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The War with Hannibal: The History of Rome from its Foundation Books 21-30: The History of Rome from Its Foundation Bks. 21-30 (Classics) [Kindle Edition]

Titus Livy , Betty Radice , Aubrey Selincourt
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In The War with Hannibal, Livy (59 BC-AD 17) chronicles the events of the Second Punic War between Rome and Carthage, until the Battle of Zama in 202 BC. He vividly recreates the immense armies of Hannibal, complete with elephants, crossing the Alps; the panic as they approached the gates of Rome; and the decimation of the Roman army at the Battle of Lake Trasimene. Yet it is also the clash of personalities that fascinates Livy, from great debates in the Senate to the historic meeting between Scipio and Hannibal before the decisive battle. Livy never hesitates to introduce both intense drama and moral lessons into his work, and here he brings a turbulent episode in history powerfully to life.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Titus Livius (59BC-AD17) began working on his History of Rome at the age of 30 and continued for over 40 years until his death. The history ran to 142 books, of which 35 survive. Aubrey de Selincourt (1896-1962) translated Livy, Heroditus, and Arrian for Penguin Classics. Betty Radice was joint editor of the Penguin Classics and an honorary fellow at St Hilda's College, Oxford. She died in 1985.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3974 KB
  • Print Length: 722 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Impression edition (September 30, 2004)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00358VI0A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #141,439 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a deed of dreadful note June 3, 2001
I have just finished reading The War With Hannibal, and I must say that not only is it a masterpiece, but it is one of the books I most enjoyed reading. I had never read Livy before and this was a great discovery for me. Although it was written about two thousand years ago, this book is as engaging and appealing as if it had been written today. It is important, however, to make some points clear if you are not acquainted with Livy or other similar classical writers. First, this extense history of the Second Punic War is not history in the modern, scientific sense of this word. It is not a methodic, systematic and objective approach what you will find here: some parts are conjectural, some are simply invented. Throughout his account Livy inserts his political opinions and he is, of course, partial to the Romans. These is not being critical, because we can't judge Livy by our own, contemporary, cultural standards, but just something you should know before reading the book. Second, this is not a social or an economic history but basically a military history of the war with Hannibal. Livy focuses on the description of battles and sieges, on logistics like the movement of armies or the getting of supplies and on the commanders and the tactics employed. If this interests you, you should not hestitate to read it. With the ability of the best novelists, Livy constructs a wonderful narration of events, which never slackens its pace and is always interesting and entertainig. His descriptions of battles is vivid and some passages are full of tension and suspense. As an analyst, Livy is weaker than in his descriptions. His opinions, however, are highly lucid and you can see the influence his thought had upon Machiavelli, for instance when he speaks of the dangers of using armies made up of mercenary soldiers. This Penguin Classics' edition is very good and De Selincourt's translation is superb. I give this book the highest possible rating.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great History By A Great Historian October 28, 2000
By any measure, the Second Punic War is one of the most fascinating episodes in history. The audacious invasion of Italy through the Alps (imagine leading elephants through the Alps on foot trails), Rome's defeat at Cannae, The delaying strategy of Fabius Maximus that kept Rome alive while it rebuilt its strength, and Rome's ultimate victory are extraordinary.
Livy gives a lively and detailed account. True, this isn't an eyewitness account. He borrowed liberally from Polybius. He also must have had other sources that are long since lost, however, so his telling is his own. He also is known for being pro-Roman. His respect for Hannibal's accomplishments comes through clearly in his narrative, though, and he has no reason to belittle Hannibal or what Hannibal did. It would only belittle the Roman accomplishment in ultimately defeating a formidable foe. Moreover, Livy wrote for a Roman audience familiar with the story, so he must make his work as dramatic as tha material permits.
All in all, this is a great story recorded by a consummate historian. It makes for a very interesting and informative read. I recommend it highly.
