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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. Presented by the Stanford Continuing Studies Program.

Customer Reviews


I think this is a great lecture series giving a lot of really interesting information about Hannibal, his father, and the Carthaginians. As someone with an engineering background and little in the way of history, this class fills a critical gap in my personal study of the chronology of western civilization. Much of it I'm sure is pretty basic information, so history experts may find it boring. The professor does make clear where there is disagreement among scholars, especially with respect to Hannibal's pass through the Alps.

On a technical note, the course is flawed by the audio being present on the left channel only. Also, it would have been helpful for the professor to repeat questions. Finally, I would have preferred a video version at time to see esp. John Hoyte's slides.


Awesome for car rides

Excellent lectures, defective audio

The first couple of lectures have been excellent, but the audio is restricted to the left channel.