The True Story of
Monday August 15 at 9.30am EST/ NZ
This program chronicles the career of the famous Carthaginian general Hannibal Barca. The
context of his family background, upbringing and later career are included.
There is a focus on Hannibal’s military achievements particularly the events of his invasion of
Italy in 218 BCE. Ancient sources are referred to throughout, though uncritically.
This would be a valuable overview or introduction to a study of Hannibal or the Second Punic
This is the data collection stage of the activity.
The detailed questioning is designed to ensure that students decode the visual and aural materials
presented to them in the video.
The video programs can be stopped at the end of each section. This will allow students to share and
Note the images in the introduction.
Note the comments on Hannibal’s battles.
Note the questions asked.
Note details of the meeting between Scipio and Hannibal in 202 BCE.
Note the context of this meeting.
Note details of the Battle of Zama. Result?
Note details of Hannibal’s war against Rome.
Note the different possible views of Hannibal.
Note details of Carthage and its empire.
What picture do we have of the Carthaginians? Sources?
Note details of the war between Rome and Carthage in Sicily. Result?
Why did the Romans win this war? Result?
Why did the Romans treat Carthage so badly after the war? Result?
Note details of Hamilcar Barca.
Why is he the ‘bridge’ between the wars? Result?
Why did the Carthaginian army revolt? Result?
Note Rome’s actions in 238 BCE. Result?
How did the Carthaginians react? Result?
Note details of the Carthaginian activities in Spain.
Note the oath Hannibal was made swear. Result?
Note details of the wealth of Spain.
Note how the Carthaginians controlled Spain. Result?
Note Polybius’s comments on Hamilcar Barca.
Note Hamilcar’s sons.
How are the sons raised? Why?
Note how Hamilcar died. Result?
How does Hannibal manage to gain the loyalty of the Carthaginian forces? Result?
Note the success of the Barcids in Spain. Result?
Note the use Spain will be to Hannibal.
Why were the Romans ‘uncomfortable’ with the events in Spain? Result?
Note details of the “Ebro River Treaty”.
Why did Rome warn against fighting Saguntum?
Note Adrian Goldsworthy’s comments on this ‘alliance’.
How did Hannibal respond to Rome’s concerns? Why? Result?
How did the Romans respond to Hannibal’s actions? Result?
Note the comment on Hannibal’s desire for war.
Note Rome’s resources.
Note details of the Roman consuls.
Who were the consuls in 218 BCE?
What was Rome’s plan? Why were they surprised?
Note Hannibal’s resources.
What advantages did Hannibal have?
Note details of the use of elephants.
What would Hannibal need to defeat Rome? Implications? Result?
Note how Hannibal invaded Italy.
Why did Scipio wait for Hannibal in southern France? Result?
Note the problems Hannibal faced crossing into Italy. Result?
What did Publius Scipio and Sempronius Longus expect from their war against Hannibal?
Note details of a triumph.
Why do Romans want ‘quick’ campaigns? Implications?
Why did the Romans allow Hannibal so much latitude?
Why did Hannibal gain support form the Gauls? Result? Implications?
How did Hannibal present his invasion of Italy?
Note Publius Scipio’s attitude to Carthaginians.
Note the details of the battle at Ticinus River.
What advantage did Hannibal have in this battle? Result?
Note the actions of Scipio the Younger at Ticinus.
Note details of the battle at the Trebia River.
Note Sempronius Longus’s strategy. Result?
Why does Hannibal want to fight a battle?
How does Hannibal manoeuvre Longus to the battlefield? Result?
Note Hannibal’s tactics.
What is the crucial aspect of the battle?
How did the Romans respond to this defeat?
Why did Hannibal advance into Italy?
Note the hardships the Carthaginians faced.
How did the Romans operate in 217 BCE? Result?
Why does Flaminius follow Hannibal? Result?
Note details of the battle at Lake Trasimene.
How did Hannibal manage to defeat the Romans? Result?
What problem did the Romans have at this stage? Result? Implications?
How did Fabius decide to operate? Result?
Note how the Romans decided to operate in 218 BCE.
Why did the people of Italy and Rome want action?
Note details of the new Roman Army. Implications?
Note how the consuls operated when serving together.
Note Hannibal’s attitudes to the Romans.
Note details of the battle at Cannae.
What problem did Hannibal have?
What advantage did Hannibal Have? Implications? Result?
How did the Romans react after Cannae? Why?
Note the scandal of the Vestals and human sacrifices.
Note how Hannibal proceeded in southern Italy.
Why was he not more successful?
What had Hannibal misunderstood?
