Alexander Vs Caesar
26 Apr 07
This question was asked of Hannibal by Scipio Africanus when the two men met on neutral territory after Hannibal had been driven into exile. Though the question then was: who was the greater general, Hannibal or Alexander. Hannibal replied "Alexander, but if I had defeated you, then I would be greater than Alexander" It makes the point that they regarded Alexander as the greatest general. And Hannibal has a good claim to the title himself. He maintained an army of mercenaries in Italy for 18 years without serious defeat. Inflicting on the Romans the worst defeat that they ever suffered, at Cannae where over 50,000 Roman soldiers perished. At the end, he was able to evacuate his army back to Africa without the Romans being able to do anything to prevent him, though they ruled the sea at the time. He was finally defeated at Zama outside Carthage by Scipio, but so great was his power even then, that the Romans could not touch him and he continued as a statesman in Carthage until he was forced to flee by Roman plots against his life.