CHAPTER IHamilcar Barca -- Hannibal in Spain -- Hannibal marches over the Alps
WHAT Hannibal the Carthaginian did to, and suffered from, the Romans during the sixteen years that he persisted in war against them, from his first march from Spain to Italy until he was recalled by the Carthaginians (their own city being in danger), and was then driven out by the Romans, this book will show. What Hannibal's real reasons for that invasion were, as well as his public pretext, have been very clearly set forth in my Spanish history, yet I shall mention them here by way of reminder.  Hamilcar, surnamed Barca, the father of this Hannibal, was the commander of the Carthaginian forces in Sicily when they contended with the Romans for possession of that island. Being prosecuted by his enemies on a charge of maladministration, and fearing a conviction, he managed to get himself chosen general against the Numidians before he had settled his accounts. Having proved useful in this war and having secured the favor of the army by plunder and largesses, he passed over the straits into Spain and made an expedition against Gades without the authority of Carthage. From thence he sent much booty to Carthage in order to win the favor of the multitude so that if possible he might ward off censure on account of his command in Sicily. Having gained much territory and great glory he inspired the Carthaginians with a desire to possess the whole of Spain, and persuaded them that it would be an easy task. Thereupon the Saguntines and other Greeks who were settled in Spain had recourse to the Romans, and a boundary was fixed to the Carthaginian possessions in that country, namely, that they should not cross the river Iberus (Ebro), and a treaty to this effect was made between the Romans and the Carthaginians. After this, Hamilcar, while settling the affairs of Carthaginian Spain, was killed in battle, and Hasdrubal, his son-in-law, succeeded him as general. The latter while hunting was killed by a slave whose master he had put to death.