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In 202 B.C., Roman General Scipio Africanus Major was given permission to invade Carthage, in hopes of ending the war. Hannibal was immediately recalled to defend the city.


Above: A coin bearing the sembelence of Scipio Africanus, the Roman general who defeated Hannibal at Zama in 202 B.C.
When Scipio was given the green light to assualt Carthage, he wasted no time in doing so. When Carthage found out he was coming, Hannibal was immediately called home. He returned and in 202 B.C. they met on the plains of Zama. Scipio was able to get Hannibal's vaunted Numidian cavalry, which had won many battles for him, to defect to the Roman side, in effect, wiping out Hannibals main strength. For the first time in the war, Hannibal had more troops, but was deficent in cavalry. At the start, Scipio's cavalry, completely destroyed Hannibal's, making this a battle of infantry. Hannibal's army was, for the most part, inexperienced and hastily put together. He still had his veterans from the Italian campaign, but they were held back to allow Hannibal to sacrifice his worst fighters in the front of the lines. The Romans were losing until the cavalry returned and attacked the Carthaginians from the rear. This completely destroyed them and Hannibal surrendered soon after.

Carthage sued for peace and was severly weakened, worse than after the first war. Hannibal stayed in Carthage to help rebuild, but the Romans kept looking for him so he fled Carthage in search of a king that would give him an army to attack Rome again.