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The following Narrative of the Campaigns of Hannibal has been carefully compiled from the different and, in many cases, differing accounts of the best ancient and modern historians and essayists, including Livy, Polybius, Sir Walter Raleigh, Niebuhr, Arnold, Guiscard, and Vaudancourt.
I have confined myself to the operations in which Hannibal was personally engaged, merely alluding to the contemporaneous events, military and political, in Africa, Spain, and Sicily, and pointing out the effect which they exercised on the contest in Italy, and on the final evacuation of that peninsula by Hannibal.
I have endeavoured to avoid fatiguing the reader with useless details, and to present only to his notice the more salient points, which will enable him to form some conception of the vast genius of the great Carthaginian, and to draw the clearest military lessons therefrom.
The events of Hannibal's career convey so useful a lesson to the military student, that all officers should be intimately acquainted with them. But comparatively few are so. Many have heard of the Trebbia, of Thrasymene, and Cannae; — are aware that Fabius was called " Cunctator," and have a general impression that he was rather a slow coach; — but of the real greatness of Hannibal and of the Roman commanders opposed to him, as well as of the gigantic difficulties he successfully overcame, their knowledge is for the most part very imperfect.
The subject is one of the greatest interest, and if it is not found to be so in the following pages it is the writer's blame.
At the end of each campaign will be found critical remarks on its most salient points; and my object has been to arrange the narrative in that way that shall be the easiest and most instructive to the military student.
Royal Military College, Sandhurst: