- The Wood Brothers Meet Hannibal Duration: 01:40 Hannibal at the Gates
- The Wood brothers at Trebbia Duration: 03:20 Hannibal the Great
- The Wood brothers take on Mont Ventoux Duration: 02:42 Crossing the Rhone
- The Wood brothers take on the Alps Duration: 02:26 Over the Alps
- The Wood brothers in Barcelona Duration: 02:06 Barca! Barca! Barca!
- The Wood brothers start their epic journey Duration: 02:07 Hitting the Road
Preview: The Wood brothers stop off in Barcelona
The brothers stop off in Barcelona and pay a visit to the Camp Nou to see the influence Hannibal has had on football in the city.Watch a clip from episode two
Danny Wood says:
"Who wouldn't jump at the opportunity of a great trip riding a bicycle around the Mediterranean? This Hannibal push-bike adventure is also a great combination of our interests: history and sport. It took two years of planning to become reality - from pitching the idea to the BBC after Sam's brainwave on a Pyrenees cycling holiday to starting the film shoot in Cartagena - but the concept was germinating in us for much longer. On Hannibal's Trail is really what we've dreamed of doing since we were little boys. From touring around in a Volkswagen camper van with mum and dad to recent holidays with girlfriends and wives - we never fail to visit any local ancient ruins. We associate having fun with learning about history."
Sam Wood says:
"Being an archaeologist and a keen cyclist, following Hannibal's trail is a pure combination of things I enjoy and a dream come true. Hannibal has appealed to me since I was very young. He's the eternal underdog, taking on the might of Rome. Even those who are not fans of ancient history have often heard of Hannibal and his elephants, which is pretty impressive for a man who lived over 2,000 years ago at the head of a doomed civilisation. Hannibal also lived on for centuries in the ancient Romans’ minds - as twilight would fall, Roman mothers, in order to bring their children scurrying home, would call 'Hannibal ad portas!' – 'Hannibal is at the gates!'"
Ben Wood says:
"Whilst Hannibal is relatively famous, the civilisation he represented is not. I think we all felt that this was a little unfair and wanted to explore and expose what was once a thriving Punic-Phoenician-Carthaginian culture. And I love this sort of trip - you cycle lots, you eat lots, and in this case we filmed lots too!"
There is perhaps no one so important in history, whom we also know so little about, as Hannibal. His military and tactical gifts are well known, but he was also well-educated. There is little or no evidence for the Roman accusations of his treachery - Rome was much better at this type of deception - or of his cruelty. In fact, he seemed reasonably humane and showed great respect towards fallen Roman enemies. He is also accused of avarice, but again he only seems to act in this way to supply his army or to deprive the enemy of resources.
Hannibal was a genius on the battlefield, but was not so great a genius when it came to grand strategy. After his great victories he was unable to finish off the Romans – a testament to their resilience, but also perhaps to Hannibal’s inability to rethink his approach after early successes.
Hasdrubal was a competent general and governor of Spain, but he was not as brilliant as his older brother. He was equally committed to the Carthaginian cause, a fact proved by his constant campaigning and brave death at the Metarus River. You get the feeling that as the senior general he could have done more to unite the disparate Carthaginian armies in Spain after their success against the elder Scipio brothers. This might have allowed him to go to Hannibal’s aid earlier than the bold but fateful march in 207 BC, and could perhaps changed the outcome of the war.
Like his brothers Hannibal and Hasdrubal, Mago was a good soldier and diplomat. Another gifted general and one of Hannibal’s trusted battlefield officers. He played important roles at the Battles of Trebbia and Cannae, and was sent home to lobby the Council of 100 after that victory. He was diverted to Spain with reinforcements and eventually led a doomed invasion of northern Italy, where he was mortally wounded.
Hamilcar was the father and the force behind the Barca boys – perhaps even the mastermind of the land invasion of Italy. A gifted and resourceful general - the best of the 1st Punic War according to Polybius – who didn’t lose to the Romans, quelled rebellion at home, and extended the Carthaginian empire in Africa and Spain. He was a very able and bold leader and a role model to his sons.
Although not present for it, Hamilcar was perhaps the major cause of the 2nd Punic War. His bitterness in defeat was passed on to his sons. His brilliant expansion into Spain heightened Roman fears of a Carthaginian revival.
Profile: Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus
Hannibal's nemesis is not as well remembered, even though he was perhaps a better military commander - he was never defeated in a battle. Scipio was a unique character - a fierce patriot and supremely confident diplomat and general, and everyone he met seems to have been influenced by his charisma. He was certainly the main reason why Rome won the 2nd Punic War. Later in his career Scipio suffered financial scandals and went into self-imposed exile. He died the same year as his greatest foe, Hannibal, in 183 BC.
Quote from Livy, 'The War with Hannibal', Book XXI, 1
"I am now about to tell the story of the most memorable war in history."
BBC TV blog
On Hannibal's Trail presenter Ben Wood: "My brothers and I hadn't made a 'film' together since I was 12 and Sam starred as Chuck Norris."Read Ben Wood's post on the BBC TV blog
The Call of the Wild
This series is part of The Call Of The Wild on BBC Four, a celebration of the great British love affair with the countryside – whatever the weather.Go to The Call of the Wild site