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Hannibal: One Man Against Rome | [Harold Lamb]

Hannibal: One Man Against Rome

This is the breathtaking adventure of the great Carthaginian general who shook the foundations of Rome. In the world's first "global" conflict, Hannibal Barca marched up and down the Italian peninsula for 18 years, appearing well nigh invincible to a Rome which began to doubt itself for the first time in its history.
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Publisher's Summary

This is the breathtaking adventure of the great Carthaginian general who shook the foundations of Rome. When conflict between Rome and Carthage resumed in 219 B.C., after a brief hiatus from the first Punic War, the Romans decided to invade Spain. Eluding several Roman legions sent out to intercept him in Spain and France, Hannibal Barca astoundingly led his small army of mercenaries over the Alps and thundered down into the Po Valley. The Carthaginian swept all resistance from his path and, as one victory led to another, drove a wedge between Rome and its allies. Hannibal marched up and down the Italian peninsula for 18 years, appearing well nigh invincible to a Rome which began to doubt itself for the first time in its history.

This violent and exciting narrative will thrill you with the accounts of heroism and brilliance displayed on both sides as the war raged mercilessly across the entire Western Mediterranean. Learn how the patience of Fabius Maximus and the genius of Lucius Cornelius Scipio finally turned the tide in this, the world's first "global" conflict...a conflict whose aftermath proved to be one of the most decisive and enduring events in world history. And finally, learn the secret to the success of Hannibal, the most brilliant military commander of all time.

© (P) 2003 Audio Connoisseur

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  •  
    Steven Calgary, Alberta, Canada 12-31-05
    Steven Calgary, Alberta, Canada 12-31-05 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What, no movie?"

    I found the story of Hannibal to be fascinating. For a book which isn't short it held my interest to the end.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 08-18-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "Excellent, very interesting"

    This book was very different from what I expected. It is a great account of the life of Hannibal and gives a real insight into the history of Carthage. Also shows how a civilisation can decline over a very short period.

    I would highly recommend the book. The narrator is great and very easy to listen to, even if at times the story gets very complicated.

    I would though recommend a good map of the world in that time as you would then get a much better idea of where the tale takes place.

    All in all a great book.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 01-05-12
    David 01-05-12 Member Since 2012

    Indiscriminate Reader

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Thorough, broad history, not so much about the man"

    Ostensibly a biography of the great Carthaginian general Hannibal Barca, the fact is that it's hard to write authoritatively about what the man himself was like. Most of the records were written by his enemies, the Romans, who characterized him as cruel, mad, and treacherous. However, by looking at his actual actions, a different picture emerges, of someone who was a pretty decent man for his time, considering he spent the latter half of his life at war with an enemy that wanted to destroy his nation (and ultimately did). So most of the book talks about the history of the 2nd Punic war, which was the great contest between Rome and Carthage for domination of the Western Mediterranean.

    Hannibal was a strategic genius who led his army in an extended campaign against the Roman Republic, before its ultimate ascendancy. For nearly twenty years he trounced the Romans in Italy, before finally being defeated on his home ground. His archrival, Scipio Africanus, was another man of great power and genius, and he defeated Hannibal after studying him for years.

    One thing that emerges from this book is how much individual personalities mattered, both in war and in politics. Different generals than Hannibal and Scipio Africanus would almost certainly have meant different outcomes. Likewise, even after losing the war, Hannibal was powerful and influential in Carthage and instrumental in getting the city to repay its reparations to Rome. Likewise, forceful personalities in Rome (like Cato, who absolutely hated Carthage) were responsible for history taking the course it did. This book is a pretty strong argument for the theory that great men shape history. (I should probably say "great persons" or "great personalities," but frankly, women didn't have much to say in either Carthage or Rome.)

    There are some modern parallels if you consider the reasons why Rome and Carthage went to war, and look at the political maneuvers of the Romans, the way Hannibal had to drag the super-wealthy Carthaginians into line to get the city's debts paid, and then how he was ultimately betrayed, first by his own people and then repeatedly by other rulers whom he assisted in resisting Rome.

    There is a certain tragic inevitability in Carthage's ultimate fall, and Hannibal and Scipio Africanus both came to more ignominious ends than these great men deserved.

    If you like histories of Roman antiquity with a fair amount of military information (but not too much about the nitty-gritty details about tactics and maneuvers), this is a good book. It's a bit dry at times; Lamb sticks to the source material and anything that might make it more interesting -- conjectures, ahistorical personalizing of the individuals, guesses about what might have happened -- he labels as such and doesn't go too far down that path. Hannibal himself remains more an icon than a man; if you want to hear his voice and see his personality, you'll have to resort to historical fiction.

