Let me elaborate on an item that we touched upon very briefly earlier this week. Stanford University has rolled out a new free course on iTunes (listen here) that takes you inside the life and adventures of Hannibal, the great Carthaginian military tactician who maneuvered his way across the Alps and stunned Roman armies in 218 BCE. Presented by Patrick Hunt, the author of the newly-released Ten Discoveries That Rewrote History, the class also gives you glimpses into cutting-edge trends in modern archaeology.
The course, originally presented in Stanford’s Continuing Studies Program, will be rolled out in installments over the next several weeks. Separately you can listen to a standalone lecture that Hunt gave on Hannibal shortly before the start of the course. (Listen on iTunes here.) For more courses like these, check out our podcast collection of free university courses.
Course Description for Hannibal
“Hannibal is a name that evoked fear among the ancient Romans for decades. His courage, cunning and intrepid march across the dangerous Alps in 218 bce with his army and war elephants make for some of the most exciting passages found in ancient historical texts written by Polybius, Livy, and Appian. And they continue to inspire historians and archaeologists today. The mystery of his exact route is still a topic of debate, one that has consumed Patrick Hunt (Director of Stanford’s Alpine Archaeology Project) for more than a decade.
This course examines Hannibal’s childhood and his young soldierly exploits in Spain. Then it follows him over the Pyrenees and into Gaul, the Alps, Italy, and beyond, examining his victories over the Romans, his brilliance as a military strategist, and his legacy after the Punic Wars. Along the way, students will learn about archaeologists’ efforts to retrace Hannibal’s journey through the Alps and the cutting-edge methods that they are using. Hunt has been on foot over every major Alpine pass and has now determined the most probable sites where archaeological evidence can be found to help solve the mystery.”