Hannibal: The Fall of Carthage

Ratings: 8.36/10 from 45 users.


Hannibal - The Fall of CarthageDid Hannibal carelessly squander the power of Carthage? Were the ingenious strategist’s legendary victories paradoxically the reason for the downfall of this incredibly rich trading empire? Why did Hannibal, at the very height of his triumphant campaign, refrain from attacking the city of Rome? Why was the military genius of Hannibal not enough the defeat the rising power of Rome?

This documentary delves into the rise of the small trading city-state of Carthage that became one of the richest and most powerful seafaring nations in the Mediterranean. Following the battles of the great Carthage general, Hannibal, the defeat of Rome seemed almost inevitable, yet Rome prevailed.

Whole new questions come to light in this documentary: not only historians, but also psychologists, scientists and doctors piece together the images of the past. Archaeologists provide the data for lavish computer animations that recreate the fascinating events of the past.

Facilitated by computers, a breakneck journey leads us through the eye of the duelists, directly into the brain, where – split seconds before the decision is taken – possible alternatives are drafted as visions of history: 'What would have happened if...? – this teasing and likewise scientific question arouses the viewers' fantasy – and compellingly illustrates how, for a brief moment in history, the development of today's world hung by a thread.

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60 Comments / User Reviews

  1. robe33

    Fantastic documentary! History of Hannibal, the conqueror,the grand strategist.

  2. Amir Bengali

    Good Documentary!!
    Very Informative

  3. TruthSeeker1st

    Why is Hannible White when he came from Africa-again white people claiming ideas not of their own.

  4. Bryan

    The slingshot registered speeds of up to 90km/h??? You might as well just throw the rock.

  5. Nick Taylor


    Dude, wtf are you talking about?

    The only reason you know Hannibal was African was because you just saw a documentary about him in which white people said he was African.

    Where did they say he was white?

    Unless you thought that they thought he was white because the statue is made out of marble? Should it have been granite? Or obsidian?

    You're a nitwit, and that's not how you spell Hannibal.

  6. Chris La Roche


    And also he was North African. Skin color does very in Africa as it does on all the continents. In North Africa the skin color would be substantially lighter, than say Sub-Saharan Africa.

  7. maroonedinohio

    Hannibals lineage was from Tyre in modern day Lebanon. If I do know anything about aristocracy and Hannibal being supposedly descended from Dido the upper crust tend to marry in their own strata thus consolidating power and bloodlines just like all Empires. He should of at least did what Spartacus succeeded in doing by liberating the enslaved peoples of the surrounding countryside or of the tribes that did support Rome to replenish his troops then laid siege. I would like to have seen what the world would have looked like today had this have happened sans the child sacrificing though. I did learn how Cartegena acquired its name. Good doc Vlatko. You and your staff are doing a great job at TDF. My favorite site!

  8. Yes

    Damn Nick Taylor, you sure have a way with words!
    'Well said.

  9. hassan

    i think hannibal`s lethal sin in that war is the supplies and reinforcements if managed those rome would been carthegian colony why he didn`t use the sea his country was the sea mistress.......imagine carthegine ships full off troops supporting him after canea imagine if there was elephants too

  10. jus too

    The statue is misleading as to the ethnicity of Hannibal, and this would not be the first time Eurocentric white supremacist attempt to steal history from an ethnic group not their own. White supremacist, to this day are steal trying to assume the Egyptians to some sort of Eurocentric culture blend

  11. galdur

    Bryan, a lead sling shot probably traveled at 90-100 meters/second or several times faster than that quoted in the documentary. The more dense the projectile the more effective it was so lead was mostly used for serious warfare.

  12. gero2006

    Watch out! Historians debate whether Hannibal used African or Indian elephants. Most historians think he used African ones. But in the documentary the elephants used are clearly Indian elephants. I suspect a 'plot'. Whoever is trying to put one over on African elephants, I have a message for you. Shame on you! You, you, small-eared-supremacist, you.


    Hannibal's, along with Carthage's downfall was not being able to foresee a unified empire amongst Carthage and the surrounding places. Many of the Numidian tribes were tratiors by joining other empires (Rome in particular). Hannibal was chilling in Italy while N. Africa was getting it @ss kicked. He was too reluctant to join the Second Punic War and by the time he did it was too damn late. But for what its worth, he still managed to give a good @ss fight! He still had those elephants and the noise from the battle crys and trumpets scared the elephants out of their trained paths. A key factor in Hannibal being defeated.

