Parallel Lives: Hannibal And Scipio In Livy’s Third Decade Discussion Help

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I need an original post that is at least 200 words responding to Part A. Then I need three student responses to post, at least 100 words, that can be found in Part B. Please respond to student response like you are talking to them directly. Do not say “ I agree with this student….this student’s use of …..etc…” Chicago Style Format


For this week’s discussion, read the article by Andreola Rossi, “Parallel Lives: Hannibal and Scipio in Livy s Third Decade.” Rossi notes that “Livy’s parallel lives of Scipio and Hannibal simultaneously reflect issues critical to the political discourse of the late Republic and set up an exemplary antithesis between the tales of Rome’s past virtus and her present decline.” What does Rossi mean by this statement and how does she construct her argument?



“Rossi article helps shows us the important parallel between the two generals that have the ultimate show down at the battle of Zama. While the similarities of the two show us how the death of important family members shaped their character and motivation. The crisis of war in the their native countries and their rise to command their respective armies. Livy’s description of Scipio and Hannibal helps us understand were they came from and how they ended up meeting up in a final battle. Rossi is able to connect the these events and bring a picture of the how the two are similar yet also show their differences. Hannibal seems unstoppable in his conquest through Italy, yet they give in to the luxuries of the Capua and grow “effeminate” as described in the article. Carthage refuses to send reinforcements and shows a unwillingness to support Hannibal.

Scipio is accused of unbecoming of a Roman while in Sicily and almost loses the support of the Roman Senate. Yet Scipio shows his Roman virtue and continues his campaign. The Roman Senate still supported Scipio, which is something the Hannibal never had. With his defeat of Hannibal and the surrender of Carthage, he proves his place with the great Romans of the past.

Yet the downfall of Carthage seems to be the beginning of the Romans slow down fall. The the defeat of Carthage was the first major civilization that Rome conquered. The expansion of Roman territory took the focus off of the importance taking care of their homeland and looking to distant lands.”


Rossi’s article explains how Livy takes great care to simultaneously depict Scipio and Hannibal, two great generals of their time, meeting on the field of Zama as the Carthaginians and the Romans engage in what will be the final confrontation of the Second Punic War. The article makes parallels between the maturing of the republic and the growth of the men. The article addresses Hannibal’s hatred of the Romans at the bidding of his father, from a very early age, and his joining the army. Hannibal rose through the ranks very quickly and beloved by his fellow soldiers. However, the account of Scipio is laid out in much more detail.

Next, Livy discusses the account of Hannibal’s siege of Saguntum, the first military operation of the war. After much resistance the city finally surrenders. While Livy tells his account of Hannibal’s early years into a few paragraphs, he gives Scipio’s youth much great care and attention.

Scipio also shows military courage and whit. He rescued his wounded father during the Battle of Ticinus and swore an oath right after the debacle of Trasimene and Cannae, which was a time when he learned that many of the nobles were saying that Rome was doomed. Some were making plans to escape overseas. Scipio was so appalled by this, that he swore never to do anything to hurt the republic or the Roman people, or to ever flee Rome or assist anyone else in doing so.

Like Hannibal, he was promoted to commander in chief despite his young age and is shipped to Spain where Hannibal is.

This side-by-side telling of the story until the culmination of the battlefield of Zama in the Second Punic War is what Livy means by the parallel lives of Scipio and Hannibal. The use of the word simultaneously refers to the similar way in which events in their lives mirror each other, such as joining the military at such a young age and swearing allegiance to their own countries as children. “


“Rossi is able to construct her argument by showing the similarities in events and the different outcomes that came from their choices. Although these two generals are fighting for different reasons their goals are the same. To conquer who ever may be in their path. You quickly begin to get the feel for the typical hero vs villain scenario. They both follow in their father’s footsteps and lead armies from a young age. Scipio is portrayed as the ultimate patriot who puts the state above all else. Hannibal is shown as one who does not respect the state and puts infamy and family first. Although they both have early success in their careers. When they face each other in battle the one who has more to fight for clearly shows and is victorious in the Battle of Zama. Hannibal’s army had become soft and easily influenced by the luxuries and riches during its conquest. This is said to be the downfall of Hannibal which ultimately led to his defeat in the second Punic war. Little did Rome know that some of the same downfalls that were made by the Carthaginians that led to their demise. Would be the same mistakes Rome would come to make that led to the destruction of Rome. After the defeat of Carthage many believe this was the beginning of the end for Rome. With no one to contend with the Roman power, they stopped focusing on their enemy and started focusing within their own country. Slowly tearing down their country from the inside out.

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