About formation of history is a result of the confluence of certain individuals and events

As history unfolds itself, events and battles take place which shapes the future course of history, even to this day. What if Hannibal had defeated Rome after the battle of Cannae, the worst disaster for Rome, and thereby re-shaped the future of all other nations such as Armenia?

As we know, of course, Scipio Africanus, the genius commander who defeated Hannibal in his backyard, launched Rome into a superpower. Only after defeating Carthage, did Rome expand its influence into Greece and Asia Minor, eventually bringing her into immediate contact with King Tigranes II 130 years later.

That battle marked the downwards trend of the Armenian kingdoms to come. But coming back to the era in question, ironically it was Scipio Africanus’ victory over Hannibal, which eventually propelled Rome into Asia Minor and spelled the defeat of Seleucid Antiochus III (the Great) by Roman general Scipio Asiaticus (the brother) at the battle of Magnesia in 190 BC and ALLOWED Artaxias to break free from him and declare Armenia a kingdom.

One more thing to ponder. Hannibal had been an advisor to Antiochus, who arrogant as he was did not listen to his advice and went on to lose the battle. WHAT IF HE HAD WON??

Following this Hannibal went further East to become a guest of Artaxias. I am so elated to realize, that of all the hosts Hannibal had before his suicide, the only king to treat him well and LISTEN to his advice was king Artashes, who was instrumental in unifying all lands where Armenian was spoken (…Ωστε παντας ομογλοτους ειναι) (Strabo XI 14, 5) and who revived our ancient gods to create a unified and homogeneous land.

To strengthen his image as ruler of a consolidated state, Artashes deified his ancestors, (“προγονοι ισοθεοι”) and introduced religious reformations. He erected a temple for Artemis in Artaxiat, as well as those of all ancestral idols. (Khorenatsi II, 49, 5)

Plutarch explains how Hannibal helped find the ideal location of the new capital Artaxiat (Plutarch, Luc. XXXI 3- 4)

Thus is history shaped, by a confluence of certain individuals and events, and thence we learn, how nations arise and how other nations crumble.

by Joseph Sarkissian

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