12-31-2017, 06:44 AM

All the numbers given for Scipio’s army, whether it be 7,000 men leaving Italy, 10,000 men, 16,000 men or 35,000 men, plus the size of Scipio’s fleet I have found to be accurate. I seem to have a good eye for mathematical patterns, and one that concerns me is the number 20,000 in relation to figures given for Hannibal’ army, whether it be troops captured or killed. Polybius and Livy have 20,000 Carthaginian killed and 20,000 Carthaginians captured. Appian has 20,500 killed and 8,500 captured. Orosius has 25,000 Carthaginians killed. And strangely enough, Diodorus claims that Hannibal massacred 20,000 of his men before leaving for Italy.

If you take Appian’s 20,500 Carthaginians killed and subtract from this his 8,500 Carthaginians captured, you are left with 12,000 men, which happens to also be the number of Carthaginians mentioned by Valerius Antius as being killed in an engagement with the Romans and Carthaginians before the battle of Zama.

Orosius figure of 25,000 Carthaginians is also very interesting. If you take Appian’s figure of 8,500 Carthaginians and multiply it by three, the result is 25,500 men, which Orosius rounds to 25,000 men. To arrive at Appian’s figure of 20,500 men, 5,000 men have been removed from the figure of 25,500 men. But who are the 5,000 men, Appian has excluded? Funny enough, Appian provides the answer. Appian allocates Hannibal 4,000 cavalry, and then has Hannibal receive another 1,000 cavalry from a Numidian chief named Mesotylus, which in my book adds up to 5,000 men, which would imply the 20,500 men are infantry. But does it?

Now let’s have some fun with Valerius Antius’ figure of 1,700 Carthaginians captured. Did you know that Appian’s figure of 8,500 Carthaginians captured equates to 1,700 men multiplied by five? Well it does.

Before leaving for Africa, Appian has Hannibal kill 4,000 horses because he could not take them to Africa, and then while in Africa, Hannibal massacres 4,000 Numidians and gives their horses to his army. Diodorus has 3,000 horses and pack animals killed. Hmmm, could Diodorus have omitted Mesotylus’ 1,000 cavalry from his equation?

For Scipio’s army, Livy gives a figure of 35,000 men, so taking this number and using what is available, the 35,000 men has been erroneously reconstructed on the following:

350000 men (Livy)

- Masinissa’s 10000 men (Livy, Polybius)

- the 2000 Roman cavalry (Livy)

= 23000 men

For the battle of Zama, Appian claims that 23,000 Roman infantry were present. I let you be the judge. So the residue 23,000 infantry and the 2,000 cavalry amounts to 25,000 men, and like a game of snakes and ladders this leads us back to Orosius’ 25,000 Carthaginians killed.

At the last phase of the battle of Zama, Polybius states Hannibal’s third line and the Romans were equal in number. Therefore, if the Roman army had 25,000 men, the conclusion was that Hannibal’s also had 25,000 men. Add in Massinissa’s cavalry and Hannibal is outnumbered. Now if you wanted to make this a great victory for Scipio, Scipio had to be outnumbered, so why not include Valerius Antius’ figures of 12,000 Carthaginians killed as consisting of Hannibal’s first line of mercenaries, and then add in another second line of Carthaginian citizens and Africans, but don’t provide a number as there is none.

Appian gives Hannibal’s army at 50,000 men and 4,000 cavalry. So is this figure simply 25,000 multiplied by two, has Appian double counted Hannibal’s army, or does it also include the Roman army? If you deduct the 4,000 cavalry from the 50,000 men, the result is 46,000 men, and when divided by two equals 23,000 men. Now we are back to Appian’s claim there were 23,000 Roman infantry at Zama. What if I took Valerius Antius’ figures of 12,000 Carthaginians killed, doubled it, and then added Hannibal’s 25,000 men to arrive at 49,000 men, which would approximate to Appian’s claim of about 50,000 men.

Generally, Polybius’ numbers, both infantry and cavalry for the major battles of the Second Punic War are good, but at Zama, his methodology of providing infantry and cavalry numbers goes out the window, leaving us with near to nothing. Surely, a great epic battle as Zama should have been given more detail, but alas it has not.

I have presented some of my observations about the numbers, but I have not included all of them. Yes, there are more calculations that can be made to confirm what is going on at Zama. Did the ancients use the size of the Roman army and use these same figures for Hannibal’s army. More than likely and I have other examples of this being done, especially by Polybius, and have literally caught him with his hand in the cookie jar. One example is beyond rebuttal, it is plainly there for all to see, and shows, when Polybius has no enemy numbers, and knows both armies were equal in strength, he then bases his calculations on the size of the Roman army. Diodorus does the same for the battle of Asculum, the only problem being is he got the size of the Roman army wrong.

