• Scipio Africanus

  • Greater Than Napoleon
  • By: B.H. Liddell Hart
  • Narrated by: Derek Perkins
  • Length: 6 hrs and 16 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (366 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From one of the most brilliant military historians of our time, this is the classic biography of Rome's greatest general and the victor over Rome's greatest enemy, Hannibal.  

Scipio Africanus (236-183 BC) was one of the most exciting and dynamic leaders in history. As commander, he never lost a battle. Yet it is his adversary, Hannibal, who has lived on in public memory. As B. H. Liddell Hart writes, "Scipio's battles are richer in stratagems and ruses - many still feasible today - than those of any other commander in history." Any military enthusiast or historian will find this to be an absorbing, gripping portrait.

©2004 The Executors of Lady Liddell Hart, deceased (P)2019 Tantor

What listeners say about Scipio Africanus

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent performance of a tough script.

I find military books especially hard to narrate effectively, especially those that deal with the ancients. There is usually no dialogue to punctuate the narrative and the speaker is always in danger of falling into a sing-song rhythm that lulls the listener to sleep. However, Derek Perkins excels in this book, with beautifully enunciated paragraphs that call to mind a Shakespearean history play. He’s such a pleasure to the attentive ear—especially here, as his vocal instrument rings out with B. H. Liddell Hart’s crisp prose. Highly recommended.

I only wish that maps had accompanied this wonderful vocal performance, the better to lead me around the battlefields and countryside.

10 people found this helpful

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Great book about a great man

This book is well researched, well written and well narrated. It is the story of perhaps the greatest general of all time and a man of humility, generosity, and honor -- one of Rome's finest citizens. The author finishes with a flurry, comparing Scipio Africanus' generalship to Napoleon, Caesar, and Hannibal - pretty lofty company. His analytical accounts of all of Scipio's battles are the highlight of the book. This is an outstanding listen for anyone with an interest in ancient history, particularly ancient military history. Kudos to Mr. Perkins for an excellent read.

4 people found this helpful

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Great insight into an often overlooked genius.

Author has some very interesting points about the life of true military genius from the ancient world.

2 people found this helpful

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Not to be missed

I’ve read through a lot of the broader histories of Rome, and having just finished Adrian Goldsworthy’s “The Fall of Carthage” this was the perfect follow up on the most interesting period of the Punic Wars and its most leading figure.

While the author is undoubtedly biased about his opinion of Scipio, treating him as a few centuries earlier version of Marcus Aurelius it seems, it’s hard to not share the opinion, biased or not.

Sharing the same great narrator as Goldsworthy’s books creates a great sense on continuity while diving deeper into the specifics of what made Scipio Africanus, as the author argues, worth remembering with (if not surpassing) the other great military commanders of history.

2 people found this helpful

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A must buy for Military and Civilian leadership

Great book that highhights the importance of politics, strategy and tactics that are still applicable today. A must buy.

1 person found this helpful

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fanominal

a wonderful, detailed look at one if the greatest men to have lived. full of great depictions of the battles fought in the second punic wars, and of the man himself. a must read for roman lovers

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent

I recommend to read the life of Annibal since both generals life's are parallel

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Scipio phile

its good to finally having something about Scipio but it's not very objective.
I learned a lot of new things about Scipio but the author seems to be obsessed with him. Portraying him as the best thing ever. Now he was really cool yes but I do not care about your top 10 generals and why Scipio is number 1.

Point is the author is not objective at all, and as much as I really like Scipio you have to remain objective. Give some context and dont just say he was better then everyone all the time.

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My favorite biography of an ancient military hero

5 of 5 stars.

Written in 1927 by a general who understood military matters, B.H. Liddell Hart takes the paucity of primary source material about one of the Ancient World's greatest generals and demonstrates why Scipio Africanus is greater than Hannibal and perhaps even Alexander and Caesar.

Hart brilliantly leverages the material of Polybius and Livy to explain why Scipio exceeded his peers in terms of military innovation, strategic thinking, guile and political awareness. It will make you wonder, why such a brilliant and successful general is so overlooked by History.

One limitation of the audible format, however, is the inability to fully imagine battlefield tactics and maneuver without a map or visual aid. There are a number of 10-20 minute videos on YouTube that give great overviews of each of Scipio's battles that I highly recommend as an accompaniment to the book.

Highly recommended to anyone interested in Ancient Rome or military history.

Derek Perkins is perfect for the material.

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Underrated General

Scorpio Africanus is shown here to be not only a strategic, but tactical genius, a statesman and man of high character. Thoroughly enjoyed, and would highly recommend this book. B.H. Liddell Hart is a wonderful military scholar, and Derek Perkins was a wonderful narrator.