Hannibal Barca Bust

Hannibal Barca Bust

We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.


In late January 2015, the website of the French-speaking Radio Canada, announced the discovery of a bust of Hannibal that belonged to Napoleon Bonaparte in the collection of the antiquities museum of the University of Saskatchewan, the English-speaking province located in west-central Canada. This was quite an intriguing piece of news! As we await the publication of more details concerning the research that has allowed the curators to reach this conclusion, here is an update on this exceptional artwork with insight from the museum specialists from the University of Saskatchewan.

Hannibal bust © Museum of Antiquities of the University of Saskatchewan

2,200-Year-Old Moat with Artifacts Linked to Hannibal Unearthed in Spain

Spanish university students trying to retrace Hannibal’s war march through northeastern Spain found a huge buried moat with ancient objects in it. The moat may have been meant to protect the ancient Carthaginian warrior-leader’s troops who remained in Iberia. If the moat was defense works for Hannibal’s Iberian troops, it did little good: Romans defeated them after Hannibal departed in 218 BC.

Hannibal left to attack the Roman Empire in Italy with as many as 90,000 infantry and 12,000 cavalry. He had with his army a famous elephant brigade of 80 or so pachyderms, most of which, scholars think, perished in the harsh mountain terrain between Spain and central Italy.

Hannibal's route of invading Italy. (Abalg and Pinpin map/ CC BY SA 3.0 )

Hannibal, who many years later committed suicide because the Romans finally caught up to him, left 11,000 troops near the town of Vilar de Valls to defend Carthaginian interested in Iberia.

The moat measured up to 131 feet (40 meters) across, 16.4 feet (5 meters) deep and extended three-tenths of a mile (.5 kilometer).

The moat’s size surprised the directors of the dig, Jordi López of the Catalan Institute of Classic Archeology and Jaume Noguera of the Prehistory department at the University of Barcelona.

Archaeology students discovered the 2,200-year-old moat in 2015, in what is now the Catalan town of Valls using electrical resistivity tomography to analyze subsurface structures. The objects showed presence of Hannibal in the area, said a story in TheLocal.es . Among the objects found were coins and lead projectiles.

Ancient coin showing Hannibal Barca. Students found coins and other objects in the ancient moat . (Public Domain )

"Roman legionnaires, led by general Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Calvus, defeated Hannibal’s men in Iberia. After the battle, the Romans raided a nearby Carthaginian camp, located on the edge of a town, and destroyed everything," the story said. That town, scholars think, was Vilar de Valls, at the present-day town of Valls.

"Noguera and López said the site may have been destroyed by the Romans during the Second Punic War (218-202 BC) that pitted Rome against Carthage for the hegemony of the Mediterranean."

Hannibal’s father, Hamilcar Barca, the ruler of the North African city-state of Carthage, had his son at age 9 immerse his hand in blood and swear hatred against Rome. He brought his son at age 10 to Spain about 237 BC, says History.com . Hamilcar’s son-in-law succeeded him and made Hannibal an officer. When the son-in-law was assassinated, Hannibal was voted to lead the army. He consolidated control around Cartagena, Spain.

Hannibal attacked and besieged the Roman-allied city of Saguntum in 219 because its people had engaged in hostilities against Carthaginians in the area. Rome took this as an act of war and demanded Hannibal surrender. He refused and plotted the Second Punic War.

Hannibal and his men crossing the Alps. Phaidon Verlag, 1932 ( Public Domain )

History.com tells of Hannibal’s attack on Rome in 219:

The march that followed–which covered some 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) through the Pyrenees, across the Rhone River and the snowcapped Alps, and finally into central Italy–would be remembered as one of the most famous campaigns in history. With his forces depleted by the harsh Alpine crossing, Hannibal met the powerful army of the Roman general Publius Cornelius Scipio on the plains west of the Ticino River. Hannibal’s cavalry prevailed, and Scipio was seriously wounded in the battle.

And in 2016, researchers reported they had finally solved the mystery of where Hannibal crossed the Alps to invade Italy. Modern science and a bit of ancient horse poo combined to make a fascinating discovery. They found solid evidence for Hannibal’s transit route - a dangerous pass called the Col de Traversette . The researchers used microbial genetic analysis, environmental chemistry, pollen analysis, and various geophysical techniques to find a large quantity of feces (probably left by horses) near Col de Traversette. That dung was dated to approximately 200 BC (close to the historical date of Hannibal’s trip – 218 BC).

In late 218, Hannibal and the Carthaginians defeated a Roman army on the left bank of the Trebia River. The Gauls and Ligurians became his allies in light of this. He advanced to the River Arno by spring 217 and won a battle at Lake Trasimene, but declined to attack the city of Rome itself.

But the Romans and Carthaginians met the following year at Cannae. Sixteen Roman legions, at nearly 80,000 men – twice the number of Hannibal’s forces, met the Carthaginians. Roman general Varro put his cavalry on either wing and massed his infantry in the center in classic military formation.

