migette Point du Diable – Ariège Rakotzbrücke and Rhododendron Park Kromlau – Saxony, Germany Bridge near Bamberg Cathedral, Germany Brickegickel – Frankfurt, Germany Teufelsbrück – Hamburg, Germany Steinerne Brücke – Regensburg, Germany Ponte del Diavolo – ruins of a Roman bridge along Via Traiana near Montecalvo Irpino, Campania Ponte del Diavolo – Ascoli Piceno, Marche Ponte del Diavolo – Blera, Lazio Ponte del Diavolo – Bobbio, Emilia Romagna Ponte del Diavolo – Borgo a Mozzano, Tuscany Ponte del Diavolo – Cavallara Ponte del Diavolo – Cividale, Friuli Ponte del Diavolo – Civita, Calabria Ponte del Diavolo – Decimomannu, Sardinia Ponte del Diavolo – Dronero, Province of Cuneo, Piedmont Ponte del Diavolo – Lanzo Torinese, Piedmont Ponticello del Diavolo – Torcello, Veneto Ponte da Mizarela – Braga District, Portugal Hudičev most – Bohinj, Slovenia Hudičev most – Tolmin, Slovenia Puente del Diablo – Cueto, Spain Pont del Diable – Martorell, Spain Aqüeducte de les Ferreres – Tarragona, Spain Pont du Diable – Gorges de l'Areuse Teufelsbrücke – St Gotthard Pass Teufelsbrücke – Hamlet of Egg, municipality of Einsiedeln, canton of Schwyz Devil's Bridge – Devil's Bridge, Wales Devil's Bridge – Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria Devil's Bridge – Horace Farm, Pennington Parish, Cumbria Devil's Bridge – Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset Devils Bridge – in the grounds of Weston Park, Staffordshire Devil's Bridge – Pontwalby, Wales Devil's Bridge – Mossley Hill, Liverpool Devil's Bridge – Worms Head, Pembrokeshire, Wales Devil's Bridge – Sedona, Arizona Chertov Most – bypass route around the Severomuysky Tunnel, Russia Devil's Bridge – Antigua, Caribbean Elen Skok – Reka, Macedonia Duivelsbrug – Breda, Netherlands Dyavolski most – near Ardino, Bulgaria Kuradisild – Tartu, Estonia Moara Dracului – Câmpulung Moldovenesc, Romania Puente del Diablo – Binangonan, Philippines Hudičev most, Slovenija Puente La Noria – Buenos Aires, Argentina
The Alps are the highest and most extensive mountain range system that lies in Europe, separating Southern from Central and Western Europe and stretching 1,200 kilometres across eight Alpine countries: France, Italy, Liechtenstein, Austria and Slovenia. The mountains were formed over tens of millions of years as the African and Eurasian tectonic plates collided. Extreme shortening caused by the event resulted in marine sedimentary rocks rising by thrusting and folding into high mountain peaks such as Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn. Mont Blanc spans the French–Italian border, at 4,810 m is the highest mountain in the Alps; the Alpine region area contains about a hundred peaks higher than 4,000 metres. The altitude and size of the range affects the climate in Europe. Wildlife such as ibex live in the higher peaks to elevations of 3,400 m, plants such as Edelweiss grow in rocky areas in lower elevations as well as in higher elevations. Evidence of human habitation in the Alps goes back to the Palaeolithic era.
A mummified man, determined to be 5,000 years old, was discovered on a glacier at the Austrian–Italian border in 1991. By the 6th century BC, the Celtic La Tène culture was well established. Hannibal famously crossed the Alps with a herd of elephants, the Romans had settlements in the region. In 1800, Napoleon crossed one of the mountain passes with an army of 40,000; the 18th and 19th centuries saw an influx of naturalists and artists, in particular, the Romantics, followed by the golden age of alpinism as mountaineers began to ascend the peaks. The Alpine region has a strong cultural identity; the traditional culture of farming and woodworking still exists in Alpine villages, although the tourist industry began to grow early in the 20th century and expanded after World War II to become the dominant industry by the end of the century. The Winter Olympic Games have been hosted in the Swiss, Italian and German Alps. At present, the region has 120 million annual visitors; the English word Alps derives from the Latin Alpes.
Maurus Servius Honoratus, an ancient commentator of Virgil, says in his commentary that all high mountains are called Alpes by Celts. The term may be common to Italo-Celtic, because the Celtic languages have terms for high mountains derived from alp; this may be consistent with the theory. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the Latin Alpes might derive from a pre-Indo-European word *alb "hill". Albania, a name not native to the region known as the country of Albania, has been used as a name for a number of mountainous areas across Europe. In Roman times, "Albania" was a name for the eastern Caucasus, while in the English languages "Albania" was used as a name for Scotland, although it is more derived from the Latin albus, the color white; the Latin word Alpes could come from the adjective albus. In modern languages the term alp, albe or alpe refers to a grazing pastures in the alpine regions below the glaciers, not the peaks. An alp refers to a high mountain pasture where cows are taken to be grazed during the summer months and where hay barns can be found, the term "the Alps", referring to the mountains, is a misnomer.
