Great commanders. Hannibal Barca

In 247 BC in the family of a talented Carthaginian commander and statesman Hamilcar Barca, a son was born, known to the whole world as Hannibal Barca.

Like any educated aristocrat, Hamilcar was serious about teaching his son, trying to get an education of the Greek type, the purpose of which was to make a person a fully developed personality. Therefore, Hannibal and his brothers worked in the best schools of the city, diligently learning such disciplines as oratory, reading, arithmetic, music.

Great commanders. Hannibal Barca

Even in his youth, Hannibal had a chance, as they say, “to smell gunpowder,” since, paying tribute to the ancient tradition, he accompanied his father in numerous campaigns. Thus, Hannibal participated in the campaign against Spain during the First Punic War (264-241 BC). Like adult men, he fought against the Roman warriors, defending Carthage’s right to possess the lands of fertile Sicily and his supremacy in the Mediterranean. Most likely, it was at this time that Hannibal hated Rome for the first time, and even swore to his father that his life would be devoted to the struggle against the hated state.

However, military campaigns did not prevent Hannibal from getting an education, he subsequently continued to take care of replenishing his intellectual baggage. For example, having become commander-in-chief, Hannibal, thanks to the Spartan Zozil, managed to master the Greek language so well that he used it in drafting government papers. The commander was distinguished by his flexibility and sturdiness, achieved excellent results in running, in the art of hand-to-hand combat, was a wonderful rider. His moderate needs for food and rest, tirelessness in campaigns, boundless courage and selfless bravery have always been an example for soldiers. Hannibal showed his talent as a strategist as early as the 22 age as the head of the cavalry at Hasdrubal, who in 229 after the death of Hamilcar, became the main commander in Spain. In the character of Hannibal, fancifully intertwined ardor with the ability to ponder the action to the smallest details, forethought with vigor and the ability to persevere in pursuit of the intended goal.

In addition, ingenuity and even slyness were characteristic of Hannibal. To achieve his goal, he used original and unexpected means, various traps and tricks, carefully studying the nature of his opponent. Not neglecting systematic espionage, Hannibal always received timely information about the plans of the enemy and even managed in Rome to have permanent spies.

Hannibal knew how to subjugate people, which reflected the boundless obedience to his will of the multi-tribal and multilingual troops who had never rebelled against Hannibal. Such a man was a brilliant commander, after the death of Hasdrubal became the leader of the Spanish army and decided to implement the plans of his no less talented father. In addition, he had all the necessary means to achieve this goal.

In the absence of support from the government of Carthage, Hamilcar outlined the boundaries of the new province in Spain, thanks to the rich mines of which he was able not only to replenish the treasury, but also, using the reserves of subordinate communities, to increase the number of auxiliary troops and mercenaries. Roman diplomats in 226 entered into an agreement with Hasdrubal, prohibiting the Carthaginians from advancing for Iber. However, to the south-west of Iber, in the main part of the territory of Spain, the Carthaginians were given complete freedom of action. From his father, Hannibal, he got a complete treasury and a strong army, accustomed to victories, whose soldiers truly cherished the honor of the banner and were selflessly devoted to their leader. The time has come to settle accounts with Rome.

However, the government of Carthage did not attract the intentions of the young commander at all, and Hannibal did not want to start a war against the will of the legitimate rulers, and then he tried to provoke the Spanish colony Sagunt, which was sponsored by Rome, to violate the world. But the agontes confined themselves to sending a complaint to Rome. To find out all the details of the case, the Roman Senate sent commissioners to Spain. Hannibal was convinced that a sharp circle would force the Romans to declare war, but the commissars, having guessed his intentions, chose to remain silent, telling Rome of an impending thunderstorm. The Romans began to arm themselves heavily.

And after a while, Hannibal decided to act. He wrote to the government of Carthage about the oppression of the Carthaginian subjects by the Saguntes, and, not considering it necessary to wait for an answer, began hostilities. The authorities of Carthage were shocked by the audacity of this decision; There was talk about the possible extradition of Hannibal to Rome.

However, it is possible because the Carthaginian government was afraid of its own army more than the Roman soldiers, or due to the understanding of the impossibility of correcting what was done, or because of the usual indecision, they decided not to take any action, i.e. how not to encourage war, and not to try to continue it. And after 8 months of siege, Sagunt was taken in 218.