"Hannibal maintained a relatively weak center but strong infantry and cavalry forces at the flanks. When the Romans advanced, the Carthaginians were able to hold their center and win the struggle at the sides, enveloping the enemy and cutting off the possibility of retreat by sending a cavalry charge across the rear," History.com says.

A marble bust, reputedly of Hannibal. Capua, Italy. ( Public Domain )

More Roman colonies and allies defected to the Carthaginian side after this, but the Romans began to have some success, regaining ground by 209 in southern Italy and repelling Carthaginian reinforcements in 208 in northern Italy.

The Romans drove the Carthaginians out of Spain and attacked Carthage itself in 203. Hannibal returned to North Africa to defend, but the Romans and Numidians defeated the Carthaginians at Zama . The Romans lost 1,500 men Carthage, 20,000.

Carthage lost its overseas empire, but Hannibal retained some power. Later the Romans learned he encouraged the Syrians to make war on Rome. Rome demanded his surrender. Hannibal then went to Bythinia, where he served the king in making war on a Roman ally, King Eumenes II of Pergamum. This war was unsuccessful. The Romans again asked for Hannibal, who was unable to escape this time. He killed himself with poison about 183 BC.

Top Image: Hannibal crossing the Alps on elephants by Nicolas Poussin. Source: Public Domain

Mark Miller has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and is a former newspaper and magazine writer and copy editor who's long been interested in anthropology, mythology and ancient history. His hobbies are writing and drawing.

1 &ndash ‘Barca&rsquo Means Lightning Flash

Hannibal&rsquos father, Hamilcar, was also an outstanding military commander and became known for his lightning-fast raids on enemy territory. He fought against Rome during the First Punic War (264 &ndash 241 BC) and led the Carthaginian land forces in Sicily during the last six years of the conflict. Early in the war, the Carthaginians had been surprised by the ferocity of the Roman legions and decided to change tactics.

Rather than fighting open battles, they elected to utilize guerrilla warfare tactics which involved harassing isolated Roman garrisons and cutting off supply lines. While Hamilcar didn&rsquot come up with the tactic, he absolutely mastered it, and the Romans feared him because of his ability to conduct quick-fire raids in and around Sicily. The speed of these attacks earned him the nickname Baraq (Barca) and the new surname was passed on to Hannibal.

Hamilcar Barca. Fine Art America

‘Baraq&rsquo translates into either ‘lightning flash&rsquo or ‘sword flash&rsquo and Hannibal was certainly deserving of the name throughout his military career. His speed of thought and action was very apparent during the Second Punic War. In Epitome of the Histories, second century AD Roman historian, Annaeus Florus, compared Hannibal and his men to a lightning bolt. The Romans were probably shocked that he was able to cross the Alps let alone do it so quickly.

It was certainly a remarkable undertaking and one that Hannibal knew would strike fear into his enemies. There was also a strategic side to his daring decision. He realized that Carthage was no match for Rome in naval warfare and knew that his only chance of victory was to take the Romans on in land battles. Hannibal probably planned the march for years and used spies and scouts to find the best route. Ultimately, his goal was not just to cross the Alps as fast as possible, but also to have a fit and healthy army ready to take on the might of Rome.


Hannibal's father Hamilcar was commander of the Carthaginian forces at the end of the First Punic War (264–241 BC). After Carthage lost the war, Hamilcar crossed to Hispania to conquer the tribes of what is now Spain. Carthage at the time was in a poor condition. Its navy could not carry its army to Iberia (Hispania). Hamilcar had to march towards the Pillars of Hercules and go across the Strait of Gibraltar. According to a story in Livy, Hamilcar made Hannibal promise that he would never be a friend of Rome. Hannibal told his father

I swear so soon as age will permit. I will use fire and steel to arrest the destiny of Rome.

In return, Hamilcar agreed to take Hannibal with him to Hispania. He spent two years finishing the conquest of Iberia south of the river Ebro. He died in 229/228 in battle, most likely drowning in the Jucar River. Δ] His son-in-law Hasdrubal took command, but was assassinated in 221 BC.

So, in 221 BC, Hannibal became the leader of the army. Rome feared the growing strength of Hannibal. They made an alliance with the city of Saguntum and claimed to be protecting the city. Saguntum was South of the river Ebro. Hannibal attacked the city because of this. It was captured after eight months. Rome wanted justice from Carthage. The Carthaginian government saw nothing wrong with Hannibal's actions. The war Hannibal wanted was declared at the end of the year.

