What could Hannibal have done to gain more allies?

Aug 2016
977
US&A
#1
Hannibal, while a tactical genius, seemed unable to gather the amount of volunteers he required, and often had to fight off attacks from Gauls and Iberian tribes whose land he passed through.

I understand he was trying to rally men from cultures very different from his own, but it still seems odd that such a tactical genius would fail so miserably to attain the numbers he felt he required to siege Rome. Have his recruiting methods been recorded?

What could Hannibal have done to gain more allies than he did historically?
 
Jul 2016
9,680
USA
#2
Win a few more battles. The more battles he won, the fewer Romans and Socii there would be, and the more of the Socii would either stop contributing to Roman armies, or would go over to Hannibal.

As it was, Hannibal did an absolute fantastic job gathering allies. His army barely had any Carthaginians in it. He invaded Italy, managed to get roughly 1/2 of the peninsula to switch to his side, managed to kill about 1/4 of all Roman military aged males. Not bad, all things considered.
 

Scaeva

Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
5,630
#3
I'd argue the assertion that Hannibal failed miserably in gaining allies is incorrect. A significant portion of Hannibal's army was made up of allied Gauls and Iberians, and the Carthaginians didn't encounter enough resistance on their march from the Iberian peninsula to Italy to impede Hannibal's plans in any significant way. Later Hannibal's forces would include equally significant numbers of Italian soldiers from cities that defected from Rome to Carthage, after Carthage had utterly smashed several armies fielded by the former.

It is true of course that Hannibal was never quite able to peel enough cities away from Rome to fatally undermine its' hegemony over Italy, but that was not due to any lack of strategic acumen or battlefield success on Hannibal's part. The main issue for Carthage in the 2nd Punic War is that more often than not Carthage tended to lose wherever Hannibal wasn't.

Tl;dr: For Carthage to get a better result in the 2nd Punic War, I think you have to look to other Carthaginian commanders. Hasdrubal, Mago, and Gisco not incompetently managing military affairs in Hispania for instance and coordinating against Scipio, or Hasdrubal not getting his army destroyed at the Metaurus. (Zama gets all the fame, but the Metaurus was the decisive battle of the war)
 
Jul 2016
9,680
USA
#5
wow, not on e I'd heard, that's impressive, rather astonishing,actually.
Its not 100%, I think Peter Brunt did the math based off some census info and reported deaths. Either way, it was HUGE. Not only the physical costs, the Roman govt was completely indepted to the Equestrian Order, who gave them loans, and remained so for some time. It was a driving reason for warring with the Hellenic kingdoms afterwards, to make some money in plunder. And its why the soldiers (and centurions) fought so hard to be allowed to serve in those campaigns, because they would get a portion of the plunder. Great way to pay off debts!
 
Nov 2013
705
Texas
#7
I'd argue the assertion that Hannibal failed miserably in gaining allies is incorrect. A significant portion of Hannibal's army was made up of allied Gauls and Iberians, and the Carthaginians didn't encounter enough resistance on their march from the Iberian peninsula to Italy to impede Hannibal's plans in any significant way. Later Hannibal's forces would include equally significant numbers of Italian soldiers from cities that defected from Rome to Carthage, after Carthage had utterly smashed several armies fielded by the former.

It is true of course that Hannibal was never quite able to peel enough cities away from Rome to fatally undermine its' hegemony over Italy, but that was not due to any lack of strategic acumen or battlefield success on Hannibal's part. The main issue for Carthage in the 2nd Punic War is that more often than not Carthage tended to lose wherever Hannibal wasn't.

Tl;dr: For Carthage to get a better result in the 2nd Punic War, I think you have to look to other Carthaginian commanders. Hasdrubal, Mago, and Gisco not incompetently managing military affairs in Hispania for instance and coordinating against Scipio, or Hasdrubal not getting his army destroyed at the Metaurus. (Zama gets all the fame, but the Metaurus was the decisive battle of the war)
Metaurus is overrated; it was too late and the Romans already had the generals and navy they needed to win the war. An earlier Insubrian innsurection, or some other earlier victory (like Lilybaeum by the Carthaginian navy) is what would have done the trick.
 
Oct 2015
874
Virginia
#8
The Italian peoples rallied to Rome against the FORIEGNER! Rome was not the tyrannical ruler of an oppressed empire, but the leader of the Italian peoples against the FORIEGN invader. First the Gauls (the traditional enemy) in 390-225 then Alexander and Pyrrhus of Epirus, the Illyrian pirates, then the Carthaginians. Only oppressed peoples welcome the foriegner.