Roman ambassadors demanded to give Hannibal but, without waiting for any answer from the Carthaginian senate, announced the start of the war, called the Second Punic War.

Hannibal understood that it was best to fight Rome directly in Italy. He took care of the security of Africa, and also left an army in Spain under the command of his brother Gasdrubal, after which, in 218, Hannibal, with an army of 12000 horsemen, 80000 foot soldiers and 37 fighting elephants, left New Carthage. His path went through the southern coast of Spain and Gaul. Then the army of Hannibal descended to South Gaul, where the consul awaiting them, Publius Cornelius Scipio, was unable to prevent the army of Hannibal from passing into the Rhone Valley. The Romans realized that Hannibal intends to get into Italy from the north. In this regard, the Romans abandoned the originally planned division of the army and fleet between the consuls, and both consular armies went to the north of Italy, towards Hannibal.

At this time the army of the Carthaginian commander approached the Alps. The Carthaginians had to overcome one of the most difficult stages of the campaign - to go over icy steep paths, narrow mountain trails, often making their way through the snowstorms, which became for the Carthaginians who had absolutely no idea about the snow and cold. It took thirty three days for the Hannibal army to cross the Alps.

Battle of Zama

In October 218, the army of Hannibal, after five and a half months of a difficult march, conducted in continuous battles with the mountaineers, descended into the valley of the river Po. However, the losses suffered by the army of Hannibal during this period were so enormous that only 20000 infantrymen and 6000 riders came to Italy with Hannibal. Almost all the war elephants fell in transit. In Tsizalpinskaya Gaul, which the Romans had recently conquered, the Carthaginian commander gave rest to his exhausted army, greatly replenishing its ranks thanks to the detachments of local tribes.
After the occupation and destruction of Turin, Hannibal defeated the Romans at the Battle of the Ticino, after which he inflicted an even more serious defeat on the River Trebbia.

After the first victories, the troops of Hannibal smashed the winter camps in Tsizalpinskaya Gaul, intensifying along the way due to the arrival of new fighters from the Gallic tribes. With the advent of spring 217, the Romans advanced two armies to meet, the task of which was to block the way to Rome. However, Hannibal decided to just get away from a collision with them, bypassing the army of Flaminia from the left flank, and at the same time complicate the possibility of her communication with Rome. The commander decided to lead his army by the shortest route in the direction of Parma, through the Kluzium marshes, moreover, flooded with flooding on the Arno River. Hannibal's army of the day marched through the swamp for several days, losing all the war elephants and most of the horses. Overcoming the swamps, the army of Hannibal went into a false maneuver, imitating preparations for the siege of Rome. Bought on this trick, Flaminius left the occupied positions and hastily organized the pursuit of Hannibal, neglecting the proper outposts. Using this mistake Flaminius, Hannibal made a brilliant ambush at Lake Trasimene, sowing there with an entire army.

Hannibal, who occupied the surrounding heights, was waiting for the Romans in the narrow valley of the lake. When the Romans entered the valley, the soldiers of Hannibal attacked them from all sides, inflicting a humiliating defeat on the Romans who were unable to organize an organized resistance. The Roman army was completely defeated, and Flaminius himself was killed in the battle.

Never before had Rome been in such danger as was the result of the defeat of the army of Flaminius. The dictatorial power in Rome went to Quintus Fabius Maxim (aka Hunktator, i.e. Slower). The Roman dictator proposes to resort to the tactics of avoiding major battles, designed to finally exhaust the enemy, already exhausted by campaigns, causing him intractable difficulties in supply. This tactic has been criticized, and after the end of the term of Fabius in 216 BC. power and command passed to the consuls: Guy Terentius Varro and Lucius Pavel Emilia. At that moment, Rome had 90 of thousands of infantrymen, 8100 cavalrymen and 1000 Syracuse shooters.

