|Weapons||Falcata, Soliferrum, War Elephant|
|Activities||Invading the Roman Republic|
|Battle Status||Lost vs. Genghis Khan|
|Experts||Bryan Forrest (Classical Weapons Specialist)
Patrick Hunt, PhD (Professor of Archaeology, Stanford)
"I will find a way, or make one. I get these weird letters of admiration from this guy named Mas. He pours his heart to me in all of them. He keeps on saying "Je te douche le nuit, pendant que tu dors. C'est miam-miam.' I know French, unfortunately"
-Hannibal, when his generals claimed it would be impossible to cross the Alps with elephants.
"In every battle Hannibal fought, he was usually outnumbered two to one. He could outwit anyone."
-Patrick Hunt, PhD, Professor of Archaeology, Stanford.
Hannibal Barca, the Carthaginian general whose army of elephants terrorized Rome, the greatest empire of its time;
Genghis Khan, the 13th Century Mongolian ruler whose legions built the greatest empire of all time.
Stats[edit | edit source]
- Era: 216 BC
- Age: 26
- Height: 5'7"
- Weight: 155 lbs
- Symbol - War Elephant (The signature weapon of Hannibal)
History[edit | edit source]
Between 1200 and 1150 BC, the majority of Mediterranean kingdoms suddenly disappeared in the Bronze Age Collapse. Out of that Collapse was the rise of the Phoenicians; an empire of pirates that raided the sea between 1500 BC–539 BC (some historians think this empire existed earlier as the Sea Peoples; but this is up to debate). The Empire arose in the region of the Levant; as that region was always strategically important for trade due to being the center of AfroEuroAsia and having the Mediterranean Sea on its coast. As their wealth grew they founded colonies on the sea. Carthage (located in modern day Tunisia, with the capital city located in the north-east tip of the country) was originally a Phoenician colony before expanding into its own empire which lasted between 814 BC–146 BC.
Hannibal (248 BC-183 or 182 BC) was one of the sons of Hamilcar Barca, a Carthaginian leader and general. Following Carthage's defeat in the First Punic War at the hands of the Romans, Hamilcar sought to improve Carthage's fortunes by conquering the Iberian Peninsula (modern-day Portugal and Spain). It was there that he famously had his son Hannibal swear to dedicate his life to the destruction of Rome.
After his father's death in battle and his brother-in-law Hasdrubal's assassination, Hannibal was appointed as the commander-in-chief of the Carthaginian army. In 218 BC, he led a force of 38,000 infantry, 8,000 cavalry, and 37 war elephants through the Alps, intending to invade Italy from the north. Although almost half of his men and almost all of his elephants perished on the journey, Hannibal won a series of battles against the Romans and occupied much of the peninsula for the next 15 years. Roman dictator Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus avoided direct confrontation in a manner that would be later described as 'Fabian Tactics'. Hannibal's tactical successes could not change the fact that his army was unable to replenish themselves in order to build up enough strength to threaten the city of Rome.
Finally, Hannibal was recalled to Carthage to defend against a Roman invasion under Scipio Africanus. Scipio fought Hannibal in the past and so was able to counter his War Elephants effectively. In the Battle of Zama, Scipio's army opened large gaps in their lines to allow the Elephants to easily avoid the soldiers, knowing that Elephants are pacifist animals. The two armies were evenly matched until the Roman cavalry outflanked the Carthaginians. After his defeat at the Battle of Zama effectively ended the Second Punic War, Hannibal lost much of his popularity. Nevertheless, he was able to secure election to the office of suffete, or chief magistrate and helped Carthage to renewed prosperity. The Romans, alarmed that their defeated foes were recovering so quickly, ordered Hannibal to surrender to them. Instead, Hannibal went into voluntary exile and the Romans pursued him for over a decade. Finally cornered in Asia Minor, Hannibal poisoned himself using toxins said to be hidden in a ring. He would rather die than surrender to Rome and her armies.
Hannibal would later go on to be one of the most celebrated generals in history, having never lost a battle until Zama. Carthage became absorbed into the Roman Empire in 146 BC. The city of Tunis effectively replaced Carthage after the latter was raised. In 435 AD the collapse of the Roman Empire allowed the Vandal Kingdoms to rise. Justinian I temporarily conquered Carthage between 585 AD – 698 AD under the Byzantine Empire. This Byzantine Empire fell into civil war during the early Medieval Ages and lost it's African territories to the Umayyad Caliphate; which burned the city of Carthage and converted the region to Islam.
