Causes of the Second Punic War

Rome’s declaration of war was contingent on Carthage’s acceptance of Hannibal’s taking of Saguntum, where Carthage could have disavowed Hannibal and maintained peace. However, to even engage with this prospect, Carthage would have had to accept the terms of the offence and the interpretation presented by the Roman embassy of the treaty they held together. According to Polybius, the Carthaginian senate threw out the offence as a misinterpretation of the treaty, as well as arguing over which treaty was in place at that time.

The accession of Darius the Great

Darius’s accession to the throne follows from a few major plot points. Firstly, that Cambyses, son of Cyrus and king of the empire, kills his brother Bardiya. Secondly, that the Magian Gaumata installs a monarch on the throne pretending to be Bardiya rebelling from Cambyses. Thirdly, that Cambyses dies. And fourthly, that the Persians retake the empire and Darius is installed as monarch.