LESSONS IN BLACK HISTORY – Hannibal Barca

hannibalHANNIBAL BARCA – Considered by many to be the greatest military strategist of all time, Hannibal Barca led Carthagian forces against Rome during Second Punic War. The son Hamilcar, also a great military leader, Hannibal’s army occupied most of Italy for 15 years. He is best known for leading his army from Carthage in North Africa (what is now Tunisia), across the Mediterranean into Iberia (present Spain and Portugal), over the Pyrenees and the Alps, and into Italy. As impressive as that sounds, it should be noted that his army rode elephants. That’s right, Hannibal’s North African army invaded Italy on elephants. Carthage was eventually defeated by Rome, and Hannibal went into exile as the Romans continued to hunt him for many years. Some time between 183 and 181 B.C., after he was betrayed by the King of Bithynia, Hannibal took his own life rather than giving Rome a final victory over him. His alleged suicide letter said, “Let us relieve the Romans from the anxiety they have so long experienced, since they think it tries their patience too much to wait for an old man’s death.”

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