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Name: Wiktor Wilczynski Due Date: November 9th, 2012 Section: C / D / E / F

Memoir Historical Investigation for Hannibal: Rome’s Worst Nightmare


Primary Source:

This is a picture of Hannibal, the famous Carthaginian military commander. I chose this picture because it shows Hannibal and many of his characteristics: stern, brave and heroic, serious and always ready for battle (hence the helmet-type covering on his head). This picture is connected to the book because it reflects what is written in the book about Hannibal. It describes him as a determined and serious fighter, which I believe is shown in this picture. His facial expression represents his determination and will to fight for Carthage. Secondary Source: As a secondary source, I plan to use an excerpt from “Hannibal: Rome’s Worst Nightmare” by Philip Brooks. This is a great quote that describes Hannibal’s hatred towards the Romans and


shows what he went through to reach Rome. I used it because it gives a brief but general overview of Hannibal’s work as the greatest Carthaginian military commander. “As a child, Hannibal swore to make an enemy of one of the most powerful nations on earth. He spent his life living up to the promise. He marched 60,000 men across the frozen Alps into Rome. He ransacked the countryside and outfoxed the great Roman legions. He left fields in ruins and villages in flames. All across the land, he made the Romans dread the sound of one familiar phrase: Hannibal is at the gates!” In my opinion, this quote is very useful and interesting because it gives us an idea of Hannibal’s life and achievements. It also emphasizes the fear that the Romans felt when they heard that Hannibal was approaching. After reading about the Roman response to Hannibal’s invasion, I agree with the excerpt that he spent his entire life living up to what he promised his father, which was to always hate Romans and consider them as an enemy. Summary: The book “Hannibal: Rome’s Worst Nightmare” is about Hannibal, the great leader of the Carthaginian army. It is set in Africa and Europe during Hannibal’s life. It briefly explains his childhood, then goes into more detail when he leaves Carthage to go to war with Rome. His father and his brother-in-law, both respected military commanders, are described, along with their actions and achievements. After both of them die, the book begins to talk about Hannibal’s years as a commander. All of his major battles and some of his minor battles are listed and described, like the battle at Saguntum and his final battle against the Romans, in Africa. It is an all-round great book that will excel every reader’s expectations, as is it one of the best way to learn about Hannibal. Review: Since this book is about Hannibal and Carthage, it is not a waste of your time if you are interested in him. Also, its very trustworthy because it contains information from a large selection of primary sources. Next to the index, there is a list of websites and books that have been used to write this book, which is useful if you have the need to check the validity of the information being thrown at you. This book contains a large amount of relevant information about Hannibal that is appreciated by anyone who is studying him. It gives dates, talks about the belligerents of each battle, and more. Every sentence that is giving basic information about a battle is well constructed and meets the expectations of most readers, like: “Hannibal’s army had reasembled at New Carthage in the


spring of 218 BC...” Also, this book has language that isn’t too challenging nor too boring and easy. It even has a glossary at the back, which has the definitions of the military vocabulary used in the text. All of the sentences were well constructed and easy to understand, like: “Hannibal’s soldiers must have thought their commander was crazy.

Works Cited: Brooks, Philip. Hannibal: Rome's Worst Nightmare. New York: Franklin Watts, 2009. Print. Hannibal. Digital image. Histmag.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Nov. 2012. "Hannibal: Rome's Worst Nightmare (Wicked History) (Hardcover)." Tower.com. Tower Books®, n.d. Web. 08 Nov. 2012. <http://www.tower.com/hannibal-romes-worst-nightmarephilip-brooks-hardcover/wapi/111990963>.


