Hannibal1 Cormac

 Hannibal had an immense impact on Rome and Romans
themselves for hundreds of years after his death.
 His legacy extends from diplomatic relations and policies to
the very core or mentality of the Romans themselves
 His legacy also exists through his battle tactics which have
been mimicked by famous generals such as Napoleon
Bonaparte hundreds of years after the Second Punic War.
Impacts on Rome
 Impact on Roman Foreign Policy:
 Most obvious and biggest example of Hannibal’s impact
on Roman foreign policy was the Third Punic War
 Rome’s history of fearing invasion, according to
 “In order to prevent such a catastrophe ever happening again,
the Roman’s determined to head off external threats before they
could pose a direct threat to the states existence.”
 “Hence the overriding motive for Roman expansionism was
above all, the security of the state and this remained so down to
Scipio Africanus’ victory at Zama in 202 BC.”
Impacts on Rome
 Impacts on Domestic Policy:
 Hannibal’s invasion had illustrated perfectly just how
vulnerable the Romans were to a land invasion from the
 Rome settled tens of thousands of veterans of the wars
in Italy’s Po Valley – shaping the human and economic
geography of Italy up to this day.
 Historian and novelist Anthony Durham stated that:
“Hannibal’s invasion of Italy in 218 B.C. at the onset of the
Second Punic War was a similar catalyst that moved the powers
of republican Rome to make major changes in their foreign
policy and domestic economic policy.”
Other Impacts
 Impact on people of Rome – fear of Hannibal as Rome had
been pushed to the very brink of its existence
 Total restructure of the Senate and Roman government.
Went from a democracy to a dictatorship. Fabius Maximus
was made dictator twice to combat Hannibal in Rome.
 Forced Rome (to its great displeasure) into using tactics it
never would have engaged in before.
 However, Rome’s encounters with Carthage did advantage
Rome as it enabled Rome to expand its military prowess in
things like its Navy and battle tactics.
Impact of Military Tactics
 Hannibal’s exceptional prowess in military strategy and
tactics had an immense impact on modern warfare.
 His tactics have been imitated by some of the worlds
most renowned generals including:
 Napoleon Bonaparte
 Alfred von Schlieffen
 General Norman Schwarzkopf
Napoleon Bonaparte
 Napoleon studied works of
great military figures of the
past, not just Hannibal.
 “A gifted strategist”
 The words Napoleon used
to describe Hannibal.
Napoleon was a great
admirer of Hannibal’s
tactics, particularly at the
battle of Trebia.
Alfred von Schlieffen
 Hannibal’s tactics were
even used in World War
 The idea of a pincer
movement and
envelopment of the enemy
taken from Hannibal’s
tactics at the battle of
 Attempt to take France in 6
Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf
 American general
Norman Schwarzkopf –
Iraq war in the 1990’s.
Schwarzkopf admitted to
trying to emulate
Hannibal's success at
Cannae when he
attacked the Iraqi ground
Impact on Modern World
 Huge range of impacts:
Military history texts
We’re studying him
Assessment of his Career
and Life
 When assessing the military career of a prominent historical figure such
as Hannibal, the historian must ask himself the question: To what
extent was Hannibal a successful leader?
 This can be answered by breaking down the question into smaller
enquiry questions:
Did he achieve all his objectives (military and non-military)?
If not all, why? Were these failures a direct result of Hannibal’s mistakes or
were there other factors involved?
What was his contribution/impact on the ancient and modern world?
What evidence do we have to make such judgments?
Historians, ancient and modern?
If you were Hannibal, would you be satisfied with what you had achieved,
or lament the fact that you got so close to achieving your goal and failed?
 Successfully invaded Rome with 38,000 infantry, 8,000
cavalry, and 37 war elephants by crossing the Alps.
 Came out the other side with almost half of what he started
with. (According to Polybius 20 000 infantry, 4000
horsemen and only a few war elephants).
 United tribes of Gaul and convinced them to join him in his
 Did this, according to Polybius and in agreement with
several modern historians such as Tim Cornell and Anthony
Durham, without any form of mutiny.
 Won three (3) major pitch battles on Roman soil:
Battle of Trebia
Battle of Lake Trasimene
Battle of Cannae
 Several other victories in Spain and other regions of Europe
 However, there is evidence to suggest he was not all that popular back
home at Carthage.
Senate displeased with his actions
Rarely saw his family
Cause of economic, political and social tensions between Rome and
The Senate would eventually pull the plug on Hannibal’s war with
Rome, ordering him to return to defend Carthage’s assets in Spain
He was at Rome’s doorstep at this time. Had he had the support, could
he have destroyed it, and changed the course of history?
