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Follow-up information related to last night's chat

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  • IrenesBooks@aol.com
    Both Jim and I posted some follow-up information on the Ancient/Classical ... Jim: Winter Quarters During the chat at Irene s Roman History Book forum, the
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 6, 2000
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      Both Jim and I posted some follow-up information on the Ancient/Classical
      Forum http://www.delphi.com/ab-ancienthist/start :
      Jim: Winter Quarters

      During the chat at Irene's Roman History Book forum, the question arose
      as to whether Hannibal ignored the usual practice of taking winter quarters
      campaign. I had to admit to ignorance on this score. In all the accounts I
      read -- mostly on the military side-- the question of Hannibal's _hiberna_
      never came up. I assumed that he did not take a seasonal hiatus just on the
      principal that he had to constantly maneuver to keep the Roman army from
      dictating the field of battle. However, I have since learned from a recent
      book on Roman Army logistics (don't ask...it's exorbitantly expensive) that
      Livy mentions Marcellus breaking his winter camp to go on campaign once
      Of course, we know that Julius Caesar set up winter camps during his
      campaigns in Gaul.
      The principal reason was lack of fodder for the pack and draught animals. Of
      course ships could not ply the Mediterranean during a good part of the
      winter...they were not very open-sea kindly craft and even using the
      Cyprus way-station, it was very risky.

      If Hannibal himself did not go into winter camp, it would have been because
      was deep in enemy territory without a nearby depot or refuge.

      I should have known better |:-(
      Jim B.
      Irene: Historiographers

      Last night in the chat, I mentioned that Hannibal had his own
      historiographers who accompanied him, but couldn't recall the names. Today I
      did some further checking and found information in Lancel and Seibert:
      Lancel points out that both Polybius and Livy -- the latter apparently
      indirectly -- drew on these:

      "…Although he had direct access to the documents in Roman archives - such as
      the series of treaties between Rome and Carthage (111, 22-7) - Polybius by no
      means neglected his predecessors, the historians who were contemporary with
      the events. For his account of the first Punic War, he consulted Philinos of
      Agrigentum, who had probably witnessed this conflict and championed the Punic
      cause, and Fabius Pictor, who also wrote in Greek but from the Roman
      viewpoint. The last-named is to be found again in Polybius' sources for the
      account of the second Punic War, compared with the Lacedaemonian Sosylos, who
      had lived in Hannibal's camp (he had been his tutor in Greek literature), and
      another Greek, Silenos, from Kale Akte in Sicily, who had also been among the
      Carthaginian leader's entourage (Cornelius Nepos, Hannibal, 13, 3)." (page

      "…Naturally, Livy also delved into other sources, which he sometimes quotes:
      C. Acilius, Claudius Quadrigarius, Valerius Antias, and chiefly Coelius
      Antipater, who in the late second century BC had written a history of the
      second Punic War in seven books, unfortunately now lost, of which only a few
      rare membra disiecta survive, also known from quotations by Cicero. The loss
      of Coelius' history is the more regrettable since he seems to have followed
      Silenos, one of Hannibal's historiographers whom we have already seen used by
      Polybius." (page 27)

      Seibert is silent on Silenos, but mentions Sosylos of Sparta, writing that
      Sosylos stayed with Hannibal "for as long as he lived". This sentence is
      ambiguous, as it is not clear who of the two is meant by "he". Certainly it
      seems to be taken an acccepted fact that Hannibal fled from Carthage without
      any entourage. Seibert also mentions a "Sosylos Papyrus" in a footnote.

      Leckie in his novel ignores Sosylos, but has "Silenus" as Hannibal's tutor,
      which well he may have been too. However, he leaves him behind when Hannibal
      sets out for war with the Romans.

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