Hannibal Crosses The Alps

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Overview

When he left his Spanish base one spring day in 218 B.C. with his 100,000-man army of mercenaries, officers, and elephants, Hannibal was launching not just the main offensive of the Second Punic War but also one of the great military journeys in ancient history. His masterful advance through rough terrain and fierce Celtic tribes proved his worth as a leader, but it was his extraordinary passage through the Alps—still considered treacherous even by modern climbers—that made him a legend. John Prevas combines ...

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Hannibal Crosses The Alps: The Invasion Of Italy And The Punic Wars

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Overview

When he left his Spanish base one spring day in 218 B.C. with his 100,000-man army of mercenaries, officers, and elephants, Hannibal was launching not just the main offensive of the Second Punic War but also one of the great military journeys in ancient history. His masterful advance through rough terrain and fierce Celtic tribes proved his worth as a leader, but it was his extraordinary passage through the Alps—still considered treacherous even by modern climbers—that made him a legend. John Prevas combines rigorous research of ancient sources with his own excursions through the icy peaks to bring to life this awesome trek, solving the centuries-old question of Hannibal's exact route and shedding fresh light on the cultures of Rome and Carthage along the way. Here is the finest kind of history, sure to appeal to readers of Steven Pressfield's Gates of Fire: alive with grand strategy, the clash of empires, fabulous courage, and the towering figure of Hannibal Barca.

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Editorial Reviews

Forbes Magazine
More than two thousand years after the event, Hannibal's epic offensive against Rome still stirs our imaginations. His exact invasion route from Spain, then a colony of Carthage, to Italy via the Alps, has long been a source of controversy. Historian-cum-Alpinist John Prevas settles the issue once and for all. Armed with Polybius' and Livy's ancient histories of the Punic Wars between Rome and Carthage, Prevas trekked around the Alps and elsewhere for six summers. (10 Jan 2005)
—Steve Forbes
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780306810701
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 8/27/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 260
  • Sales rank: 657,164
  • Product dimensions: 0.59 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

John Prevas, writer and adventurer, holds degrees in history, political science, psychology, and forensics and has taught the classics for the last fifteen years. He is the author of Hannibal Crosses the Alps and Xenophon's March. He lives in Florida.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2006

    The Sagacious, Volatile Hannibal Barca

    In the Western Mediterranean there were two leviathanesque, behomethesque demarcations and their multitudinous, multifarious conglomerations of suzerainties with their assimilation of exports and imports or mercantalism the suzerains of Corsica and Sardinia of Rome being an echelon or an enfilading asymptote of quincuncialis as a circumvallation, contravallation against the Carthaginian domicil. Such were the machinations and contrivances that led to the grotesque, chitinous, truculent peregrinations of the Second Punic War: (219B.C to 202B.C), when both the autarchies of Rome and Carthage promulgated with such vituperative and medacious loquacity for warfare. The Phoenician thalassocracy consisted of hemolias, triremes, pentekonters, quinquerimes and juggernauts, with helepoli, xylokastrons, oxybeli and katapeltai as the poliorcetics, (the Byzantine thalassocracy would undergo a vicissitude or chimerical with the dromon and of its syphonopho-rami that would abjurate Sassanian, Moorish, Berber, Ostrogothic and Vandal hastati, kontarions and phalanxes). The stratagems of the ships would rely on a phalanx stratagem with the svynfyldking, cuneus, othismos or frontal assualt- the frontal assualt being a triangle with a zenith and nadir all in the azimuthal or quincuncialis. The centroid or barycenter divulging the equilibrium to hyperplanes further subdivided into codimensions with all enfilading asymptotes intersecting at the symmedian or the trilinear coordinates of (Xa,Ya), (Xb,Yb),(XcYc) and thus the equilibrium of 1/3 (Xa,Xb,Xc),(Ya,Yb,Yc) = 1/3 (Xa,Ya) + 1/3 (Xb,Yb) + 1/3 (Xc,Yc), and the oblique advance or echelon to divulge the enfilading asymptote and a cantabrian,touman to double envelop the prosentaxeis in order to divulge the equilibrium and thus the stratagems of periplous, diekplous, kuklos or of the vertiginous. Accordingly, the synopsis of the maximations and principles of warfare included consolidation of multitudinous, multifarious contingents and martial prowess or perfidiousness, pertinaciousness, pervicaciousness, obstreporousness and propitiousness victualling of field maniples and cohorts concentration of phalanxes, triplex aceis, conglomerations at the decisive point expidient surreptitious consolidation of victory through immediate pursuit and consolidation of secure logistics and communications. Hannibal Barca was propitious for one decisive, climactic battle that would subjugate and abjurate the Roman equilibrium of its autarchy or domicil and its conglomeration of suzerainties at poliorcetics he was pusillanimous and innocuous in such somniferous dispositions, with the circumvallation as a cantabrian to the besieged castrametation, and a contravallation to vanguard against the relieving contingents to limit assimilation and to prevent a circumvent of the asymptote or enfilading phalanxes. The Romans could afford to indulge in their libidinous, voluptuous stratagem of attrition to dissaprove of dissimilation with a constant assimilation against the miniscule Phoenician contingents as comparable to the brobdinagian, behomethesque Roman contingents. At the zenith of the truculent warfare was the battle of Cannae: (216B.C). The Phoenician contingents consisted of the Hellenistic sarissophoroi phalanx composed of the hastati or kontarion, synapism or 9000 hoplomachi, taxeis or one-sixth the synapism, syntagma or a tetrarchia of 64 hoplomachi and the lochoi or contubernium. Included were nominal chiliarchs of a contingent of 1000 hoplomachi: the hastati asymptote, a tetrarchia of asymptotes contrasting to 650 skutatoi and a triumvirate of asymptotes contrasting to 350 toxotai. The hippikons were hipparchies which were divulged into a tetrarchia of four phalanxes or ilai. The Romans consisted of two soldier appellations: the comitatenses or the field cohorts, each led by the hastatus posterior, hastatus

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2011

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