    I really liked the narration of this audiobook. Charlton Griffin has a rich, deep voice and reads the history, and Hannibal's words, with appropriate gravity. The occasional background noise of marching boots actually added to the mood, rather than being distracting as most sound effects are.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jed Scarsdale, NY, USA 06-08-09
    Jed Scarsdale, NY, USA 06-08-09 Member Since 2001
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    "Hannibal one man against rome"

    This book was an extremely lucid retelling of Hannibal and his campaign. It kept my attention, the battles were well described, and Hannibal became somewhat more of a person in spite of the limited direct information available about him.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Lakeland, TN, USA 12-29-07
    Christopher Lakeland, TN, USA 12-29-07
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    "Great Biography"

    This is a well researched biography that the author masterfully crafts into a well told story. Not just of the man who was Hannibal but of the Roman and Punic Character. I HIGHLY recommend this to fans of military history or of Roman history.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Kircher Boulder, CO 08-08-05
    Mike Kircher Boulder, CO 08-08-05 Member Since 2001

    An obvious fool

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I had no idea ...."

    I had no idea of what was going on in 200 A.D. in the area of north Africa and southern Europe until I listened to this superb book. Hannibals exploits are absolutely amazing. I now have a much greater appreciation of how intelligent, creative, and brave people were over 2200 years ago.

    Both the author and the narrator are suberb, to the point that I immediately listened to Alexander of Macedon, which they also did, after I completed this audio book. I strongly suggest that if you do listen to either of these titles that you do a web search to find some more information, especially maps, to provide a better understanding of the travels and adventures of Hannibal and Alexander.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ivan Fajardo, PR, United States 12-31-04
    Ivan Fajardo, PR, United States 12-31-04 Member Since 2004
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    "Excellent book on a remarkable man"

    This is the 1st Audible book I have listened and I wasn't disappointed; neither will you. The narrator is excellent, changing his tone and using inflections to help you distinguish between characters. He keeps it clear & interesting.

    I know that Alexander the Great is viewed as the greatest conqueror and military mind in history, and everyone else is compared to him, but after hearing this book I think that Hannibal Barker (did I spell his name right?) may have been short changed a bit. The decisions made by Hannibal, his superior ability to lead people and his subsequent victories throughout Spain and Italy were amazing. His battles against his rivals, Maximus and Scipio, are fascinating. How their decisions changed the course of things to come (both for themselves, their nations and history). This book has made me want to look further into other historical figures (something I was lacking in doing before).

    I highly recommend this book. If you are into history or learning about important historical figures I don't think you'll be disappointed with this book. The only criticism I have is that the book never gives you any reference as to where these events took place in modern today. I would suggest looking through the net and familiarize your self with the Mediterranean, Italy, Spain and Northern Africa during the 200 - 300 BC era. This will help you enormously with your visualization of where these battles and events took place.
    Again, Highly Recommended!!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kyle W. Niedzwiecki 06-09-04 Member Since 2006
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    "Good mid-20th century history"

    Harold Lamb's account of Hannibal Barca's life is remarkably gripping. He balances an appropriate mix of anecdotes, dry historical analysis, and extrapolation of his character. The story seems to come alive as a result - not the least due to the compelling narrator - and it was quite an enjoyable audiobook.

    Unfortunately, Lamb's analysis is often colored by somewhat archaic views; the various peoples of Hannibal's time are characterized by sweeping generalizations which don't generally fit in more modern histories. The author's opinions are not hard to discern.

    All in all, a very worthwhile book, and one that I recommend highly.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Columbia, MD, USA 09-14-03
    David Columbia, MD, USA 09-14-03
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    "Superb historical account"

    This was a superb historical account of Hannibal and the second Punic War. It was my first book about Hannibal, so I don't know how it differs from others, but was an exciting read. It didn't include much personal information about Hannibal because it simply is not available, according to the author.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Ramirez Seattle, WA 08-06-03
    D. Ramirez Seattle, WA 08-06-03 Member Since 2015
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    "I would never had known..."

    From my history classes, I never learned the extent of the genius of this man. I cannot help but be amazed when I think about the things that Hannibal and his army endured. Throughout my educational history, I had gained a more than negative connotation to attach to the name, "Hannibal". After reading (listening to) this amazing accounting of not only Hannibal, but his brothers, father, and all of the Carthaginians for whom, Hannibal was a heroic champion, I have cast those thoughts aside. (Imagine, marching an army and elephants through the Alps to face the world's most feared Army!!!) I guarantee that you will want to hear this awesome story more than once!!!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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