Hannibal Barca was a Carthaginian general, considered one of the greatest military commanders in history. His father Hamilcar Barca was the leading Carthaginian commander during the First Punic War. His younger brothers were Mago and Hasdrubal, and he was brother-in-law to Hasdrubal the Fair. Hannibal lived during a period of great tension in the western Mediterranean Basin when the Roman Republic established its supremacy over great powers such as ancient Carthage, the Etruscans, Samnites and the Greek king of Syracuse. One of his most famous achievements was the outbreak of the Second Punic War when he marched an army which included war elephants from Iberia over the Pyrenees and the Alps into Italy. In his first few years in Italy, he won three dramatic victories - the Trebia, Lake Trasimene, and Cannae, in which he distinguished himself for his ability to determine his and his opponents' respective strengths and weaknesses, and to plan the battle accordingly - and won over many allies of Rome. Hannibal occupied much of Italy for 15 years but was unable to march on Rome. An enemy counter-invasion of Nort Africa forced him to return to Carthage, where he was decisively defeated by Scipio Africanus at the Battle of Zama.