Drawing by Sofia, Grade 7

Hannibal in the Alps

At the outset of their second Roman History block, Class 6-7 heard the story of Hannibal Barca, the great military commander from Carthage who led his men through Gaul and over the Alps to attack the Romans during the Second Punic War (circa 200 BCE). Below, sixth grader, Sanbate, writes a series of journal entries from the point of view of a mercenary fighting for Hannibal. (Editor)

A Mercenary’s Journal

by Sanbate, Grade 6

Entry 1: Our first day of travel was so easy that I fear the men will become lazy. I, of course, could never be lazy. I have been trained in Arabia and paid a great sum of money to take on this quest. I will not disappoint. Most people assume mercenary work is rubbish. Those people don’t know me! Entry 2: These soldieries are having a ball! Gaul not only surrendered; they joined us! I fear not the battle, but the Alps. They get closer each day. Entry 3: Nearly to the Alps. Entry 4: We have arrived at the Alps. We are spending the night at the base. Entry 5: The journey begins. Entry 6: I always feared these mountains, but I had no idea what horror lay within! Soldiers and fellow mercenaries die hourly, animals slip and take men with them. Already my good friend has committed suicide. Perhaps that is not such a bad idea. Entry 7: I seriously debate suicide. Entry 8: Captain Hannibal truly is a great man. He found out my thoughts of suicide and talked me out of it. Entry 9: Wild mountain tribes are attacking! I fear for my life. They are superb fighters. Entry 10: Forgive me for not writing. I contracted frostbite and my fingers were far too sore. Entry 11: We have arrived in Italy. Success did not come free. We lost 70,000 men, and 20 elephants. No telling how may horses. Wait! What do I see? A Roman army! Sound the alarm! Entry 12: The previous battle was won and yet another army approaches. I may not live to fight in it. An awful wound in my side may prevent it. Captain Hannibal is comforting me. I hope someday my journal shall be discovered and turned into a famous story. A story about a mercenary who gave her life for the fairest general in the world. Name the story (whoever is reading this): “A Mercenary’s Journal”. I die with honor.