June 24, 2001.
#8040 Italian Warriors of the Carthaginian Wars
The history of early Rome is entwined with that of her Italian neighbors, both tribes and city states. Many savage wars were fought during Roman ascension to dominance and the other major Italian powers soon found themselves forced to submit or join a powerful foreign enemy of Rome.
Over fifty years before the War with Hannibal, the Greek king Pyrrhis came to the aid of an Italian coalition against the Romans (281-275 bc). A Macedonian Successor army, complete with elephants and pike phalanxes, fought beside Tarantines, Oscans and Samnites and gave rise to the military term; 'Pyrrhic victory', referring to a victory won at unendurable cost.
When Hannibal invaded Italy in 218 bc he found ready allies among Italian tribes chafing beneath the Roman yoke. Many Itallian states proved staunch components of the Carthaginian forces and contributed greatly to the near defeat of Rome . It must be said though that some tribes proved fair weather friends to Carthage and there were numerous instances when Itallian troops served as Roman auxiliaries against Hannibal.
Some Italians of this period; Etruscans, Campanians and Oscans, seem to have fought in Greek style hoplite phalanxes, a hold over from the time of Greek colonization of Syracuse and the Italian coastline. Others; Samnites, Apulians, Lucanians, favored loser formations and javelin fire, taking advantage of hilly or rough terrain and showing the influence of their contact with earlier Celtic invasions. Often, combinations of the both troop types were usually fielded.
The Italian Warriors from this set will provide a colorful addition to both armies of the Carthaginian Wars as well as enabling the collector to build one or more of the earlier Italian armies which once challenged Rome for control of Italy and the beginnings of her empire.
Bob Murch - Canada
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