Ancient Origins. Which is perfectly healthy, of course. Speculation on the crossing place stretches back more than two millennia to when Rome and Carthage, a North African city-state in what is now Tunisia, were superpowers vying for supremacy in the Mediterranean. A relative newcomer to the debate, Allen insists that until now no hard material evidence has been presented that would indicate the most likely path. Hannibal Crossing the Alps History. Can you imagine a two-week climbing trip through freezing mountains, steep cliffs, and enemies who aren't happy that you're coming through? “It seems there are definite genetic changes in some modern strains. credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. It is the druidic rock circle worship circle. He’s 76 now and hobbled by arthritis that restricts his mountaineering, but his talent for jawing knows no bounds. There are no fewer than a dozen rival theories advanced by a rich confusion of academics, antiquarians and statesmen who contradict one another and sometimes themselves. As it was, it was in fact already too late in the season to cross the Alps in a safe way. His theory was largely ignored until 1955, when Gavin de Beer took up the cause. Allen reaches into his rucksack, withdraws a copy of Polybius’ Histories and reads a passage aloud: “Hannibal could see that the hardship they had experienced, and the anticipation of more to come, had sapped morale throughout the army. “Everything has been guesswork based on readings of the classical texts.” He believes that he and his team of collaborators—led by Canadian geomorphologist Bill Mahaney—recently unearthed the first compelling clues, thanks to a massive patty of ancientmanure. “None of the other passes have a deposit on the lee side,” he insists. Services. This is an Englishman whose appreciation of pathogenic bacteria derived in part from Monty Python (Q: What’s brown and sounds like a bell? But while risks were surely involved in the endeavor, the âaudacityâ of the scope was fairly well planned by Hannibal. Sciences, Culinary Arts and Personal The famous crossing of the Alps occurred in 218 BC, a period when Carthage and Rome were competing for world dominance. And the French, for all intents and purposes, invented ruban rouge,” Mahaney says, using the French term for red tape. Hannibal fought his first major battle, not against the Romans, but facing instead the combined forces of three Celtiberian tribes in northwest Spain, the Olcades, the Vaccaei, and the Carpetani. In a flurry of purple prose, he adds: “The empty water jug, like a fortress, teetered slightly on the shelf, reacting very differently than water.  'Hannibal's success in crossing the Alps was an achievement of genius.' The fallen mass, he says, jibes with Polybius’ description of the rock debris that impeded the elephant brigade’s path to the valley. Many boots have been worn out in determining the alpine pass through which tens of thousands of foot soldiers and cavalrymen, thousands of horses and mules, and, famously, 37 African battle elephants tramped. And both think the other’s inferences are a lot of Hannibaloney. I know we are often portrayed as being cold and clinical, but we are human beings like everyone else, with all the difficulties that encompasses.”. In 1959, Cambridge engineering student John Hoyte borrowed an elephant named Jumbo from the Turin zoo and set out to prove the Col du Clapier (sometimes called the Col du Clapier-Savine Coche) was the real trunk road—but ultimately took the Mont Cenis route into Italy. 3 â He Used Innovative Ways to Break the Rocks He Encountered in the Alps. The Punic Wars were between Rome and Carthage; essentially a struggle to dominate the Mediterranean I think. A longtime Senior Writer at Sports Illustrated and the author of several memoirs, Franz Lidz has written for the New York Times since 1983, on travel, TV, film and theater. (A procedure, notes Cambridge classical scholar Mary Beard, “which has launched all kinds of boy-scoutish experiments among classicists-turned-amateur-chemists.”) Still, Torr was branded a Hannibal heretic and the route he recommended was dismissed as untenable. 17th Annual Photo Contest Finalists Announced. In most regions of the Alps from December to April, winter sports â¦ “The more genetic information we have, the more precise we can be about what type of animal left the droppings and perhaps its geographic origin,” he says. Continue A day’s march from a narrow gorge, where Hannibal’s men walked single file and tribesmen hidden on cliffs began their assault. “What road led Hannibal to Rome?” Allen asks a visitor from America. Since Allen’s conclusions at times rest on the slippery slopes of conjecture, what they add up to is open to considerable interpretation. Museo de Zaragoza Zaragoza, Spain. A huge number of Hannibal's men and most of his elephants died crossing the Alps. “Little did I know that the latter would later become my main source of income,” he says. Yet Hannibal didn’t lose a single elephant.”