Friday, March 28, 2008

Conejera Ibiza

When I walk to the end of my road, I come to a sunset bar called Khumaras it’s a great place, chilled out music loads of local people, great drinks and cool food personally I prefer this bar to Mambo or Café del Mar.

 When you sit and look out to the sea you can see an island about 2 or 3 km of the coast it’s called Conejera. I was reading a great story about the island in the Pacha magazine

In 247 bc a great Carthaginian General called Hamilicar Barca brought his wife to this island from Carthage (now modern day Tunisia) to give birth. He did this because the Carthaginians were a very superstitious people and demanded special tributes even fro there most powerful families. They still practiced the art of child sacrifice and his first born ran the risk of being killed and offered to the god Moloch, the thinking at the time was that even though Hamilicar was a powerful and successful general it would be seen as arrogance on his behalf if he thought he could escape paying tribute to the gods.

So he sent his wife who was 8 months pregnant to Ibiza. To avoid being spotted the boat she was sent on did not land at Ibiza town but moored at the island of Conejera. The woman was taken to a cave in the rocks above a little cove. The cave was bedecked in red silk and heavily perfumed and on the night of her arrival she gave birth to a son. In tribute to his birth hundreds of African rabbits were released on the island.

The boy was called Hannibal one of the greatest generals to ever live. 

At 26 he became general in chief of the Carthaginian armies, leading them from Cadiz in Spain on a 5 month march through the Pyrenees and Alps with the help of war elephants to lead an audacious attack on Rome.. he kept an army in Italy for more than a decade never losing a battle although he could not force the Romans to accept his terms for peace.

Eventually a roman counter invasion of Africa forced him to return to Carthage. One famous historian referred to Hannibal as “the father of Strategy”. Wellington and Napoleon were both admirers of his strategic abilities. 

Hannibal was attributed with saying “We either find a way, or make one”

When Roman historians wrote about him they said "he never required others to do what he could and would not do himself"

In fact he left such a legacy that for years to come when ever disaster was close to Rome they would say "Hannibal ad portas" (“Hannibal is at the Gates!”)

In the end he did lose battles, he became a statesman and eventually committed suicide his last words were “ Let us now relieve the Romans of their fears by the death of a feeble old man”

And it all started on the island at the end of my road, the cove where he was born is now called Hannibal cove.

Check out more about Hannibal on wikipedia

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