Hannibal Barca, THE AFRICAN WARRIOR, History Channel Documentary

Battles BC Hannibal the Annihilator



Hannibal Biography

Warrior, General (c. 247 BCE–c. 183 BCE)
Hannibal was known for leading the Carthaginian army and a team of elephants across southern Europe and the Alps Mountains against Rome in the Second Punic War.


Hannibal, general of the Carthaginian army, lived in the second and 3rd century B.C. He was born into a Carthaginian military family and made to swear hostility toward Rome. During the Second Punic War, Hannibal swept across southern Europe and through the Alps, consistently defeating the Roman army, but never taking the city itself. Rome counterattacked and he was forced to return to Carthage where he was defeated. He worked for a time as a statesman before he was forced into exile by Rome. To avoid capture by the Romans, he eventually took his own life.

Early Life

Hannibal Barca was born in Carthage (present-day Tunisia) in approximately 247 B.C. He was the son of Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barca (Barca meaning “thunderbolt”). After Carthage’s defeat by the Romans in the First Punic War in 241 B.C, Hamilcar devoted himself to improving both his and Carthage’s fortunes. At an early age, he took Hannibal to Spain and made him swear eternal hostility toward the Roman Empire.

At age 26, Hannibal was given command of an army and immediately set out to consolidate Carthaginian control of Iberia. He married Imilce, an Iberian princess, and conquered or allied with numerous Iberian tribes. He made the seaport of Qart Hadasht (“New City,” now Cartagena) his home base. In 219 B.C., Hannibal attacked the town of Saguntum (Sagunto, Spain), raising the ire of Rome and starting the Second Punic War.

March Toward Rome

In late spring, 218 B.C., Hannibal marched through the Pyrenees toward Gaul (southern France) with more than 100,000 troops and nearly 40 war elephants. He met little resistance from local forces allied to Rome. Roman general Publius Cornelius Scipio attempted to confront him at the Rhone River, but Hannibal had already crossed it and was on his way to the Alps.

Hannibal’s Alps crossing was a remarkable military achievement. In addition to an inclement climate, Hannibal’s army faced guerrilla attacks from indigenous tribes who rolled heavy stones across their path. On the 15th day of the crossing, and more than five months away from Cartagena, Hannibal finally exited the Alps with just 20,000 infantry, 6,000 cavalry and all 37 elephants.

The Second Punic War

Over the next three years, Hannibal’s army battled Scipio’s forces for control of Italian territory. For most of this time, Hannibal fought with little aid from Carthage. He was able to inflict heavy casualties on the Roman army in the battles of Trebbia, Trasimene and Cannae, but at a heavy cost in men and many of his elephants. He was able to get within three miles of the capital before a stalemate ensued. Hannibal did not have the numbers to successfully push into Rome, and Scipio didn’t have the superior forces to defeat him.

Meanwhile, Rome dispatched forces to Iberia and North Africa, raiding Carthaginian towns and villages. In 203 B.C., Hannibal abandoned his Roman campaign and traveled back to defend his country. In 202 B.C., the armies of Hannibal and Scipio met at the Battle of Zama, where unlike in previous meetings, the Romans had superior forces. They used trumpets to stampede the remaining few elephants, which circled back and trampled the Carthaginian troops. Hannibal’s army was scattered and many of his soldiers were gradually hunted down and killed by the Romans.



The Roman terms for peace were extremely harsh on the Carthaginians, severely reducing their military and extracting large reparations. After being elected a chief magistrate, Hannibal spent the next several years in Carthaginian politics. During this time, he instituted elections for military judges and changed terms of office from life to two-years.

Exile and Death

However, the Romans eventually became concerned about Hannibal’s growing power and in 195 B.C. demanded that he retire from office. Hannibal moved to Ephesus (Turkey) and became a military adviser. In 190 B.C., he was placed in command of a Seleucid (Greek) Empire fleet and engaged in war with Rome’s ally Pergamon. Hannibal’s army was defeated, and he fled to Bithynia. The Romans demanded he be turned over to them, but he was determined not to fall into enemy hands and fled. In approximately 183 B.C., at Libyssa, near the Bosporus Straits, Hannibal took his own life by ingesting a vial of poison.

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Hannibal’s celebrated feat in crossing the Alps with war elephants passed into European legend: detail of a fresco by Jacopo Ripanda, ca. 1510, Capitoline Museums, Rome.



