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Please note that Mommsen uses the AUC chronology (Ab Urbe Condita), i.e. from the founding of the City of Rome. You can use this reference table to have the B.C. dates


III. From the Union of Italy to the Subjugation of Carthage and the Greek States

From: The History of Rome, by Theodor Mommsen
Translated with the sanction of the author by William Purdie Dickson

The History of Old Rome

Chapter VI - The War under Hannibal from Cannae to Zama


The Original Greek New Testament

» Contents of this Chapter

Page 89

Battle of Zama

The two armies accordingly came to a decisive battle at Zama (presumably not far from Sicca).(5)

5. Of the two places bearing this name, the more westerly, situated about 60 miles west of Hadrumetum, was probably the scene of the battle (comp. Hermes, xx. 144, 318). The time was the spring or summer of the year 552; the fixing of the day as the 19th October, on account of the alleged solar eclipse, is of no account.

Hannibal arranged his infantry in three lines; in the first rank the Carthaginian hired troops, in the second the African militia and the Phoenician civic force along with the Macedonian corps, in the third the veterans who had followed him from Italy.

In front of the line were placed the 80 elephants; the cavalry were stationed on the wings. Scipio likewise disposed his legions in three ranks, as was the wont of the Romans, and so arranged them that the elephants could pass through and alongside of the line without breaking it. Not only was this disposition completely successful, but the elephants making their way to the side disordered also the Carthaginian cavalry on the wings, so that Scipio's cavalry --which moreover was by the arrival of Massinissa's troops rendered far superior to the enemy--had little trouble in dispersing them, and were soon engaged in full pursuit. The struggle of the infantry was more severe.

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