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The Digression Podcast

Chris and Jody are Air Force vets who enjoy military history and folklore. This is their podcast. They tell stories. They digress. A lot.

Mar 26, 2023

Hannibal Barca (247-183/182 BC) was a Carthaginian general and statesman who is widely regarded as one of the greatest military strategists and tacticians in history. He is most famous for leading an army across the Alps into Italy during the Second Punic War (218-201 BC), where he won a series of spectacular victories against the Roman Republic.

Hannibal was born in Carthage (in modern-day Tunisia) to a prominent Barcid family, and was trained in military strategy and tactics by his father, Hamilcar Barca. He fought in several battles alongside his father in the First Punic War (264-241 BC) against Rome.

After the First Punic War, Hannibal became the commander of the Carthaginian forces in Spain. In 218 BC, he famously led his army, including elephants, across the Alps to invade Italy. He won several major victories against the Romans, including the Battles of Trebia, Lake Trasimene, and Cannae. However, he was unable to take Rome itself and eventually had to return to Africa to defend Carthage against a Roman invasion.

Hannibal continued to lead Carthaginian forces against Rome for several years, but he was eventually defeated by the Roman general Scipio Africanus at the Battle of Zama in 202 BC. After the war, he went into exile and lived in various places around the Mediterranean, including the court of the Seleucid king Antiochus III in Syria. He eventually took his own life in 183/182 BC to avoid being captured by the Romans who were seeking his extradition.

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