The Battle of Zama, fought around October 19 of 202 BC, marked the final and decisive end of the Second Punic War. The Roman army led by Publius Cornelius Scipio defeated a the Carthaginian forces led by Hannibal Barca.
* This will be my first try for making an historical battle for EB. I must thank abou by teaching me all what I know about the Battle editor, tk-421 for letting me do it, and Tanit for always being so interested in Carthage.
Here is the link to download the battle
remember to unzip the files and extract them to \data\world\maps\battle\custom
My research will be done based on:
- Warfare in the Classical World by John Warry.
- Warfare in the Ancient World by Carey, Allfree, and Cairns
- In the Name of Rome by Adrian Goldsworthy
- The Fall of Carthage by Adrian Goldsworthy
- Armies of the Carthaginian Wars by Terence Wise
- Cannae by Mark Healy.
* I hope in the future to do more historical battles, specially Cannae but I need to solve some problems with the AI.
Here is an account of the battle by Polybius Book XV (9-15)
Having made these preparations he rode along the lines and addressed his troops in a few words suitable to the occasion. 2 "Bear in mind," he said, "your past battles and fight like brave men worthy of yourselves and your country. Keep it before your eyes that if you overcome your enemies not only will you be unquestioned masters of Africa, but you will gain for yourselves and your country the undisputed command and sovereignty of the rest of the world. 3 But if the result of the battle be otherwise, those of you who have fallen bravely in the fight will lie for ever shrouded in the glory of dying thus for their country, 4 while those who save themselves by flight will spend the remainder of their lives in misery and disgrace. For no place in Africa will be able to afford you safety, and if you fall into the hands of the Carthaginians it is plain enough to anyone who gives due thought to it what fate awaits you. 5 May none of you, I pray, live to experience that fate. Now that Fortune offers us a choice of the most glorious of prizes, how utterly craven, in short how foolish shall we be, if we reject the greatest of goods and choose the greatest of evils from mere love of life. Go, therefore, to meet the foe with two objects before you, p489emperor victory or death. 7 For men animated by such a spirit must always overcome their adversaries, since they go into battle ready to throw their lives away."
11 Such was the substance of Scipio's harangue. Hannibal placed in front of his whole force his elephants, of which he had over eighty, and behind them the mercenaries numbering about twelve thousand. They were composed of Ligurians, Celts, Balearic Islanders, and Moors. 2 Behind these he placed the native Libyans and Carthaginians, and last of all the troops he had brought over from Italy at a distance of more than a stade from the front lines. 3 He secured his wings by cavalry, placing the Numidian allies on the left and the Carthaginian horse on the right. 4 He ordered each commanding officer of the mercenaries to address his own men, bidding them be sure of victory as they could rely on his own presence and that of the forces that he had brought back with him. 5 As for the Carthaginians, he ordered their commanders to set before their eyes all the sufferings that would befall their wives and children if the result of the battle were adverse. They did as they were ordered, 6 and Hannibal himself went the round of his own troops, begging and imploring them to remember their comradeship of seventeen years and the number of the battles they had previously fought against the Romans. 7 "In all these battles," he said, "you proved so invincible that you have not left the Romans the smallest hope of ever being able to defeat you. 8 Above all the rest, and apart from p491your success in innumerable smaller engagements, keep before your eyes the battle of the Trebia fought against the father of the present Roman general, bear in mind the battle of the Trasimene against Flaminius, and that of Cannae against Aemilius, 9 battles with which the action in which we are about to engage is not worthy of comparison either in respect to the numbers of the forces engaged or the courage of the soldiers." 10 He bade them, as he spoke thus, to cast their eyes on the ranks of the enemy. Not only were they fewer, but they were scarcely a fraction of the forces that had formerly faced them, and for courage they were not to be compared with those. 11 For then their adversaries were men whose strength was unbroken and who had never suffered defeat, but those of to‑day were some of them the children of the former nand some the wretched remnant of the legions he had so often vanquished and put to flight in Italy. 12 Therefore he urged them not to destroy the glorious record of themselves and their general, but, fighting bravely, to confirm their reputation for invincibility.
13 Such was the substance of the harangues of the two generals. 12 When all was ready for battle on both sides, the Numidian horse having been skirmishing with each other for some time, Hannibal ordered the drivers of the elephants to charge the enemy. 2 When the trumpets and bugles sounded shrilly from all sides, some of the animals took fright and at once turned tail and rushed back upon the Numidians who had come up to help the Carthaginians, and Massanissa attacking simultaneously, the Carthaginian left wing was soon left exposed. p493 3 The rest of the elephants falling on the Roman velites in the space between the two main armies, 4 both inflicted and suffered much loss, until finally in their terror some of them escaped through the gaps in the Roman line with Scipio's foresight had provided, so that the Romans suffered no injury, while others fled towards the right and, received by the cavalry with showers of javelins, at length escaped out of the field. 5 It was at this moment that Laelius, availing himself of the disturbance created by the elephants, charged the Carthaginian cavalry 6 and forced them to headlong flight. He pressed the pursuit closely, as likewise did Massanissa. 7 In the meanwhile both phalanxes slowly and in imposing array advanced on each other, except the troops which Hannibal had brought back from Italy, who remained in their original position. 8 When the phalanxes were close to each other, Romans fell upon their foes, raising their war-cry and clashing their shields with their spears as is their practice, 9 while there was a strange confusion of shouts raised by the Carthaginian mercenaries, for, as Homer says, their voice was not one, but
Mixed was the murmur, and confused the sound,
Their names all various,JJJ
as appears from the list of them I gave above.
