Hannibal, and Rome’s Tenacious Nature

What made Hannibal successful? What principals did he follow? How was his way of thinking different from other generals of the time? The 100falcons site provides a concise study of Hannibal’s success.

The thing that impresses me most about the story of Hannibal however is Rome’s tenacious reaction, refusing to surrender even in the face of catastrophic failure. And this tenacious attitude eventually led to their victory over Hannibal and finally the complete destruction of Carthage and its total elimination as a future threat. This period of time is a perfect example of pure unadulterated self-interest, something that has long since been demonized in Western Civilization and this illustrates modern mans deficiencies and lack of virility compared to the ancients.

Check out the 100falcons post here.


2 Responses to “Hannibal, and Rome’s Tenacious Nature”

  1. 1 100swallows March 6, 2008 at 3:56 am

    Thanks, Western Paradigm, for the link. As soon as I saw your title I realized I should have included “tenacity”in my list of Hannibal’s lessons. Of course the Romans in that war were supreme examples too.

    I wonder about your “unadulterated self-interest”. Do you mean without a trace of altruism? Of romanticism? Nietzsche liked to spell out the self-interest in everything but he didn’t base his philosophy on that. Everyone thinks what he does serves his own interest in some way. The question is: Does it really? How lucid is the act or the policy? Hitler was serving a silly ideology, as were the Communists. Those were foolish simplifications. The Greeks at the time of Themistocles pursued their self-interest all right but so unwisely that they nearly destroyed themselves. As to the “virile”, that looks to me like a touch of romanticism, which, after all, is another unwisdom.
    In his book How Great Generals Win, Bevin Alexander says most generals are not tricky enough on the battlefield because they have been brought up to respect honesty and straightforwardness. I hope you don’t count those as “adulteration” of personal self-interest off the battlefield.

    Are we talking about the individual’s self-interest or the state’s ? Is the rule of behavior the same for the one as for the other? They might not always coincide—and then what? When the state was hardly more than a town, it could and did require of every citizen absolute self-sacrifice. The state had absolute rights over the individual. Our modern states have become so large, so unintelligible, and have such an impersonal relationship with their citizens, that I’m not sure they can require of them absolute self-sacrifice as they used to. When Hannibal was ad portas it was pretty clear to everyone what he had to do even in his own interest.

  2. 2 westernparadigm March 7, 2008 at 12:17 am

    Unadulterated self-interest of “the Roman people”, a complete lack of altruism for the “Carthaginians”.

    I’m not exactly sure what you mean by “romanticism”, if you mean glorification of the perceived ideal then I would disagree with you that romanticism is an “unwisdom”.

    -Unadulterated self-interest, does it really serve the self-interest? How lucid is the act or policy?-
    It doesn’t really matter, time will prove or disprove the value of an act or policy. What matters is the force to see through what was thought to be best. To do nothing or continually debate the validity and therefore become impotent is the worst outcome, worse then destruction. Is it better to live as a slave or die as a hero or even die trying to become a hero? This is where the whole virility thing comes into it. Virility is one of the foundations of True Western Civilization, the driving force of an energetic people. The lack of Virility leaves nothing behind but a husk. If you take away virility there is nothing but vapidness.

    The Romans seem to have had a sense of purpose and that purpose was their own wellbeing, I admire that and do not admire the self-righteous who inflict wounds upon themselves as some sort of penance for success. This penance seeking individual or society is sick and this sickness is something the Romans didn’t seem to display, at least not in general. This sickness is ruining Western Civilization and at times causes modern man to look like Ancient mans squandered remnant.

    A strong egoistic state once established allows the individual to seek his own noble self-interest. Self-interest outside of order is just survival.

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