Hannibal: The Military Biography of Rome's Greatest Enemy

Hannibal: The Military Biography of Rome's Greatest Enemy


By (author) Richard A. Gabriel

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  • Publisher: Potomac Books Inc
  • Format: Hardback | 336 pages
  • Dimensions: 160mm x 229mm x 30mm | 567g
  • Publication date: 17 February 2011
  • Publication City/Country: Dulles
  • ISBN 10: 1597976865
  • ISBN 13: 9781597976862
  • Illustrations note: maps
  • Sales rank: 435,744

Product description

The Romans' destruction of Carthage after the Third Punic War erased any historical record of Hannibal's life. What we know of him comes exclusively from Roman historians who had every interest in minimizing his success, exaggerating his failures, and derogating his character.The charges leveled against Hannibal include greed, cruelty and atrocity, sexual indulgence, and even cannibalism. But even these sources were forced to grudgingly admit to Hannibal's military genius, if only to make their eventual victory over him appear greater. Yet, there is no doubt that Hannibal was the greatest Carthaginian general of the Second PunicWar. He fought the best generals Rome produced to a standstill, when he did not defeat them outright, and sustained his army in the field for sixteen long years without mutiny or desertion.Hannibal was a first-rate tactician, only a somewhat lesser strategist, and the greatest enemy Rome ever faced.When he at last met defeat at the hands of the Roman general Scipio Africanus, it was against an experienced officer who had to strengthen and reconfigure the Roman legion and invent new mobile tactics in order to succeed. Even so, Scipio's victory at Zama was against an army that was a shadow of its former self.The battle could easily have gone the other way. If it had, the history of the West would have been changed in ways that can only be imagined. Richard A.Gabriel's brilliant new biography shows how Hannibal's genius nearly unseated the Roman Empire.

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Author information

Richard A. Gabriel is a distinguished professor in the Department of History and War Studies at the Royal Military College of Canada and in the Department of Defence Studies at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto. He was professor of history and politics at the U.S. Army War College and held the Visiting Chair in Military Ethics at the Marine Corps University. Gabriel is a former U.S. Army officer and the author of more than forty-five books including Scipio Africanus (Potomac Books, Inc., 2009), Thutmose III (Potomac Books, Inc., 2008), and Philip II of Macedonia, Greater Than Alexander (Potomac Books, Inc., 2010). He lives in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Review quote

"In "Hannibal," perhaps his best book yet, the distinguished military historian Richard Gabriel examines the life and campaigns of the great Carthaginian general in the Second Punic War. Gabriel explains how Hannibal turned a multicultural mass of Carthaginians, Iberians, Gauls, and others into one of the most effective armies in history, with which he very nearly destroyed the rising power of Rome. Combining a brilliant analysis of the strategic intricacies of the war, and a detailed examination of Hannibal's strategy and tactics, with a careful analysis of largely overlooked logistical issues, Gabriel has produced a very valuable work of ancient military history that will interest and impress historians and general readers alike."--Albert A. Nofi, contributor for "Military Chronicles" and author of "To Train the Fleet for War"--Albert A. Nofi