Polybius informs us that Hannibal’s third line of veterans was equal in number to the Roman army, and much of Hannibal’s figures have been built on this. In a nutshell, Hannibal’s losses at Zama do not represent causalities.

If you take Appian’s 20,500 Carthaginians killed and subtract from this his 8,500 Carthaginians captured, you are left with 12,000 men, which happens to also be the number of Carthaginians mentioned by Valerius Antius as being killed in an engagement with the Romans and Carthaginians before the battle of Zama.

Orosius figure of 25,000 Carthaginians is also very interesting. If you take Appian’s figure of 8,500 Carthaginians and multiply it by three, the result is 25,500 men, which Orosius rounds to 25,000 men. To arrive at Appian’s figure of 20,500 men, 5,000 men have been removed from the figure of 25,500 men. But who are the 5,000 men, Appian has excluded? Funny enough, Appian provides the answer. Appian allocates Hannibal 4,000 cavalry, and then has Hannibal receive another 1,000 cavalry from a Numidian chief named Mesotylus, which in my book adds up to 5,000 men, which would imply the 20,500 men are infantry. But does it?

Now let’s have some fun with Valerius Antius’ figure of 1,700 Carthaginians captured. Did you know that Appian’s figure of 8,500 Carthaginians captured equates to 1,700 men multiplied by five? Well it does.

Before leaving for Africa, Appian has Hannibal kill 4,000 horses because he could not take them to Africa, and then while in Africa, Hannibal massacres 4,000 Numidians and gives their horses to his army. Diodorus has 3,000 horses and pack animals killed. Hmmm, could Diodorus have omitted Mesotylus’ 1,000 cavalry from his equation?

For Scipio’s army, Livy gives a figure of 35,000 men, so taking this number and using what is available, the 35,000 men has been erroneously reconstructed on the following:

350000 men (Livy)

- Masinissa’s 10000 men (Livy, Polybius)

- the 2000 Roman cavalry (Livy)

= 23000 men

For the battle of Zama, Appian claims that 23,000 Roman infantry were present. I let you be the judge. So the residue 23,000 infantry and the 2,000 cavalry amounts to 25,000 men, and like a game of snakes and ladders this leads us back to Orosius’ 25,000 Carthaginians killed.

At the last phase of the battle of Zama, Polybius states Hannibal’s third line and the Romans were equal in number. Therefore, if the Roman army had 25,000 men, the conclusion was that Hannibal’s also had 25,000 men. Add in Massinissa’s cavalry and Hannibal is outnumbered. Now if you wanted to make this a great victory for Scipio, Scipio had to be outnumbered, so why not include Valerius Antius’ figures of 12,000 Carthaginians killed as consisting of Hannibal’s first line of mercenaries, and then add in another second line of Carthaginian citizens and Africans, but don’t provide a number as there is none.

Appian gives Hannibal’s army at 50,000 men and 4,000 cavalry. So is this figure simply 25,000 multiplied by two, has Appian double counted Hannibal’s army, or does it also include the Roman army? If you deduct the 4,000 cavalry from the 50,000 men, the result is 46,000 men, and when divided by two equals 23,000 men. Now we are back to Appian’s claim there were 23,000 Roman infantry at Zama. What if I took Valerius Antius’ figures of 12,000 Carthaginians killed, doubled it, and then added Hannibal’s 25,000 men to arrive at 49,000 men, which would approximate to Appian’s claim of about 50,000 men.

Generally, Polybius’ numbers, both infantry and cavalry for the major battles of the Second Punic War are good, but at Zama, his methodology of providing infantry and cavalry numbers goes out the window, leaving us with near to nothing. Surely, a great epic battle as Zama should have been given more detail, but alas it has not.

I have presented some of my observations about the numbers, but I have not included all of them. Yes, there are more calculations that can be made to confirm what is going on at Zama. Did the ancients use the size of the Roman army and use these same figures for Hannibal’s army. More than likely and I have other examples of this being done, especially by Polybius, and have literally caught him with his hand in the cookie jar. One example is beyond rebuttal, it is plainly there for all to see, and shows, when Polybius has no enemy numbers, and knows both armies were equal in strength, he then bases his calculations on the size of the Roman army. Diodorus does the same for the battle of Asculum, the only problem being is he got the size of the Roman army wrong.

Polybius informs us that Hannibal’s third line of veterans was equal in number to the Roman army, and much of Hannibal’s figures have been built on this. In a nutshell, Hannibal’s losses at Zama do not represent causalities.