In the meantime, many months and years of campaigning did not affect the army of Hannibal in the best way. The fighters were on the verge of exhaustion, and the replenishment from Carthage was never sent. So the political opponents of Hannibal decided to undermine his authority. However, the Carthaginians stuck in Italy, continued to carry. Hannibal, unwittingly, helped the Romans. Terentius Varro, who attacked the Carthaginians at Cannes, did not take into account the specific features of the terrain convenient for the action of the excellent Numidian cavalry Hannibal. Before the battle, Roman troops numbered 80000 infantrymen and 6000 riders. The Carthaginian infantry was twice as small as the Roman one, but superiority was more than double in cavalry: against the Roman 6 thousand, Hannibal put out 14 thousand horsemen. The Romans suffered a terrible new defeat - defeat and shame.
The victory of Hannibal at the Battle of Cannes had a wide political resonance. On his side began to move many communities in the south of Italy. From the Roman state actually left the province of Samnius and Bruttiya, as well as a significant part of Lucania.

The victory at Cannes strengthened the position of Carthage and in the international arena - it changed the geopolitical alignment of forces in the world. Roman hegemony is truly shaken. Hannibal received allied offers from the Macedonian king Philip V, as well as from the rulers of Sicily - Syracuse moved to the side of Carthage. The loss of Rome to Sicily was almost a fait accompli.

However, the victory won still did not allow Hannibal to speak at Rome, because his army did not have the means to properly conduct the siege. He had to be content with the transition to his side of many Roman allies and the opening of the gates of Capua, the second city of the republic, before the Carthaginians. It was here that Hannibal allowed his exhausted soldiers to rest for a while, but the situation of Hannibal himself remained almost unchanged, because the Carthage government, preoccupied solely with its own vested interests, missed the opportunity to finally deal with its original rivals, the Romans, still almost without supporting their commander. The short-sightedness of the Carthaginian government, which did not disturb the fate of the Carthaginian army in the enemy’s territory, deprived of its regular connection with the metropolis and the source of replenishment of material and human reserves, had a fatal effect on the fate of Hannibal. Over the entire period, only 12 of thousands of infantrymen and 1 500 of equestrians were sent to reinforce the army of Hannibal. Meanwhile, Rome managed to recover and gather new troops, after which, in the battle of Nola, Consul Marcellus managed to win the first victory over the Carthaginians. After a series of battles, the Romans took Capua, and Hannibal was forced to take a defensive position.

Without waiting for reinforcements from the fatherland, Hannibal turned to his brother Hasdurbal, who, after leaving Spain, went with his army to Italy in 207, but he did not manage to connect with Hannibal, because the Romans took appropriate measures to prevent it. After the victory over Hannibal at the Battle of Grumentum, the troops of the consul Claudius Nero united with the army of the other consul Livia Sampator, defeating Hasdrubal together. Having received his brother's severed head as a parcel, Hannibal decided to retreat to Brutium, where he lasted for 3 years.

After this period, the government of Carthage summoned the commander to defend his hometown, which was approached by an army led by consul Publius Cornelius Scipio, who had transferred military operations to Africa.

In 203, Hannibal, having left Italy, crossed into Africa, having landed at Leptis, his army was stationed at Adrumet. An attempt to hold peace talks with the Romans was not crowned with success. Finally, in 202, the decisive battle of Zama took place. A significant role in the defeat of the army of Hannibal belongs to the Numidian cavalry under the command of King Masinissa, who had gone over to the side of the Romans. The Carthaginian army was defeated, thus the end of the 2 Punic War was put. And already in 201 BC. the warring parties signed a peace treaty, the terms of which were a heavy and degrading burden for the Carthaginians. Carthage had to give up all its overseas possessions, including Spain. In addition, the Carthaginians did not have to start hostilities even against neighboring tribes, without receiving the approval of the Roman Senate. Also, Carthage was obliged to pay a contribution to the 10 000 talents and give Rome all its warships and war elephants.

In peacetime, Hannibal showed his talents in public administration; occupying the position of praetor, Hannibal managed to streamline finances, ensuring the urgent payment of heavy contributions, and in general, both during the war and in the period of peace, was at a height.

Nevertheless, Hannibal did not leave hopes for a renewed struggle with Rome and, in order to increase the chances of success, he sought to enlist the support of the Syrian king Antiochus III. Learning of this, the enemies of Hannibal reported on his actions in Rome, after which the Romans demanded the issuance of Hannibal from Carthage. This forced the commander to go in search of refuge to Antioch. Subsequently, he even persuaded him to start a war against Rome, hoping that his compatriots would join in this struggle. However, the Carthaginian government decisively refused to participate in the war.
As a result, the Romans defeated the Syrian and Phoenician fleets, at the same time Cornelius Scipio defeated Antiochus under Magnesia. After the defeat, Antiochus III had to seek peace, and the last item in this treaty was the extradition of Hannibal.