  14. Ryan

    He was African, not black. "Black" people as you know them were isolated in the sub Saharan portion of Africa, the lowest portions of the Indian subcontinent and in the continent of Australia.

    The north coast of Africa was colonized and heavily populated by the Phoenicians and Mediterranean populations, the whole middle of Africa for the most part was occupied by the nomadic Berbers, not "black" people.

  15. Sugarlumpken

    Where is the last piece (Hannibal profile P9) ???????

  16. Vlatko

    @Sugarlumpken Missing I guess.

  17. Xbow

    Ryan, that view doesn't fit in with Black Revisionist history at all. And of course ALL the wonders of ancient Egypt and everything else including the foundations of Greek culture were the creations of Black Africans. Look at all the evidence of high culture and advanced technology south of the 15th parallel north. Your speaking the truth but today such suggestions are heretical.

  18. atheist44ever

    why north Africans are white today ??
    mmmm maybe because there ancestors were just like them ?

  19. atheist44ever

    Hannibal was Mediterranean not black nor white but he still caucasian.
    all middle east + north Africa including Egypt were Mediterranean .
    middle east north Africa today are Mediterranean .
    do some researches !!!
    for example read books by Carleton S. Coon


    hanibal was somalian. african from somalia arabs cant fight like that they are cowards and hypocrits the most obese religion and sexuayy frustrated humans live in arabia


    holly cow i mean the most obese region not religion

  22. Abdul Rahman

    hannibal was arabian hani is a popular name in arabic countries and ba'al was the moon god of arabians and his last name is barqa mening lightning in arabic its barq . the Phoenicians spoke a semitic language and so did carthage and still do till this day . so why the hell would he be black

  23. Brandon

    if you ever researched those languages it comes from Africa.And who ever said Africans don't speak Arabic. look at them today. Last just because it's a popular name in Arabic doesn't mean it's Arabic duh.

  24. Brandon

    It's called expansion.

  25. Brandon

    Then could you please explain the many Africans in north Africa....?

  26. Guest

    Well I can explain all Africans in North Africa. What else would you call them?

  27. Mel

    can someone answer: Did Hannibal carelessly squander the power of Carthage? please and thanks

  28. Ossama Nahdi

    There is no "many africans" in Tunisia, We're very mixed: phoenicians, berbers, arabs, europeans, Jews but definitely not black. Hannibal Barca is Phoenician, the comment about Hannibal being an arab and that his name is Hani and his last name is Barqa from the arabic word "Barq" which means the lightning is the most ridiculous thing i have ever heard, sorry.

  29. John Cury

    what i do love is reading the comments after the documentary, very very amusing.

  30. James Tod

    That answer is no . There is no such thing is indian elephants . There is only two kinds of elephant in this world ,China and Africa . But the elephants was relocated to india to be move to fight in battle with Hannibal . If the elephant has a round shape ear it is from China ,If the elephant has a diamonds shape ear it is from Africa . But DNA shows that both elephants came's from Africa . the soil change the ear shape .Indians don't go that far back , they are a mixed race . DNA have about three to two different kinds , from native Americans with give the tan skin, white with give them strait hair .

  31. James Tod

    Hannibal had two spies that gave out his info witch lead to his defeat about the elephants .

  32. rcg365

    Smh Hannibal was African with dark skin. Thumbs down!

  33. S_agadir_a

    that's why he haves arrow nose straight hair and all portraits he has makes and describes hem white. or look back at north Afrika all caucasian. if you ask a Berber there wat are those blacks doing here he well replay (“we used them as slave a long time ago”). stupid afro centric I don't blam you my friend because if north Afrika was white. then there is NO black history. i am north african and I don't want to see a black ***hole still my history.i am not racist but u dumb ***** make me look racist.

  34. hdfg

    Hannibal is a Berber (Berbers are known as ancient Libyans) the inhabitants of north Afrika. that means he is caucasian not negroid. Carthage's are the ancestors of the Berbers now days.

    and pleas Afrocentrism is a wast of time.

    they even belief the vikings are black.

