The Second Punic War and Its Effects on the Roman Republic’s Military and Political Institutions
This paper examines the Roman Republic’s military and its place in the Mediterranean before and after the Second Punic War. The works of Polybius, Livy, and Appian serve as the primary sources for this paper. Rome’s defeats at Trebia, Lake Trasimene, and especially Cannae, were instigators for the implementation of massive reforms to its military institution. Such changes will bring Rome’s military force closer to that of the one that conquered the Mediterranean Basin. Though these reforms would bring about Rome’s victory in the Second Punic War and beyond, they would also bring with them dire repercussions in the political and social realms of its society. The Republic will forever be changed by its second war with Carthage. Rome would continue to expand through greater military campaigns. This paper argues that the changes to Rome’s military during the Second Punic War had a hand in creating the turmoil of the last century of the Roman Republic.