Monday, April 18

Crossing the Alps


I just love the Punic wars. There's something about this particular set of wars and its history and the personalities that just sets it apart. Two giants of the ancient world, battling across the sea and land. Spectacular. And then Hannibal. What a man. Just think about it. He's a general with soldiers and mercenaries and a very long baggage trail with bloody elephants very long distance away from home and now wanting to cross the Alps? Reminds me of the trek Alexander did. You need to be an extraordinary general to command such troops and their loyalty. 

And then this little story comes along about the fabled Alps crossing. Throughly interesting. Imagine studying history by studying crap :) 



Begin forwarded message:

Date: 4 April 2016 at 18:42:03 BST
To: "The Agade mailing list." <>
Subject: [agade] FEATURES: Crossing the Alps
Reply-To: "Sasson, Jack M" <jack.m.sasson@Vanderbilt.Edu>

From <>:
[Go there for pix]

The truth about Hannibal's route across the Alps
How exactly did the Carthaginian general and his elephants reach Italy? Scientists have got their hands dirty to come up with an answer

Having battled their deadly rivals the Romans in Spain, in 218BC the Carthaginian army made a move that no one expected. Their commander Hannibal marched his troops, including cavalry and African war elephants, across a high pass in the Alps to strike at Rome itself from the north of the Italian peninsula. It was one of the greatest military feats in history.

The Romans had presumed that the Alps created a secure natural barrier against invasion of their homeland. They hadn't reckoned with Hannibal's boldness. In December he smashed apart the Roman forces in the north, assisted by his awesome elephants, the tanks of classical warfare. Many of the animals died of cold or disease the following winter, but Hannibal fought his way down through Italy. For 15 years he ravaged the land, killing or wounding over a million citizens but without taking Rome. But when he faced the Roman general Scipio Africanus at Zama in north Africa in 202BC, his strategic genius met its match. So ended the second Punic war, with Rome the victor.