World History, Period 7
28 April 2014
Hannibal’s birth name was Hannibal Barca. He grew up with his father, Hamilcar Barca, his brothers, Hasdrubal and Mago, and his brother-in-law, Hasdrubal The Fair. He married “the daughter of a Spanish chieftain” (Green 20), Imilce, and then left for the Roman Empire. and never saw her again. Hamilcar made Hannibal swear to a Carthaginian god to be a forever enemy of the Romans and after Hamilcar died in war, he passed his power over to his son-in-law Hasdrubal in 230 B.C. (Green 59). After Hasdrubal dies in 221 B.C., Hannibal is put in command of the Carthaginians (Green 17). He won the Second Punic War by striking fear in the enemy and then defeating them. Hannibal was a strategic commander, a fearless fighter, and a sensible leader.
Hannibal used strategic military tactics to defeat his enemies and survive on the journey to the Roman Empire. For example, Hannibal needed to cross the Rhône River but the Volcae, a violent warlike tribe, was in his way, so he sent a small force up the river at night to cross the river and hide behind the enemy line. Then, in the morning, the small force that crossed the river during the night attacked the Volcae from behind, while Hannibal’s army attacked them from the front (Mills 46-47). This proves that Hannibal was clever because he needed to cross the river to get to The Alps and he defeated the Volcae tribe in the process. In addition, Hannibal laid siege on the Romans in the Po Valley. His tactics were to let the Numidian Cavalry reverse the Romans charge and then to surround the Roman regiments. The Numidian Cavalry were very fast and they quickly surrounded the Romans (Mills 63-64). This proves that Hannibal was very strategic in battle because he knew that if the Romans charged, he could send his mounted troops out and surround them and thats how they got their first victory. Lastly, at Trebbia, Hannibal needed a way to lure Sempronius, a new and arrogant commander, out of the Roman camp. He sent some of his men over to ridicule and torment the Romans. He knew that Sempronius would lose control and send his army out into the field to fight Hannibal. He had trained his war elephants to lie down and have cut tree limbs and bushes placed over them, so he hid a bunch of men and a few war elephants under some shrubs by the Trebbia river. He made it look like the Cavalry was scared and had them retreat all the way to the Trebbia River. Then they stopped and the war elephants and the rest of the army joined the Numidian Cavalry. They fought for a while until Hannibal signaled the other Carthaginian soldiers and animals to come out of hiding and they charged the Romans from behind. The Romans were focused on fighting the Carthaginians and they didn’t even notice the others charging them from behind until they were sandwiched between the larger Carthaginian force and the smaller hidden squadron.. The Romans then lost their nerve...