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The Extroardinary Life Of Hannibal Barca. It Gives You, The Reader Insite On His Military Atchievements And Biography

2767 words - 12 pages

HannibalHannibal Barca: Military GeniusByIntroductionCarthage Before Hannibal Carthage, one of the most famous cities of antiquity, was founded on the north coast of Africa by the Phoenicians of Tyre (sur) in 814 B.C. The foundation of Carthage was closely followed by the establishment of other Phoenician cities in the west Mediterranean over which Carthage gradually gained control. From then on, Carthaginian power expanded into Spain, Sicily and numerous other places in the northern Mediterranean. This brought them into direct conflict with the empires in Rome and Greece. At the start of the 3rd century B.C.. Carthage was supreme in the western Mediterranean, enjoying the security of sea ...view middle of the document...

In Carthage, a peace treaty was in power, commercially minded, ready to play the quisling. Hamilcar Barca, on the other hand, had popular support and the command of the armed forces. With these he proceeded to develop the Carthaginian hold on Spain, os- tensibly to enable Carthage to pay repatriation to Rome, but in fact, be- cause he saw in Spain a source of manpower and supplies and a base from which to attack Rome. With his son-in-law Hasdrubal and his four sons Hannibal, Hasdrubal, Hanno, and Mago, the 'lion's brood' as he cafled them. Hamilcar barca soon succeeded in turning southern Spain into a sort of empire where new Carthage or Carthagena was founded. In 228 B.C. he fell in battle and was succeeded by hasdrubal his son-in- law who, in his turn was murdered seven years later in 221 B.C.The Rise of HannibalThe army thereupon unanimously chose Hannibal to be their general in spite of his youth, "because of the shrewdness and courage which he had shown in their service." Hannibal was then 26 years old. This strange man, whose name means "Joy of Baal", had accompanied his father on his campaign in Spain. at the tender age of nine. Hamilcar Barca had agreed to take him on his campaign on one condition, that before the sac- rifice which he was then making to the gods, Hannibal should swear eter-nal enmity to Rome. No man ever kept a promise more faithfully. Hannibal's first military suc-cess was in Saguntum, which precipitated the Second Punic War. It is quite clear that Hannibal carried out a carefully prepared plan which he had inherited from his fa-ther. His object was nothing less than the destruction of the power of Rome before Rome destroyed Carthage, and Rome's most vulnerable spot was in Italy itself where the Roman federa-tion of states was still loose and the Celtic tribes of Gauls in the North were in revolt. But since Carthage had lost command of the sea to Rome, how was Hannibal to get to Italy with his troops? The Romans never imagined for one moment that he could or would make thejourney of 1500 miles overland from Spain, across the Pyr-enees, the south of France, and the Alps; but that was exactly what Hannibal had decided to do. Having decided on his strat-egy and selected his theatre of operations? Hannibal followed two principles which have grown no less important since his day: the seizure of the initiative, and the maintenance of the element of surprise. 218 B. C. may seem a long time ago. but the manner in which Hannibal set about his task is identical with that which a compe-tent commander would follow today. Hannibal first secured his bases at Carthage and Carthagena. Next he collected detailed information about the countries and peoples through which he proposed to pass. For this purpose he sent for messengers (liai-son-officers) from the Gaulish tribes and asked for detailed accounts of the terrain and the fertility of the country at the foot of the Alps, in the midst of the Alps, and in the plain of the river Po....

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