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Hannibal was the son of the King of Carthage, Hamilcar Barca.
During the First Punic War, in which Hamilcar fought the Roman Empire for control of Sicily, the king told his son, Hannibal, to swear to hate and fight the Roman empire. So after his father’s death, Hannibal was brought up by his uncle, Hasdrubal. When he was old enough, Hannibal became the general of the Carthaginian forces in Spain, a colony of Carthage. When his uncle died, Hannibal took control of the Carthaginian empire.
There was a city called Saguntum, a powerful city that had allied itself with Rome, that in the middle of Carthaginian territory in Spain. This city was very proud when diplomats from Sagunutm visited Carthage, on their return trip home, they harassed the North African tribes, which were allies with Carthage.
And so Hannibal declared war on Saguntum and Rome declared war on Carthage, starting the Second Punic War.
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