Between 1500s-1800s the region of North West Africa became known as the Barbary Coast and was infamously infested with rampant piracy. The Ottoman Empire would expand into North Africa regardless, having control of Tunisia between 1574–1881.
In 1881 the French Empire would colonize Tunisia during the Scramble For Africa. Although Tunisia gained independence in 1956, it still has influence from its more powerful Arabic and North African neighbors. In the 2010s as a consequence of The Arab Spring, Tunisia saw a transition towards democracy unique within the Arab world. Tunisia also maintained the prosperous trade links that made Ancient Carthage so wealthy, making it one of the most developed nations in Africa despite its small size.
Legacy[edit | edit source]
It was written that Hannibal taught the Romans the meaning of fear. He became such a symbol of terror, that when faced with an imminent disaster, members of the Senate would exclaim "Hannibal ante portas!" ("Hannibal before the gates!") to express their fear or anxiety. Statues of the Carthaginian were even erected in the streets of Rome itself to celebrate their defeat of such a worthy adversary.
Military historian Theodore Ayrault Dodge once called Hannibal the "father of military strategy", because even his greatest enemy, the Roman Republic, would later adopt his tactics. The Romans greatly feared his military genius and in the centuries that followed, came to regard him as the greatest enemy Rome had ever faced.
Weapons, Armor and Tactics[edit | edit source]
Bronze Cuiras, Brass Helmet
Final Battle[edit | edit source]
The battle starts with Genghis and his men appearing at the top of a hill. Genghis Khan is on horseback. In the distance an elephant trumpets marking Hannibal Barca's arrival. Hannibal is riding atop his mighty war elephant while three of his men are on foot and one is on horseback. Genghis orders his men to unleash a torrent of arrows. Hannibal's soldiers throw up their shields. Most of the arrows bounce off harmlessly but one finds its mark, lodging itself in an infanryman's neck. The Carthaginian general then orders his horseman to wheel of to the right and attack Genghis' men. While Hannibal advances with his infantry. The cavalryman charges and is met by a Mongolian footman, who is quickly dispatched with a Soliferrum to the chest. Another soldier gives the Khan his Jida lance. The Carthaginian horseman keeps charging trying to get off another shot with his javelin, but is impaled on the Mongolian warlord's lance. Genghis Khan roars in triumph. Meanwhile Hannibal dismounts his elephant and prods it into charging at the Mongolian squadron. Khan's infantrymen try to stave off the collosal beast with their recurve bows while Genghis rides of to the flank. When the arrows fired by the Mongolians do not hinder the war elephant, they retreat. One man trips and falls on his face. When he looks up the foot of the monster comes crashing down on his head, mashing his face to pulp. The remaining two Mongols turn around and start firing rapid shots at the elephant. One arrow hits it below the eye, causing it to panic and flee the battlefield. One of Hannibal's footmen charges Genghis, who is on horseback. The Mongol easily slices open his opponents face with his Turko-Mongol saber. The remaining Carthaginian soldier chases the two Mongolians. Barca's soldier throws his soliferrum but it is blocked by the Mongols iron shield. The two engage in combat. The Carthaginian hacks at his foe's head with his Falcata but his blow is blocked again by the shield. The Mongol then chops with his sword and his attack is parried by his opponents sword. The Carthaginian then proceeds to delve his sword into the Mongol's chest. The other Mongol soldier then turns and attacks the Carthaginian. The two warriors ferociously exchange blows on each other's shields. Hannibal's soldier then slashes at the Mongol's feet but the cut is dodged. The Mongoll , seeing the opening in the defence then slashes his foe's neck, brings back his blade and rips open his enemy's face. Hannibal comes from behind and stabs the Mongols in the back and throws him to the ground. Genghis rides back, throws his bow away and dismounts. The two warriors eye each other waiting for their opponent to attack. Genghis draws his sword and yells a warcry. He then makes one slash, a backhand but misses. He then hacks Hannibal's neck but his move is blocked by Hannibal's shield. The Carthaginian then strikes at Genghis Khan but hits his shield. He then chops down at Khan but misses. Genghis then quickly slashes open his thigh. Hannibal is not phased and continues his attack to knock away his enemy's shield. Khan attacks again. Hannibal then hacks twice at the Mongolian warlord's shield, parries a downward slash from the Mongol and stabs Khan's stomach, but the lammellar armor holds. Genghis then hits Hannibal on the head twice with his sword. Hannibal goes into shock from the force of the blow. Genghis then slashes him across the throat. Hannibal crumbles to the ground lifeless and bloody. Genghis Khan raises his sword and shield and screams in victory.
