Military Tactics: The Hannibal Quiz

By: Staff

What year did future military leader Hannibal Barca enter the world?

Hannibal was born in North Africa in 247 B.C.E. and was the son of Carthaginian General Hamilcar Barca.

What country is Carthage a part of today?

Carthage is part of modern-day Tunisia and sits just across the Mediterranean from Italy.

What city did Hannibal dedicate his life to destroying?

At a young age, Hannibal swore to destroy the Roman empire and its capital city of Rome. He dedicated his entire life to this task.

How old was Hannibal when he was appointed head of the Carthaginian army?

Hannibal was just 26 years old when he was appointed commander in chief of the entire Carthaginian army.

What war did Hannibal start in 219 B.C.E.?

The Romans considered Hannibal's 219 B.C.E. attack on Saguntum an act of war. The siege of the city marked the start of the Second Punic War.

How long did it take Hannibal to conquer Saguntum?

It took Hannibal eight long months to capture Saguntum, a city on the Iberian Peninsula.

What Roman general did Hannibal battle throughout the Second Punic War?

Roman General Publius Cornelius Scipio raged battle against Hannibal for more than a decade during the Second Punic War.

Gaul is located in this modern-day country.

In 218 B.C.E. Hannibal marched over the Pyrenees and into Gaul, located in modern-day France. He met little resistance from the Gauls, which cleared the path for him to continue his march straight to Italy.

How long did it take Hannibal to cross the Alps?

After entering Gaul, it took Hannibal and his troops just 15 days to cross the mighty Alps.

How many troops did Hannibal take with him on his march across the Alps?

Hannibal amassed an army of 100,000 men to accompany him across the Alps and into Italy.

What surprising creature did Hannibal take on his march across the Alps?

Hannibal and his men marched across the Alps with 37 war elephants.

How many of the elephants survived the treacherous mountain crossing?

All 37 of Hannibal's elephants survived the journey through the mountains, though he did lose the majority of his troops during the crossing.

How close did Hannibal actually get to the city of Rome?

Hannibal made it to just 3 miles outside the walls of the city but didn't have enough men or supplies to conquer Rome.

What happened to Hannibal at Cannae?

Hannibal enjoyed a major victory at the 216 B.C.E. Battle of Cannae when he defeated 80,000 Roman soldiers with fewer than half that number of men fighting on his side.

How many men did the Romans lose at Cannae?

More than 50,000 Roman men — 20 percent of the entire adult male population of Rome — died at Cannae.

How did the Romans scare away Hannibal's elephants?

The Romans used trumpets to scare the elephants, causing them to stampede and crush the Carthaginian troops.

How many of Hannibal's elephants survived the Second Punic War?

Just one elephant named Surus, which Hannibal often rode upon, survived the war.

What did Hannibal use to dissolve boulders while crossing the Alps?

Hannibal ingeniously used vinegar to break down boulders and clear a passage through the mountains.

True or false: Hannibal wasn't recognized as a hero during his lifetime.

A coin struck during Hannibal's lifetime suggests that he was important to the Carthaginian people and also provides the only picture of him created during his lifetime.

What did Hannibal launch at enemies in an attempt at biological warfare?

Late in his career, Hannibal threw baskets of snakes at enemies while battling at sea.

True or false: Hannibal was a cannibal who ate his own troops when necessary for survival.

The idea that Hannibal feasted on his own men is seen as propaganda, and there is no evidence to support that it ever actually took place.

True or false: Late in his career, Hannibal began leading battles at sea.

Hannibal led naval battles against the Romans, working under Antiochus of Syria.

True or false: Hannibal had much less success at sea than he did on land.

Despite his long military career, Hannibal was not successful during his naval career and never achieved a single significant victory.

How did Hannibal die?

When the enemy closed in, Hannibal committed suicide by drinking poison in 183 B.C.E.

How did Scipio draw Hannibal's forces away from Rome during the Second Punic War?

After Scipio attacked Hannibal's home in northern Africa in 203 B.C.E., Hannibal abandoned Rome and went home to fight.

Where did the Romans enjoy a decided victory against Hannibal in the Second Punic War?

Zama represented the final major land battle for Hannibal. The Romans used his famous double-envelope battle technique against him to decimate his troops.

How many of Hannibal's troops died at Zama?

More than 20,000 Carthaginian troops died at Zama, while the Romans lost just 1,500 men.

What happened to Carthage after the Second Punic War?

After the war, Carthage remained independent but lost all its territories to the Romans.

What happened to Hannibal immediately after the war?

When the Second Punic War ended, Hannibal was granted a position as a civil magistrate within the Carthaginian government.

True or false: Even today, no one knows exactly how Hannibal crossed the Alps.

While scholars have plenty of opinions, no one can agree what path Hannibal took to cross the Alps, even though historians left plenty of written clues.

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Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Long before "The Silence of the Lambs," the name Hannibal struck fear into the hearts of people around the world thanks to the ancient warrior Hannibal Barca. Take our quiz to test your knowledge of his achievements, failures and legacy.

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