Alberto Ruiz Cabrero

Phoenician and Punic Studies Centre - Madrid Complutense University

What do you find most compelling about Hannibal?

His tactical knowledge and military leadership ablities.

What do you think of Wood Brothers aim to ride Hannibal's route on bicycles from Cartagena to Carthage?

I think it's a new way of showing off the past through appealing countryside and historical remains.

A number of amateur and professional historians have retraced Hannibal's route, can you imagine doing it yourself on a bicycle?

It's never occurred to me, perhaps because of my poor physical condition, but it is an interesting approach.

Would Polybius have approved of this type of investigation, ie retracing the scene of the action?

He was pratically there during some of the events.  A knoweldge of geography does provide a lot of clues that can help us to understand Hannibal's exploits.

What is an example of an important question or mystery about Hannibal and or the Carthaginians that is still unanswered?

Why didn't Hannibal break the Hellenistic rules of war with Rome, instead of waiting for Rome to surrender?

Is there a piece of our historical record missing? I mean, is it fair to say that the Phoenicians and the Carthaginians are a bit of a mystery to us?

In spite of the fact that the Phoenicians brought the alphabet to the ancient world, because of the fact that they wrote on Papyrus, we've lost all their documentation.  Their position between an Oriental or Semitic style court and the innovations on which Hellenistic societies were based is a great unkown for investigators.

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About the authors

Danny, Ben and Sam Wood are three brothers who followed in the footsteps of three ancient Carthaginian brothers Hannibal, Hasdrubal and Mago. They cycled from Cartagena, Spain to Zama, Tunisia - the route that Hannibal and his army took over 2200 years ago. Along the way they filmed a documentary to be aired on the BBC in July 2010.


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