. study One thing they all seem to agree on is a set of environmental parameters that any prospective pass must fit: Mahaney contends that the Traversette is the only pass that fulfills these criteria. He not only had an army of tens of thousands to feed, but he also had two dozen war elephants that he needed to use in battle against the Romans. The vexed question is one of those problems on the borderline of history and geography that are fascinating and perhaps insoluble. Working Scholars® Bringing Tuition-Free College to the Community. On Allen’s left, a cutting wind scythes across a row of rock needles and down to the valley on the Italian side, nearly 10,000 feet below. That meant they needed to use their army to invade, or take over, Rome from Italy instead of from the sea. David has taught college history and holds an MA in history. Hunt counters that the Col du Clapier also has multilayered rockfalls, having buried much of the later Roman and earlier Celtic terraced roadbed under multiple layers of talus. and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you. Walbank certainly thought so. Most modern historians base their numbers on Polybius, considered to be the most accurate of the ancient authors that chronicled the Punic Wars. Maybe this is the dawn of the Metagenomic Age.”. Yep, Hannibal crossed the Alps with his army and a bunch of elephants during the 2nd Punic War. I believe it is mentioned. Exactly which pass that was, of course, has been a source of endless dust-ups among Hannibalologists. “Ever since that article appeared, people all over the world have been mailing me fecal samples,” Allen says. The eminent Polybian scholar refuted de Beer’s conclusions on linguistic and timeline grounds in “Some Reflections on Hannibal’s Pass,” published in Volume 46 of The Journal of Roman Studies. According to a story in Livy, Hamilcar made Hannibal promise that he would never be a friend of Romeâ¦ Explain your opinion. We know very little about him for certain. Edward Gibbon, author of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, was said to be a fan of the Col du Montgenèvre. How Do I Use Study.com's Assign Lesson Feature? Both have scanned satellite images, scrutinized lichen growth and rock weathering rates, and modeled historical glaciation to help envision how the land today may have changed since Hellenistic times. Its navy could not carry its army to Iberia (Hispania). Napoleon Bonaparte favored a northern route through the Col du Mont Cenis. But The Alps werenât the only obstacle in Hannibalâs path â his first challenge was crossing the mighty river Rhone. Enrolling in a course lets you earn progress by passing quizzes and exams. In the opening phase of PWII, Hannibal consolidated and expanded control of the territory in Spain. For over 2,000 years, historians have argued over the route used by the Carthaginian general Hannibal to guide his army â 30,000 soldiers, 37 elephants and 15,000 horses â over the Alps â¦ In 2004 Mahaney discovered a two-tiered rockfall—caused by two separate accumulations of rubble—on the Traversette’s Italian frontier. To borrow a line attributed to Mark Twain, riffing on a different controversy: “The researches of many commentators have already thrown much darkness on this subject, and it is probable that, if they continue, we shall soon know nothing at all about it.”. The treacherous mountain conditions decimated his â¦ “Hunt implies that the Traversette may not have been passable in Hannibal’s time, but I don’t think he has a grasp of what Hannibal’s warriors actually looked like. “Hannibal wasn’t just a brilliant strategist and military tactician,” he says, brandishing a muffin like a boxing glove. Metagenomics is the tool that will allow us to finally optimize our interaction with soil.”, Allen can envision combining meta-genomics with pretty much any scientific discipline, from engineering to theoretical physics to medicine. All who have played the Hannibal game know they must discover in their chosen pass a number of specific features that correlate with the chronicles of Polybius and Livy. “If Hannibal had hauled his traveling circus over the pass, he would have stopped at the mire to water and feed the beasts,” reasons Allen. This plan to invade Italy was quite dangerous, due to native tribes, cold weather, and risk of landslides. He Broke Boulders with Fire and Wine or Vinegar. What is the highest mountain range in Europe? Hannibal couldn't just pack a backpack with some snacks and head over the Alps. This is not philology, this is creative wishful thinking.”, Hunt thinks the Traversette’s descent would be narrow for elephants; Mahaney, who