Born in Carthage in 247BC, by the age of 26 Hannibal was Commander-in-Chief of the powerful Carthaginian army. No doubt the fact that his father was a military leader helped a little. He was so successful that the Romans waged their Punic Wars against the Phoenicians from Carthage, to try to reduce their power and conquer them. It was during the Second Punic War that Hannibal conceived the bold idea of taking 40,000 troops, with 38 elephants to use as battering rams, through Spain and France, then across the Alps into Italy, to conquer Rome by land instead of by the expected sea attack. Hannibal had several heroic victories but gradually his army diminished in power and he returned home to defend Carthage, but the Romans were victorious and a treaty was signed in 201BC. After further defeats and problems, Hannibal committed suicide at the age of 64.