13 As the whole battle was a hand-to‑hand affair [the men using neither spears nor swords],JJJ the p495mercenaries at first prevailed by their courage and skill, wounding many of the Romans, 2 but the latter still continued to advance, relying on their admirable order and on the superiority of their arms. 3 The rear ranks of the Romans followed close on their comrades, cheering them on, but the Carthaginians behaved like cowards, never coming near their mercenaries nor attempting to back them up, 4 so that finally the barbarians gave way, and thinking that they had evidently been left in the lurch by their own side, fell upon those they encountered in their retreat and began to kill them. 5 This actually compelled many of the Carthaginians to die like men; for as they were being butchered by their own mercenaries they were obliged against their will to fight both against these and against the Romans, 6 and as when at bay they showed frantic and extraordinary courage, they killed a considerable number both of their mercenaries and of the enemy. 7 In this way they even threw the cohorts of the hastati into confusion, but the officers of the principes, seeing what was happening, brought up their ranks to assist, 8 and now the greater number of the Carthaginians and their mercenaries were cut to pieces where they stood, either by themselves or by the hastati. 9 Hannibal did not allow the survivors in their flight to mix with his own men but, ordering the foremost ranks to level their spears against them, prevented them from being received into his force. 10 They were therefore obliged to retreat towards the wings and the open ground beyond. 14 The space which separated the two armies still on the field was now covered with blood, slaughter, p497and dead bodies, and the Roman general was placed in great difficulty by this obstacle to his completing the rout of the enemy. 2 For he saw that it would be very difficult to pass over the ground without breaking his ranks owing to the quantity of slippery corpses which were still soaked in blood and had fallen in heaps and the number of arms thrown away at haphazard. 3 However, after conveying the wounded to the rear and recalling by bugle those of the hastati who were still pursuing the enemy, he stationed the latter in the fore part of the field of battle, opposite the enemy's centre, and making the principes and triarii close up on both wings ordered them to advance over the dead. 5 When these troops had surmounted the obstacles and found themselves in a line with the hastati the two phalanxes closed with the greatest eagerness and ardour. 6 As they were nearly equal in numbers as well as in spirit and bravery, and were equally well armed, the contest was for long doubtful, the men falling where they stood out of determination, 7 and Massanissa and Laelius, returning from the pursuit of the cavalry, arrived providentially at the proper moment. 8 When they fell on Hannibal's army from the rear, most of the men were cut down in their ranks, while of those who took to flight only quite a few escaped, as the cavalry were close on them and the country was level. 9 More than fifteen hundred Romans fell, the Carthaginian loss amounting to twenty thousand killed and nearly the same number of prisoners.
15 Such was the result of the final battle between p499Scipio and Hannibal, the battle which decided the war in favour of Rome. 2 The action over, Scipio after following up the enemy and plundering their camp returned to his own. 3 Hannibal accompanied by a few horsemen never stopped until he was in safety in Adrumetum. He had done in the battle and before it all that could be done by a good general of long experience. 4 For, in the first place, he had by his conference with Scipio attempted to terminate the dispute by himself alone; 5 showing thus that while conscious of his former successes he mistrusted Fortune and was fully aware of the part that the unexpected plays in war. 6 In the next place, when he offered battle he so managed matters that it was impossible for any commander with the same arms at his disposal to make better dispositions for a contest against the Romans than Hannibal did on that occasion. 7 The order of a Roman force in battle makes it very difficult to break through, for without any change it enables every man individually and in common with his fellows to present a front in any direction, the maniples which are nearest to the danger turning themselves by a single movement to face it. 8 Their arms also give the men both protection and confidence owing to the size of the shield and owing to the sword being strong enough to endure repeated blows. So that for these reasons they are formidable antagonists very difficult to overcome. 16 But nevertheless to meet each of these advantages Hannibal had shown incomparable skill in adopting at the critical moment all such measures as were in his power and could reasonably be expected to succeed. 2 For he had hastily collected that large number of elephants and had p501placed them in front on the day of battle in order to throw the enemy into confusion and break his ranks. 3 He had placed the mercenaries in advance with the Carthaginians behind them in order that the Romans before the final engagement might be fatigued by their exertions and that their swords might lose their edge owing to the great slaughter, and also in order to compel the Carthaginians thus hemmed in on both sides to stand fast and fight, in the words of Homer
That e'en the unwilling might be forced to fight.JJJ
4The most efficient and steadiest of his troops he had placed behind at a certain distance in order that, anticipating and witnessing from afar what took place, they might with undiminished strength and spirit make use of their qualities at the proper time. 5 If he, who had never as yet suffered defeat, after taking every possible step to insure victory, yet failed to do so, we must pardon him. 6 For there are times when Fortune counteracts the plans of valiant men, and again at times, as the proverb says, "A brave man meets another braver yet," as we may say happened in the case of Hannibal.