Past in Perspective
If we don’t end war, war will end us.
–H. G. Wells
The battle of Cannae was fought between the forces of Rome and Carthage. It is one of the most significant battles in history because it signifies a victorious double envelopment. It was fought in 216 BC, near the ancient village of Cannae in Apulia, Southeast Italy. The Carthaginians were led by Hannibal who surrounded over 80,000 Roman troops and then slaughtered them. The sheer amount of people who died as a result meant that it was one of the most lethal battles fought at the time. As the news of the defeat of the Romans reached the city, the city was gripped in panic. They tried to raise two new legions by enlisting criminals, debtors and even slaves. Despite this extreme loss of men and equipment, the Romans suffered a second defeat at Silva Litana. They fought for another 14 years after which, they finally won in the Battle of Zama.