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Hannibal
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Biography for
Hannibal (Character)
from Hannibal (1959)

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Hannibal Barca (248-183 BC) was a Carthaginian general and the son of Hamilcal Barca. He was born during the First Punic War (264-241 BC), and was raised by his father to hate Rome. After the deaths of his father, Hamilcal, and his brother-in-law, Hasdrubal, Hannibal was promoted to their command in Spain in 221 BC. Hannibal set about consolidating Carthaginian control in their region of Spain, south of the Ebro river, according to the provisions of the treaty with Rome. However, Rome, fearing that they were becoming too powerful, claimed the city of Seguntum as its protectorate, although it was within the Carthaginian sector. Hannibal saw this as a violation of the treaty, and besieged it, sparking the Second Punic War (218-204 BC).

Hannibal met with great success as he attacked Rome's holdings in Spain, and then he marched his army to Italy. This is the famous moment in which he took elephants across the Alps, but contrary to some popular depictions, only one of his elephants survived the journey and arrived in Italy.

After several more battles in Italy, most famously that of Cannae in 214 BC, Hannibal remained undefeated and delivered crushing blows to the Romans. Ultimately the Romans granted Publius Cornelius Scipio (235-183 BC) the temporary dictatorship to fight Carthage. Scipio took his army across the sea to Carthage and attacked them rather than facing Hannibal in Italy. Carthage was forced to recall Hannibal for their defense, and in 202 BC, Hannibal was defeated by Scipio's army at the Battle of Zama, decisively ending the war and forcing the Carthaginians to accept Rome's terms.

In accordance with the terms imposed by the Romans, Hannibal was to be handed over for execution, but he escaped, and lived out the rest of his life in exile, living at the courts of various foreign kings for as long as he could before the Romans found him, and, demanding that he be handed over, Hannibal would again be forced to flee elsewhere.

Scipio and Hannibal met again before they died, and greeted each other with respect and admiration.

Page last updated by matthewdillenburg, 7 years ago
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