War elephants depicted in Hannibal Barca crossing the Rhône, by Henri Motte, 1878

 

In a recent PBS episode of Secrets of the Dead: Hannibal in the Alps our copy of Hannibal’s coin with an elephant on the reverse was used during the telling of the story. The documentary was very intriguing but I still found it hard to believe Hannibal was able to accomplish this feat.  You can judge for yourself the documentary is available online to view.

Excerpt from the documentary:

“Hannibal, one of history’s most famous generals, achieved what the Romans thought to be impossible. With a vast army of 30,000 troops, 15,000 horses, and 37 war elephants, he crossed the mighty Alps in only 16 days to launch an attack on Rome from the north. For more than 2,000 years, nobody has been able to prove which of the four possible routes Hannibal took across the Alps, and no physical evidence of Hannibal’s army has ever been found…until now. In Secrets of the Dead: Hannibal in the Alps, a team of experts – explorers, archaeologists, and scientists – combine state-of-the-art technology, ancient texts, and a recreation of the route itself to prove conclusively where Hannibal’s army made it across the Alps – and exactly how and where he did it.”

You can see the documentary online here:   Hannibal in the Alps

Coin Replicas | Colonial coins with rifle by Gene Austin

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