how many elephants survived crossing the alps

The ancient Carthaginian general Hannibal Barca famously led his troops, including 37 elephants, across the Alps mountain range to fight the Romans. Favorite Answer. Thank you for subscribing to HistoryExtra, you now have unlimited access. By entering your details, you are agreeing to HistoryExtra terms and conditions and privacy policy. Surprisingly, all 37 elephants survived the march across the Alps! Artists rendering of Hannibal’s troops crossing the Alps. He supposedly rode into Capua upon this one elephant. This lone elephant was used by Hannibal to ride in triumph into the city of Capua. Hannibal had 37 or 38 elephants with him on his campaign trail from North Africa through Spain, Mediterranean Gaul and the Alps. There is no real certainty of the size of force that Hannibal took with him, though estimates range from 20-40,000 infantry, 6-12,000 cavalry and 40 elephants. Although the journey was a success, it came at a huge price: forced to face the harsh winter and hostile natives, the Carthaginian army endured heavy sufferings and losses, and none of the elephants survived the crossing – they all succumbed to starvation induced by the icy cold. We don’t know exactly how many of the elephants survived, but it is clear that some did survived because the Romans under the Consul Tiberius Sempronius Longus faced them at the battle of Trebia in December of 218 B.C. Probably they had no real usefulness so the effort and loss of men and elephants during the crossing should be judged a failure! Looming Large: Hannibal and Elephants “Hannibal Crossing the Alps on an Elephant” by Nicolas Poussin (1620-ish) About Hannibal – we are reading from the Wicked History series, “Hannibal – Rome’s Worst Nightmare”.. Hannibal Barca: an ambitious warrior with strategy skills perhaps surpassing history’s most effective military leaders. Hannibal set off from Spain with 37 elephants. Hannibal traveled with an army of tens of thousands of soldiers and as many as 37 war elephants. His most famous campaign took place during the Second Punic War (218-202), when he caught the Romans off guard by crossing the Alps. Credit: Tour de Travoy For years, historians disagreed on exactly which pass Hannibal took through the mountains, although a consensus seems to have been reached in recent years that Col de la Traversette is the most likely route, at an altitude of 2,947 meters (9,670 feet). If you subscribe to BBC History Magazine Print or Digital Editions then you can unlock 10 years’ worth of archived history material fully searchable by Topic, Location, Period and Person. You will shortly receive a receipt for your purchase via email. The Falklands War: when was it fought, why did it happen and how was it won? What happened to the animal afterwards is unknown, although the elephant certainly didn’t participate in any of the subsequent fighting, which led to Hannibal’s eventual defeat. We don't know how many elephants survived the crossing of the Alps. In 218 BC Hannibal decided to out-wit the Romans, and set off with an army of 100,000 men and 37 war elephants. Hannibal's crossing of the Alps in 218 BC was one of the major events of the Second Punic War, and one of the most celebrated achievements of any military force in ancient warfare. When he came down into the plains above Turin he had only 20,000 infantry and 6,000 cavalry; none of the elephants … Hannibal rode the lone survivor. 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 … A big day in history: Hannibal smashes his foes “at the very gates of Rome”. Quora Question:Why did Tiberius Gracchus Promote Land Reform in the face of Roman Senatorial Opposition? You will receive a link and will create a new password via email. He was returning from a successful campaign against the Vaccaei and th… If, as I suspect, there was some exageration about the elephants then maybe there were other exagerations too. There is no real certainty of the size of force that Hannibal took with him, though estimates range from 20-40,000 infantry, 6-12,000 cavalry and 40 elephants. Although 36 of the 37 elephants Hannibal brought on the journey were African elephants, most likely from Morocco and Algeria, it was the sole Asian elephant that survived. This article was taken from BBC History Revealed magazine, Save over 50% on a gift subscription to their favourite history magazine. Only about 40,000 made it to Italy. During the fifteen day passage across the Alps, Hannibal lost about half of his troops. and apparently only had 3 elephants (and 26,000 men) left when he entered Italy. Neither Polybius or Livy, the 2 main accounts, mention how many elephants, if any, died during the crossing of the Alps. Lost your password? Favorite Answer hannibal had 50,000 infantry 9,000 cavalry and 37 elephants, he marched to the rhone, avoided battle with scipio, and continued … How many (if any) elephants survived Hannibal's crossing of the alps? In a bold attempt to take the war directly to Rome, the Carthaginian general Hannibal marched an army across the Alps and into northern Italy. The official website for BBC History Magazine, BBC History Revealed and BBC World Histories Magazine, Save over 50% on a BBC History Magazine or BBC History Revealed gift subscription, The year was 218 BC, and Rome was locked in a bitter conflict with its rival, the Mediterranean superpower of Carthage. They range between 20 and 3. I believe that some of the elephants (more than one) did survive the crossing of the Alps. This is what Polybius says: 3.42.11 (the number of elephants at the Rhone crossing): 'The question that caused him the greatest embarrassment was how to get the elephants, thirty-seven in number, across.' What Was the Role of Hispanian Tribesmen in the Second Punic War. It seems strange that with estimated deaths of 15000 troops and 17 elephants, as far as I can gather, no remains have been found in the Alps. The ancient sources don't mention any dying during that part of the expedition, and there were some – again, sources don't seem to say how many – surviving to fight at the Trebia. He took 37 war elephants (and 46,000 men) with him when he left Iberia (Spain) through Europe to the start of the Alps.He lost most of them to skirmishes and bad weather etc. Thanks! Hannibal set off from Spain with 37 elephants. Quora Question: What Year Was the Rise of Rome? There are disagreements among the sources about the number of elephants which survived the snow and ice of the crossing. Its name, according to the story, was Surus, meaning ''the Syrian.'' Please enter your email address. 1 decade ago. As Carthage was in North Africa, elephants were commonly used in war. How Hannibal managed to get thousands of men, horses and mules, and 37 elephants over the Alps is one magnificent feat.” • This article was amended … The Carthaginian general Hannibal (247-182 BCE) was one of the greatest military leaders in history. How many survived the crossing and were they used in battle to any real effect?

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