The term for the mountain peaks varies by nation and language: words such as Horn, Kopf, Spitze and Berg are used in German speaking regions. The Alps are a crescent shaped geographic feature of central Europe that ranges in a 800 km arc from east to west and is 200 km in width; the mean height of the mountain peaks is 2.5 km. The range stretches from the Mediterranean Sea north above the Po basin, extending through France from Grenoble, stretching eastward through mid and southern Switzerland; the range continues onward toward Vienna and east to the Adriatic Sea and Slovenia. To the south it dips into northern Italy and to the north extends to the southern border of Bavaria in Germany. In areas like Chiasso and Allgäu, the demarcation between the mountain range and the flatlands are clear; the countries with the greatest alpine territory are Austria, Italy and Switzerland. The highest portion of the range is divided by the glacial trough of the Rhône valley, from Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa on the southern side, the Bernese Alps on the northern.
The peaks in the easterly portion of the range, in Austria and Slovenia, are smaller than those in the central and western portions. The variances in nomenclature in the region spanned by the Alps makes classification of the mountains and subregions difficult, but a general classification is that of the Eastern Alps and Western Alps with the divide between the two occurring in eastern Switzerland according to geologist Stefan Schmid, near the Splügen Pass; the highest peaks of the Western Alps and Eastern Alps are Mont Blanc, at 4,810 m and Piz Bernina at 4,049 metres. The second-highest major
Acer pseudoplatanus, known as the sycamore in the United Kingdom and the sycamore maple in the United States, is a flowering plant species in the soapberry and lychee family Sapindaceae. It is broad-leaved tree, tolerant of wind and coastal exposure, it is native to Central Europe and Western Asia, from France eastwards to Ukraine, northern Turkey and the Caucasus and southwards in the mountains of northern Spain and Italy. The sycamore establishes itself from seed and was introduced to the British Isles by 1500, is now naturalised there and in other parts of Europe, North America and New Zealand where it may become an invasive species; the sycamore can grow to the branches form a broad, rounded crown. The bark is grey, smooth when young and flaking in irregular patches; the leaves are large and palmate, with 5 large radiating lobes. The flowers hang in dangling flowerheads called panicles, they produce copious amounts of nectar that are attractive to insects. The winged seeds or samaras are borne in pairs and twirl to the ground when ripe.
They germinate in the following spring. In its native range, the sycamore is associated with a biodiverse range of invertebrates and fungi, but these are not always present in areas to which it has been introduced, it is sometimes planted in urban areas for its value as an amenity tree and produces a hard-wearing, creamy-white close-grained timber, used for making musical instruments, joinery, wood flooring and kitchen utensils. It makes good firewood; the rising sap in spring has been used to extract sugar and make alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, honey is made by bees collecting the nectar. Acer pseudoplatanus was first described by the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus in his Species Plantarum in 1753, it is the type species in the maple genus Acer. Many forms and varieties have been proposed, including natural varieties such as var. macrocarpum Spach, var. microcarpum Spach, var. tomentosum Tausch, forms such as f. erythrocarpum Pax, f. purpureum Rehder, f. variegatum Rehder. These are all now considered to be synonyms of Acer pseudoplatanus L.
The specific name pseudoplatanus refers to the superficial similarity of the leaves and bark of the sycamore to those of plane trees in the genus Platanus, the prefix pseudo- meaning "false". However, the two genera are in different families. Acer and Platanus differ in the position in which leaves are attached to the stem and in their fruit, which are spherical clusters in Platanus and paired samaras in Acer; the common name "sycamore" applied to the fig species Ficus sycomorus, the sycamore or sycomore referred to in the Bible, native to southwest Asia. Other common names for the tree include false plane-tree, great maple, Scottish maple, mount maple, mock-plane, or Celtic maple; the sycamore is a large, broadleaved deciduous tree that reaches 20–35 m tall at maturity, the branches forming a broad, domed crown. The bark of young trees is smooth and grey but becomes rougher with age and breaks up into scales, exposing the pale-brown-to-pinkish inner bark; the buds are produced in opposite pairs and pointed, with the bud scales green, edged in dark brown and with dark brown tips, 0.5–1 cm.
When the leaves are shed they leave horseshoe shaped marks called leaf scars on the stem. The leaves are opposite, large, 10 to 25 cm long and broad, palmate with 5 pointed lobes that are coarsely toothed or serrated, they have a leathery texture with thick veins protruding on the underside. They are dark green in colour with a paler underside; some cultivars have yellowish leaves. The leaf stalk or petiole is 5 to 15 cm long, is tinged red with no stipules or leaf-like structures at the base; the monoecious yellow-green flowers are produced after the leaves in early summer, in May or June in the British Isles, on pendulous panicles 10 to 20 cm long with about 60–100 flowers on each stalk. The fruits are paired winged seeds or samaras, the seeds 5 to 10 mm in diameter, each with a wing 20 to 40 mm long developed as an extension of the ovary wall; the wings are held at about right angles to each other, distinguishing them from those of A. platanoides and A. campestre, in which the wings are opposite, from those of A. saccharum, in which they are parallel.
