Episode 39 - The Delayer: Part I
Following the disaster at Lake Trasimene, the Roman Senate took the drastic step of appointing a dictator - a single man with full military powers - to meet the crisis. The man chosen - Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus - differed greatly from the typical Roman aristocrat of his day. Cool-headed and steady handed, Fabius implemented a strategy of delay and harassment against Hannibal, hoping to whittle down the Carthaginian forces without risking another devastating defeat in open battle. Although effective at stabilizing Roman morale, the dictator's strategy proved extremely unpopular among soldiers in his own camp. His second-in-command, Marcus Minucius Rufus, soon became the ringleader of a growing band of dissidents, and the tension between the dictator and his lieutenant would lead to an open breach which Hannibal would be quick to exploit.
Recommended further reading:
The Histories by Polybius
Hannibal's War by Titus Livius
A Companion to the Punic Wars (Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World) Edited by Dexter Hoyos
Hannibal's Dynasty by Dexter Hoyos
Carthage Must Be Destroyed by Richard Miles
Implacable Enemies: The Barcid Armies at War by Karwansary Publishers
Clash of the Colossi: The First Punic War by Karwansary Publishers
Link to the Episode 39 page on the Layman's Historian website
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