Hannibal of Carthage

Hamilcar died in a battle against some of the Spanish barbarians; but he left behind him a son even mightier than he, and equally bitter against Rome. This was the celebrated Hannibal.

Before Hamilcar left Carthage on his great project of building up an empire in Spain, he took his little nine-year-old son, Hannibal, before the sacrificial altar of the Carthaginian god, Moloch. There the father consecrated the child to his vengeance, bidding the lad swear eternal enmity to Rome. Hannibal swore, and kept his oath; he became the most terrible and relentless foe the Romans ever faced.

He did not succeed to the command immediately on his father's death, for he was not yet of age. Thus for a while the extension of Carthage's rule in Spain was entrusted to Hamilcar's son-in-law, Hasdrubal. The subjugation of the barbarians, which Hamilcar had begun by force, Hasdrubal completed by kindness. Most of Spain became devoted to his rule and his plans. Then he, too, perished in the work the family had undertaken; he was stabbed by a Keltic warrior. His troops, without waiting for orders from Carthage, made young Hannibal their chief. Thus at length a devoted army had been built up and a leader had been created, one trained from earliest youth for the task of avenging his country upon Rome.

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Read about Hannibal of Carthage in the The Story of the Greatest Nations and the Worlds Famous Events Vol 1

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