Question: Was Hannibal Black?
Hannibal came from northern Africa, from a Carthaginian family. The Carthaginians were Phoenicians
, which means that we would conventionally describe them as a Semitic people, not south African. The term Black in modern usage in the U.S. means something different from what the common Latin adjective for black (niger
) would mean. Frank M. Snowden explains this in his article "Misconceptions about African Blacks in the Ancient Mediterranean World: Specialists and Afrocentrists" (Frank M. Snowden Jr.; Arion
Third Series, Vol. 4, No. 3 (Winter, 1997), pp. 28-50). Compared with a Mediterranean person, someone from Scythia or Ireland was noticeably white and someone from Africa was noticeably black. Generally, to depict someone we would think of as African "Black," a Roman would use the term Ethiopian to describe the appearance of a (sun) burned face -- not the nation we call Ethiopia. In Egypt, as in other areas of northern Africa, there were other colors that could be used to describe complexions. There was also a good deal of intermarriage between the lighter skinned people in northern Africa and the darker skinned people called Ethiopians or Nubians. Hannibal may have been darker skinned than a Roman, but he would not have been described as Ethiopian.
If you want more information on the use of color terms for describing people in the Greek and Roman world, see Racism and Anti-Racism in World Perspective, by Benjamin P. Bowser.