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HANNIBAL

People List

BORN

CARTHAGE / NORTHERN COAST OF TUNISIA

LIVED

247 - 182 BC


The Carthage people were descended from the Phoenician people, originally from the modern day Lebanon region. They settled along the north coast of Africa around 800 BC in what is now known as Tunisia. With this location close to Sicily, covering the narrowest part of the Mediterranean Sea, and with their vast fleet of ships, they could control most of the Mediterranean and land on its shores.

At the time of Hannibal’s birth, Rome had taken control of Italy and been at war with Carthage since 264 BC. The war between the Romans and Carthage at that time became known as the First Punic War.

By 241 BC, Rome had conquered Carthage and stripped them of Sicily. After civil war broke out in Carthage, Rome also took Sardinia and Corsica.

Hannibal image

Hannibal


Hannibal’s father Hamilcar, took Hannibal at the age of ten to Spain to try and expand Carthage rule in southern Spain. Following the death of his father in 229 BC, his brother in law Hasdrabul took command. Eight years later, the assassination of Hasdrabul by Celtic tribesmen saw Hannibal elected commander.

He soon began expanding Carthage rule in Spain capturing Salamanca (in western Spain) in 220 BC, and the following year captured Saguntum (near modern day Valencia in Eastern Spain). At that time, Rome demanded Hannibal be handed over by the Carthage government.

Hannibal appointed his brother commander in Spain May 218 BC before crossing the River Ebro in order to complete the conquest of the Iberian peninsular. On hearing of Hannibal’s movements, Rome declared they were at war with Carthage, the Second Punic War.

Hannibal responded to the declaration of war by Rome by leading an army of 50,000 infantry, 9,000 cavalry and 37 elephants across the Pyrenees and Alps into northern Italy. By 218 BC, he had arrived in the region of Turin. At that time, the area of Turin was inhabited by Gaul’s who were also against Roman rule. As the Romans had been expecting the invasion from the south, they had to send an ill prepared army to intercept Hannibal. After the defeat of that Roman army, 14,000 Gaul’s joined Hannibal in his quest to defeat the Romans and take control of Italy.

Hannibal went on to defeat the Romans for a second time at Piacenza. In March 217 BC, he left his winter headquarters at Bologna, crossed the Apennines and ravaged the Tuscany area. After defeating another Roman army sent to Tuscany, Hannibal thought he had done enough to win over Rome’s allies. He then made his base in the Apulia (the heel of Italy). At that time, the Roman senate raised an army of 80,000 men for one decisive battle against Hannibal’s 50,000 men. Again Hannibal defeated the Romans at the region of Cannae on Italy’s east coast. Hannibal then made Capua his capital in Italy and secured his alliance with Macedonia.

Rome began a new tactic to defeat Hannibal by cutting off his supplies from the south coast and sending an army led by the commander Scipio to capture Spain. After taking control of Spain, the Romans attacked Carthage, forcing the Carthage government to recall Hannibal from Italy.

On October 19th 202 BC, Hannibal met the Roman army led by Scipio at Zama in Tunisia. The Roman victory in that battle forced Hannibal to flee to Carthage. In 201 BC, a peace treaty was signed with Rome taking control of the Carthage fleet and Hannibal being forced to resign.

As Carthage rule receded, Hannibal moved from country to country trying to persuade them to oppose the Romans and allow him to lead their armies.

His last battles were with the Bithynia army as they fought the Pergamene, both being ancient Turkish regions.

In 184 BC, Rome entered the war on the Pergamene side. As the Pergamene and Romans defeated the Bithynia, Hannibal poisoned himself to avoid being extradited to Rome.

burial site of Hannibal near Gebze/ Turkey image

The burial site of Hannibal near Gebze/ Turkey

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hannibal People List