The Battle of Zama in the summer of 202 BC marked the end of the power of the great Hannibal Barca. With its greatest son, also Carthage should be at a virtual end. True, it should limp on for some time, but with its defeat at the end of the Second Punic War it no longer was a significant power.
Zama also marks the pinnacle in the career of the outstanding Roman general Publius Cornelius Scipio, whose reforms to the Roman army made him legendary.
In 204 BC, after fourteen years of war, Roman troops landed in North Africa with the goal of directly attacking Carthage.
Led by Scipio Africanus, they succeeded in defeating Carthaginian forces led by Hasdrubal Gisco and their Numidian allies commanded by Syphax at Utica and Great Plains (203 BC). With their situation precarious, the Carthaginian leadership sued for peace with Scipio. This offered accepted by the Romans who offered moderate terms. While the treaty was being debated in Rome, Carthaginian forces captured a Roman supply fleet in the Gulf of Tunes.
Cort moved to Venice and lived in the house of Titian in 1565 and 1566, where he produced engraving based on Titian's works. From Italy he wandered back to the Netherlands, but he returned to Venice soon after 1567, proceeding thence to Bologna and Rome, where he produced engravings from all the great masters of the time.
At Rome he founded the well-known school in which, as Bartsch tells us, the simple line of Marcantonio was modified by a brilliant touch of the burin, afterwards imitated and perfected by Agostino Carracci in Italy and Nicolaes de Bruyn in the Netherlands. In Italy he gave circulation to the works of Raphael, Titian, Polidoro da Caravaggio, Baroccio, Giulio Clovio, Muziano and the Zuccari.
He visited Florence between 1569 and 1571 probably working for the Medici family and returned to Titian in Venice in 1571-1572. He spent the last year of his life in Rome, where he died.
This success, along with the return of Hannibal and his veterans from Italy, led to change of heart on the part of the Carthaginian senate. Emboldened, they elected to continue the conflict and Hannibal set about enlarging his army. Marching out with a total force of around 54,000 men and 80 elephants, Hannibal encountered Scipio near Zama Regia. Forming his men in three lines, Hannibal placed his mercenaries in first line, his new recruits and levies in the second, and his Italian veterans in the third. These men were supported by the elephants to the front and Numidian and Carthaginian cavalry on the flanks.
To counter Hannibal's army, Scipio deployed his 43,000 men in a similar formation consisting of three lines, with Roman and Numidian cavalry on the flanks. Aware that Hannibal's elephants could be devastating on the attack, Scipio devised a new way to counter them. Though tough and strong, the elephants could not turn when they charged. Using this knowledge, he formed his infantry in separate units with gaps in between. These were filled with velites (light troops) which could move to allow the elephants to pass through.
It was his goal to allow the elephants to charge through these gaps thus minimizing the damage they could inflict. As anticipated, Hannibal opened the battle by ordering his elephants to charge the Roman lines. Moving forward, they were engaged by the Roman velites who drew them through the gaps in the Roman lines and out of the battle. With Hannibal's elephants neutralized, Scipio sent forward his cavalry. Attacking on both wings, the Roman and Numidian horsemen overwhelmed their opposition and pursued them from the field.
Though displeased by his cavalry's departure, Scipio began advancing his infantry. This was met by an advance from Hannibal. While Hannibal's mercenaries defeated the first Roman assaults, his men slowly began to be pushed back by Scipio's troops. As the first and second lines gave way, Hannibal's veteran's stood firm forcing the other Carthaginian troops to move outward to the flanks as they retreated. Extending his line to avoid being outflanked, Scipio pressed the attack against Hannibal's best troops.
As with many battles in this period, exact casualties are not known. Some sources claim that Hannibal's casualties numbered 20,000 killed, 11,000 wounded, and 15,000 taken prisoner, while the Romans lost around 1,500 and 5,000 wounded. Regardless of casualties, the defeat at Zama led to Carthage renewing its calls for peace. These were accepted by Rome, however the terms were harsher than those offered a year earlier. In addition to losing the majority of its empire, a substancial war indemnity was imposed and Carthage was effectively destroyed as a power.
Otto van Veen, (c.1556 – 6 May 1629) was a painter, draughtsman, and humanist active primarily in Antwerp and Brussels in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century. He is known for running a large studio in Antwerp, producing several emblem books, and for being, from 1594 or 1595 until 1598, Peter Paul Rubens's teacher.
Van Veen was born in Leiden around 1556, where his father had been Burgomaster. He studied for a time under Dominicus Lampsonius and Jean Ramey, before traveling to Rome around 1574 or 1575. He stayed there for about five years Returning to Brussels, he was court painter to the governor of the Southern Netherlands, Alexander Farnese, Duke of Parma until 1592, and then active in Antwerp.
After becoming a master in the Guild of St. Luke in 1593, van Veen took numerous commissions for church decorations, including altarpieces for the Antwerp cathedral and a chapel in the city hall. He also organized his studio and workshop, which included Rubens. The artist later served as dean in two prominent organizations in the city, the Guild of St. Luke in 1602, and the Romanists in 1606.
In the seventeenth century, van Veen often worked for the Archdukes Albert and Isabella, but never as their court painter. Later paintings include a series of twelve paintings depicting the battles of the Romans and the Batavians, based on engravings he had already published of the subject, for the Dutch States General. More
There has been a traditional simplifying view that Hannibal encircled his enemy at Cannae and was defeated by the same tactics at Zama. This though proves to be incorrect. Hannibal was not outgeneraled at Zama. For Scipio won the battle of Zama by winning the cavalry duel, due to superior numbers.
If there is an irony in Hannibal's defeat at Zama though, it is that he was vanquished by the very thing he had sought to provoke with his invasion of Italy. Had he sought to inspire the tribes of Italy to rise against Roman rule, he had failed. Yet it was exactly the addition of the rebel Masinissa's Numidian cavalry to Scipio's forces which effectively sealed Hannibal's defeat.
Acknowledgment: About.com, Roman Empire