Overland journey to Italy

Hannibal's army was made up of as many as 75,000 foot soldiers and 9,000 horsemen. Hannibal left "New Carthage" in late spring of 218 BC. He fought his way north to the Pyrenees. He defeated the tribes through clever mountain tactics and stubborn fighting. After marching 290 miles and reaching the Ebro river, Hannibal chose the most trustworthy and loyal parts of his army of Libyan and Iberian mercenaries to keep going with him. He left 11,000 troops to keep watch over the newly conquered region. At the Pyrenees, he let go of another 11,000 Iberian troops. Hannibal entered Gaul with 50,000 foot soldiers and 9,000 horsemen.

Hannibal needed to cross the Pyrenees, the Alps, and many important rivers. starting in the Spring of 218 BC, he fought his way to the Pyrenees. He made peace deals with the Gaulish leaders and reached the Rhône River. Arriving at the Rhône in September, Hannibal's army numbered 38,000 infantry, 8,000 horsemen, and thirty-seven war elephants.

Hannibal got away from a Roman force sent to fight him in Gaul. He then went up the valley of one of the streams of the Rhône River. By Autumn, he reached the foot of the Alps. His journey over the mountains is one of the most famous achievements of any military force. After this journey, Hannibal came down from the foothills into northern Italy. He had arrived with only half the forces he had started with and only a few elephants. Hannibal had lost as many as 20,000 men crossing over the mountains.

Battle of Trebbia

Publius Cornelius Scipio commanded the Roman force sent to stop Hannibal. He did not expect Hannibal to cross the Alps. He expected to fight Hannibal in Spain. With a small army still in Gaul, Scipio tried to stop Hannibal. He moved his army to Italy by sea in time to meet Hannibal. Hannibal made the area behind him safer by defeating the tribe of the Taurini (modern Turin). The opposing forces fought at Carthage. Here, Hannibal forced the Romans to get out of the plain of Lombardy. This victory did much to weaken Roman control over the Gauls. The Gauls decided to join the Carthaginians. Soon all of northern Italy was unofficially allied. Gallic and Ligurian troops soon raised his army back to 40,000 men. Hannibal’s army was ready to invade Italy. Scipio retreated across the River Trebia. He camped at the town of Placentia and waited for more troops.

The Senate had ordered Sempronius Longus to bring his army from Sicily to meet Scipio and face Hannibal. Hannibal was in position to head him off. Sempronius avoided Hannibal and joined Scipio near the Trebbia River near Placentia. At Trebia, Hannibal defeated the Roman infantry by a surprise attack from an ambush on the flank.

Battle of Lake Trasimene

Arriving in Etruria in the spring of 217 BC, Hannibal decided to lure the main Roman army led by Flaminius into battle. Hannibal found Flaminius camped at Arretium. He marched around his opponent’s left side and cut Flaminius off from Rome. Hannibal made Flaminius chase him. On the shore of Lake Trasimenus, Hannibal destroyed Flaminius's army in the waters or on the nearby slopes. He killed Flaminius as well. He had got rid of the only force that could stop him from getting to Rome. He realized that without siege engines he could not hope to take the capital, so he decided to continue into central and southern Italy. He hoped this show of strength would create a revolt against the Roman government. After Lake Trasimene, Hannibal said, “I have not come to fight Italians, but on behalf of the Italians against Rome.”


Rome was put into an immense state of panic. They appointed a dictator named Quintus Fabius Maximus. He was an intelligent and careful general.

Fabius adopted the "Fabian strategy". He refused open battle with his enemy, and put several Roman armies near Hannibal to limit his movement. Fabius sent out small forces against Hannibal’s foraging parties. Residents of small northern villages were told to post lookouts. They could gather their livestock and possessions and go to fortified towns. This would wear down the invaders’ endurance.

Hannibal decided to march through Samnium to Campania. He hoped that the destruction would draw Fabius into battle but Fabius refused to be drawn into battle. His troops became irritated by his “cowardly spirit”. His policies were not liked. Romans were used to facing their enemies in the field and the people wanted to see a quick end to the war.

The rest of Autumn continued with frequent skirmishes. After six months, Fabius was removed from his position in accordance with the Roman law.

Battle of Cannae

In the Spring of 216 BC Hannibal captured the large supply depot at Cannae in the Apulian plain, effectively placing himself between the Romans and their source of supply. Ε] The Roman Senate resumed their Consular elections in 216. They chose Caius Terentius Varro and Lucius Aemilius Paullus as Consuls. The Romans raised largest army to this point in their history to defeat Hannibal. It's estimated that the total strength of the army was around 80,000 men.

The Roman army marched southward to Apulia. After a two days’ march, they found Hannibal at the Audifus River. Consul Varro was a reckless man full of pride and was determined to defeat Hannibal. Varro's arrogance got the better of him and allowed Hannibal to drew him into a trap. With brilliant tactics, Hannibal surrounded and destroyed most of this force.

