scene of this story is among the
Carthaginians, an ancient people who lived more
than two thousand years ago on the finest
harbor in Northern Africa, and who undertook
some of the most daring sea expeditions that
the world has ever known; a nation of traders
who founded so many colonies, amassed so
much wealth, gained so much power, that Rome
became envious and engaged them in three
These wars finally resulted not only in the
Carthaginians being vanquished, but in one of
the most complete annihilations of state and
people, with their records of every kind, found
anywhere in history.
Thus it is that almost the only accounts we
have of this people have come to us through
the "anger and envy and meanness" of their
bitterest enemies. Notwithstanding this, one
of their men has been accepted as a great world
Hannibal belongs to the second of the chief
Rome-Carthage conflicts (the Punic Wars),
the most important of them all. Some one has
spoken of this war as the struggle of a great
nation against a great man. The Romans
showed how they themselves regarded it by
calling it "War with Hannibal."
What we know of the last Carthaginian
defense of their homes (third Punic War), and
still more of the wonderful genius and the
unselfish patriotism of Hannibal is apt to win
sympathizers for Carthage, despite her accusers.
While striving to do her justice we must not
forget two important points that seem proved
against her as a whole.
One of these is the greed for gain which led
t0 the placing of selfish interests above the
welfare of the state. The other is the striking
lack of respect for the rights of subject nations.
Perhaps you can see in what ways these
helped to bring about the country's destruction.