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Hannibal

Defeat and Death

Beginning in 212 B.C. the tide gradually turned against Hannibal. In 211 the Romans retook Capua, despite his rapid march toward Rome to entice them away. In 207 he fought his way for the last time into a position near Rome, but the defeat and death (207) of his brother Hasdrubal on the Metaurus (Metauro) River made his position hopeless, and he withdrew into the mountains of Bruttium. Recalled to Carthage in 203 to check the advance of Scipio Africanus Major in Africa, he was decisively beaten at Zama (202).

After the conclusion of peace (201), Hannibal became (probably in 196) a suffete, or chief magistrate, of Carthage. He reformed the government and reorganized the revenues in order to pay the heavy tribute imposed by Rome. Denounced to the Romans for allegedly intriguing against Rome, he fled (195) to Antiochus III of Syria. He took a small part in Antiochus's war with Rome, and after the Syrian defeat he fled again, this time to Bithynia. About to be delivered to the Romans, he poisoned himself.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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