I respect the ancient general Hannibal Barca. After writing four research papers on the man, including my final paper in my senior seminar, I feel I know him better than most people. Considering the only material about him comes from the histories of his enemies, the Romans, all information about him has to be looked at through the lens of those people. They praised him as the one man who came closest to bringing their nation to ruin, so that's saying something. He brought men of all cultures, classes, and backgrounds into his army, and forged a fighting force that operated efficiently and with deadly capability despite the numerous languages spoken. He was a leader in an age when leading meant you were in the front of the battle, into combat first--he was a highly accomplished and deadly combatant as well as a brilliant general. And, most importantly, he lived his life with honor. He fought to guarantee the freedom of his own land, not for glory or riches or power. He freed allies of the Romans after capturing them in battle, telling them that he had no quarrel with them, only with the country that sought to hold his own under their thumb. And while he gave enemy leaders no easier time in combat, he did give them the full respect and burial they deserved as leaders of their nations. He is the kind of leader we rarely see anymore in this world.