Mit Hannibal über die Alpen: Roman (German Edition)

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In addition to this, he swapped the native troops of Iberia to Africa, and the native troops of Africa to Iberia. He also left his brother a number of ships. Hannibal foresaw problems if he left Catalonia as a bridgehead for the Romans. They had a number of allies in this country, and he could not allow the Romans a place to land in his base unopposed. As he was relying upon contingents of forces coming to him in Italy via the land route he was about to head out upon, he must take and conquer this country.

He had no intention of leaving Iberia to its fate once he was in Italy. Hannibal opted to take the region in a swift campaign, and to that effect he divided his army into three columns, in order to subdue the entirety of the region at the same time. After receiving route information from his scouts and messages from the Celtic tribes that resided around the Alps, Hannibal set out with 90, heavy infantry from various African and Iberian nations, and 12, cavalry. From the Ebro to the Pyrenees, the Carthaginians confronted four tribes: There were a number of cities here that Hannibal took, which Polybius does not specify.

This campaign was conducted with speed in order to take as little time as possible in the reduction of this region. Polybius reports severe losses on Hannibal's part. Having reduced this area, he left his brother Hanno in command of this area, specifically over the Bargusii, whom he had reason to distrust due to their affiliation with the Romans.

He left his brother in control of this country with 10, infantry and 1, cavalry. At this early juncture in the campaign, he opted to send home another 10, infantry and 1, cavalry. This was done to serve two purposes: The principal column was the right column, and with it was the treasure chest, the cavalry, the baggage, all the other necessities of war, and Hannibal himself. As long as Hannibal had no ships to keep himself abreast of the exact movements of the Romans, he wanted to be present in person in case the Romans should make a landing in an attempt to attack his army on its ascent or descent through the Pyrenees.

This column crossed the Ebro at the town of Edeba, [49] and proceeded directly along the coast through Tarraco, Barcino, Gerunda, Emporiae and Illiberis.


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The second, or central, column crossed the Ebro at the oppidum of Mora and from there information is fairly sparse. It eventually rejoined the principal column when it had completed its task. The third, or left, column crossed the Ebro where it touches with the Sicoris River and proceeded along the river valley and into the mountain countries. It performed the same task as the second and the first columns did. When planning each of these marches, Hannibal ensured that the Rubrucatus river was athwart each of the columns' paths, so if any of the columns should be placed in a disadvantageous situation the other columns could march up and down the river in support of each other should one be placed in a perilous position by the Barbarians.

The campaign was conducted over the course of two months, and was incredibly costly. Over the course of the two-month campaign, Hannibal lost 13, men. This march must have been a pleasant change of pace for the Carthaginians, who had just spent the previous July and August subduing numerous fierce peoples living in the Pyrenees. The Peninsular War being just one example amongst many, the broken topography of this region affords resistance movements many advantages that they might not otherwise have in flatter, more even terrain.

The countries through which he passed were of different opinions concerning the Carthaginians, the Romans and the passage of Hannibal's army through their land.


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Some of these tribes were friendly to his cause, others were opposed to him. He dealt with each tribe as he marched through their territory. Massilia modern Marseille , a successful Greek trade emporium had for some time been under the influence of the Romans, and the Romans had even settled colonists there.

how it all started

When he arrived in the Po area, there was an uprising amongst the freshly conquered Gauls. There were so many citizens who were qualified for service in the army that all the government had to do was inform the citizenry that more soldiers were needed and they would be required to serve. Many Romans, being required to serve at some point, spent portions of their youth training to serve in the legions. Finally, having got these new legions together — in a much more leisurely fashion than the urgency of the situation demanded of him — he set sail from Ostia.

In this day there were no compasses, and it was the habit of navigators to sail their ships along the coast and to stop at night for victuals. Much of Hannibal's marches are shrouded in debate, especially the debate concerning the path he opted to employ over the Alps. Hannibal tried a detour on the terrifying slopes to the side of the path, but the snow and mud were too slippery.

So instead he set his troops to construct a road from the rubble, and after backbreaking labour he got the men, horses and mules down the slope and below the snowline. The elephants were another matter — it took three days to make a road wide enough. Where exactly Hannibal crossed the Alps was a point of contention even in the days of Polybius and Livy. Nineteenth-century historians argued about it, and even Napoleon weighed in.

The controversy was still raging a hundred years later. Some authorities proposed a northerly path, past present-day Grenoble and through two passes over 2, metres high. Others argued for a southerly course across the Col de la Traversette — the highest road, reaching 3,m above sea level. Or might the route have been some combination of the two, starting in the north, then weaving south and north again?

The southern route was advocated in the ss by Sir Gavin de Beer, director of the British Museum natural history , who published no fewer than five books on the subject. For Mahaney, it began as a hobby and become a labour of love. He went looking for clues in the landscapes. Both Polybius and Livy mention that the impasse faced by Hannibal was created by fallen rocks.

In Mahaney found from field trips and aerial and satellite photography that, of the various passes along the proposed routes, only the Col de Traversette had enough large rockfalls above the snowline to account for such an obstruction. Eckhardt, Donald K. The Hannibal e-Puzzle. Eckstein, Arthur M. Egelhaaf, Gottlob Analekten zur Geschichte.

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Hannibal in the Alps

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