The next requirement of the Romans to give Hannibal, in 189, forced him to flee. Some historians believe that for some time Hannibal was patronized by the Armenian king Artaxia, whom the Carthaginian commander helped in the founding of the city of Artashat on r. Araks. After Hannibal got on about. Crete, and then turned up at the king of Vuthia Pruzii. Here he headed the alliance of Pruzii and his neighboring rulers, created to fight the Roman ally, the king of Pergamon, Eumenes.

Historians describe the naval battle in which Hannibal managed to put the ships of the Pergamians to flight, throwing snakes onto the decks of their ships. Despite the fact that luck was again on the side of Hannibal, Pruzy betrayed him, agreeing with the Roman Senate to extradite his guest. When Xnumx-year-old Hannibalu became aware of this, he, in order to avoid shameful captivity, decided to take the poison, which was constantly with him, poured into the ring.
Thus ended the life of the great commander, who fell victim to political intrigues, who during his lifetime loved to repeat that "Hannibal did not win Rome, but the Carthaginian senate."

Korablev I. Sh. Hannibal. - M .: Science, 1976.
Lancel S. Hannibal. - M .: Young Guard, 2002.
Huss W. Hannibal. - 1986.
The whole truth about Hannibal

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  1. +5
    31 March 2012 10: 11
    Interesting article.
    You read - you watch a movie about 007 agent.
    It turns out that the first one did not bother with the reasons - he drew a letter to complaints (supposedly) of citizens - and he went to fight himself. Well done.
    They were impressed by sea talents - for the first time he used a snake as a weapon of naval battle. Wow, there were evil snakes - they didn’t make up at the first opportunity, but like berserkers, they probably bit and bit everyone.

