People who know nothing else about Carthage know the name of Hannibal, a brilliant military leader and ferocious enemy of Rome. For 15 years he marched across Italy, smashing one Roman army after another, making and breaking alliances with cities and tribes as his army pushed through unstopped. Silver Half shekel (3.36gm.)
The Second Punic War, when Hannibal famously marched his elephants across the Alps from Carthage in a failed attack on Rome, is regarded as one of the pivotal events in the history of Europe. It would devastate Hannibal?s great army of mercenaries and his countryman.
Because Carthaginians kept no written chronicles of Hannibal?s life, historical knowledge of Hannibal was based upon Carthaginian oral traditions and entirely on Roman written records. Legend suggests that before he embarked upon the Spanish campaign, Hannibal?s father (Hamilcar Barca) required the nine year old Hannibal to pledge his ever-lasting hatred of Rome. Carthaginians celebrated Hannibal?s crossing of the Alps with coins that depicted his face on one side and an elephant on the other.