- Nov 2011
- The Bluff
Where Salaminia fails is that he believes Livy is fact, whereby it can be shown he is not. His 4000 Macedonians at Zama are at best more than likely a total mistake. OTOH it could be a total lie. Livy is probably considered best as Wiki, a place to start to understand a subject, but not one to rely on. What Livy seems to do is gather information rather than understand it, nor query its validity.
On the matter of Livy's Macedonians, I have already provided the fact that this is internally consistent - the fact they are mentioned in three different contexts. It is very difficult to keep up with your ever changing positions on these men. Do you now hold they were never there or are you still claiming they were somehow the light troops with the elephants? Clarity would be nice. As noted, there is little need for Philip's ambassador to ask for their release if they did not somehow exist. The two camps are either a Roman annalist's propaganda (awfully consistent) or that these men likely formed part of the Carthaginian garrison.
By manipulating the figures Appian tries to make Zama an equal achievement to Cannae, ie from a tactical victory that saw one side inflict twice the casualties to only equal in the next. He also has Scipio have 16k infantry land in Africa, the same as the previous attempt in the 1st war, that was annihilated. This number is likely to be propaganda rather than history, that any intelligent historian would recognise.