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The Death of Carthage Hardcover – December 6, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robin E. Levin inherited her interest in ancient Rome from her mother. She has a BA in anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley and is a clinical laboratory scientist at a laboratory in Alameda, California. She presently lives in San Francisco with her dog and cat. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Trafford Publishing (December 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 142699608X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1426996085
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,651,072 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I, Robin Levin, have recently published my first book, The Death of Carthage, an historical novel covering the second and third Punic wars between Rome and Carthage which took place during the third and second centuries B.C. and resulted in the complete destruction of the great civilization of Carthage.
I was born in Baltimore MD in 1949 but have lived in California since 1957. I have lived most of my adult live in San Francisco. I graduated from U.C. Berkeley in 1971 with an A.B. degree in anthropology and Zoology. I make my living as a clinical laboratory scientist specializing in lipids. I presently work for Quest Diagnostics. I am happily divorced and have one adult daughter.
I developed a passion for ancient history at an early age. I recall that it was my favorite subject in junior high school. I owe some of this passion to the influence of my Mother who was a devoted fan of the Masterpiece Theater productions of I Claudius and Claudius the God. She was also an avid reader of Colleen McCullough's excellent series of historical fictions novels of Rome, starting with First Man in Rome an ending with The October Horse.
I was inspired to write The Death of Carthage after reading Ab Urbe Condita,
Titus Livius' history of Rome. His account of the second Punic war was so fascinating to me that it seemed to cry out for novelization. Although historical fiction has always been my favorite literary genre, I have never encountered a book that dealt with the Punic wars and I felt a strong obligation to attempt to fill this niche.

Customer Reviews

Robin Levin does an excellent job of blending real historical figures with the fictional ones in an engaging an interesting way.
B. N. Peacock
Set during the second and third Punic wars between Rome and Carthage, the story engages the reader in both the ordinary lives and political intrigues of the times.
Sherrie Seibert Goff
I believe that is why Robin Levin chose to repeat the same history and story elements through the words of each of the main characters in her book.
Alex Johnston

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alex Johnston on August 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Good historical fiction is a two-fer. You can get the facts by reading Polybius and Livy. But you need a Robin Levin to introduce you to Marcus Nemo Nemonides (Marcus Nobody, son of Nobody) - I just love that name!

Yep - you get to have fun and learn something in the bargain with good historical fiction, and The Death of Carthage meets both criteria in spades. Robin Levin has a way of making the history stick - even mundane history. We've all heard that slaves were flogged. But listening to the slave overseer Nicander describe to the new slave Enneas how and under what circumstances that punishment would be imposed brought to my mind any number of new employee orientation meetings that I have sat through.

Those infernal Romans with their perverse naming conventions (and the Carthaginians were even worse!) make following this history difficult, no doubt. "Uh, excuse me, but exactly which Scipio or Hasdrubal were we referring to?" I believe that is why Robin Levin chose to repeat the same history and story elements through the words of each of the main characters in her book. It might have been more effective if she had varied the language just a bit more, but overall I found the technique to be a good one - Robin Levin does not just want to give you the history - she wants to make it stick.

The depiction of a group of slaves and ex-slaves forming their own little oasis of humanity in the midst of a violent world offers hope for the future. "Papa's funeral" epitomized this depiction and showed the love and respect that an ordinary, good person can garner in the midst of a world ruled by glory and power-driven masters of the universe, and also the positive impact that such a person can have on the lives of others.

Informative, funny, and human - good stuff! I recommend it. And Carthage must be destroyed!

- Alex Johnston
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alex C. Telander on January 30, 2013
Format: Paperback
Fans of historical fiction on the history and events of ancient Rome will find plenty to enjoy in Robin E. Levin's The Death of Carthage. The author has clearly done her research, filling the pages with crucial details of this past world that does a great job of immersing the reader in the time period and making them feel like they are really there.

The book is set during the time of the Second and Third Punic wars between Rome and the battle-hardened Carthage, divided into three separate stories. The first, "Carthage Must be Destroyed," is told in the first person from the viewpoint of Lucius Tullius Varro, who finds himself joining the Roman cavalry, serving in Spain under Scipio and playing a main part in the Second Punic war. The second story, "Captivus," is told by Enneus, Lucius's first cousin, who finds himself captured by Hannibal's general, Maharbal, and after a terrible Roman defeat, must now fight to stay alive. In the final story, The Death of Carthage, told from the viewpoint of Enneus's son, Ectorius, is serving as a translator who plays witness to the definite and final end of Carthage.

The Death of Carthage is stiff at times, and lacking in character growth and development, as things just happen for the characters, as opposed to emotions and experiences coloring the story; at times the story feels like a history book. Nevertheless, the details are there to truly entrance the reader and make them remember this incredible time in the history of the world.

Originally written on June 27, 2012 ©Alex C. Telander.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Fordham3Elle on February 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
Robin E. Levin's Death of Carthage is a gem for any history buff. The author's obvious love for the time period shines as she faithfully recreates life in ancient Rome and its territories during the Second Punic War. Lucius, his cousin Enneas, and Enneas's son Ectorius are caught up in the generations long war against Rome's rival city, Carthage. Yet these are no brute warriors; the protagonists have a rare sensitivity which puts them at odds with their fellow soldiers and countrymen, yet they must acquit themselves according to Roman notions of honor on the battlefield.

The book is divided into three parts, and spans Roman campaigns in Hispania, captivity and slavery in Achaea (Greece), and ultimately, the downfall of Carthage, seen briefly through the sympathetic eyes of one Gillimas, a Carthaginian boy of twelve rescued from the slave market.

Though the story at times repeats the same events, the author's eye for historical detail is the treat here. She's done the research, and it shows; readers come away in equal measures enlightened and entertained.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sherrie Seibert Goff on June 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Robin E. Levin's novel is a well-researched treat for history lovers. Set during the second and third Punic wars between Rome and Carthage, the story engages the reader in both the ordinary lives and political intrigues of the times. Lucius, his cousin Ennius, and Ennius' son Ectorius are caught up in a generations-long war against Rome's rival city, Carthage.

Throughout the narrative, the author interweaves quotes from real historical figures to provide historical authenticity. As three generations pass, the final Punic War ends with the genocide and enslavement of the Carthaginian people, thus extinguishing forever the Carthaginian civilization. The author bears witness to the moral decline of Rome during this period when Rome moves away from principles of "just wars" and "good faith" and becomes more likely to annihilate than to subjugate. Cato, Scipio, Hannibal and Polybius are portrayed alongside the fictional characters who tell the tale.

PART ONE - CARTHAGE MUST BE DESTROYED: The story begins, told in first person, from the viewpoint of Lucius Tullius Varro, who joins the Roman cavalry and serves in Spain under Scipio during the Second Punic war. Lucius' talents as a horseman and a linguist win him the attention of Scipio Africanus. Sent to gather intelligence for the Romans in Spain while Hannibal rages in Italy, Lucius grows to appreciate the Hispanic people. His account reads like a personal journal of his private life as well as a treatise on the public events and famous men of his day. He lives through the Roman campaigns in Hispania, and returns in triumph with Scipio to Rome.
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