Hannibal: A Hellenistic Life

Copyright © 2015 Eve MacDonald

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

MacDonald, Eve.

Hannibal : a Hellenistic life/Eve MacDonald.

pages cm

Includes bibliographical references and index.

ISBN 978-0-300-15204-3 (cloth : alkaline paper)

1. Hannibal, 247 B.C.–182 B.C. 2. Hannibal, 247 B.C.–182 B.C.—Influence.   3. Hannibal, 247 B.C.–182 B.C.—Military leadership.  4. Generals—Tunisia—Carthage (Extinct city)—Biography.  5. Punic War, 2nd, 218–201 B.C.  6. Rome—History—Republic, 265-30 B.C.  7. Carthage (Extinct city)—History.  I. Title.

DG249.M33 2015

937′.04092—dc23

[B]

2014035399

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

To my aunt, Elizabeth (Betty) MacDonald (1930–2011),
for her inspiration and encouragement

C
ONTENTS

List of Illustrations

Plates

Acknowledgements

Family Tree

Introduction: No Ordinary Enemy

1
Hannibal and Carthage

2
The Great Man in the Hellenistic World: From Alexander to Hamilcar

3
His Father’s Son

4
Barcid Iberia from Gades to Saguntum

5
Legend: Hannibal into Italy

6
Hannibal the Conqueror: From the Trebia to Trasimeno

7
The Apogee: Cannae and the War in Italy

8
After Cannae

9
Hannibal’s Dilemma, 212–209

10
Over the Alps, Again

11
Hannibal Returns

12
Hannibal into Exile

Epilogue: Hannibal’s Afterlife

Notes

Bibliography

Index

ILLUSTRATIONS

Plates

1.
Bronze gilt cuirass from Ksour es-Saf, Tunisia,
c
. third century
BCE
. © Tunis, Musée National du Bardo.

2.
View from Eryx towards Drepanum (Trapani) and the Aegates Islands. Author’s photograph.

3.
The Oath of Hannibal
by Benjamin West, 1770. Royal Collection Trust © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014.

4.
The Oath of Hannibal
, eighteenth-century cartoon. Courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum.

5.
Punic di-shekel showing Melqart (possibly Hamilcar) with club on obverse and an elephant and rider on reverse, dated
c
. 237–209
BCE
. Courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum.

6.
Hannibal Crossing the Alps
by Heinrich Leutemann, 1866, etching, hand coloured. Held in the public domain at Yale University Art Gallery.

7.
Hannibal with the head of Hasdrubal
, Giambattista Tiepolo, 1725–1730. © Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.

8.
Hannibal’s monument in Turkey, commissioned by Atatürk. Author’s photograph.

9.
Bust of Hannibal (?) from Capua. Courtesy of the Mary Evans Picture Library.

Maps

1.
The central Mediterranean: Carthage, Rome and Sicily

2.
The western Mediterranean

3.
Carthage and environs

All maps drawn by Stephen Copp.

1. Bronze gilt cuirass from Ksour es-Saf, Tunisia,
c
. third century
BCE
. This beautifully decorated cuirass was found in a tomb in the coastal region of Carthaginian territory, south of Hadrumentum. Hellenistic in style it may have been made in Italy and could have belonged to a soldier of Hannibal’s generation.

2. The view from Eryx (modern Erice) looking west towards Drepanum (Trapani) and the Aegates Islands. The hill top position of Eryx commands the west and north-west coast of Sicily.

3.
The Oath of Hannibal
by Benjamin West, 1770. The scene of the oath is here imagined in the eighteenth century with romance and exoticism. The focus of the painting is the sacrificial bull and hesitancy of the young boy while the shadowy figure of a romanized Ba’al lurks above.

4.
The Oath of Hannibal
, eighteenth-century cartoon. ‘The Bedfordshire Hannibal’ illustrates just how familiar the story of Hannibal’s oath was in the eighteenth century when contemporary politicians could be lampooned in the popular media with scenes from the general’s life.

5. Punic di-shekel showing Melqart (possibly Hamilcar) and elephant (
c
. 237–209
BCE
). The figure of Melqart is depicted with the Heraklean attribute of a club on the obverse and an elephant and rider on the reverse. The coin was minted in Iberia and is perhaps the most renowned of all the images associated with the Barcid family and their conquests.

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