When shed, the wing of the samara catches the wind and rotates the fruit as it falls, slowing its descent and enabling the wind to disperse it further from the parent tree. The seeds are mature in autumn about four months after pollination; the sycamore is tetraploid, whereas A. A. platanoides are diploid. Sycamore trees produce their flowers in hanging branched clusters known as panicles that contain a variety of different flower types. Most are morphologically bisexual, with both male and female organs, but function as if they were unisexual; some are both morphologically and functionally male, others morphologically bisexual but function as males, still others are morphologically bisexual but function as females. All of the flower types can produce pollen, but the pollen from functionally female flowers does not germinate. All flowers produce nectar, the functionally female flowers producing it in greater volume and with a higher sugar content. Sycamore trees are vari
Genoa is the capital of the Italian region of Liguria and the sixth-largest city in Italy. In 2015, 594,733 people lived within the city's administrative limits; as of the 2011 Italian census, the Province of Genoa, which in 2015 became the Metropolitan City of Genoa, counted 855,834 resident persons. Over 1.5 million people live in the wider metropolitan area stretching along the Italian Riviera. Located on the Gulf of Genoa in the Ligurian Sea, Genoa has been one of the most important ports on the Mediterranean: it is the busiest in Italy and in the Mediterranean Sea and twelfth-busiest in the European Union. Genoa has been nicknamed la Superba due to its glorious impressive landmarks. Part of the old town of Genoa was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2006 as Genoa: Le Strade Nuove and the system of the Palazzi dei Rolli; the city's rich cultural history in art and cuisine allowed it to become the 2004 European Capital of Culture. It is the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, Andrea Doria, Niccolò Paganini, Giuseppe Mazzini, Renzo Piano and Grimaldo Canella, founder of the House of Grimaldi, among others.
Genoa, which forms the southern corner of the Milan-Turin-Genoa industrial triangle of Northwest Italy, is one of the country's major economic centers. The city has hosted massive shipyards and steelworks since the 19th century, its solid financial sector dates back to the Middle Ages; the Bank of Saint George, founded in 1407, is among the oldest in the world and has played an important role in the city's prosperity since the middle of the 15th century. Today a number of leading Italian companies are based in the city, including Fincantieri, Selex ES, Ansaldo Energia, Ansaldo STS, Edoardo Raffinerie Garrone, Piaggio Aerospace, Mediterranean Shipping Company and Costa Cruises; the flag of Genoa is a red cross on a white field. The English Monarch paid an annual tribute to the Doge of Genoa for this privilege." The patron saint of Genoa was Saint Lawrence until at least 958, but the Genoese transferred their allegiance to Saint George at some point during the 11th or 12th century, most with the rising popularity of the military saint during the Crusades.
Genoa had a banner displaying a cross since at latest 1218 as early as 1113. But the cross banner was not associated with the saint. A depiction of this flag is shown in the Genoese annals under the year 1227; the Genoese flag with the red cross was used alongside this "Saint George's flag", from at least 1218, known as the insignia cruxata comunis Janue. The saint's flag was the city's main war flag, but the cross flag was used alongside it in the 1240s; the Saint George's flag remained the main flag of Genoa at least until the 1280s. The flag now known as the "St. George's Cross" seems to have replaced it as Genoa's main flag at some point during the 14th century; the Book of Knowledge of All Kingdoms shows it, inscribed with the word iustiçia, described as: And the lord of this place has as his ensign a white pennant with a red cross. At the top it is inscribed in this manner; the city of Genoa covers an area of 243 square kilometres between the Ligurian Sea and the Apennine Mountains. The city stretches along the coast for about 30 kilometres from the neighbourhood of Voltri to Nervi, for 10 kilometres from the coast to the north along the valleys Polcevera and Bisagno.
The territory of Genoa is popularly divided into 5 main zones: the centre, the west, the east, the Polcevera and the Bisagno Valley. Genoa is adjacent to two popular Ligurian vacation spots: Portofino. In the metropolitan area of Genoa lies Aveto Natural Regional Park. Genoa has a humid subtropical climate in the Köppen climate classification, since only one summer month has less than 40 millimetres of rainfall, preventing it from being classified as oceanic or Mediterranean; the average yearly temperature is around 19 °C during 13 °C at night. In the coldest months: December and February, the average temperature is 12 °C during the day and 6 °C at night. In the warmest months – July and August – the average temperature is 27.5 °C during the day and 21 °C at night. The daily temperature range is limited, with an average range of about 6 °C between high and low temperatures. Genoa sees significant moderation from the sea, in stark contrast to areas behind the Ligurian mountains such as Parma, where summers are hotter and winters are quite cold.
Annually, the average 2.9 of nights recorded temperatures of ≤0 °C. The coldest temperature recorded was −8 °C on the night of February 2012. Average annual number of days with temperatures of ≥30 °C is about 8, average four days in July and August. Average annual temperature of the sea is 17.5 °C, from 13 °C in the period January–March to 25 °C in August. In the period from June to October, the average sea temperature exceeds
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