observed the beasts traversing Mount Kenya when he climbed there, thinks they’d have had no problem taking the high road. Hannibalâs trek through the Alps was quite the â¦ Allen is most excited about having isolated parasite eggs—associated with gut tapeworms—preserved in the site like tiny genetic time capsules. It was then that he demonstrated the astounding feat of crossing the Alps, a very difficult feat to do! His troops were sent out to cut down trees and â¦ Hannibal crossing the Alps. Furthermore, the tribes living in the Alps would fight anyone who came through, so he had to be ready for a rough ride. Hannibalâs daring advance through the Alps with at least 40,000 troopsâand dozens of elephantsâbecame legendary. Their commander Hannibal marched his troops, including cavalry and African war elephants, across a high pass in the Alps to strike at Rome itself from the north of the Italian peninsula. Polybius about Hannibalâs crossing of the Alps The Rhone rises north-west of the head of the Adriatic on the northern slope of the Alps, and running in â¦ just create an account. Ancient historians wrote that after crossing the mountain pass, Hannibal’s army spent 15 years marauding through the Italian peninsula. And a point on the summit where the troops could gaze down to the Po River Plain. The Alps were tall mountains with difficult weather and terrain. |. The Carthaginian general Hannibal crossed the Alps Mountains between France and Italy in order to bring the Second Punic War to the ancient Romans over 2,000 years ago. It would take 16 days in order to cross the Alps, a long time without any certainty about food, shelter, and safety. “In online forums, the squabbling can get fairly vicious,” Allen reports. The Sicilians embroiled the rising republic of Rome in their squabbles with Carthage and transformed a minor dispute into an armed conflict fought largely at sea. What's more, he also had to build special roads for his elephants at the same time that they were running low on food. “I hand-feed William peas and garlic,” Allen says. They went to war more than 2,200 years ago, leading to the defeat of Carthage in the First Punic War. View in Street View. Furthermore, the tribes living in the Alps would fight anyone who came through, so he had to be ready for a rough ride. His quest has yielded two books: Hannibal’s Odyssey: The Environmental Background to the Alpine Invasion of Italia and The Warmaker, a novel whose lusty dialogue could have been airlifted from the 1960 film Hannibal, a Victor Mature blockbuster taglined “What My Elephants Can’t Conquer, I Will Conquer Alone!”, Chowing down with Mahaney at his home in the Toronto suburbs is a little like getting hit by a train: If you survive, you’ve got a lot to talk about afterward. Explain why Hannibal lost so many men crossing the Alps. We all know how important soil is, but the surprising thing is we hardly understand it. One by one, de Beer demolished the wealth of alternatives. For all the stark drama—shadows scudding across cliffs, sudden shafts of sharpening air, clouds draping heavily over peaks—the bog creates a sense of serenity. Biology Lesson Plans: Physiology, Mitosis, Metric System Video Lessons, Lesson Plan Design Courses and Classes Overview, Online Typing Class, Lesson and Course Overviews, Science Careers Involving Writing & Editing, Airport Ramp Agent: Salary, Duties and Requirements, Personality Disorder Crime Force: Study.com Academy Sneak Peek. California Do Not Sell My Info Some details of Hannibalâs crossing of the Alps have been preserved, chiefly by Polybius, who is said to have traveled the route himself. Hannibal of Carthage led an army over the mountain range of the Alps in order to attack the ancient Romans. Did you know… We have over 220 college It may have been removed. Hannibal, Carthaginian general, one of the great military leaders of antiquity, who commanded the Carthaginian forces against Rome in the Second Punic War (218-201 BCE) and who continued to oppose Rome until his death. According to Polybius, Hannibal suffered casualties of 68,000 soldiers -- by abandonment or otherwise -- and was left with 26,000 soldiers and 37 elephants after the crossing. Explore connections. The Alpine crossing. “By the time he delivered his speech at the top of the pass, many of his mercenaries were either dead, starving to death or suffering from hypothermia. A Roman emperor once wrote that everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact; and everything we see is a perspective, not the truth. He is a frequent contributor to Smithsonian. One of Hannibalâs most important battles in Italy was the Battle of Lake â¦ “I’ve been inspired by our Clostridia findings to attempt a study of ancient samples of Clostridia difficile from humans,” he says. 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