Hannibal (Punic: Hannibaal (Ã§Ã°Ã©Ã¡Ã²Ã¬), "Baal is my grace" or "Baal has given me grace"; 247 BC â€“ ca. 183 BC), son of Hamilcar Barca, was a Carthaginian military commander and tactician, later also working in other professions, who is popularly credited as one of the most talented commanders in history. He lived during a period of tension in the Mediterranean, when Rome (then the Roman Republic) established its supremacy over other great powers such as Carthage, and the Hellenistic Kingdoms of Macedon, Syracuse, and the Seleucid empire. His most famous achievement was at the outbreak of the Second Punic War, when he marched an army, which included war elephants, from Iberia over the Pyrenees and the Alps into northern Italy.
218 BC: Hannibal crossed the Alps with thirty-seven elephants and defeated the Romans at Trebbia. Indeed, had not a wounded elephant thrown the others into confusion, the Roman losses would have been even greater (Zonaras, VIII.13, who also relates that the soldiers fought from towers on the backs of the elephants).
Surus (the Syrian) is mentioned as the bravest elephant in the army by Marcus Porcius Cato, the elder in his book Origines.