A Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today.
Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Written by Alternate Historian
Editor says, what if the Carthaginians had avoided the unwinnable Battle of the Metaurus? This post is a prequel to the hyperlinked article Hannibal Captures Rome written by Professor Jeff Provine. Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).
In 207 B.C.,not a man to be fooled by the treachery of his worthless guides, Hasdrubal Barca quietly led the Carthaginian army out of camp before marching to Gaul where he safely re-established communications with his brother Hannibal.
Hasdrubal Barca retreats from the Metauro RiverThe retreat from the Metauro River was the latest in a serious of deft (some would safe fortunate) moves in a campaign that was going remarkably well. Having escaped Publius Scipio in Hispania, the fearful Gauls had permitted the Carthaginian army to pass unchallenged through the Alps.
Fortunately for the invaders, the tell-tale sound of a double trumpet from the opposition camp revealed that two Roman Armies were waiting for them (Claudius Nero had just fought Hannibal in Grumentum, some hundreds of kilometers south of the Metaurus river, and reached Marcus Livius with a forced march which went unnoticed by both Hannibal and Hasdrubal, so that the Carthaginians suddenly found themselves outnumbered). Problems with fording the river, coupled with the suspicious behaviour of the guides forced Hasdrubal to make the difficult but correct decision to return to head back through the Alps and return to Gaul.
Even though his brother Hannibal was undefeated on the Italian Peninsula, the ultimate success of the Carthaginian campaign depended on the availability of siege equipment and reinforcements brought by Hasdrubal. Fortunately for the sons of Hamilcar Barca, they were able to re-establish communication in Gaul and plan for the successful capture of Rome later in the year.