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Analysis of Biography of Hannibal from Carthage

Analysis of Biography of Hannibal from Carthage

Hannibal, Invader From Carthage by Robert N. Webb is a biography that focuses on and highlights the life and times of Hannibal, the Carthaginian general. Hannibal is best remembered as the courageous warrior who led an army of thousands and thousands of men, thirty-seven elephants, and a number of horses across Spain, the Alps, and Italy, on a mission to conquer Rome. The author does an admirable job showing different views of Hannibal. He quotes other historians and poets throughout the course of the book, such as Livy, Polybius, and Lord Byron. Quoting other historians is an effective system of writing, because it is not just Webb reciting facts, but other famous writers giving interpretations as well. As a boy, and all during his adult life, Hannibal was exposed to the traumas of war and battles. This probably is the reason why he was exceptionally fearless and brave. Hannibal became one of the greatest generals of all time, and is labeled by historians as a military genius superior to fearless heroes such as Alexander the Great and Napoleon Bonaparte.

Hannibal, born in Sicily in 251 BC, was always close to war. The first five years of his life set the pattern for his future. Soldiers, who were mercenaries of about six different races, always surrounded him. Hannibal’s father, Hamilcar, led Carthaginian forces against Rome for the last six years of the First Punic War. Hamilcar was very bright, and was always coming up with brilliant ways to attack the Romans. Hannibal was with his father when Hamilcar raised his army of mercenaries, who were ferocious warriors. Hannibal received all of his skills from his father. During Hannibal’s time as leader of the Carthaginians, he always used force of arms, even when they were not necessary. He displayed much courage and talent in battle. Not only was Hannibal a great warrior, but he was highly educated for his time. Acts of pure genius and reasoning saved him during difficult and strenuous times in his prime years.

A significant historical aspect of the book is in general Hannibal and the Carthaginian’s hate towards the Romans. The Carthaginians always had an edge, because Hannibal was so brilliant. For example, Hannibal planned invasions when the Romans least suspected them. Hannibal’s army could not invade by sea, because the Roman navy was in control of the seaports....

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