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kelly's avatar

Did Hannibal really cross the Alps with elephants?

Asked by kelly (1908points) February 24th, 2007
when was this, why did he cross the alps, where was his army going, where did the elephants come from
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4 Answers

Perchik's avatar
yes he did. Google is a fun tool.
BCarlyle's avatar
Yep, Hannibal crossed the Alps with his army and a bunch of elephants during the 2nd Punic War. The Punic Wars were between Rome and Carthage; essentially a struggle to dominate the Mediterranean I think. A huge number of Hannibal's men and most of his elephants died crossing the Alps. They were heading to the Roman heartland and an attempt at Rome itself. The Elephants likely came from Africa as Carthage was a city state in north africa.
AstroChuck's avatar

Also, the breed of elephants he used were from North Africa and are now extinct.

IronHeat's avatar

When was this: 218 – 201 B.C.

1. Why did he cross the alps: To strike at Rome where Rome didn’t expect. Plus it created a Moral crush to Rome and their Allies and a Moral boost for his troops.

When he crossed the Rhone he had nearly 60,000 troops, elephants, calvery, and infantry: now (after her enters into the fertile plain of the Po River) he only had 23,000 troops left (this is not taking in account of how many mules and other beast of burden were lost). And i think he lost most of his elephants.

2. Where was his army going: They were heading to Rome. They never took the city or even attacked it (there is a mention of him riding to the walls of the city and throwing a spear over it). They ended up burning and pillaging where ever they went, took cities, tried to bring Rome’s allies to their side. A lot happened!- especially since the war lasted for almost 17 years.

3. Where did the elephants come from: Africa most likely but their is a story of at least one Asian elephant in the ranks (to note the word ‘story’). They had trade relations with Asian cultures so would of had the means to get them.

The reason for the war was Mediterranean domination and that Hannibal just plain hated the Romans. Even after the war he tried to cause them trouble through other means.

If you want a good book for this subject i would recommend “Hannibal: Enemy of Rome” by Leonard Cottrell. Good book

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