Hardos of History: Hannibal of Carthage

Hannibal leading his men through the Alps.

Hannibal’s crossing of the Alps in 218 BC was one of the major events of the Second Punic War, and one of the most celebrated achievements of any military force in ancient warfare. Bypassing Roman and allied land garrisons and Roman naval dominance, Hannibal managed to lead his Carthaginian army over the Alps and into Italy to take the war directly to the Roman Republic. Wiki

For a second, try and put yourselves in the shoes of a typical Roman soldier. You have a sick life. You are in shape, get to travel, and are a member of the most lethal fighting force the world has seen to this point. You get to march through Rome to the applaud of millions, all the while posing for mental photographs with adoring fan girls.

This is how life has been for a few hundred years to this point. Sure you have the occasional fight, but up until now the loss column hasn’t been threatened. That all changes when this cocky bastard Hannibal decides to pony up his entire army, and cross a fucking mountain range. All of which happens to coincide with the height of summer vacation season. You know how much money the businesses on the Amalfi coast lost because of this shit? Millions. You’re settling in getting ready to crush the Roman equivalent of a White Claw when suddenly a messenger runs up to you and says. “This guy is crossing the Alps with elephants and stuff, you guys should probably go fight.”

This is the era of gentlemanly warfare. You sail right up to shore, put your balls on the beach, and yell as loud as you can until you get the fight you came for. You don’t go and sneak tens of thousands of people over a mountain. This is a full blown hardo move.

If you go to this much trouble, it better damn well be worth it. Well, it wasn’t. See below.

The final engagement between Scipio and Hannibal took place at Zama in Africa in 202 and resulted in Hannibal’s defeat and the imposition of harsh peace conditions on Carthage, which ceased to be a great power and became a Roman client state until its final destruction by the Romans in 146 BC during the Third Punic War. Wiki

Better luck next time Hannibal.

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