There is nothing so corrupt as history when it enters the service of the state. — Edgar Quinet


(Hamilcar Barca)

d. 229 BC
Civilization: Roman — Carthage
   Field of Renown:  military — General
Era:  Punic Wars

Hamilcar Barca was the father of Hannibal, the most notorious of Rome's enemies. Although it was Hannibal that actually crossed the Alps and attacked Rome, it was Hamilcar, who laid the foundation, by building a Carthaginian empire in Spain, and who instilled in his son an abiding hatred of Rome. Hannibal was just carrying out a plan that had been long laid by his father Hamilcar.

Hamilcar first appeared near the end of the first Punic War, where he was given the command of Sicily. Although Carthage lost that encounter and soon sued for peace with Rome, Hamilcar never accepted the defeat. He spent the period between the First and Second Punic Wars building up an empire in Spain, and preparing for the inevitable renewal of hostilities. His three sons, Hannibal, Hasdrubal, and Mago, were Carthaginian generals in the Second Punic War.

Key events during the life of Hamilcar Barca:

250 BC
Defended Lilybaeum during the siege.
247 BC
Assigned command of Sicily during First Punic War.
241 BC
Negotiated terms of peace that led to Carthage's withdrawal from Sicily.
238 BC
Put down revolt of Carthage mercenaries; became virtual dictator of Carthage.
237 BC
Began campaign of conquest in Spain.
228 BC
Died at sea.

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Other Resources

Story Links
Book Links
Hannibal at Saguntum  in  Hannibal  by  Jacob Abbott
Sons of Lightning  in  Helmet and Spear  by  Alfred J. Church
Battle of Ecnomus  in  The Story of Rome  by  Mary Macgregor
Boy Hannibal  in  The Story of Rome  by  Mary Macgregor
Phoenicians and Carthaginians  in  Spain: A History for Young Readers  by  Frederick A. Ober

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Image Links

All three were apt pupils.
 in Red Book of Heroes

Short Biography
Hannibal Carthaginian general, invaded and laid waste to Italy for sixteen years.
Hasdrubal Son-in-Law of Hamilcar, headed Carhaginian empire in Spain until Hannibal came of age.
Regulus Captured by Carthage in first Punic war; urged Rome keep fighting at cost of his own life.