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Hannibal: The Military Biography of Rome's Greatest Enemy [Hardcover]

Richard A. Gabriel
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

1 Feb 2011
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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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Potomac Books Inc (1 Feb 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597976865
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597976862
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 16.2 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,125,150 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"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."

About the Author

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.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag 4 Dec 2011
Unfortunatly this seems to be a bit of a mixed bag - I had read and enjoyed Gabriel's work on Scipio, so decided to try this to complement it. There is some to admire in this book, but sadly, there is also a lot that drags his work down. He contradicts himself on several occasions (particularly in his use of John Lazenby in regards to Hannibal's continued victories in Italy after Cannae - he uses Lazenby's work almost word for word, but when he comes to the battles themselves later, simply presents Livy's exaggerated Roman victories - without even referring to what he'd written earlier following Lazenby... he doesn't even try to analyse the differences, or present why Lazenby came to the conclusions he did... he also misses out small successes of Hannibal - at Geronium for example, and on his withdrawal from Rome when he savaged the Rome camp at night before marching back...) It's annoying as there is also quite a lot of good stuff in here that I haven't found in other books on the subject (and I've read a lot - close to thirty!) refuting Delbruck's claims on the nature of Roman defenses and Hannibal's chances of a successful siege, presenting an intriguing case for why Hannibal didn't attack Rome after Lake Trasimene, being that he had a relatively healthy army, access to rich plains to support it, and being only 80 miles from Rome, he also considers the logistical side of warfare. Read more ›
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you've been studying ancient warfare this is for you. 22 May 2011
By Ryan Clifton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Hannibal is a great book. It is not however an easy read. If you haven't already been studying ancient warfare in some fashion, this book will probably be over your head. Gabriel is a brilliant man. I've been a big fan of his from The History channels "Battles BC". So if your already been studying ancient history. I would highly recommend.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gabriel's Hannibal 26 Sep 2012
By Shel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This volume is an excellent examination of the genius Hannibal. Gabriel is thorough in his assessment, referencing his statements extensively to both primary ancient sources and secondary contemporary researchers. It provides insight into Hannibal's childhood and his Italian campaign. An excellent overview of the life of an extraordinary man.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you only read one Hannibal book this is the one to read!! 22 Jan 2013
By Lynn Strait - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Go with Hannibal as he battles the roman soliders. I've read many Hannibal books but this one brings to light new information and is very entertaining.
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