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A Portrait of Hannibal

A Portrait of Hannibal. On the May day of 1943 when Tunis and Bizerte fell (both places being near the site of Carthage), the editor chanced to purchase a page of Hartmann Schedel’s Nuremberg Chronicle, a famous picture book published in 1943 and which is now having its 450th anniversary. It contains the earliest woodcut of ship-building, for the illustrator used medieval workmen and tools in his view of Noah’s Ark, which, one recollects, landed on Mt. Ararat. Of greater interest to mountaineers is the fact that the book (on the page we secured) contains a portrait of Hannibal. We know of no earlier one and do not suggest it is authentic, for in this instance he looks rather more like a playing-card king than an ancient warrior. The text, however, is surprisingly accurate, mentioning Carthage, the crossing of the Alps with elephants, the use of fire and vinegar to soften the rocks, the chief battles, and Hannibal’s suicide by poison from his ring after he had been betrayed by the king of Antioch.