As I began to tell you in the previous post (that you can read Here), there is a bunch of nice human beings who maintain that Hannibal Barca, the famous military strategist who crossed the Alps on an elephant with the praiseworthy goal of thrashing the Romans, wasn’t Carthaginian but an Ibiza native. Well, advocates of this daring theory are divided into two sub-groups: the very daring ones, who say that the boy was born in Ibiza by mere sea-climatic chance, and the very very very daring ones who maintain that the boy wasn’t born here by a dirty trick of chance, but because his whole family, all together now, was payesa (peasant). This second version will be our focus today and it goes as follows:
The Barca family had been living in Ibiza for a fucking long time, so long that when their ancestors walked along the isle for the first time disco DC-10 was called DC-VII (I know, this is a very shabby joke but this shit is stronger than me…. It won’t happen again).
Well, as I was saying, Hamilcar Barca, the head of the family, was rolling in it, and as a sign of his wealth he had built an indecent “Can Soplón” (Big House) with solarium, terrarium and a huge infinity pool included. Though he declared that all his fortune came from his glorious years in charge of the Carthaginian army, according to gossip Hamilcar was not trustworthy and all his money was due to the good luck of the fool son.
According to this theory, in years past, when a man was about to die and was preparing his will, it was common that he left the inner lands, the most fertile and nourishing, to his most intelligent and beloved son. The fool son, for his part, had to comply with the lands next to the beach, dry and waste. But the always humorous fate wanted that, with the tourist boom, the lands next to the beach were the ones that became more expensive, and this is the reason why it’s said that in coastal areas the rich sons are the fool ones.
I don’t know if Hamilcar Barca was a very clever or a very fool son, but the truth is that the guy owned any beach in En Bossa, from the Hard-rockum Hotelae to the Bora Borum (Shit, I’ve done it again… Shabby humour, get out of this body!!!!). Well, to sum it up, the guy was wrapped in sesterces and life and all smiled upon him, even more in the spring of 247 BC when his wife told him they were pregnant with their first child, whom they would call Hannibal. Nonetheless, there was a little socio-political detail that didn’t let the family sleep like a log.
A terrible drought was beating the Mediterranean, and the mob was demanding their rulers for urgent measures to end with that situation. The politicians at the time, much more intelligent and even reasonable than contemporary ones, quickly found a democratic and sensible answer to the problem: to cut the throat of the first-born boy of the wealthy families. According to all the Government consultants, this blood sacrifice would make all the gods become very happy and as a token of gratitude they would make the longed-for rain come back.
But the hardened Hamilcar Barca, despite being a convinced democrat, was not very willing to let them kill his son, so, when his wife was about to give birth they got into a boat and got away to the island of Sa Conillera (in the northwest of Ibiza coast). And there, in a cold cave, Hannibal was born.
The following months were very troubled because the wealthy families began to protest against the savage measure developed by the government to put the drought to an end. Politicians soon admitted their mistake and, after declaring that the sacrifice of rich boys was unconstitutional and savage, they decided to replace this measure by another one which was more sensible and human: to sacrifice the first-born boys of the slaves.
This measure caused the return of the Barca family to Ibiza and made it possible that the young Hannibal grew up strong and healthy, and later he could conquer half Europe by force.
Translation: Dora Sales
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