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Translated by Aubrey de Selincourt and Edited with an Introduction by Betty Radice
Introduction Book XXI Book XXII Book XXIII Book XXIV Book XXV Book XXVI Book XXVII Book XXVIII Book XXIX Book XXX Maps Chronological Index Index
Posted August 18, 2005
Livy's remaining books present the most readable and interesting accounts of Rome. In reply to the other review, the descripions of the political offices can be found in his first five books.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 11, 2005
This book was orginally written by Livy (around the time of Christ) and translated into modern English by Aubrey de Selincourt. This is the classic account of the war as described by one of Rome's great patriotic (but occasionally factually-questionable) historians. Livy describes the background to war as the continuance of an old feud carried on by Hannibal. Starting with the sack of Saguntum, Hannibal then crosses the Alps to descend into northern Italy, taking the war to Roman territory. His bold and energetic tactics unhinge the Roman commanders and the armies that come to stop him. Hannibal is literally unstoppable as he wins an impressive string of victories at the Ticinus, the Trebia, Lake Trasimene, and finally Cannae. He doesn't just defeat whole consular Roman armies - he annihilates them and their leaders. No Roman force dares meet Hannibal's army in open battle, so Rome once again resorts Consul Fabius' old strategy of shadowing Hannibal to limit his troops' freedom to forage and plunder. As the Roman-allied cities of southern Italy switch their allegiance to Hannibal, the future never looks darker for the Rome. However, Rome's robust republican spirit and organization rise to the challenge as the Roman people and their loyal allies refuse to concede defeat. Instead, they rebuild their shattered armies, time and time again, and discover many great new leaders, such as Fabius, Marcellus, Livius, Nero, Metullus, Gracchus, Cornelius Scipio, Gnaeius Scipio, Laelius, and Scipio Africanus. Scipio Africanus finally defeats the great Hannibal himself at the Battle of Zama almost 20 years after the war began. Rome victoriously emerges from the conflict strengthened in every way - militarily, economically, morally, diplomatically - and with a host of successful young leaders. At this point in its history, Rome's historical greatness becomes almost inevitable. This is a good campaign history of the war. The book focuses on policy, leadership, and the movement of the Roman and Carthaginian armies. The descriptions of actual battle are relatively short. It is organized chronologically by year (from 219 BC to 201 BC) and then by theatre (Italy, Sicily, Sardinia, Spain, Africa, Greece). Livy gives a brief annual account of each theatre's significant actions. He also describes the annual election of Roman officials and names each of them, as well as tiring lists of superstitious portents. Although the campaign history uses a rather plain style, Livy writes up dramatic and fiery speeches for his key protagonists, imagining what rhetoric they might have used to motivate their troops before battle.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 18, 2004
I am enjoying this rather large book. I do miss a list of explanations of what the various offices are that the ancient Rome Empire had: tribunes, consuls, curules, etc. Footnotes can be ignored if I just want to read it through but their being there gives me the choice as to whether I read some of them or not. I find myself reading during the commercialson tv.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.