Hannibal and the elephants

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by LadyEagle, Jan 3, 2005.

  1. LadyEagle

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    I find it incredible that he started over the Alps in winter with 100,000 men and 37 elephants. (so I heard on the History Channel) How in heaven's name is it humanly possible? This seems like a feat beyond human capacity! How to feed 100,000 soldiers without air lift and supplies coming in. How could elephants navagate those steep mountains? Incredible!
     
  2. Phillip

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    Because he ate the 100,000 men? Oooops, wrong Hannibal. [​IMG]
     
  3. mioque

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    "How could elephants navagate those steep mountains?"
    "
    Not very well, only 1 survived the trip.
     
  4. nondenom

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    Hardly beyond human. Fairly standard practice at the time to forage off the land, plus he did have supplies coming from Carthage on a regular basis.

    What actually astounds me is the fact he sailed from Carthage, with said pacyderms in, what is in essence, a set of large row boats. Those triremes were not very big at all and an angry or confused elephant would have turned one to kindling in moments. If anyone has any info on that I would be most greatful. None of my texts seem to mention how he did it.
     
  5. CoachC

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    Did he really have to sail that far or did he just cross at Gibraltar?
     
  6. rsr

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    Gibraltar it was.

    Hannibal didn't take his entire army with him; he took about 50,000, about half of which perished.

    More than one elephant survived the passage of the Alps to play a part in the battle at Trebia; the sole survivor from that winter became Hannibal's personel command post.

    [ January 06, 2005, 07:44 PM: Message edited by: rsr ]
     
  7. Phillip

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    So, he just ate 25,000? [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Awwwww, just couldn't help it. Anybody care to forgive me, or should I be burned at the stake. (Now THAT might make a good poll.) :D [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  8. LadyEagle

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    ROFL! [​IMG]
     
  9. CoachC

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    Hannibal is intriguing. I could be wrong on this but doesn't he lose his heavy siege equipment and some of the elephants in a rock slide while crossing the Alps?

    How would the battles have been different if the city states of Northern Italy had turned against Rome?
     
  10. nondenom

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    Some of the Cisalpine cites did side with Hannibal. After he left, the Romans reduced them for treachery. And being Roman, they divided the land up among the senate.

    Thus the beginnings of Latifundia.
     
  11. just-want-peace

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    I knew a history prof once that was talking about how so many students just parroted/wrote what the prof said/wrote with no comprehension of what was actually being presented.

    He told of one class when he was lecturing on Hannibal & he talked about Hannibal having problems with his tanks as they crossed the Alps. Only 3 or 4 students even raised an eyebrow at the idea of Hannibal using tanks! The rest just kept taking notes, totally oblivious of the purposeful goof!
     
  12. church mouse guy

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    Elephants are not too good in battle and the Romans learned how to defeat them. Hannibal kicked around Italy for years but never got anywhere. He ended up fighting for another nation I think and was assassinated, wasn't he?
     
  13. Turpius

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    Hannibal ended up in some part of what's now Turkey,(I think in the northern part) and was killed when the Romans threatened his royal host. But by that time I think Hannibal was an old man (by those days standards).
     
  14. church mouse guy

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    Thanks! I have a book somewhere around here on Hannibal. A great military mind but unable to press towards victory against Rome. He paid the price, didn't he? Rome perfected the iron fist with no velvet glove.
     

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