  35. Garl Vinland

    I have to write a research paper about someone who we previously learned about. I chose Hannibal but im wondering what facts i should include. Any ideas?

  36. Neil Symington

    Frodo at 55:20.

  37. Dragos Iordache

    Quite interesting, but they should have considered a better recreation of the battles, clothes, habits. They seem rather medieval to me than antique.

  38. Rick F.

    Thanks for uploading!

  39. urban deadite

    so much hatred in these posts. Hannibal was one of the Worlds greatest military leaders. nuff said.
    Hannibal was not Phonecian or Arab or Lebanese or any of the other suggestions he was a Carthaginian a probable mix of many peoples.
    I am not an Anglo-Saxon or Celt or Viking i am English a mix of lots of different people just like him and every one else on this Earth.
    Now unless some of these people who write these posts have a secret stash of Hannibals DNA and not letting the World know about it is all ASSUMPTION NOT FACT.
    Just enjoy the Doc!
    I think they should teach in all schools in the World about Prehistoric Trade routes and movements of peoples.

  40. Sam Altshuler

    Just so everyone knows, Carthaginians were Phoencians, Hannibal was a Phoenician. The Phoenicians founded Carthage and it was a Phoenician colony. Hannibal was also named after the Phoenician god Ba'al, not some arab god.

  41. Med

    hahahahaha lol shame on you

    u seems like u know all the history but in the reality u don't because Hannibal is was from Carthage and u have just to search on Google about Carthage, simply Carthage is the Political capital Of Tunisia till now!

  42. hernandayoleary

    Arabs didn't even arrive into Africa until 700 AD, Muhammad wasn't even alive in 500 AD. There were no Arabs. The first non blacks in South West Asia were the Greeks and Persians around 600 BC. Hannibal was black african. Most Tunisians are Ottoman Turks in ancestry anyways and have nothing do with arabs. Phoenicians were black africans.

  43. hernandayoleary

    Hannibal was a black african period. Whether he was berber or phoencian it didn't matter, all of those people were black at those times, all of africa and the middle east were black until the whites and persians invaded and conquered africa under scorpio africanus the roman general who won the 3rd punic war after hannibal died. Arabs never even arrived in the african contient until the ottoman turks used them as mercenaries during the 1700s and 1600s for colonialism.


    that's wrong, egyptians were not black and were arab and carthaginians were not black either. we know this because just like the egyptians they painted pictures of themselves and they are not negro.

  45. Ossama Nahdi

    Did you even read what i've wrote? modern days Tunisians are very mixed, Hannibal is phoenician and no phoenicians are not black africans, phoenicians are orginally from modern days lebanon and syria, come visit i'll take you see some carthaginian monuments and you'll have to explain to me how black africans paint themselves as pale people and with caucasion face features, stop with your nonsense.

  46. Ossama Nahdi

    and are you trying to tell me that arabs are descendants of muhammed? hahaha

  47. Ossama Nahdi

    egyptians (the pharaonic egyptians) were not arabs, how they painted themselves in their monuments i might say they were mostly nubians from south egypt and sudan (there is more pyramids in sudan than there is in egypt)

  48. Ossama Nahdi

    What a nonsense, berber and phoenicians were black? arabs didnt arrive to africa until the 18th century? you need to read and read then read again..

  49. hernandayoleary

    Phoenicans are identified by greek father of history, herodotus and persian writers as coming from erytrea. The phoenicians did not come from the indo-europeans. 100,000 arabs arrived in Egypt, how can they be the ancestors of the over 180 million people when the arab countries like saudi arabia do not even how that much people?

    Where did these white berbers and white arabs come from? How do white indo-europeans end up speaking african language, following african culture, and african customs? Why don't they follow the white indo-european customs, culture and languages? Why isn't arabic indo-european. It belongs to the semitic branch of african-asiatic languages. African languages spoken throughout asia.

    The original arabs are not whites, whites did not even come into arabia until iran in 3ad. Original arabs were black. Arabs were just swahili people who were hausa speakers from hausa state in west africa who moved east into arabia.

    Even today they admit they are not true arabs, they are descendants of turks. Did the phoencians speak arabic, did the berbers speak arabic, not event he same alphabet. You need to get educated.

