Western Civ. I
10 March 2013
The life of Hannibal Barca was one full of controversy, excitement, and great accomplishments. As a leader during the Punic Wars, a war fought between Rome and Carthage, he was faced with a multitude of tough decisions. His journey began at the young age of ten when his father, Hamilcar another great Carthaginian general, took him to Iberia and introduced him to the world of war. He was a child who had “grown up with war” (Hannibal, Clifford W. Mills) and in a time when it signified respect he became hungry to live up to his fathers name. After his father was killed in battle the expansion into Spain was left to his brother-in-law, Hasdrubal. In 221 BC Hasdrubal was assassinated, leaving Hannibal to return “to his father’s aggressive military politics” (Jona Lendering, Hannibal). The events following his election lead to a number of battles, which left him to be considered one of the greatest military commanders in history to date. The first controversy Hannibal caused was the besieging of Saguntum. With Saguntum being a Roman ally this caused discussion whether his proceedings were a violation of the Ebro Treaty. This treaty denied Carthage the ability to neither conquer nor cross north of Spain’s Ebro River. This event caused the Romans to feel offended and in return request that the Carthaginian government extradite Hannibal. This unprovoked attack was what leads to the declaring of the Second Punic War. Hannibal began his journey across the Alps into northern Italy “with an army of 30,000 to 40,000 mean and 6,000 horses and elephants” (Spielvogel, Jackson J. Western Civilization. Seventh ed. Cengage, 2009. Print.) he encountered outbreaks with the Romans turning into a firing feud. Along his travels he received word from his scouts saying that the Gauls might be willing to join forces with him. The Romans, knowing that the Carthaginians would entice the Gauls into aiding them made for a battle at the...
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