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            During the Second Punic War, a Carthaginian general, Hannibal, the son of Hamilcar Barca, kept his word when he swore an oath of eternal hatred towards the Romans. Rome had sacked Hannibal's beloved Carthage, at the end of the First Punic War. According to Polybius, Carthage was the richest city in the Mediterranean. Wanting revenge, Hannibal led a campaign against Rome that would later be admired throughout history by such leaders as Napoleon and Adolf Hitler. .
             On his rise to power after his father's death, he was highly regarded by the people of Carthage. His reputation for bravery and military strategic manoeuvring did not go unnoticed. When Hasdrubal was assassinated, he was elected as Commander-in-Chief of Carthage. This would enable Hannibal to accomplish his greatest goal in life, to destroy Rome.
             Hannibal, after capturing Roman ally Saguntum in Spain, set off in 218 BC on his military campaign against the Romans. Hannibal implemented a plan in which he would catch the Romans unprepared for his invasion of Italy. With lightning speed, he crossed the Pyrenees Alps with an army of 50,000 infantry, 9,000 cavalry and 37 elephants. (Lazenby, 15) Unfortunately, no matter how well trained his soldiers were, they were no match for the difficult task ahead. As they crossed the mountains, they were faced with harsh snowstorms and a cold climate. As Polybius describes it, " the storms were peculiar and extraordinary." (Munro, 85) Men's feet slipped out from under them, they faced extreme fatigue from walking in the deep snow, and it was impossible for Hannibal's soldiers to see where they were going along the narrow paths. As Polybius accounts, men in the pass were, "not being able to get a foothold in the lower snow, when they fell and tried to get themselves up, and by their hands and knees, the men found themselves plunging downwards quicker and quicker." (Munro, 85) They would finally reach the end of the pass, however, he would lose many men, horses and beasts due to the harsh weather.

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