  50. Ossama Nahdi

    Ok i get it now, so mister hernandayoleary read my name which is arabic and thinks im trying to tell that hannibal is arab which explains why he seems like he's not reading what im writing, no hannibal is not arab he is phoenician, phoenician are not african neither arab, i didnt say arabs are whites (i dont know where you read me saying this they are Caucasian but not white), i didnt say phoenician or berber spoke arabic and they didnt speak any african language i know of (im assuming that by african language you mean a language spoken by black africans) they spoke phoenician and amazigh which is still alive to this day i know people who speak it, i even know the alphabet, berber are strikingly pale and about 30% of them have blue/green eyes again i know a lot of berber people so no they are not africans (again im assuming that by african you mean a black african, a negroid, not someone from africa) , you seem to be completely messed up and dont even understand what im saying, at least read about berber, arabs and phoenicians on wikipedia then lets talk and again stop with your nonsense, i would be ashamed if i posted such garbage. As for an education, this is the history of my country and i've been studying it since i was five and without any ethnic bias. I hope that you're not an african blinded by your Afrocentrism because that would be really sad, i have a great admiration for African civilizations and culture especially the Dogon people.

  51. hernandayoleary

    I never said Hannibal was Arab so we agree on something, he wasn't arab.

    It depends on what you mean by African really. But if you mean that Phoenicia capital was not in Africa, I agree.

    The indoeuropean-arabs with the white skin are white or multi-racial but look more to the white side in many cases (ie assad). They are not a distinct race. They all have the same indo-european - aryan ancestors. The only difference between them and european whites is they have more black and asian ancestors and admixture. But it would be a stretch to call them black or asians/mongols.

    If you do not think the Phoencians spoke an African language, I kindly encourage you to see who and where their language is listed as under. Likely you will find it is in a branch of semitic languages, which are a sub-branch of the african-asiatic languages. African language spoken in asia by black africans who moved into asia going back to paleolithic times into the modern period.

    Actually you are surprisingly informed of the region as it is today.

    The only non-african/ non-black languages spoken in africa today that I am aware of are the afrikaners in south africa and english and french and other colonial languages like spanish or portuguese.

    It really depends on the berbers we are talking about. You have berbers from Nigeria up to Algeria, Morocco, Sudan, Libya, Chad etc. I'd be lying to say all berbers were black or white looking. They are a diverse lot today. The white and blonde berbers come from invasions from the rounds of germanic people who invaded and took over rome and roman north africa towards the fall of the roman empire. Over 2 million east european mostly blonde, used as sex and labour slaves was brought in as slaves to the barbary coast. These are huge numbers, it happened during the colonial era and it changed the demographics of algeria, morocco and tunisia and libya permanently. You also had the turkish colonization, and many turks are light/whitish looking and often have blonde hair and blue eyes. its no secret that during the colonial period, turks and europeans had more kids than black people. Many of these white people lost their identity and just assumed the title of berber or amazigh or arab. They have ancestors that go back to roman, goth,vandal, visigoths. They aren't going to call them self a goth or vandal or roman are they? of course not, its either berber or arab. How is Tunisia, Libya and Algeria all less than 1% white despite having a huge white population just 200 years ago? Where did all the white people go?

    You assume correctly, by african here I generally mean black. These berbers you are describing are not black, your eyes do not decieve you. But they were not there in ancient times neither.

    Maybe your problem is wikipedia. I think I understood what you said, some berbers look white today, yes it is true. And I explained why.

    I hope you do not have an indo-european blinder by your indo-european centrism. History of your country and what is your country sir? Perhaps it would help you to go look how old blue eyes, and blonde hair and white skin are. I will tell you the later has been narrowed down to 5,500 years according to the american anthropological association.

    Hannibal's family originated from Cyrene as did all of the Barca's. Its common knowledge that these people were black. Even in the movies where everyone is white, they always cast Simon of Cyrene as a black man. While there certainly is a link between phoencia and carthage, its irrelevent because the Barca's were from Cyrene.

    It is good you have an admiration for african cultures, but I'd have to be dishonest to pretend that hannibal, the carthigians or the phoencians were not a black africoid people. There is a reason my comment got 2 thumbs up from complete strangers, there are people who know their history. I implore you to explore yours.

