Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by W.G.Ewald, Nov 5, 2011.
Aut viam inveniam aut faciam. -- Hannibal
Throw some light please!
This is to do with Hannibal using African Elephants to cross Alps during winter month to attack the Roman empire.
He nearly succeeded but for a brilliant General called Scipio Africanus.
IIRC Hannibal lost many elephants and suffered losses in his army but when he descended from the Alps he took the Romans by complete surprise.
I recall there was a debate whether he used African or Indian elephants.
As he was based in modern Libya, i would go with the African elephants.
SPIEZ, I should have found a larger picture, but I thought the motto was a good one,
As for the Latin, now I wonder if Hannibal spoke that language.
Well, Google is your friend. Hannibal spoke Punic.
Hannibal's elephants are overrated. He brought them mainly for psychological purposes (namely, to intimidate the various Celtic tribes that inhabited the Alpine regions and encourage them to join his army, which they did). Only one of Hannibal's elephants survived the journey through the Alps, and elephants played almost no role in his victories against the Romans.
In fact, the only major battle where Hannibal deployed elephants against the Romans, at the Battle of Zama in North Africa, was a crushing defeat for the Carthaginians.
The significance of Zama is not heffalumps but that Rome could not drive Hannibal out of Italy, so attacked Africa.
Yes. But it was also the only major battle of the Second Punic War that included elephants.
Do you have a source confirming African elephants being used by Hannibal, to answer an earlier post?
Hannibal most likely used the now-extinct North African elephants, which were native to the Atlas Mountains. These elephants were much smaller than either African (i.e. savanna) Elephants or Asian elephants, and it is these elephants that are depicted in most artistic and literary works of the classical Mediterranean.
A Carthaginian fresco of a North African elephant
A Roman mosaic
Gentlemen, here are a few posts that discussed this elephantile dilemma earlier. Take your pick:
Separate names with a comma.