Deadliest Warrior: Legends weapons:[edit | edit source]
Medium Range: Sarissa, Dory
Armor: Lorica Hamata, Pteryges
Joke Weapon: Wooden Spoon
Finisher: Hannibal headbutts his opponent, forcing them back, then quickly stabs them with a spear. The victim falls to the ground and Hannibal stabs into them, twisting his spear.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Napoleon Bonaparte also was famous for crossing the Alps; leading to the surprise Battle of Marengo on June 14, 1800 AD.
- Although Hannibal is famous for his elephants, he only had 37 War Elephants in his invasion of the Second Punic War, all dying before the end of the war.
- During the Italian campaign Hannibal rode an elephant through a swamp off the Arno and lost the sight in his right eye from what was probably ophthalmia.
- Hannibal recognized Alexander the Great as one of the best generals before Hannibal's time. There is debate over if Hannibal declared Alexander or Phyrrhus of Epirus (Alexander's second cousin) as the greatest general in ancient history.
- One of Hannibal's greatest advantages was that initially; Roman Armies avoided scouts as they saw them as inferior units. Even during Rome's peak; their scouts were made up of their weakest units.
- Scipio, the general who defeated Hannibal at Zama, was despised by Roman politicians despite his victory. Scipio's grave reads "ingrata patria ne ossa quidem habebis" which translates to "Thankless country, thou shalt not possess even my bones!" for he demanded in his will to be burried in Campania: outside of Rome.
- While Ancient Carthage was a republic there were also levels of Democracy. Carthage had elected legislators, trade unions and town meetings in the form of a Popular Assembly. Unless the Suffets and the Council reached a unanimous decision, the Carthaginian popular assembly had the decisive vote. At the time of the Punic Wars, the Carthaginian public had more influence over the government than the people of Rome had over theirs.
- The economy of Ancient Carthage was mainly based on trade. By sea Carthage traded throughout the Mediterranean, as well as through the Red Sea to trade with India and into the Atlantic as far as the Canary Islands, Britain and the Atlantic coast of Africa. Carthage also had trade routs by land across the Sahara desert. Carthage also sent caravans into the interior of Africa and Persia. To trade its manufactured and agricultural goods to the coastal and interior peoples of Africa, the Carthaginian merchants invented the practice of sale by auction and used it to trade with the African tribes.
- The Carthaginian's were also extremely skilled in crafting furniture such as cushions, mattresses, and beds. At one point Rome attempted to copy their designs but failed.
- Ancient Carthage also had a highly productive agriculture. After the Second Punic War, Hannibal promoted agriculture to help restore Carthage's economy and help pay the war tribute that Rome demanded (10,000 talents or 800,000 Roman pounds of silver), which was largely successful.
- Ancient Carthage was not the only empire on the continent of Africa to have an effective cavalry. One kingdom with a notable cavalry was the Kanem–Bornu Empire. The Kanuri cavalrymen and their horses were both clad in astonishingly strong quilted cotton or padded armor but some Kanuri warriors had access to mail armor. The Kanuri cavalry fought with swords and lances. At its height the Kanem–Bornu Empire encompassed an area covering most of Chad, parts of southern Libya (Fezzan), eastern Niger, northeastern Nigeria and northern Cameroon.
- One major advantage Hannibal had was superior generals. Roman generals during the Punic Wars were mostly militarily inexperienced politicians with traditionalist (and outdated) battlefield tactics. In fact in lost legions the highest ranking officer who had knowledge and experience in warfare was the Centurion.
- Hannibal was unique among most other Carthaginian generals due to his audacity. Carthaginian generals could be crucified for losing a battle, making many generals very cautious.
- Carthage was believed to be the first city in human history to reach a population of half a million people in 300 BC.
- Hannibal's appearance in the video games is significantly different from the tv series. In the game, his skin is dark but in the tv show he is whiter. Other forms of media debate over Hannibal's skin color.
- Some of Hannibal's scenes in the episode was stock footage from BBC's Hannibal – Rome's Worst Nightmare.