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Whilst Hannibal did not ‘create’ the Second Punic War, he did precipitate it. The war was precipitated by Hannibal’s siege of Spanish city of Saguntum after the assassination of Carthaginian supporters in this city. Saguntum was an ally of Rome.The siege lasted for months and the Romans ignored it, concentrating on a rebellion of the Illyrians of east coast the Adriatic Sea instead. This created discontent among the Spanish cities on the east coast north of the river Ebro, which were also allies of Rome. Eventually, Rome was forced to declare war on Carthage in order not to loose her Spanish allies.
The speed with which Hannibal subdued Rome’s allies in Spain (he took only two months) and reached Italy shows that he was prepared for war and had wanted war. Not everyone in Carthage supported Hannibal’s war aim. There was also a peace party.
Hannibal has sworn to his father that he would take revenge on the Romans for the First Punic War. He was quoted to have said: i swear so soon as age will permit … I will use fire and steel to arrest the destiny of Rome.’