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IN 221 BC, Hamilcar, Hannibal's father, made a peace with Rome that divided Spain north and south between Rome and Carthage. The latter got the larger "piece," the area shaded in green on the map below.

enter image description here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punic_Wars

Hannibal broke the peace only three years later, with disastrous consequences for Carthage.

Are there any comparative statistics for population, taxation, or military enrollment for Rome, Carthage, and Carhaginian Spain that suggest that if Hannibal had deferred war for another generation (till the early 200s BC), that the growth of Carthagian Spain would have put Carthage in a better position than she actually enjoyed in 218 BC? That is, should Hannibal have spent a generation "consolidating" instead of attacking?

On the other hand, the causus belli was the Roman protection of Sagentum in the Carthaginian "sphere of influence." Could this have plausibly threatened a "rollback" of Carthagian power that made it imperative for Carthage to strike at the level of her maximum power?

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did rome ease into it? what law says that it was protection of spain and not annihilating hannibal? –  user2296 May 10 '13 at 22:23
    
also, what should've he had waited for? he forages, and carthage was rich, so supply & procurement was no issue. –  user2296 May 10 '13 at 22:49
    
@Joe Cod, yes, but the discrepancy may be due to some problem with the implementation of the forage silos. So, only one thing is for sure — apodictic — competition ensures that the costs of consequences make the war "a war for goods", Italian historians say. –  user2237 May 11 '13 at 9:05
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when he was foraging, he was cutting through roman armies. after he conquered southern italy, he became even richer than his carthaginian self already was. this was never the issue –  user2296 May 11 '13 at 14:18
    
just to be clear, i think the current title Did Hannibal start the Second Punic War prematurely? is worth an answer considering the loss, but i' afraid someone might play the canonical card and force the limiting Why did Hannibal lose the 2nd Punic War?, at least, that's been my experience on other stacks –  user2296 May 13 '13 at 1:46

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