Hannibal's Crossing of the Alps

Topics: Ancient Rome, Roman Republic, Carthage Pages: 3 (1187 words) Published: November 21, 2012
Hannibal’s crossing of the Alps is one of history’s most remarkable military achievements even to this day. There are many accounts of the crossing of the Alps and what happened during those weeks and we can only speculate and use the sources and information that has lived through the decay of time. Our main primary sources that historians use to piece together the crossing of the Alps are by two of Rome’s most famous historians, Polybius and Livy. Polybius was a very rounded and mostly non-biased historian who got out of his way to travel to his locations to document facts and information which he used in his text and who lived during the time of the First and Second Punic Wars. On the other hand we have Livy who was a very pro-Roman historian who had documented his facts based on other historians who were before him as he lived almost 200 years after the Punic wars. When we compare the two accounts by both historians we tend to believe and rely more on the accounts made by Polybius as we know him as a reliable and fairly non-biased source whereas Livy was very biased towards Rome and based his information off of other historians. Although we see Polybius as the more reliable source, Livy does come up with some points that concern the crossing that are quite conflicting with the information presented to us by Polybius. By analysing both of these accounts we can get a better understanding of the crossing of Hannibal’s crossing of the Alps. Polybius who was a very reliable historian who we know lived around 200-118 BC during the time of the two Punic Wars provided a very detailed account of both Punic wars and Hannibal’s crossing of the Alps. Polybius is known for his determination to get actual factual evidence and firsthand knowledge of events that occurred. He resided in Rome for most of his life and occasionally undertaking long journeys throughout the Mediterranean to get knowledge on historical sites and interview primary sources who were actually at the...
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