195 BC. The Second Roman War is over, and lost. Hannibal, now fifty-one, has managed the considerable feat of saving his city financially, by beating down on corruption and restricting the rights of the nobility. Said nobility fears for its centuries-old power, and the only one they can think of that they might turn to is Rome. His political enemies claim that Hannibal is plotting another war. Several factions in Rome are only too happy to believe these claims, and send a delegation to Carthage. Hannibal knows they will grasp at any opportunity to finally get hold of him, and drag him to the Capitol in triumph. He manages to slip away before Rome can demand his extradition. On board a merchant ship to Tyre, he looks back at his city for what he probably knows will be the last time.
I found myself listening to Ken Theriot’s “Visby” the other day, and while it’s totally about a pacifist Viking and not about a retired Carthaginian general, it really hit a spot…
The world is nothing but a piece of land
Fame and glory fit in the palm of your hand
Death will find me where I am today
And home is ever calling me to stay
Am I weird to feel painfully sorry for a guy who lived 2200 years ago? No, absolutely not.
More Hannibal art: