Magister Elephantorvm: A Reappraisal of Hannibal’s Use of Elephants

Charles, Michael B. & Rhodan, Peter (2007) Magister Elephantorvm: A Reappraisal of Hannibal’s Use of Elephants. Classical World, 100(4), pp. 363-389.


This article, which examines all the available evidence for Hannibal's use of elephants in the Second Punic War, refutes the contention that Hannibal was especially innovative in his tactical use of the beasts. In addition, greater reliance on elephants in Italy, particularly after his success at the Trebia, would have hindered Hannibal in his lengthy campaign against Rome. The article also contends that Hannibal's use of massed elephants at Zama highlights the degree to which he was accustomed to take chances in the field, especially given his demonstrable familiarity with the fickle nature of elephants when used for military purposes.

Impact and interest:

8 citations in Scopus
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3 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 9691
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the journal’s website (see hypertext link) or contact the author.
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Elephants, War, Hannibal, Punic War
ISSN: 1558-9234
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY (210000) > HISTORICAL STUDIES (210300) > Classical Greek and Roman History (210306)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Business Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 Classical Association of the Atlantic States
Deposited On: 25 Sep 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2011 13:33

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