It is estimated that 50,000-70,000 Romans were killed or captured at Cannae. Ζ] Among the dead were eighty senators. The Roman Senate was no more than 300 men – this was 25%–30% of the governing body. The Battle of Cannae one of the worst defeats in the history of Ancient Rome. It is also one of the bloodiest battles in all of human history in terms of the number of lives lost in a single day. After Cannae, the Romans refused to fight Hannibal in battles. They tried instead to defeat him by wearing him down. They relied on their advantages of supply and manpower.

Because of this victory most of southern Italy joined Hannibal's cause. During that same year, the Greek cities in Sicily revolted against Roman control. The Macedonian king, Philip V supported Hannibal. This started the First Macedonian War against Rome. Hannibal made his new base in Capua, the second largest city of Italy.


Without the resources from his allies or reinforcements from Carthage, Hannibal could not do much more and began losing ground. He continued defeating the Romans whenever he could bring them into battle but was never able to score another decisive victory.

End of War in Italy

In 212 BC conspirators in Tarentum let Hannibal into the city. They then blew the alarm with some Roman trumpets. This let Hannibal's troops pick off the Romans as they stumbled into the streets. Hannibal told the Tarentines to mark every house where Tarentines lived so they wouldn't be looted. Even with the looting the citadel held out. This stopped Hannibal from using the harbor and Rome was slowly gaining ground over Hannibal. In the same year, he lost Campania.

In 211 BC the city of Capua fell. In summer of that year, the Romans destroyed the Carthaginian army in Sicily. Meanwhile, Hannibal had defeated Fulvius at Herdonea in Apulia, but lost Tarentum. With the loss of Tarentum in 209 BC and the Romans capturing of Samnium and Lucania, his hold on south Italy was almost lost.

In 207 BC he retired into Bruttium. These events marked the end to Hannibal's success in Italy. In 203 BC, Hannibal was recalled to Carthage to lead the defence of his homeland against a Roman invasion.

But there's so much more to Hannibal

While I appreciate that the History Channel dedicated anything at all to Hannibal, the sad truth is that the History Channel has spent 11 seasons on Ancient Aliens (so far!) and barely 30 minutes on Hannibal.

There is a lot of skimming. There’s no mention of Hamilcar’s strategy to spread Carthaginian influence into Hispania with the goal of gaining manpower. Hannibal’s uncle is nonexistent and instead Hannibal is just suddenly the leader one day. There is nothing about the Carthaginian politicians that fought against Hannibal during his entire war nor is there mention of the ever-changing strategies in Rome to deal with Hannibal. Roman careers were seemingly made in weeks and crushed in a day.

After the program finishes with Cannae, 14 years go by like nothing with no mention of the wars in Hispania. There is no mention of the city-by-city struggle throughout the Italian Peninsula for the hearts and minds of the people. Suddenly, Scipio somehow uses Hannibal’s tactics against him and then Hannibal kills himself. They also misstated when they claimed Hannibal never made it to the gates of Rome. He did, twice!

History Channel mainly focuses on the two popular tales of Hannibal—crossing the Alps and Cannae.

The worst part is that the History Channel spent so much time and commentary on how difficult it was to cross the Alps during the winter, but they said nothing on how Hannibal succeeded. The show has modern historians, commanders, politicians, and executives all emphasizing how leadership finds a way to prevail in difficult times. Yet, there is no mention how Hannibal adopted the gods of the region and depicted himself in their image. There is no mention how Hannibal evoked his own dreams to inspire his troops, a common ploy among Hellenistic leaders of the time.

Instead, as my friend pointed out, the History Channel gave us a dramatic Hannibal giving up, a white guy encouraging him, and suddenly it was spring.

Hannibal gives up A white guy encourages him Then it's spring

If you’re interested in knowing more about Hannibal’s story including how he managed to wage a war on the Italian Peninsula for 16 years, then I highly recommend Eve MacDonald’s Hannibal: A Hellenistic Life (2015). I reviewed it and loved it. No single book could do Hannibal justice, but it comes the closest.

In summary, the History Channel has provided a sliver of the Hannibal story, but they left way too much on the table.

10 Reasons Why Hannibal’s Military Genius Still Captures Our Imagination Today

Hannibal Barca, otherwise simply known as Hannibal, lived and waged war over two thousand years ago – but is he still relevant in a world where the Romans are long gone? His famous crossing of the Alps in winter with an intrepid army and elephants is unforgettable, but are his brilliant maneuvers and intelligence gathering still worth examining? Despite the enigma of this great Carthaginian general being unable to preserve Carthage after him, Hannibal’s tactics and methods offer great lessons not only for military history but also for civilization at large. History reveals the Romans had a destiny of world conquest, but what is less well known is how much Hannibal changed the ways in which the Romans conducted the wars that eventually brought them Pax Romana, a peace often forged out of violence after a brutal expansion that killed and enslaved millions, including Carthage a century after Hannibal.