  52. Ossama Nahdi

    Don't rely a lot on votes i got 3 on a previous comment when i said that hannibal is not black.

    North Africa has never been black, berber were never black nor Phoenicians, talking on the genetical scale.

    Phoenicians are from modern days Lebanon and Syria, not from Eritrea ( i know Eritrean spoke a semitic language, that makes them Eritrean who spoke a semitic language, not Phoenicians)

    I'm from Tunisia, i grew up studying those civilisations and looking at depiction of berbers, phoenicians etc.. Hannibal was always depicted as a pale skinned guy with caucasian features, even by the romans he was depicted that way, people will continue to depict him that way.

    For the sake of humanity do not try to distort history, black people have their own history that they should be proud of.

  53. Andrew Moore

    You are kidding right? Phoenicians are from modern Lebanon, the Lebanese of today are the decendants of the Phoenicians. Are they black? No!

    As for the Arabs, the Arab Caliphates included much of Northern Africa during from the 8th to 13th Centuries.

    When the Arabs conquered Spain, they had incredible help from the Berbers of Morocco. A huge percentage of Spanish bloodlines can be traced back to North Africa. However, are Latinos black? Brown yes, but not black. So no, North Africans were not black during the time of Carthage.

    Now, the ancient Yemen empire of Saba, which spanned into modern Ethiopia and Somalia was black. The famed Queen of Saba featured in the Bible was indeed black.

  54. Truman Golden

    Hannibal was definitely Arab. Berbers are not from north africa at all, they have the haplotype negroid b1b1, they share the same haplotype as many sub Saharan people. they adopted a mixture of the languages from hyksos/pheonicians and arabic. Arabs have been in north africa since at least 4000 years. starting with hyksos and then Phoenicians which are many arabized people. the whole amazigh language is broken Arabic words with old Phoenician dialects.

  55. Truman Golden

    Hannibal was definitely an Arab. Arabs came to Africa at least 4000 years ago. hyksos and Phoenicians are both arabizes tribes who settle north Africa before the roman empire was even created. Berbers are negroids with haplotype b1b1 descendants from subsharan Africa. Arabs have the J1 semetic haplotype and are majority on north Africa.

  56. Ali Melliti

    sorry my friend, but Arabs came to north Africa only during the expansion of Islam, and also Phoenicians they are not considered Arabs at that time.

  57. The Dude

    The actor playing Hannibal is Dr. Bashir from star trek deep space 9.

  58. Ataa

    Hannibal was a mix-in Hawaii where I'm from they call it "hapa" which means mixed race.He wash't black or white.Carthaginians were originally from Tyre which is in present day Lebanon.The first people who founded Carthage were Phoenesian aristocrats that left Tyre because of a dynastic dispute. The Carthaginians were expert agriculturists but used mostly slave labor. Hannibals brother Mago wrote a 24 volume treatise on farming practices that was used as a reference for centuries.Even the Romans reluctantly admitted that Mago was an astute and expert horticulturalist including beekeeping and wine making etc.Hannibal was probably of mixed blood with some black and white. We don't know for sure. We don't even know what the carthaginian language was!So, all you guys who say things just admit you don't really know. Can't anybody say that?

  59. 42tribes

    Half of Modern Egypt has more African blood than Tiger Woods. Carthage was a mixture of Egyptians and Phoneticians from more than 2k years ago.

  60. Etienne

    Dear heaven. All this diatribe about Hannibal being a Phoenician, an Arab, an African, White black, pink or yellow , who cares. He was a human being.
    As for squandering the wealth of Carthage - I don't think so. After the first Punic war Rome won for itself Sicily (formerly a Carthaginian possession. ) Rome was expanding in the Med.,and also for the first time creating a fleet. Consequently Carthage felt itself threatened. Then when Rome started meddling in Spanish territory (Also under the hegemony of Carthage,) by taking under her protection Saguntum in Spain, Carthage had to act. She did so brilliantly bay attacking Rome through the Alps. So it cannot be said that Hannibal willfully squandered the wealth of Carthage. He had no choice.
    What remains a mystery to me however is why he did not finish Rome off when he had the chance?

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