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Hannibal – tekijä: Ernie Bradford
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Hannibal (1981)

– tekijä: Ernie Bradford (Tekijä), Kenneth McLeish (Johdanto)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
316561,343 (3.95)1
Hannibal had long known his fate should the Romans ever lay hands upon him. He had taken an army right through Spain and into what is now France, crossed the Alps (at a time of year when no one believed it possible), and invaded Italy. Then, for 15 years, he used the country as his battlefield and his home, destroying Roman armies with an almost contemptuous ease. For centuries after his death, Roman mothers would frighten their children into behaving by telling them: Hannibal is at the Gates… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:oldie1730
Teoksen nimi:Hannibal
Kirjailijat:Ernie Bradford (Tekijä)
Muut tekijät:Kenneth McLeish (Johdanto)
Info:London: Folio Society, 1998, c1991
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):
Avainsanoja:Folio Society, Hannibal, Bio, History, Ancient, Europe

Teoksen tarkat tiedot

Hannibal (tekijä: Ernle Bradford) (1981)

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näyttää 5/5
Mostly a retelling of Livy, Polybius and Arrian. Author Ernle Bradford comments that very little is known about Hannibal as a person; he married a Spanish woman; he might or might not have had a child by her; other than that, his personal life seems a blank. He was, of course, an outstanding military tactician, probably the best in the ancient world; but he was thwarted by the stubbornness of the Romans; no matter how many consular armies he defeated Rome refused to ask for terms and he didn’t have and couldn’t get the siege equipment necessary for taking a fortified town.

The writing is workmanlike and the book is an easy read; however, there are no maps or other illustrations, no footnotes or endnotes, and only a sparse bibliography of mostly older books. ( )
2 ääni setnahkt | Apr 19, 2018 |
Well written, concise account of the Second Punic War, with emphasis upon the great Carthaginian general Hannibal Barca. The author provides a fairly standard account, starting with the First Punic War involving Hannibal's father- which most agree was the driving force for the Second War decades later.

The author wisely bases his account upon the two preeminent historians as to this war- the Polybius (a Greek) and Livy (a Roman writing about two centuries later).

My only suggestion is that more (and better) maps would be very helpful. ( )
  la2bkk | Jul 29, 2014 |
Excellent read! This really heightens the interest for the subject. Livy is next! ( )
  untraveller | Jan 30, 2014 |
Hannibal ad portas!

Translation from Latin, "Hannibal is at the gates!" An expression used by Roman parents to frighten their children into obedience.

*****

Hannibal was born six years before the end of the First Punic War to a distinguished Carthaginian family, the Barcas (a name that means "Thunderbolt" in the Punic tongue). The first Punic War is a war which saw the mercantile city Carthage humbled by the fledgling Roman Republic for control of the northern and western Mediterranean. The year of Hannibal's birth, his father, Hamilcar, was appointed the commander of all Carthaginian sea and land forces. Three years after Carthage's defeat, Hamilcar would make Hannibal swear on a sacrifice made at the altar of their god, Melqart, the god of the city, to never be a friend to the Romans.

Boy howdy.

Hamilcar, having lost most all of Carthage's colonies to the Romans, set about establishing new ones on the Iberian peninsula, what is today Spain. After Hamilcar was killed in battle, command fell to Hannibal's brother-in-law, Hasdrubal, who would consolidate Carthaginian gains but not without pissing off a few people and getting himself assassinated. After his assassination, command fell to Hannibal. Soon thereafter, Rome took notice of the growing strength of Carthage's Iberian enterprise and violated the conditions of a treaty agreed upon by the two powers. In less than a year, the Second Punic War was underway.

Hannibal would march his army, audaciously, across the Alps and draw enemies of Rome to his cause. His first real battle with the Romans would be near the river Trebia against the appropriately haughtily named consuls Polybius Cornelius Scipio and Tiberius Sempronius. A Roman consul was, at that time, elected to a term of one year and in command of two legions; when two consuls fought together, they shared command of the combined army. This democratic arrangement, when confronted with the decisive military command of one person, particularly a military genius the likes of Hannibal, proved fatal. Well, perhaps this confused command structure along with Roman insolence would be fatal at Trebia: Hannibal's army would savage them. True to the political nature of a Roman consul, Sempronius would work to spin the loss, reporting back to Rome that the weather had been against him.

