GCSE Ancient History – Hannibal’s invasion and defeat, 218-146 BC

Option 2 of the Rise of Rome unit for GCSE Ancient History is Hannibal’s invasion and defeat, 218-146 BC. On Hannibal’s Trail covers a lot of the themes, sources and context for this GCSE course and lots of teachers and students have found the series useful for teaching and learning purposes.

We are hoping the BBC will continue to send free DVDs out to teachers and students of Hannibal but as of May 2013 they have stopped doing so. In order to get a copy of the series please get in touch with us via the Contact Us page and as soon as we sort of how we can legally get free DVDs of the series to you we will let you know.


Taken from the OCR specification these are broadly the episodes that tackle the various themes in the curiculum:


Relations between Rome and Carthage under Hasdrubal: Sicily and Spain

Epsiode 1: Rivalry of Rome and Carthage over Sicily

Epsiode 1: The significance of the first Punic war

Epsiodes 1 and 2: The significance of Spain as a Carthaginian base and  the conflict at Saguntum

Epsiodes 1, 2 and 5: The Barcids in Carthage, including the status of Hamilcar and Hasdrubal.


Hannibal’s invasion of Italy, including details of the battles between Rome and Carthage

Episode 4: Hannibal’s invasion of Italy, including the crossing of the Alps

Episodes 5 and 6: The battles at Trebia, Trasimene, Cannae and Zama

Episodes 5 and 6: The weapons, armour and tactics used by the Carthaginians and Romans. We don’t talk about the weapons and armour so much but do cover tactics.


Character, role and achievements of key individuals

More or less the whole series: Hannibal

Episode 5: Fabius Maximus

Episodes 5 and 6: Scipio Africanus

More or less the whole series: The relationship of each of these individuals with their governments and people although we don’t go into a huge amount of detail here.


The significance of the conflict against Carthage in the development of Rome

Episode 6: The shift in power in the Mediterranean as a result of the Roman victory

Episode 6: The consequences of the Carthaginian defeat for the expansion of Roman trade and the Roman Empire

Episode 6: The consequences of defeat for Carthage.


Sources Livy and Polybius as historians and the relationship between their works

Episode 1: Livy’s sources and his use of them

Episode 1: Polybius’ sources and his use of them

Episode 1: Relationship between the works of Livy and Polybius.