    In general, it is impressive ... - wandered around the Mediterranean.
    Typically, as ..- act, son, in the Carthaginian army - and you will see the whole world.
    1. Corvalan
      April 1 2012 21: 31
      Amusing a little. More characteristic disregard for the heroes of their country.
      The Romans were afraid of the great commander (and they were afraid in isolated cases), as well as in their homeland. They were afraid of strengthening their positions and influence in their homeland and at the decisive moment they refused help.
      Otherwise, Rome would have fallen with his talents and military genius without ever having risen.
      An absolute plus from the point of view of history is the influence of Barki on the Roman generals of that time. His main rival is Scipio African Jr. rethought and further used the experience gained in battles with Ganibal.
      And perhaps Barca remained in history as the most serious external adversary of the Roman Empire. That says a lot.
  2. Georg Shep
    31 March 2012 10: 42
    A great man is not only an outstanding commander, but also a creative person.
    1. 9991
      31 March 2012 17: 06
      Yes, but almost no one remembers it; at the word Ganibal, most will recall Lector wassat
  3. serge
    31 March 2012 11: 07
    The surname Hannibal can be pronounced more correctly. Kan - ni - Baal. Cannibal. Priest (kan = priest) of Baal (Baal, Moloch) - the ancient god of the Carthaginian (West Semitic, Phoenician, Jewish) people. God, who demanded massive human, child sacrifices, the god of savage rituals, ritual prostitution of perversion and bestiality. The Carthaginians sacrificed one hundred children annually. Children were burned alive (!). A number of authors believe that some of the victims were killed and eaten. At one time alone, Hannibal "brought three thousand Imerians to the altar of Baal." The deadly hatred of the Romans for the Punians was explained not only by politics, but also by the atrocious customs and religion of Carthage. It is no coincidence that the place where Carthage stood was wiped off the face of the earth and the place where it stood was sprinkled with salt so that nothing would grow here and the misanthropic kingdom could not be reborn. The Romans knew very well what kind of creatures the Carthaginians were. Eternal glory to Rome and the sun commander Scipio the Younger for the victory over the cannibalistic Carthage.
    1. +5
      31 March 2012 12: 12
      serge, hmm how you darling darling !!! wink in general, all this is so to speak, Roman propaganda-history, the winner writes !! wink there was a war between the two strongest states of that period for hegemony in the world, and all Carthage lost !! belay By the way, a new one was built on the site of the old city - the capital of the African province !!! with the same name. and it was the breadbasket of Rome! wink this is to the question of sprinkling with salt !! tongue Hannibal’s methods were common at that time, the Romans themselves dabbled in this way !! and they were not doves with an olive branch in their beaks, and sometimes worse !!! Scipio African turned out to be a worthy student of genius and outplayed him, in his own field by his own methods !!!
      1. serge
        31 March 2012 20: 20
        datur, honey, you are deliberately confusing the "Carthaginian" propaganda of the Holocaust and the Roman historians, who did not have the habit of lying in three boxes. The ritual murder of people for the glory of the dark forces was distinguished not only by the Carthaginians, but also by their closest relatives - the Phoenicians, who founded Carthage and gave the gods to the Poons. "Mass human sacrifices of the Phoenicians and their close relatives - the Carthaginians amazed contemporaries and evidence of this has been preserved by many ancient authors, not only the Romans. The cult of Phoenician origin Baal Elagabal demanded regular human sacrifices, therefore, on holidays in his honor, the blood of people hardened on altars was poured river (Bobrovnikova T.A., 1996, p. 12 et seq.). Punyans performed bloody religious rites in honor of Baal and resorted to atrocities as a means of healing (Justin. XVIII, 6-7). As a sacrifice to Baal during successful wars were brought by thousands of foreigners (Diod., XIII, 62, 4), and in some places old people who reached 70 years old were killed, according to custom, with a blow of a club (Suid. Sardanios gelos) ".
        Further. On the site of Carthage after its destruction for more than 100 years (!), Nothing moved, no need to invent. Already imperial Rome built "Colonia Julia Carthago" there, and then it was a purely Roman city, the last Carthaginian slaves had already died fifty years ago.
        Romans, of course, cannot be called pigeons of the world, but they did not burn or torture people for the glory of evil idols, cannibalism was forbidden by Roman law, and the Romans consistently smashed Semitic peoples, who were always distinguished by their commitment to terrible cults. Scipio is eternally grateful for the destruction of the enemies of the human race, for there is no other name for torturers, cannibals, and killers of children for the glory of vile gods.
        1. +2
          31 March 2012 21: 12
          In fact, there are no reliable sources about sacrifices in Carthage, all this was written according to the type - "sort of heard from passers-by", and then fell into the hands of Roman historians.
          I agree with the daturomthat we study the whole of Carthaginian history through the interpretation of the Romans - history is written by the vanquished.
          And are you sure that the Romans were opposed to sacrifice? But what about gladiatorial fights - this was essentially a ritual offering for the joy of the crowd. And how the first Christians were poisoned by animals is essentially also reflected in Roman documents.
          Puns did not surpass other nations in cruelty (times were such), and unlike the Romans, they did not wage a total war to destroy the peoples.
          1. Pessimist
            April 5 2012 01: 09
            Gladiatorial battles are not at all like the Pune sacrifices! Not every battle gladiators died, even the opposite! In Rome, it was more of a show than a murder. (precisely at that time) And among the Puns, even the god Baal was portrayed with a torn child in his arms !!! Take an interest, for a start!
    2. Kostyan
      April 1 2012 13: 54
      I agree ... Flaubert described it very well in "Salammbo" ... the book is wonderful .... the truth about his father is mostly .. but I agree .... Hannibal certainly fought clearly ... but the country was barbaric .. I am for Rome ... especially since they are Aryans ...
  4. 755962
    31 March 2012 19: 32
    Serving in the Caucasus was a trip to Artashat. A beautiful old small town with a long history. It is a pity that everything was on the run. Not before walking.
  5. Tyumen
    April 1 2012 12: 00
    Also, Carthage was obliged to pay an indemnity of 10 talents.
    130 tons of gold!
  6. Pessimist
    April 5 2012 01: 44
    Quote: Kostyan
    Hannibal certainly fought clearly ...

    Quote: Kostyan
    Hannibal certainly fought clearly ...

    Exactly until Rome had worthy commanders! "Each Hannibal has its own Varro" (this is about Cannes)

    But, of course, Hannibal is an outstanding commander!
  7. Analyst
    April 8 2012 18: 48
    Hannibal was patronized by the Armenian king Artaxius

    To avoid copyright infringement, post a hyperlink to the original article:

    In almost 189 BC, did the Armenians already have their own kingdom?