Two new consuls, Gaius Flaminius and Gnaeus Servilius, were elected in Rome to meet the Carthaginian menace and Hannibal would winter in northern Italy. Come spring, he would move his army south and lose an eye to infection. Arriving in Tuscany, Hannibal would allow his soldiers to plunder the countryside in the belief that the Romans could not stand such an affront. He was right. Flaminius acted against orders from Rome and the advice of his senior officers and set out to confront Hannibal. On a plain called Trasimene, fifteen thousand Roman legionnaires would fall, while Hannibal would only lose fifteen hundred soldiers. He would pillage Italy further and incite cities to revolt against Rome.

Intent on expelling Hannibal from Roman soil, Rome would raise an unprecedented army of eight legions. Combined with a number of allies, they fielded some eighty thousand men and six thousand calvary to confront Hannibal's army of forty thousand men and ten thousand calvary. However, while the Romans may have outnumbered their opponents by nearly two-to-one, the typical Roman legionnaire in this hastily formed army was a novice, while the typical soldier under Hannibal was a steely veteran. Near the Roman city of Cannae, some seventy thousand Romans would die, among them four Roman consuls, eight senators, two state treasurers and twenty-nine military tribunes; in effect, the flower of the Republic. Nothing stood between Hannibal's army and Rome. When news of the defeat reached the capital and its implications were fully digested by the citizenry, they would go full Tea Party, going so far as to make human sacrifice in an appeal to Providence to spare them from the wrath of the invader. But it wasn't Providence that saved them, it was the lack of foresight by their would-be conqueror: Hannibal was not equipped to lay siege.

The resiliency of the Roman Republic would prove to be Hannibal's undoing. Operating from the orthodox political perspective of the time, he believed that a decisive battlefield victory would force Rome to capitulate. It never did, and he would never again enjoy a victory on the scale of Cannae. By implementing a larger strategy of guerilla warfare and ruthlessly reclaiming wayward cities, Rome would isolate Hannibal. Never beaten on the battlefield, he would essentially be starved. The Romans would drive the Carthaginians from Spain, kill Hannibal's brother and throw his severed head into the invader's camp. Having lost his veteran troops, he is summoned back to Carthage some sixteen years after invading Italy because the Romans had taken the fight to the Carthaginian homeland. Ironically, the son of one of his first opponents, Scipio, who had survived previous battles with Rome's famous antagonist and learned from them, defeats him. Hannibal is allowed to rule Carthage for a few years in order to pay tribute to Rome, is banished as a result of various intrigues, offers his services to anyone foolish enough to stand against Rome, and takes poison at the age of sixty-four in a final act of defiance against the Roman agents who are poised to capture him. Meanwhile, Rome adopts many of the tactics used by Hannibal, pacifies the known world and has served as a case study in imperialism for the West ever since. ( )
  KidSisyphus | Apr 5, 2013 |
Pretty good biography of a fascinating figure. Author only uses Roman sources, but tries his best to balance their interpretations. Could have used a little more detail with the famous battles (and some better maps) but still a fairly interesting book. ( )
  HadriantheBlind | Mar 30, 2013 |
näyttää 5/5
ei arvosteluja | lisää arvostelu

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For Kenneth McLeish 1940-1997 with our thanks
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Preface -- DEATH IN EXILE -- Hannibal was sixty-four when he committed suicide in Bithynia.
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (1)

Hannibal had long known his fate should the Romans ever lay hands upon him. He had taken an army right through Spain and into what is now France, crossed the Alps (at a time of year when no one believed it possible), and invaded Italy. Then, for 15 years, he used the country as his battlefield and his home, destroying Roman armies with an almost contemptuous ease. For centuries after his death, Roman mothers would frighten their children into behaving by telling them: Hannibal is at the Gates

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