Before Hannibal, Rome was hemmed in by seas on almost all sides and could hardly expand except northward into Etruscan and Celtic territory acquiring Sicily was Rome’s first step outside its mainland. But Hannibal forced Rome to fight a very different kind of war his victories taught them how exploitable their military organization was, and he pressured Rome to change for survival. More relevant, while Hannibal didn’t invent spycraft, he seemingly used it more effectively than any other ancient general by his careful contingency planning. Hannibal set precedents for spy agencies and intelligence gathering and how to stage battles in any kind of terrain and weather–templates that current nations still study and follow. Every military academy today offers detailed classes and seminars on Hannibal’s tactics. I am frequently invited to lecture on Hannibal’s intelligence gathering in venues like the U.S. Naval War College, where classes are filled with Navy, Army, Marines, and Air Force officers along with representatives of the intelligence agencies. That is also why the National Geographic Society sponsored my Hannibal field research – sending me to every Hannibal battle site and to Carthage in Tunisia, along with Spain, France, Italy and even Turkey where Hannibal concluded his dramatic life – and also why Simon and Schuster published my biography Hannibal this summer. Here are some nuggets from 20 years of Hannibal fieldwork found in this new book.

  1. Hannibal studied his opponents very carefully, employing every means of gathering intelligence in enemy camps, including spies from allied populations who provisioned the Romans.
  2. When necessary, Hannibal paid for credible intelligence with silver supplied from mines in Carthaginian Spain as long as that silver lasted to pay for good intel, he was unbeatable. Once Rome conquered Spain’s silver mines, Hannibal’s ability to gather and exploit such military intelligence was cut off. There is a direct correlation to Hannibal’s access to silver for intel or mercenary use and his brilliant victories.
  3. Hannibal usually went for the unpredictable surprise maneuver that had never been seen before, including crossing the Alps in winter and forcing the Romans to fight in the dead of winter and at night.
  4. Hannibal got into the minds of his enemies with psy-ops, exposing their weaknesses, triggering their anger and vanity, and making them fall into his traps undermining the confidence of the Roman foot soldiers in big battles and paralyzing them with fear. Romans taught their children to fear Hannibal as the bogeyman – always warning in crises for centuries that “Hannibal is at the Gates”.
  5. Hannibal proved it’s not the size of your army but how well prepared it is. He epitomizes the old adage, “Better 10 men wisely led than 100 with a fool at the head.” Even if austere, Hannibal’s leadership was legendarily charismatic – he even slept with his men on the ground wrapped in a blanket. He taught his men the brutality of war with likely less PTSD than his enemies because he always prepared them with ideas like “fight or die.” Much later, Machiavelli even alluded to Hannibal in The Prince with the concept that it’s “better to be feared than loved.”
  6. Hannibal effectively used the most mobile units possible with his Numidian cavalry, often outflanking the Roman infantry on multiple campaigns, especially in his famous “double envelopment” or where he finished battles with ambushes from the rear where there was no escape.
  7. Because his armies were almost always smaller – especially after his difficult Alps crossing when he lost many soldiers – Hannibal augmented his arsenal with weapons of nature: forcing the Romans to cross the frozen Trebbia River, hiding his armies in the fog above Lake Trasimene, driving captured cattle with torches tied to their horns to fool the Romans into thinking he was on the move at night at Volturnus, making the Romans face the blinding dust and sand blowing from Africa at Cannae. He even confused the Romans at Cannae with some of his troops outfitted with captured Roman gear.
  8. Similarly, after studying terrain and topography, Hannibal always chose his battle sites when possible for the best possible advantage, especially constricting the larger Roman armies where they would be unable to outflank him and instead they would be hemmed in by rivers or hills, etc., also choosing terrain where he could hide ambushes in nearby forests.
  9. Hannibal sagely exploited the 2-consul Roman alternating command rotated one day between an experienced military veteran and the next day with a political appointee populist leading. On at least three occasions, Hannibal annihilated the Romans on the days when fools were the supposed commanders. The following Roman generations learned the hard lesson from this and the Senate created a professional army commanded by veteran leadership. Eventually Rome also amped up its cavalry and became less dependent on infantry thanks to Hannibal.
  10. Hannibal taught his one formidable Roman opponent Scipio how to implement brilliant tactics, how to mine data from military intelligence and how to benefit from Spain’s mercenary silver to bribe the Numidians to abandon Carthage. Scipio – the only one to beat Hannibal – respected Hannibal more than any other Roman because he learned so much from him. It’s one of the great ironies in history that Hannibal is apparently more famous than Scipio, and it’s not only because of crossing the Alps with elephants: ultimately the Romans didn’t appreciate a victorious Scipio any more than the Carthaginians appreciated a victorious Hannibal. Hannibal will remain a profound enigma in that he could not ultimately win the war with Rome, yet he could win so many brilliant battles with incredibly memorable tactics still taught today.

