The War with Hannibal

( 3 )

Overview

It is Livy (59 BC-AD 17) who re-creates for us in vivid detail the terrible events of the Second Punic War, down to the Battle of Zama (202 BC). It is Livy who shows us the immense armies of Hannibal, elephants and all, crossing the Alps (still regarded as a near-miraculous feat by historians), the panic as Hannibal approached the gates of Rome, the decimation of the Roman army in thick fog at the Battle of Lake Trasimene. But, above all, it is the clash of personalities that fascinate him: the great debates in ...
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Overview

It is Livy (59 BC-AD 17) who re-creates for us in vivid detail the terrible events of the Second Punic War, down to the Battle of Zama (202 BC). It is Livy who shows us the immense armies of Hannibal, elephants and all, crossing the Alps (still regarded as a near-miraculous feat by historians), the panic as Hannibal approached the gates of Rome, the decimation of the Roman army in thick fog at the Battle of Lake Trasimene. But, above all, it is the clash of personalities that fascinate him: the great debates in the Senate, the series of Roman generals who prove no match for Hannibal, the historic meeting between Scipio and Hannibal before the decisive battle. Livy never hesitated to introduce drama and moral lessons into his History of Rome; in the ten books dealing with the war with Hannibal, he had an immense theme worthy of his immense talents.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140441451
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/28/1965
  • Series: Penguin Classics Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 712
  • Sales rank: 197,772
  • Product dimensions: 5.16 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 1.29 (d)

Table of Contents

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

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2005

    A great book.

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2005

    Classic account of Rome's epic struggle against Carthage

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2004

    Readable, interesting.

    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.

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