Abram Petrovich, Gannibal, also Hannibal or Ganibal, or Abram Hannibal or Abram Petrov was a Russian military engineer, general-in-chief, and nobleman of East African origin. Kidnapped and enslaved as a child by Ottomans, Gannibal was traded to Russia and presented as a gift to Peter the Great, where he was freed, adopted and raised in the Emperor’s court household as his godson.
He was the son of a minor “prince” or chief whose capital was Mareb River (now part of present-day Sudan). His father was relatively affluent, owning many slaves both inherited and taken in battle. He had several wives and 19 children. However, after his father died in battle trying to defend his territory from the Ottoman Turks trying to enslave the population, Abram was captured and taken to Constantinople by ship.
Abram Petrovich Gannibal : However, Hannibal’s most outstanding achievements were his contributions to the field of military engineering. He was responsible for securing the boundary line between Russia and Sweden and was appointed to inspect the forts of Russia. He was also instrumental in the construction of several fortresses and the design of military equipment.
In 1721, Peter the Great died, and his daughter Catherine took the throne. Hannibal, who had become Peter’s close friend and advisor, fell out of favor with the new ruler and was exiled to Siberia. He remained there for several years but was eventually allowed to return to St. Petersburg in 1730.
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