The Roman book Stratagemata by Frontinus – a compilation of military stratagems – has more clever ruses of Hannibal than any other commander up to that time. Historic great commanders or officers who studied or emulated Hannibal include but are not limited to Julius Caesar, Belisarius, Charlemagne, Napoleon, Suvorov, Kutuzov, von Clausewitz, Montgomery, Liddell Hart, Rommel, Patton and Schwarzkopf, among many others. Even the term blitzkrieg alluded to Hannibal’s clan (Barca = “lightning”) and his rapid advance in his invasion of Italy.” So, of course, Hannibal is at least as relevant as any other memorable person in history, especially in a time of world chaos and rethinking strategic allegiances.

Postscript: Hannibal (Simon and Schuster 2017) has been acclaimed in reviews from The New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, Philadelphia Inquirer, Ancient History Encyclopedia, a starred Kirkus Review and many others, and also nominated in the Kirkus List of Best Nonfiction Books of 2017.

In Africa

Back in his native land after 16 years of victorious warfare in enemy territory, Hannibal was finally defeated by Scipio Africanus in the battle of Zama. Ironically, Hannibal became the victim of his own strategy: Scipio outflanked and surrounded the Carthaginians with the aid of King Masinissa's Numidian cavalry. Hannibal escaped with only a few horsemen and rushed to Carthage, where he counseled peace. The treaty was concluded in 201.

Elected a suffete (civil magistrate) in 197, Hannibal broke the power of the Carthaginian oligarchy and worked for social and economic reforms. His political enemies accused him in Rome of intriguing with King Antiochus III of Syria. When the Romans sent a commission to investigate the matter, Hannibal fled, first to Antiochus's court at Ephesus, and, after the latter's defeat at Magnesia in 189, to King Prusias of Bithynia.

Hannibal helped his host successfully in a naval battle against King Eumenes of Pergamum, Rome's ally. When another senatorial commission was sent to demand from Prusias the surrender of the famous Carthaginian exile, Hannibal poisoned himself.

[edit] Legacy to the modern world

Hannibal's name is also commonplace in later art and popular culture, an objective measure of his foreign influence on Western history.

Like other military leaders Hannibal's victories against superior forces in an ultimately losing cause won him enduring fame that outlasted his native country within North Africa. His crossing of the Alps remains one of the most monumental military feats of ancient warfare [42] and has since captured the imagination of the world (romanticized by several artworks).

[edit] TV and film

There are announcements that One Race films is currently in production of a movie starring Vin Diesel, who will be playing the character of Hannibal Barca.

Year Film Other notes
2008 Hannibal the Conqueror Upcoming Motion Picture starring Vin Diesel
2006 Hannibal - Rome's Worst Nightmare TV film, starring Alexander Siddig
2005 Hannibal vs. Rome in National Geographic Channel
2004 The Phantom of the Opera The beginning Opera being rehearsed is one about Hannibal so titled Hannibal
2005 The True Story of Hannibal British documentary
2001 Hannibal: The Man Who Hated Rome British documentary
1997 The Great Battles of Hannibal British documentary
1996 Gulliver’s Travels Gulliver summons Hannibal from a magic mirror.
1960 Annibale Italian Motion Picture starring Victor Mature
1955 Jupiter's Darling British Motion Picture starring Howard Keel
1939 Scipio Africanus - the Defeat of Hannibal (Scipione l'africano) Italian Motion Picture
1914 Cabiria Italian Silent film

[edit] Comics

Hannibal makes the usual neat and appropriate speech previous to killing himself.


Military history

Hannibal is generally regarded as one of the best military strategists and tacticians of all time, the double envelopment at Cannae an enduring legacy of tactical brilliance. According to Appian, several years after the Second Punic War, Hannibal served as a political advisor in the Seleucid Kingdom and Scipio was sent there on a diplomatic mission from Rome.

It is said that at one of their meetings in the gymnasium Scipio and Hannibal had a conversation on the subject of generalship, in the presence of a number of bystanders, and that Scipio asked Hannibal whom he considered the greatest general, to which the latter replied, "Alexander of Macedonia".

To this Scipio assented since he also yielded the first place to Alexander. Then he asked Hannibal whom he placed next, and he replied, "Pyrrhus of Epirus", because he considered boldness the first qualification of a general "for it would not be possible", he said, "to find two kings more enterprising than these".

Scipio was rather nettled by this, but nevertheless he asked Hannibal to whom he would give the third place, expecting that at least the third would be assigned to him but Hannibal replied, "to myself for when I was a young man I conquered Hispania and crossed the Alps with an army, the first after Hercules."

As Scipio saw that he was likely to prolong his self-laudation he said, laughing, "where would you place yourself, Hannibal, if you had not been defeated by me?" Hannibal, now perceiving his jealousy, replied, "in that case I should have put myself before Alexander". Thus Hannibal continued his self-laudation, but flattered Scipio in a indirect manner by suggesting that he had conquered one who was the superior of Alexander.