4 thoughts on “Hannibal Barca, THE AFRICAN WARRIOR, History Channel Documentary

  • February 26, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Seeing as our ancestors conquered most of the world before even the romans learned to sit up right…Yes Hannibal is African and was very much of Darker persuasion anyone having issue with that look beyond the lies set forth by europeans whom lie to their own people about factual events to bolster their own lack of self confidence and insecurity in who they were to my people…

  • February 27, 2014 at 5:37 am

    Why is it that black, African, negros people can not have a respectful conversation? Why name call and or insult the next man? You do know that’s still a form of self hate! And it still keep us divided which is why we can’t come together for ONE common cause! Please stop with all the hate you’ve learned and learn to control your feelings and love thy self. You can’t hate me without hating yourself brothers!

  • October 30, 2014 at 5:52 am

    When the modus operandi is to divide the world in 3 races (black, white and yellow), which is the dumbest thing ever, then this sort of nonsense like saying Hannibal looked like a sub-saharan African starts appearing all over the place.

    Claiming Hannibal or Etruscans were subsaharan Africans is as much nonsense as idiotic paintings showing Jesus as a european nordic.

    Hannibal was Carthaginian, of Phoenician stock, if much he had some berber blood. Nor berbers nor carthaginians looked like subsaharan tribes (in that time, mostly known as Nubians, since those were the only subsaharan tribes that had more contact with the ancient classical mediterranean world, since the Sahara was mostly a barrier and contact with subsaharan Africans happened only in the east coast of Africa, through the Red Sea.)

    Was Hannibal “black”? Or “white”? These gross oversimplifications of the complexity of humans only make things difficult. Ancients would not divide the world in “races”… mostly they would divide in tribes and such and that was more accurate.Hannibal certainly did not look like any subsaharan tribe. Nor like any germanic or celtic. Nor italian. Of the Europeans, he probably had more kinship with greeks, because that eastern part of the mediterranean (Greece, Turkey, Phoenicia, etc) had a lot of trade and mixing for more time. Half of Greece’s mythology takes part outside of Greece proper, a lot of it on the near east.

  • November 18, 2014 at 9:34 am


    I’m going to go down the list of things you are completely wrong about first.

    1. Nubians are not, and have never been “Sub-Saharan”. “Nubia” (formerly the Kingdom of Kush before internal rebellion, destruction at the hands of the Romans, and the invasion of the Nobitae from the Western desert) is completely and totally Saharan, and is, by far, the oldest human settlement in the Sahara. All Saharan peoples originated in the Eastern part of the Sahara, around this area. Nubians are “Black” by today’s standards, but are not a Bantu people. they are Afro-Asiatic speakers, like Egyptians, Horn of Africans, and Amazigh (Berbers) etc. They weren’t even referred to as Nubians until after the Nobitae invaded Kush on behalf of the Romans, mixed with native Kushites (today known as Beja people) and established Nobatia, which became “Nubia”.

    2. Hannibal was Punic. Punics were a group of people born from the mixing of Numidians (Ancient Berber Africans) and Pheonicians (Ancient Lebanese/Syrian West Asians). Yes, Hannibal would have been considered “Black” by today’s standards since Berbers had a much darker complexion around that time (Half of them are still dark skinned i.e. Sahrawis, Tuareg, Siwans etc.) before intense European and Western Asian colonization. Hannibal would most likely have looked like a Barack Obama or a Dwayne Johnson. A brownskinned or maybe lightskinned African man, as this is how a large portion of modern Berbers look today.

    3. Hannibal was not Etruscan. Everyone here needs to stop using the word “Etruscan”. Etruscans had nothing to do with any of this. Etruscans were a Proto-Italian people from what is now modern day Tuscany, Italy, who were Hellenized through contact with Greeks. they were allies to Carthage but that’s it. They were not Romans, Greeks, or Carthaginians, they were merely a separate Ancient Italian civilization who eventually became part of and even ruled an expanding Rome.

    3. “Sub-Saharan” itself is a completely nonsensical term born out of 1800s European imperialism/Race for Africa terminology and has no basis in genetic, cultural, or geological fact, as the area below the Sahara is home to many of the same populations as the area within the Sahara, as well as many of the same languages and cultures. Not to mention the majority of the populations within the Sahara have genetic relation and share an origin with those outside of it. There are dark skinned and brown skinned groups within the Sahara, and there are lighter skinned groups outside of the Sahara. There is no way to “look Sub-Saharan”, period. In fact there are more dark skinned people within the Sahara than light skinned people, and I know this because I’m Saharan! dark skinned Egyptians, dark skinned Tuareg, dark skinned Siwans, dark skinned Beja, dark skinned Nubians etc. Khoisan groups are Sub-Saharan and are also lighter complected desert dwellers, but in the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa. Few peoples of Africa are physically homogeneous, but countless groups are genetically homogeneous, and every group in Africa is genetically related in one way or another and shares a recent origin in the Horn of Africa.


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