Talk:Hannibal's crossing of the Alps

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I think this page is pretty impressive but needs work in using more than one source for the most particularly controversial section of WHERE Hannibal crossed the Alps. As a lay-reader, as I understand it, there is no settled consensus to which passes or route he took. This takes his crossing from a book published in 1891. Obviously, nothing about the facts of Hannibal's crossing have changed in that time, I would like to think there has been some more critical analysis in the mean time.UltraSunshine (talk) 23:20, 7 January 2016 (UTC)

Will add moreSteveMooreSmith3 (talk) 06:32, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

More to do, and corrections. SteveMooreSmith3 (talk) 06:35, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

More to do again, and corrections.SteveMooreSmith3 (talk) 19:05, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Still working on it, and there are numerous corrections to make. I will also be coming through Livy and Polybius and employing those sources.SteveMooreSmith3 (talk) 22:11, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

This article is looking particularly poor in terms of the actual style of the writing (although the factual content seems okay.) Hopefully someone else has a chance to clean it up. (talk) 15:30, 16 October 2013 (UTC)- The more I read the more it reads stylistically like a bad high school report (but with much more detail and factual information.) (talk) 15:55, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Not a bad high school report, really, but a high school report nonetheless. Someone put a great deal of time into this, but the wording is conversational, and not encyclopedic. I must say, I am enjoying the results of the work done, and, if I have the time, I'll try to reword it somewhat, although clearly the writer has a much better grasp on the event than I. Thanks again to those who contributed to this article. Snideology (talk) 03:03, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
  • sigh* ok, bad high school report; after further reading I cannot disagree. The term 'barbarian' is thrown about recklessly, and I am not sure what to do about that; any suggestions would be appreciated. But some of the stylistic problems can be fixed... I'll try to work on that this week. Snideology (talk) 03:13, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
I wrote this article awhile back (I cannot seem to get wikipedia to send me the credentials). I want to first of all thank you all for expressing your criticisms of the article I started candidly. Secondly, I appreciate the compliments on my knowledge on the subject. There were number of concerns that I had with the article myself, which I believe also need to be addressed. I made all of those maps myself, based off of maps from books that have been placed in the public domain. The one that depicts the march through Catalonia is horrid, and needs to be remade. Another concern I had was the sources themselves, there were two concerns I had regarding this; The citations themselves (which I am always insecure about, I never feel like I have enough); and the lack of "primary sources" - most of the sources that I site are from second hand sources who recount polybius etc... I should have more of Polybius and livy cited from the text itself. The river banks of the rhone are referred to in reverse (river banks are reffered to according to the direction of the river, thus I have the right bank (from north) being the right bank when actually it is the left bank) I learned the proper method of referring to river banks subsequently to writing this article. There are also some just poorly constructed sentences, that do not convey the idea that was my intent. The section concerning Roman foreign relations prior to the outbreak of the war contains many of these. I am happy to address the article from a stylistic standpoint. However, as i wrote the article myself (and am not the greatest writer from a grammer standpoint or clearly from a standpoint of objectivity) maybe this would be best left to others? Regardless, the sentences that do not clearly convey the intent that they are meant to will require me to correct them. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:09, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
So I just received your message; Again, I would like to thank you for your very informative article. I will take another look (it's been awhile since I signed into Wikipedia, apparently). The comments in the next section are very helpful indeed, and should guide any changes to the flow of the articleSnideology (talk) 20:05, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

Adding my own thoughts here not as a wiki editor but as an ancient historian (of sorts): Although there should not be a reliance on primary sources there should be references and inclusions of passage references. One thing I would like to see more (and may well one day get round to editing if it's within the style of the wiki) when referring to ancient events would be a list of references to that event in ancient sources. An example could be that you could mention that the section of Livy that deals with the crossing of the Alps (from Saguntum until a bit past the descent) is Book 21 of the Histories of Rome. You could include it in the external reading or in the little table on the right hand side, but I think that as it stands it's not encyclopaedic to not give reference to the sources that are our main sources (Primary is actually pretty important from a historical perspective) on the issue. Yes I know that sections with Polybius references are included in the article but they are not mentioned in either the references or the external reading, it would at least make a decent compounding reference because that's probably where the books being referenced got their numbers, either that or guesswork (or occasionally if we get lucky it's actually an archaeological find) (talk) 01:47, 3 November 2014 (UTC)Zemelci

As far as I know, there is only one archaeological find that corresponds to any possible crossing of the alps. I believe it is mentioned. It is the druidic rock circle worship circle. It may have been removed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:01, 5 March 2015 (UTC)


In light of some of the comments above:

  • Per wiki guidelines, I would caution against over reliance on using primary sources (Of course historians from the period double up as primary and secondary sources. However, they do tend to require a degree of interpretation, which breeches wiki guidelines.) and argue to focus on using modern secondary sources as the basis of the article (as it already stands). If you have no further access to secondary sources (from your own personal collection or various libraries), you could utilize Google Books: it is a very useful source.
  • Per Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Layout and Wikipedia:Citing sources, split the bottom section into two: "Notes" for the inline citations, and "References" for the full book details utilizing Template:Cite book. The External links section should go last.
  • You might want to consider cutting down parts of this article, to avoid repetition with the Battle of Rhone Crossing and Siege of Saguntum articles, to a concise summary. Likewise with the abundant information in the 'Roman Foreign Relations' section. It would seem that this information would be better suited in other articles, streamlining this one to focus more on the topic at hand.
  • Websites should be cited using Template:Cite web
  • The lede needs to be expanded into a concise review of the article, in the region of 3-4 paragraphs. No inline citations are required as long as the information is cited within the article.
  • Replace the term "barbarian". Replace were appropriate with the name of the tribes being talked about. Alternatively, replace with tribes/indigenous population/Gauls etc. Barbarian is too generic and not really academic/encyclopedic.

Otherwise, good work. (talk) 03:22, 13 February 2014 (UTC)


You guys have totally ruined my article. This is for children now.Oranjin6 (talk)

Very poorly written.[edit]

This article should be rewritten. Some of the sections almost sound as if several contributors have just put in random sentences without adapting them to the previous sentences. -- (talk) 17:10, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

  • Agreed. I have made some revisions but this is a huge project and will take time. There are a lot of grammatical and structural errors that make readability difficult. An article of such historical significance deserves better!Kevin Lakhani (talk) 06:22, 6 November 2014 (UTC)


While the article is indeed beautiful, the reference section is a little bit messy. While the article could use work, it is well written, and well cited. For the citations, use this page as a reference material. Citations should be in a section called Notes while references is used for the actual data sources used. Good luck!Qwed117 (talk) 00:55, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

  • I wrote this article some time ago. I no longer have access to the original account, or the account I made subsequently. I edit wiki articles periodically when I have the time. I thank you all for the kind words, as well as harsh critique, and will keep an open mind when I review it again. If anyone has anymore critqiue, because soon I'm going to sit down, redo that picture of the invasion of Catalonia, and comb through this article, add additional citations, and change the tone of the entire article. Make it more encyclopedic and then submit it for critique. Any help would be appreciated. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:53, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

Attrition stats[edit]

Is it possible to get some stats on what the army numbers were before the crossing and after? Maybe further broken down by where losses occurred? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:38, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

Missing text?[edit]

There would appear to be something missing between the para that ends '...he led his best troops up to their fortifications and seized control of the pass.' and that that begins 'Hiding his men in the mountain brush on a cliff that arose immediately above and to the right off Hannibal's route of march,...' and it goes on to incongruously state 'Hannibal stationed his slingers and archers there' when the object appears to be to ambush the Carthaginians below. Perhaps I'm reading this wrong, but there's something odd. MarkMLl (talk) 20:20, 5 April 2016 (UTC)

Where'd he go? Col de la Traversette[edit]

I hope editors of this page will be willing to incorporate the very recent news of scientific research, offering evidence based on for the Col de la Traversette as the likely route Hannibal took into the Alps. See here.

May I also observe that the lead of this article seems unreasonably short for a page of such great length? Neither the lead nor the article delivers the summary information that I suspect many readers would wish to find from a topic of such importance. The former is insufficient; the latter is overwhelming. Parkywiki (talk) 08:01, 11 April 2016 (UTC)

@Parkywiki:, why don't you do it? //Halibutt 12:02, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

@Halibutt:, Probably because I'm putting my efforts into Wikipedia elsewhere. Parkywiki (talk) 12:49, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
I've added some references to Mahaney (et al.)'s work but there's still far too much reliance on the Little St Bernard pass and T A Dodge, who was an armchair nineteenth century American historian concerned with generals and military affairs, not a modern academic consensus. Col de la Traversette seems the present favourite, but I can't find tertiary sources saying so. The articles are too new to have worked their magic on popular books as yet.GPinkerton (talk) 18:53, 18 January 2019 (UTC)

Smithsonian magazine[edit]

A feature story by an essayist, not a professional historian and thus having no authority on the subject, doesn’t have its place in the lead. And in fact doesn't have its place anywhere in the main sections of the article. It could possibly be given as a link in the « see also » section, but no more. Sapphorain (talk) 15:10, 1 July 2017 (UTC)



I've translated the article into Russian, but unfortunately, the schemes (routes of movements) are local and hence cannot be used across projects. Is it possible to ;ace the schemes into the Commons deposit? Axlesaery (talk) 10:32, 17 November 2018 (UTC)