Why was Hannibal now put under pressure?
Why did Hannibal march upon Rome? Result?
Note how Hannibal was penned into a corner in Italy.
Note how the Romans carried the war elsewhere. Result?
Note the expedition of Hasdrubal. Result?
Why was Hannibal recalled in 204 BCE?
Which Roman commander had emerged to match Hannibal?
Note Scipio’s experience of battle against Hannibal.
How did Scipio retrain the Roman army? Result?
Note Scipio’s success in Spain. Result?
Note details of Scipio’s invasion of Africa.
What major advantage did Scipio gain in Africa? Result?
Note Hannibal’s attitude to his recall.
Note details of Hannibal’s army in Africa. Result?
Why did Hannibal and Scipio meet? Result?
Why did Scipio refuse the offer of peace?
What was Hannibal’s major weapon at Zama? Result?
Note details of the battle at Zama.
What was the crucial aspect of the battle? Result?
What special honour was awarded to Scipio?
Note the terms of surrender imposed by Rome.
Why was Hannibal allowed to go free?
Note Hannibal’s career in Carthage after the war. Result?
Why was Hannibal opposed in Carthage?
How did the Romans react to his success? Result?
Note Hannibal’s career with Antiochus. Result?
Why did the Romans pursue Hannibal? Result?
Note how Hannibal died.
Note the end of the wars with Carthage in 146 BCE. Result?
Note how Hannibal was portrayed by later Roman writers. Result?
Note those with whom Hannibal is compared.
Useful, interesting, challenging, books, sources and websites will provide materials to supplement and
complement the History presented in the video program.
The data collected here should be used in the notemaking below.
Some useful Internet sites:
Punic Wars: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punic_Wars
Hamilcar Barca: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamilcar_Barca
Publius Cornelius Scipio: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Publius_Cornelius_Scipio
Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scipio_Africanus
Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus Cuncator: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fabius_Maximus
Carthage in Spain: http://www.practicalspain.com/roman-spain.htm
Ebro River Treaty: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebro_Treaty
Crossing the Alps:
Battle at Ticinus River: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Ticinus
Battle at Trebia River: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Trebia
Battle at Lake Trasimene: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Lake_Trasimene
Battle at Cannae: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Cannae
Battle at Metaurus River: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Metaurus
Battle at Ilipa: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Ilipa
Battle at Zama: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Zama
Antiochus the Great: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antiochus_III_the_Great
Prusias 1 of Bythinia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prusias_I_of_Bithynia
This is the collation stage of the activity. Students need to organise the field of information and begin to
explore its context.
Directions and /or Inquiry questions are provided for notemaking / summary exercises that
will follow the viewing of the video.
The materials / data for the summaries have been collected above.
The activity could be done in teams, groups, or by individuals, or as a class with teacher direction.
1. Draw up a timeline / chronological chart of the events described and discussed in this
2. Note details of the history of Carthage.
3. Note details of the history of Rome.
4. Note details of the Punic Wars.
5. Note details of the Second Punic War.
6. Note details of the major battles of the Second Punic War.
7. Note details of the family background of Hannibal.
8. Note details of the life and career of Hannibal.
9. Note details of the ‘character’ of Hannibal. Include the evidence available.
10. Note details of our sources for the life and times of Hannibal.
ISSUES & INQUIRY.
Key issues and inquiry questions that have been raised by the video are addressed at this stage for
discussion and research.
1. What was the reason for the clash between Rome and Carthage?
2. How would you describe Hannibal’s ‘character’?
3. Why did Hannibal attack Saguntum?
4. Why didn’t Hannibal succeed in destroying Rome?
5. What does Hannibal’s later career add to our ‘picture’ of him?
PROBLEMS of EVIDENCE.
Questions of reliability and validity of the perspectives, evidence and sources presented in the video
program need to be considered, tested and researched.
1. What evidence suggests that the Carthaginians wanted a second war with Rome?
2. What evidence is available to allow a description of the character of Hannibal?
3. Who broke the Ebro River “Treaty”? Why? Implications?
4. What evidence supports the claim that Hannibal was one of the greatest generals of
5. Why was Hannibal opposed by some Carthaginians?
The key issues and inquiry questions are potential topics for debate, essay writing, reports, historical
recount and explanation.
1. Write a REPORT on Carthage.
2. Write a REPORT on Hannibal’s upbringing and early career.
3. Prepare notes (both sides) for a DEBATE of the proposition that
We know little of Carthage except what the Romans wanted us to know.
4. Why did Hannibal invade Italy in 218 BCE?
5. What impact did Hannibal’s career have on Carthage?