Representations of Hannibal: a comparison of iconic themes and events from the life and times of Hannibal

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dc.contributor.advisor Dr Marcus Wilson en Billot, Frances en 2010-07-21T22:24:42Z en 2010-07-21T22:24:42Z en 2009 en
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dc.description.abstract There are many stories about Hannibal found across a variety of texts and genres. No other external enemy of Rome had the same impact on Roman literature over time as the Carthaginians and their extraordinary general, Hannibal. This thesis compares the presentations of some iconic themes and events associated with Hannibal, as well as some less well known features about him in order to examine how his significance changed over time in Roman culture. The comparisons made in this thesis focus primarily, but not exclusively, on literary features utilised by authors to promote (or downplay) particular events or people, such as the location of an event within the structure of a given text, the utilisation of omens or divine intervention, the patterning and content of speeches, the inclusion or exclusion of certain figures. The thesis aims to trace and compare ancient attitudes and responses to Hannibal, not to reinterpret the history of the Second Punic War or Hannibal‟s career. Roman attitudes toward Hannibal changed over time and ultimately became remarkably positive. Hannibal was, undoubtedly, a terrifying figure to Romans in the third century BC and a serious threat to Rome‟s suzerainty over Italy. Consequently, for many Romans, from at least the first century BC and possibly earlier, Hannibal embodied the archetype for a worthy enemy. His metamorphosis into the epitome of an eternal enemy is a representation which may, as this thesis suggests, have been in part self-promulgated. By the time of the late republic, it suited Roman writers such as Cornelius Nepos to write an astonishingly positive biography of Hannibal, acknowledging his skills as a commander and attributing to him a number of Roman virtues (Nepos, Hannibal, 1-13). Comparing the treatments of a historical subject between genres and over time is of historiographic interest for examining how ancient Roman and Greek authors adapted tradition to suit their particular reading of events. This thesis also argues for some interesting correspondences between what might be considered two quite different modes of presentation of the Second Punic War: Polybius‟ narrative history and the Flavian epic of Silius Italicus. Comparison of these texts with Livy, Cornelius Nepos and other works highlights both the dramatised nature of certain sections of Polybius‟ Histories, and the frequency with the Punica conveys in its narrative some well-informed interpretation and comment. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof PhD Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA2039250 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. en
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dc.title Representations of Hannibal: a comparison of iconic themes and events from the life and times of Hannibal en
dc.type Thesis en The University of Auckland en Doctoral en PhD en 2010-07-21T22:24:42Z en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en

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