King Hannibal is said to be the greatest military leader and strategist of all time. Hannibal was born in 247 B.C., during the beginning of the decline of Carthage, then a maritime power near present-day Tunis in North Africa. The Carthage population was a mix of Africans and Phoenicians who were great merchants, trading with India, the people of the Mediterranean and the Sicilian Isles.
When he was very young, about 8 or 9, Hannibal accompanied his father Hamilcar in a battle against the Romans. Seventeen years later in 221 B.C., he succeeded his brother-in-law Hasdrubal and became supreme commander of the Carthaginian forces.
Hannibal had 80,000 infantry, 12,000 cavalry, and 40 African war elephants. He conquered major portions of Spain and France, and all of Italy, except for Rome.
Hannibal marched his army and war elephants through the Alps to surprise and conquer his enemies. In one battle, the Romans, led by general Scipio Africanus, put 80,000 men on the field led by Scipio to defeat Hannibal. When Africanus attacked with his entire army, Hannibal had so studied the grounds that he arranged his African swordsmen and elephants to trample and slaughter them.
After killing thousands of Roman soldiers in lengthy battle, Hannibal took his own life rather than surrender when he was overwhelmed by the larger Roman army.