How It All Ends
 Hannibal fled to Bithynia after his defeat at the hands of
Scipio Aemilianus (Africanus) in 202 BC.
 According to both Polybius and Livy, he remained there
until 183-2 BC when the Romans finally tracked him down
 It is said that rather than give the Romans the satisfaction of
killing him, Hannibal took poison, ending his life.
 Was Hannibal a successful leader? Yes/No.
 Source: Polybius Histories
 “Of all that befell the Romans and Carthaginians, good or bad, the cause
was one man and one mind---Hannibal.”
 “It is, therefore, very difficult to express an opinion on the natural
character of Hannibal, owing to the influence exercised on it by the
counsel of friends and the force of circumstances.”
 “Hannibal excelled as a tactician. No battle in history is a finer sample of
tactics than Cannae. But he was yet greater in logistics and strategy. No
captain ever marched to and fro among so many armies of troops superior
to his own numbers and material as fearlessly and skillfully as he. No
man ever held his own so long or so ably against such odds”
Robert L. O’Connell
 Author of:
 “The Ghosts of Cannae”
 An example of a modern
historian on the strategies,
tactics and military genius
behind Hannibal’s catastrophic
campaign against Rome and its
Sébastien Slodtz (French, 1655–1726)
His interpretation Hannibal counting the rings of the Roman knights killed at the Battle
of Cannae (216 BC).
Polybius & Livy
 Renowned for being or
attempting to be as objective
as he possibly can. Thus he is
a more reliable and
trustworthy source.
 Sees Hannibal as having
exceptional military skill and
prowess despite being a
 “For steadfastness of purpose,
for organizing capacity and a
mastery of military science he
has perhaps never had an
 More atypical Roman historian
– sought to make Hannibal out
to be a barbarian.
 Downplayed Hannibal’s skill
and often doctored size of
forces faced, i.e. when
Hannibal defeated Rome he
would say that Rome’s number
were already depleted.
 “The prevailing notion about him,
however, at Carthage was that he
was greedy of money, at Rome that
he was cruel…”
Modern Sources
 Robert L. O’Connell - Ghosts of Carthage
 Tim Cornell – Hannibal’s Legacy: The impact of the
Hannibalic wars on Italy
 Pride of Carthage, A Novel of Hannibal by David
Anthony Durham
Movies & Other Texts
 Huge range of modern interpretations of Hannibal:
Military history texts
 Hannibal Lecter (Next Slide)
Year Film
Other notes
1914 Cabiria
1939 Scipio Africanus - the Defeat of Hannibal (Scipione l'africano)
1955 Jupiter's Darling
1960 Annibale
1997 The Great Battles of Hannibal
2001 Hannibal: The Man Who Hated Rome
2005 The True Story of Hannibal
2005 Hannibal vs. Rome
2006 Hannibal - Rome's Worst Nightmare
2008 Battles BC History Channel TV film
2010 On Hannibal's Trail
BBC TV Documentary
2011 Deadliest Warrior
Weapons testing and simulated combat
2011 (not confirmed)
Hannibal the Conqueror
Italian Silent film
Italian Motion Picture
MGM musical picture starring Howard Keel and Esther Williams
Italian Motion Picture starring Victor Mature
British documentary
British documentary
British documentary
in National Geographic Channel
TV film starring Alexander Siddig in the title role
Starring: Vin Diesel as Hannibal
 Books:
 Livy, The War with Hannibal, transl. Aubrey de Sélincourt,
Penguin Books, 1965.
 Polybius, The Rise of the Roman Empire, transl. Ian ScottKilvert. Penguin Books, 1979.
 Dodge, Theodore Ayrault, Hannibal, Da Capo Press, 1995
 Ancient History Sourcebook: Polybius (c.200-after 118
BCE): The Character of Hannibal/The Battle of Cannae
 The Ghosts of Cannae - Hannibal and the Darkest Hour of the
Roman Republic, Robert L. O’Connell
 “Hannibal’s Legacy: The Effect of the Hannibalic wars on Italy” –
Tim Cornell
 Scipio Africanus: Greater than Napoleon – B.H. Liddel Hart
 Pride of Carthage – David Anthony Durham
 Websites:
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hannibal
 http://www.experienceplus.com/blog/?p=372
 http://www.livius.org/ha-hd/hannibal/hannibal.html
 http://www.livius.org/hahd/hannibal/hannibal2.html#Cannae/Zama
 http://www.livius.org/li-ln/livy/livy.htm
 http://phoenicia.org/hannibal.html
 http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/page/sch0int-2
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schlieffen_Plan

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