Pride of Carthage

Pride of Carthage

3.88 (1,541 ratings by Goodreads)

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Description

This epic retelling of the legendary Carthaginian military leader's assault on the Roman empire begins in Ancient Spain, where Hannibal Barca sets out with tens of thousands of soldiers and 30 elephants. After conquering the Roman city of Saguntum, Hannibal wages his campaign through the outposts of the empire, shrewdly befriending peoples disillusioned by Rome and, with dazzling tactics, outwitting the opponents who believe the land route he has chosen is impossible. Yet Hannibal's armies must take brutal losses as they pass through the Pyrenees mountains, forge the Rhone river, and make a winter crossing of the Alps before descending to the great tests at Cannae and Rome itself.



David Anthony Durham draws a brilliant and complex Hannibal out of the scant historical record-sharp, sure-footed, as nimble among rivals as on the battlefield, yet one who misses his family and longs to see his son grow to manhood. Whether portraying the deliberations of a general or the calculations of a common soldier, vast multilayered scenes of battle or moments of introspection when loss seems imminent, Durham brings history alive.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 568 pages
  • 133 x 204 x 26mm | 426g
  • Bantam Doubleday Dell
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 1 MAP
  • 0385722494
  • 9780385722490
  • 674,158

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An epic work of literary fiction about the superb military leader of Carthage, Hannibal Barca, and his struggle against the mighty Roman Republic.
With a vast cast of characters and nationalities, twists of fate, and tales of inspired leadership, David Anthony Durham perfectly captures the legendary Hannibal's world in "Pride of Carthage. Beginning in ancient Spain, where Hannibal's father had carved out a Carthaginian empire, the novel traces the origins of the war, the opening moves, and Hannibal's inspired choice to attack Rome via a land route most believed impossible. In graphic, panoramic prose, Durham describes the battles, including the icy slaughter of the Trebia; the mist-shrouded battle along Lake Trasimene; the battle of Cannae, in which Hannibal's outnumbered force surrounded and decimated seventy thousand Romans in a single afternoon; and Zama, the hard slog that proved to be the decisive contest.
Along the way we meet a variety of major historical figures on both sides of the conflict, as well as characters representing the vast array of other ethnicities who played a part in the war: Iberians and Gauls, Numidians and Libyans, Macedonians and Moors. Hannibal's family is brought to life: his wife, mother, sisters, and young son, as is Publius Scipio, the young Roman who was the only match for Hannibal's genius on the field of battle -- and who eventually defeated him.
"Pride of Carthage is a stunning achievement in historical fiction, one that will transport readers to a world of mesmerizing authenticity of character, event, and detail.
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Review quote

"Durham vividly captures the frenzy of ancient warfare. . . . A skillfully structured, gripping novel -New York Times"Masterly. . . . First-rate historical fiction. Durham has delivered some of the best battle scenes on the page since Michael Shaara's Civil War fiction." -San Francisco Chronicle"Stunning. . . . A brilliant exploration of the tension between private destiny and historical force." --The Christian Science Monitor"Fascinating. . . . Nimbly exploits what is known about this distant period. . . . The author has speculated and invented optimally." --The Washington Post"An extraordinary achievement: Durham puts flesh on the bones of Carthage in a way that no novelist has done since Flaubert wrote Salammbo."--Tom Holland, author of Rubicon: The Last Years of the Roman Republic"Pride of Carthage is that rare and wonderful thing: an historical novel that's not only deeply evocative of time and place, character and situation, but is also lyrically written, compellingly composed. I savored each page while ever more breathless as the story unfolded. Durham has broken the mold of historical fiction and created a masterpiece."--Jeffrey Lent, author of In the Fall and Lost Nation"Durham leaps continents and centuries to tell the epic story of Hannibal and his march on Rome in this heady, richly textured novel. . . . The novel's grand sweep is balanced by intimate portraits of Hannibal, his family, his allies and his enemies. . . . Durham weaves abundant psychological, military, and political detail into this vivid account of one of the most romanticized periods of history."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)"Durham has reimagined this vanished world in stunningly precise detail, and his lucid explanations of the give-and-take of military decision-making help the reader through some dauntingly complicated material. Nor is this novel merely a pageant: the author vividly portrays both Hannibal's driven resolve and Scipio's ruthless efficiency, as well as the conflicted emotions that rule several powerfully realized secondary figures. . . . One of the best of the current crop of historical novels, and a career-making march forward for Durham."--Kirkus Reviews
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About David Anthony Durham

DAVID ANTHONY DURHAM earned an MFA from the University of Maryland and is the author of two widely praised novels, Gabriel's Story and Walk Through Darkness. Durham lives in Massachusetts with his wife and children.
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Rating details

1,541 ratings
3.88 out of 5 stars
5 28% (436)
4 41% (626)
3 24% (368)
2 5% (81)
1 2% (30)
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