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    247 – 183/182 BCE

    We were just sitting around, downing some beers, reading Sigmund Freud's "The Interpretation of Dreams" (you know, your usual weeknight), when the following passage made us choke on our Old Milwaukee:

    Hannibal had been the favorite hero of my later school days. [...] [W]hen in the higher classes I began to understand for the first time what it meant to belong to an alien race, and anti-Semitic feelings among the other boys warned me that I must take up a definite position, the figure of the Semitic general rose still higher in my esteem. To my youthful mind Hannibal and Rome symbolized the conflict between the tenacity of Jewry and the organization of the Catholic Church.

    Hannibal? Jewish symbol? Who are we to argue with Freud? After all, he nailed our Oedipal complex... (Did we say too much?) Let's see if we can figure this out.

    Hannibal, of course, was Carthaginian. He was from the famed Barcid family, which takes its name from the word "Barak", which is definitely Semitic. In fact, the Carthaginians were transplant Phoenicians, with roots in Canaan. And Canaan is located partly in modern-day Israel. So...

    So not much. Canaanites were not Jews. Canaanites and Hebrews definitely share common ancestry, they definitely are both Semitic (so Freud is right here), but that's as far as that goes.

    Oh well. Might as well get a towel to wipe off the beer stain. If only that Oedipal complex was fixed so easily...

    Verdict: Sadly, Not a Jew.

    May 31, 2012

    See Also

    Alexander the Great


    Sigmund Freud

    Judah Maccabee

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