Don’t Stop Walking It was an obscure and freezing morning on May 27th, 218 BC. We had been marching through the mountains since the day we left New Carthage. During this dreadful trip, many of our best men died. Some died of cold, others died by falling. This was a suicide mission, but Hannibal didn’t care. He needed to defeat the Romans, just like his father wanted him to. It had all in the city of New Carthage on April 12th. As soon as I woke up that day, I knew that I’d hate it. The 12th was when we would decide whether we would cross the Pyrenees or not. I had been afraid of that event from the day I was informed of Hannibal’s initial plans, as they were, in my opinion, too dangerous to execute. Still tired, I put on my favourite white tunic, ate breakfast, and left the house. I trotted along the city for a few minutes, taking advantage of the early time. Shortly after, I arrived at the conference house and marched on into the main meeting room. There were five rows of plain stone benches that had been almost completely destroyed after many years of use. I sat down in the 3rd row, next to a few of my colleagues. I recognized the elite members of Hannibal’s army, like Mago, one of Carthage’s bravest and finest men, and Juva, the head of the Numidian part of the army. Hannibal was in the middle on his stone throne, gazing upon his audience as the conference room filled up. After a few minutes, we started the assembly. “I suggest we cross the Pyrenees. Is anyone opposed?” Hannibal exclaimed. Everyone in the room rose to their feet. Juva was the first one to speak.


“I don’t like this idea. Many of us are not used to freezing weather. Countless soldiers from Numidia and Iberia will surely die,” he declared. The Iberian generals agreed. “My friends, there is no shortage of fur and other materials to keep you warm. There is no need to worry,” explained Hannibal. He knew that his response wasn’t completely true, but he wasn’t going to cancel the mission because of such a minor problem. Still, Juva and the Iberian generals were satisfied with his counter-argument. “Is anyone else opposed?” asked Hannibal. Many more people explained why they were opposed, but none had a reason decent enough to make Hannibal change his mind. Some generals weren’t so easy to persuade, but Hannibal didn’t give up. Hannibal was, without a doubt, a genius. He had everything planned out perfectly. Finally, after a harsh morning and afternoon of arguing, everyone agreed to leave New Carthage and head for the mountains in 15 days. I wasn’t ecstatic, but I had to deal with it. During the next 15 days, everyone gathered resources and packed. I took with me everything that I had brought from my home in Carthage. The brown leather bracelet that was made by my wife was the most important. It was my only memory of her and the kids. I promised to wear it to every battle I fought. I put that and some other things I had taken from Carthage in a special bag, and then put all the essential resources in a huge bag. I hopped on my horse and joined Mago, who was on his horse by the gates of the city, waiting for further orders. “Welcome, Hanno. It’s good to see you again,” Mago exclaimed, shaking my hand.


“Good to see you too. You were at the conference, right? So tell me honestly, do you think that our army has a chance to cross the mountains?” I questioned. “Honestly, I think Hannibal is daft for trying to accomplish this. Even after hearing his part at the conference, I am still opposed to the plan. Although our army is enormous, we can’t afford to lose so many soldiers,” he replied. I nodded in agreement. Mago was right. Crossing the mountains was too risky, but the decision had already been made, so we couldn’t do anything about it. The majority of the 94,000+ soldiers that were going with us were already behind us, and after some time we finally saw Hannibal leading the way into unknown territory. Who knew what lay ahead? The first three days weren’t a problem. We had 6 hours of sleep each day. The next few days, however, weren’t as luxurious; we were just entering the dark and freezing Pyrenees, and we needed to march faster. It was getting colder and colder. My trusty horse was in decent condition, but I knew that in a few weeks his health and sanity would decrease. I had been next to Mago and Hannibal for the majority of the expedition. Hannibal and I had a stronger relationship now. I had saved him from certain death on the fifth day. I had also been very close to death many times during the journey but me and my horse weren’t going to give up just yet. May 27th started off just like every other day. After eating “lunch”, which was made up of a loaf of bread and some ice cold water, we discovered that to continue our journey, we would need to pass through an incredibly narrow bridge-type passage, big enough to fit only 2 people at a time. The route was slippery and icy. Hannibal and I departed first, followed by Mago and Juva. Our horses were carefully walking along the


passage trying not to slip and fall onto the rocks under us. All of a sudden, Mago’s horse went crazy and bumped into my horse. I quickly stabilized my own horse, then slid off of it and tried to save Mago’s horse from falling. It was too late, thought. His horse had already plummeted down, still whinnying and neighing along the way. Now where was Mago? I heard the scream of a man and I thought it was over, but Mago was holding on to a ledge just under the passage. I didn’t know what to do. I was afraid to try and save him because I might slip off myself. I couldn’t leave him to his death, either. I should’ve decided instantly, because a moment later, I heard a crack.


Wiktor's Memoir