Hannibal, Who?

I was in a meeting this week at work when the name Hannibal came up. I asked the meeting facilitator if he knew who the original Hannibal was.

He said, "I know Lecter and the one from the A-Team."

I was aghast.
That's Who I'm Talking About!
Even with prompts such as "ancient general", "greatest tactician of all time", "crossed the Alps...with elephants!", he had no clue. He blamed the Singapore school system for his lack of knowledge.

Not this guy
I told him the incident was going on Facebook which it did at first opportunity. There, one of my Canadian friends posted that he didn't know who he was either. So, the Canadian school system apparently sucks, too.

Not this guy (cast photo simply to show Dirk Benedict, too)
Wondering if it was an age thing, one of the guys is a lot younger than I, I asked a co-worker who's near the same age as the Canadian. He knew who he was and said he learned the story in grade school as I did.
Not this guy (cast photo simply to show Bradley Cooper, too)
I spent the next several days quizzing people. Some flat out had no idea, some knew the name and felt like they should know his story and some actually had a clue. When I told one of my friends he must have learned it in grade school, he said, "I may have but I didn't pay attention like you did". I think that was a slam at my nerdiness but, of course, I payed attention in school. That was the whole point of being there, right?

I really took this perceived slight to Hannibal to heart and I know why I did. A few friends and I took History Of Rome in college (most notes I've ever written in a class in my entire life!) and I really got into the era. Eras, really. They had a long history. Hannibal was featured as he kept those pesky Romans at bay for a long time and I greatly admired him.

So much did I admire him that, for many years, he made my "3 people in history you want to meet" list.

The fact that he's forgotten is a travesty, I tell you! OK, maybe only a travesty to me but it's very sad that we seem to be losing our common knowledge of world history.


Tim said…
Dood - I feel your pain as many of my fav figures - historical, musical or literary have long been forgotten by the masses.
In defense of the Canadian school system, why I care, I don't know - we had to learn both Canadian and US history. At least until grade 9, then if you wanted to actually go to University you had to drop history and fill up on maths and sciences. This did not leave much time for tales of elephants, Romans or Spartans. Perhaps if 'twer the same south of the border, you guys would know who won the War of 1812. Then again, we would lose all of our good American jokes.

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