And after the war ended, many veterans from farming families preferred settling in cities, especially Rome, rather than return to the countryside.
Cities in Italy became overcrowded, and Rome became the most populous city in Europe and West Asia.
Considered to be the worst defeat ever suffered by the Roman army, the battle of Cannae was fought on the plains of central Italy on August 2, 216 BC.
Although a crushing defeat for the Romans, Cannae was Hannibal's finest hour.
As a result of the war, much farmland in Italy could be bought cheaply.
Those with wealth began buying this farmland, some landowners expanding their holdings and some businessmen from the cities looking for a secure investment and a source of social respectability.Rome's second war against Carthage reduced the number of people in the Italian countryside. People had died and people had moved to the cities to escape war.Some people had left the countryside to work in the arms industry, and some had left for Rome looking for subsistence.In 218, the Carthaginian general Hannibal attacked one of Rome's allies in Spain and the Second Punic war had begun.After taking the city, Hannibal proceeded to cross the Alps with his army and surprise the Romans.Although he lost over half of his troops en route, Hannibal was able to achieve strategic surprise.After Hannibal won the battles of Trebia and Lake Trasimene against the numerically superior Romans, a temporary dictator was appointed to deal with the Carthaginian threat.For the past fifty years, the Romans and Carthaginians had engaged in a series of struggles known as the Punic wars.The first Punic war was fought primarily over the island of Sicily and ended with a Roman victory in 241 BC.In fact, the tactics he employed there are still studied and used today.Due to the combination of Hannibal's tactical genius, the superior Carthaginian cavalry, and the poor leadership of the Roman army, the Carthaginians were able to completely defeat the Romans.