Hannibal: Soldier, Statesman, Patriot; and the Crisis of the Struggle between Carthage and Rome

Hannibal: Soldier, Statesman, Patriot; and the Crisis of the Struggle between Carthage and Rome

Hannibal: Soldier, Statesman, Patriot; and the Crisis of the Struggle between Carthage and Rome

Hannibal: Soldier, Statesman, Patriot; and the Crisis of the Struggle between Carthage and Rome

Excerpt

Hannibal, like Napoleon, and even more decidedly than Napoleon, towers over all the figures of an age of war in its grandest aspects, and of the shock of nations in conflict. Except his father, who died when Hannibal was still a youth, no Carthaginian of his time had a pretence to greatness; he is supreme over the soldiers and statesmen of Rome; he is the master spirit of the Mediterranean World. Nothing in the period of the Second Punic War can be compared to Hannibal, save the great people which at last overthrew the great man. We possess hardly anything which has emanated directly from this extraordinary personage, scarcely a phrase, not line of correspondence; his achievements and character have been described by bitter enemies, with the doubtful exception of one historian who understood his genius, yet inclined to the side of Rome. Yet through the mists of calumny and detraction we can see the form and the lineaments of that gigantic figure, one of the most commanding . . .

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