Because the name Poeninus is similar to Poenus (Latin for "Carthaginian"), some Roman authors inferred that the Carthaginian general Hannibal crossed this part of the Alps in his famous march on Italy in 218 BC, using either the Great St Bernard or Little St Bernard passes. The Roman historian Livy explains that Poeninus was actually a corruption of Penninus, the name of a deity worshipped by a local tribe. Livy adds that it was implausible that Hannibal took such a northerly route, as these high mountain passes would have been inaccessible at the time. Tacitus mentions the Alpes Poeninae in connection with the movements of Otho.
^Wilkes, J., S. Parker, R. Bagnall, W. Harris, A. Esmonde-Cleary, C. Wells, J. Drinkwater, R. Knapp, S. Mitchell, B. Z. Lund, R. Talbert, M. E. Downs, M. Joann McDaniel, J. Becker, S. Gillies, T. Elliott. "Places: 982257 (Alpes Graiae et Poeninae)". Pleiades. Retrieved November 1, 2014.