At the end of this conversation Hannibal invited Scipio to be his guest, and Scipio replied that he would be so gladly if Hannibal were not living with Antiochus, who was held in suspicion by the Romans. Thus did they, in a manner worthy of great commanders, cast aside their enmity at the end of their wars. [71]

Military academies all over the world continue to study Hannibal's exploits [ citation needed ] (especially his victory at Cannae).

Maximilian Otto Bismarck Caspari, in his article in the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, praises Hannibal in these words:

As to the transcendent military genius of Hannibal there cannot be two opinions. The man who for fifteen years could hold his ground in a hostile country against several powerful armies and a succession of able generals must have been a commander and a tactician of supreme capacity. In the use of strategies and ambuscades he certainly surpassed all other generals of antiquity. Wonderful as his achievements were, we must marvel the more when we take into account the grudging support he received from Carthage. As his veterans melted away, he had to organize fresh levies on the spot. We never hear of a mutiny in his army, composed though it was of North Africans, Iberians and Gauls. Again, all we know of him comes for the most part from hostile sources. The Romans feared and hated him so much that they could not do him justice. Livy speaks of his great qualities, but he adds that his vices were equally great, among which he singles out his more than Punic perfidy and an inhuman cruelty. For the first there would seem to be no further justification than that he was consummately skillful in the use of ambuscades. For the latter there is, we believe, no more ground than that at certain crises he acted in the general spirit of ancient warfare. Sometimes he contrasts most favorably with his enemy. No such brutality stains his name as that perpetrated by Claudius Nero on the vanquished Hasdrubal. Polybius merely says that he was accused of cruelty by the Romans and of avarice by the Carthaginians. He had indeed bitter enemies, and his life was one continuous struggle against destiny. For steadfastness of purpose, for organizing capacity and a mastery of military science he has perhaps never had an equal. [72]

Even the Roman chroniclers acknowledged Hannibal's supreme military leadership, writing that, "he never required others to do what he could and would not do himself". [73] According to Polybius 23, 13, p.𧊧:

"It is a remarkable and very cogent proof of Hannibal's having been by nature a real leader and far superior to anyone else in statesmanship, that though he spent seventeen years in the field, passed through so many barbarous countries, and employed to aid him in desperate and extraordinary enterprises numbers of men of different nations and languages, no one ever dreamt of conspiring against him, nor was he ever deserted by those who had once joined him or submitted to him."

Count Alfred von Schlieffen developed his eponymously titled "Schlieffen Plan" (1905/1906) from his military studies, with a particularly heavy emphasis on the envelopment technique which Hannibal employed to surround and destroy the Roman army at Cannae. [74] [75] George S. Patton believed himself a reincarnation of Hannibal as well as of many other people, including a Roman legionary and a Napoleonic soldier. [76] [77] Norman Schwarzkopf, the commander of the Coalition Forces in the Gulf War of 1990-1991, claimed: "The technology of war may change, the sophistication of weapons certainly changes. But those same principles of war that applied to the days of Hannibal apply today." [78]

According to the military historian Theodore Ayrault Dodge,

Hannibal excelled as a tactician. No battle in history is a finer sample of tactics than Cannae. But he was yet greater in logistics and strategy. No captain ever marched to and fro among so many armies of troops superior to his own numbers and material as fearlessly and skillfully as he. No man ever held his own so long or so ably against such odds. Constantly overmatched by better soldiers, led by generals always respectable, often of great ability, he yet defied all their efforts to drive him from Italy, for half a generation. Excepting in the case of Alexander, and some few isolated instances, all wars up to the Second Punic War, had been decided largely, if not entirely, by battle-tactics. Strategic ability had been comprehended only on a minor scale. Armies had marched towards each other, had fought in parallel order, and the conqueror had imposed terms on his opponent. Any variation from this rule consisted in ambuscades or other stratagems. That war could be waged by avoiding in lieu of seeking battle that the results of a victory could be earned by attacks upon the enemy's communications, by flank-maneuvers, by seizing positions from which safely to threaten him in case he moved, and by other devices of strategy, was not understood. [However] For the first time in the history of war, we see two contending generals avoiding each other, occupying impregnable camps on heights, marching about each other's flanks to seize cities or supplies in their rear, harassing each other with small-war, and rarely venturing on a battle which might prove a fatal disaster—all with a well-conceived purpose of placing his opponent at a strategic disadvantage. That it did so was due to the teaching of Hannibal. [8]

Hannibal in literature

Hannibal's name is also commonplace in later art and popular culture, an objective measure of his considerable influence on Western history.

Like other military leaders, Hannibal's victories against superior forces in an ultimately losing cause won him enduring fame that outlasted his native country within North Africa. His crossing of the Alps remains one of the most monumental military feats of ancient warfare [79] and has since captured the imagination of the world (romanticized by several artworks).