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35 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest stories in world history November 21, 2001
By Russael
The great Roman historian Livy tells a story as interesting as that of the American Civil War. The Second Punic War was a great crisis in Roman history. This book starts with the uneasy peace after the First Punic War between Rome and Carthage. Rome won that war. Carthage swore revenge, and Hannibal devoted his life to conquering his bitter enemy. He invaded Italy via Rome and the Alps with his elephants. No Roman army could stay in the field against his Carthaginians. A Roman consul named Fabius persuaded the Romans not to give battle, and for twenty years Hannibal roamed wherever he liked in Italy. But he wasn't strong enough to capture Rome, and there were Roman generals such as Marcellus who were able to defeat him partially. Meanwhile in Spain a young Roman general whose father and uncle had been killed by Hannibal devoted his life to defeating Hannibal. But not by fighting Hannibal in Italy. Rather, by first conquering Spain, then invading Africa, so Hannibal had to depart Italy, as it turned out forever, to defend his homeland. In Africa, at Zama, Scipio Africanus defeated Hannibal. Scipio became the first of the great Romans who broke the mould of the Republican conventions. His family was instrumental in bringing Greek culture to Italy. Was this good for Rome? It was inevitable. The historian Livy wrote in the times of Augustus, about the time of Christ. Livy is not considered the best of historians, he's more interested in gripping narrative than in careful checking of sources. He writes in the annalistic format, that is, one year at a time. Livy wrote two hundred years after the events; it'd be like a modern historian describing the American Revolution. But he is Roman, and the flavor he imparts to events is very different from that of a modern day historian. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in thrilling history or in Rome.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much scarier than Anthony Hopkins! October 13, 2003
Popular histories really are sooooo popular nowadays, but few people realise that they have a tradition going back to Ancient Roman times. Mr Livy wrote his masterpiece around 25AD, about 250 years after the Roman Republic was very nearly destroyed by its most serious rival, the city of Carthage, located on the Northern African coast near modern day Tunis. This, the Second Punic War, lasted about 15 years, cost the Ancient World countless lives, and causing widespread suffering. The peoples of Carthage were avenging their own losses during the First Punic War, when the Roman forces narrowly beat and killed their great general, Hamilcar, forcing them to sign a most humiliating peace treaty. And the leader of the avenging Carthaginian forces? The mighty Hamilcar's even mightier son, Hannibal: a young man, born with a sword in his hand, leadership in his blue blood, and a personal vendetta against all things Roman.
The amazing crossing of the Swiss Alps by Hannibal's army (which included a number of battle elephants!) is about all that most people think of when they hear his name. Either that, or Anthony Hopkins. Yes, the crossing was miraculous: no convenient tunnels in those days, no romantic roads winding between meadows full of Alpine flowers, and no ski-lifts either. A significant proportion of his army was lost, to the cold, inevitable accidents, and incessant raids by grumpy locals. But his army remained intact enough for Hannibal's purposes: destroy Rome, conquer its territories, kill the men, sell the women and children into slavery, and haul its renown treasures back to Carthage.
His ambition was exceeded only by his imagination.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Livys Eloquent Embellishments about Rome, during age of enlightenment
The introduction states that Livy writing style was to impress the readers of this History of Rome, and it most certainly does. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great history.
Very good read for history lovers.
Published 4 months ago by MLou
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine and relevant history
Of course this is not the definitive history of the war, but it reads easily and well (a fine translation), and puts some interesting slants on that 15 year struggle. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Hubert Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars Good translation of a history book from 2000 years ago
This is a good translation of a history book that through being a history book written a millennium or two ago is now considered stodgy. It is not. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Diana Wilder
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest stories of the ancient western world.
Livy tells a wonderful story of an epic period of ancient history. The translation flows in a warm colloquial style. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Charles Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars possitive
I have to read this book for a history class in college and we are reading it now. Good book
Published 20 months ago by Shelly J. Skoog
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Book!
I love anything to do with Rome or Roman History, especially their great battles & rivals & Hannibal is at the top of the list for a rival of rome, this book gave me a lot of info... Read more
Published on May 14, 2013 by R. Spencer
5.0 out of 5 stars classic history
the story of hannibal has fascinated me since I was a young boy.I have never found a book that told the story in such an interesting way and one that was so enjoyable to read. Read more
Published on February 17, 2013 by Philip Morales
5.0 out of 5 stars hannibals war
The book is amazing. It describes amazing battles and sieges during second punic war. Massive armies of Romans and Carthaginians. Read more
Published on September 7, 2012 by MilosP
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book: Kindle edition needs work
I wont add anything to the comments about the work itself.
It is good to see more classics in the Kindle format, but Penguin needs to put in more effort when releasing these... Read more
Published on May 9, 2012 by Servus Clemetis
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