Revision and Reconstruction in the Second Punic War: Zama—Whose Victory?

By Yozan D. Mosig and Imene Belhassen.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper offers a reconstruction of the events leading up to the battle of Zama, in 202 BCE. The writings of pro-Roman historians, especially Polybius, an employee of the Cornelian family, and Livy, a patriotic propagandist, tend to exaggerate the importance of Publius Cornelius Scipio’s generalship at Zama and the preceding conflicts. Gaps and contradictions in the Roman accounts, together with an understanding of psychological factors, such as the need to compensate for the Roman humiliation at Cannae, plus a stress on internal consistency, allow for a reconstruction of the decisive engagement at Zama. Masinissa, much more than Scipio, emerges as the key protagonist of the Roman victory, in a battle that Hannibal’s tactical genius could have won despite the inferior quality and numbers of his army. The implications and long-term effects of the battle of Zama are discussed.

Keywords: Punic Wars, Hannibal Barca, Masinissa, Publius Cornelius Scipio, Cannae, Zama

The International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 5, Issue 9, pp.175-186. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 564.456KB).

Prof. Yozan D. Mosig

Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Nebraska-Kearney, USA

Dr. Mosig has published numerous articles in psychological and literary journals, as well as a book on the New England fantaisiste H. P. Lovecraft. He is currently conducting research on the life and personality of Hannibal Barca (247-183 B.C.E.). http:/

Imene Belhassen

University of Nebraska-Kearney, USA


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