Novel unless otherwise noted:

  • 29 to 19 BC: Upon her death in Virgil's epic poem the Aeneid, Dido, Queen of Carthage, warns of a Carthaginian that will avenge her. By almost all critical accounts, this predicts the wars that Hannibal will lay upon Rome.
  • written 1308-21, Dante's Divine Comedy, poem, Inferno XXXI.97-132, 115-124 (Battle of Zama) and Paradiso VI
  • 1726, Gulliver's Travels, satirical work
  • 1862, Gustave Flaubert's Salammbô, set in Carthage at the time of Hamilcar Barca. Hannibal appears as a child.
  • 1887, G. A. Henty's "The Young Carthaginian" tells the story of Hannibal and the Second Punic War from the perspective of the fictional character Malchus, a cousin of Hannibal.
  • 1996, Elisabeth Craft, A Spy for Hannibal: A Novel of Carthage, 091015533X
  • 1996–2000, Ross Leckie, Carthage trilogy, source of the 2008 film (1996, Hannibal: A Novel, ISBN 0-89526-443-9  1999, Scipio, a Novel, ISBN 0-349-11238-X  Carthage, 2000, ISBN 0-86241-944-1)
  • 2002, John Maddox Roberts, Hannibal's Children, ISBN 0-441-00933-6, an alternate history. In the opening, Hannibal conquers Rome in 215 BC and exiles the Romans from Italy. In 100 BC, Romans visit Carthage, where the descendants of Hannibal are hereditary rulers using the title shofet.
  • 2005, Terry McCarthy, The Sword of Hannibal, ISBN 0-446-61517-X
  • 2006, David Anthony Durham, Pride of Carthage: A Novel of Hannibal, ISBN 0-385-72249-4
  • 2006, Esther Friesner, "First, Catch Your Elephant," in Alternate Generals III, edited by Harry Turtledove. This is a Monty Python-style spoof replete with humorous anachronisms.
  • 2006, Angela Render, Forged By Lightning: A Novel of Hannibal and Scipio, ISBN 1-4116-8002-2
  • 2008, Bill Mahaney, 'The Warmaker—Hannibal's Invasion of Italia and the Aftermath' ISBN 978-0-595-48101-9
  • 2011, Ben Kane, Hannibal: Enemy of Rome, Preface Publishing: London. Hannibal appears frequently in this novel set during the Second Punic War, told from the points of view of two young men, one Roman, one Carthaginian. Covers the siege of Saguntum, the crossing of the Alps by Hannibal's forces and the Battle of the Trebia.
  • 2011, William Kelso, "The Shield of Rome", 216 BC. The novel is set in the aftermath of Hannibal's stunning victory at Cannae and Rome's heroic response.
  • In Poul Anderson's time travel story Delenda Est, two adventurers from the future join Hannibal's army, use modern weapons to help him defeat the Romans, but then assassinate Hannibal and take over Carthage.
  • One of the episodes in Erich Kästner's satire fantasy The 35th of May, or Conrad's Ride to the South Seas depicts Hannibal in his afterlife being engaged in a fierce war with General Wallenstein of the Thirty Years' war and emphasizes both generals' callous disregard for the lives of their soldiers - underlining Kästner's pacifist views.

Hannibal in theatre and opera

  • In Hector Berlioz's 1858 opera Les Troyens (itself a re-imagining of Virgil's Aeneid, above), he appears in a vision to Dido just before she dies.
  • In Andrew Lloyd Webber's 1986 musical The Phantom of the Opera and its 2004 film adaption, the Paris Opera Populaire is in rehearsal for an opera by the fictional composer Chalumeau about Hannibal starring the humorous opera stars Piangi and Carlotta. This opera features the aria "Think of Me," sung by the character Elissa. Carlotta was supposed to play Elissa however, the Phantom's intimidation of Carlotta causes her to forfeit the role in favor of Christine Daaé.

Hannibal in film and on television

Year Film Other notes
1914 Cabiria Italian silent film
1939 Scipio Africanus: The Defeat of Hannibal Italian motion picture
1955 Jupiter's Darling MGM musical picture starring Howard Keel and Esther Williams
1959 Hannibal Italian motion picture starring Victor Mature
1997 The Great Battles of Hannibal British documentary
2001 Hannibal: The Man Who Hated Rome British documentary
2005 The True Story of Hannibal British documentary
2005 Hannibal vs. Rome in National Geographic Channel
2006 Hannibal - Rome's Worst Nightmare TV film starring Alexander Siddig in the title role
2009 Battles BC History Channel TV film
2009 Ancients Behaving Badly History Channel TV film
2010 On Hannibal's Trail BBC TV documentary
2011 Deadliest Warrior Spike television series


"Hannibal (indulging) in (one) of those speeches which are usually attributed by classical historians." (Gilbert Abbott À Beckett)

Watch the video: Hannibal 2001 nurse attack