Hasdrubal make a mistake.     You have changed History!  We have no way to prove it, but it seems very likely that Hasdrubal might have defeated the Roman army in the north, while Hannibal fought the Romans in the south.  Together, they may have totally destroyed Roman resistance, and finally, conquered Rome itself.  Hasdrubal was foolish, however, and discounted the effect of the spies we have discussed so many times before.  Scroll down...

    Because there were spies everywhere, Hasdrubal's messengers were captured, and their plans became known.  Hasdrubal had sent his brother explicit description of his plans, and the Romans used this to their advantage.  The consul Nero (not the later Emperor) defied his orders, and took part of his army from the south to help consul Livius battle Hasdrubal.  Because of this bold move (a strategic trick worthy even of Hannibal), the Romans were able to defeat Hasdrubal completely.
    According to legend, Hasdrubal, realizing that the battle was lost, threw himself into the middle of the fight, where he was eventually killed.  The Romans cut off Hasdrubal's head, and threw it into Hannibal's camp as a message that all was lost to the Carthaginians.  With no further hope for help from home, it seemed that the situation could not get worse for Hannibal.  See his next choice.

    While the death of Hasdrubal was a tremendous emotional loss for Hannibal, his biggest concern as a commander were coming from other quarters.  Word had been received that Carthage itself was now under siege.
    Following the Battle at Cannae, one of the few Roman leaders to remain faithful as a defender of Rome was Scipio, son of the Scipio we previously met.  This Scipio will come to be known as Scipio Africanus Major, due to his eventual siege of Carthage.  Scipio A. M. had taken a force to North Africa, with the intention of removing Hannibal from Italy by forcing him to come home to defend his own city.  This created the unique possibility that Scipio might take Carthage while Hannibal took Rome.  It is left to us to wonder what might have happened had that transpired, but it did not.
    Hannibal received an appeal from his Senate to return home to defend them.  He had Rome in front of him, and the possibility of his own siege to consider in the process.  He could take Rome, but also lose Carthage in the process.  On the other hand, if Hannibal took Rome, Scipio might be forced to surrender, having no city to support him.  What did he do?
Attack Rome
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