Hannibal was born in 247 B.C, in North Africa. He was one of the greatest military generals of the ancient time whom led the Carthaginian army. He was widely known for his strategy of out-thinking and surrounding the enemy with a combined force of infantry and cavalry. Rome and Carthaginian were enemies for a long time. The first conflict between the Roman and Carthage resulted in the first Punic war in Sicily. It lasted for over 20 years, and the Carthaginians surrendered Rome. The conflict was mainly for the trade route control of Mediterranean. Hamilcar Barca was about to carry his troops to Spain, where Hannibal begged him to take with him. He was 9-year-olds at that time. Hannibal grew up with the Hamilcar’s army, where he was directly influenced by it. His hate towards the Rome was the great influence created by his father.
Hannibal’s vengeance towards Rome grew with his age. His father fought with Rome for 40 years. He was humiliated by Rome, Hannibal’s hate and vengeance towards Rome created one of the greatest soldiers in history.
Here are the top 10 facts about Hannibal you may not know.
- Hamilcar went to Spain to rebuild the Carthaginian power after Rome took Corsica and Sardinia. Hannibal begged him to join the army. Hamilcar made Hannibal take an oath that “he will always be the enemy of Rome”.
- Hannibal became commander-in-chief of the Carthaginian army, after the assassination of Hasdrudal in 221 BC. Hannibal was 26 years old at that time.
- The first major battle of second Punic war started in December of 218 BC. Rome was defeated by Hannibal’s army, with over 10,000 casualties.
- Hannibal passed the mountains Alps with over 50,000 infantry, 9,000 cavalry, and 37 elephants to attack Rome in their land. He almost lost half of his army during the trip. Hannibal could not attack by ship because Roman had control over the seas. Instead, he invaded by land, passing through the most dangerous Alps route with his massive army.
- The key component of the Hannibal army was 37 African elephants.
- After crossing the Alps, Hannibal reached to the plan, which was inhabited by Gauls. Gauls hated Romans. They welcomed Hannibal.
- Hannibal left his winter quarter Bologna and went to Appennines and Eturia. During a minor engagement, he lost vision in one eye. Some historians claim he suffered from Ophthalmia.
- At the end of the Alps, there was stone blocking their way. Hannibal used wine and firewood to clear the way by melting the snow at the bottom of the stone, which broke the stone into parts and cleared their way.
- The battle of Cannae was one of the most famous battles ever fought by Hannibal with his greatest military tactics. Rome almost lost around 50,000 to 70,000 men in the battle. However, Hannibal only lost around 4,000 men.
- Carthage’s economy was deteriorated in 196 BC. Hannibal was chosen as Suffete by the people of Carthage.
Conclusion: His greatest achievement in the second Punic war was remarkable and remembered throughout history. Hannibal was the greatest general with an undefeatable military strategy. His brave attempt to fight against Rome with brilliant strategy, which no one had ever imagined at that time, made him of the finest military General Commander of the ancient history.