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Hannibal (Command)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 22 September 2011
This book is generally a very short introduction to Hannibal as a general. At 64 pages it can't really go into much detail about Hannibal's life in the same way as Ernle Bradford's excellent biography, but it's still a good book.
The book begins with a short overview of Hannibal's early life, before Mr.Fields goes on to cover his career - starting with the crossing of the alps and going on to describe the battles of Trebbia, Cannae, and Zama. A short section then covers Hannibal's opponents such as Flaminius, Varro and the famous Scipio Africanus. Unfortunately the book's aim of entering the mind of the general is let down by the paucity of sources. We are entirely reliant on the works of Roman historians to reconstruct the life of Hannibal, as no Carthaginian writings have survived. As a result any attempt to analyse the battles from Hannibal's point of view is doomed.

The book is also illustrated with some very basic tactical maps, photographs of the locations described in the text, as well as some excellent colour plates, courtesy of Peter Dennis. As a matter of fact I consider Dennis's illustrations to be the highlight of the book - a shame that there's only three of them. As for the prose, Nic Field's text is readable and easy to understand.

If you want a very short and very basic introduction to Hannibal the general, then this would be a good place to start, but if you want to know more about the man then I suggest a better biography. I personally found Ernle Bradford's 1981 biography to be a well written guide.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This is a good, well-illustrated introduction to the life of Hannibal, but suffers from the constraints of the Osprey format. The author is knowledgeable and writes well about his subject, but has little space to work in. The maps and plates are very good, and there are many excellent supporting illustrations in the text.

The Contents are –
P04: Introduction
P06: The Early Years
P10: The Military Life
P15: The Hour of Destiny
P43: Opposing Commanders
P49: Inside the Mind
P53: When War is Done
P58: A Life in Words
P61: Bibliography
P63: Glossary
P64: Index

The Colour Plates –
P09: Map – Hannibal’s march across the Alps
P13: Colour Plate - On the summit: Hannibal enters Italy
Here we see Hannibal in Gaulish dress (for the weather) pointing heroically (for the Gauls) down into Italy, as variously dressed warriors cluster around the rock on which he poses, with an elephant just visible behind him.
P15: ½ page Map – Hannibal’s march from Iberia to Italy
P16: ½ page Map – Battle of the Trebbia, December 218 BC
P21: ½ page Map – Battle of Cannae, August 216 BC
P25: Colour Plate - Genius at Work – Hannibal at Cannae
This is a big battle scene, showing Hannibal and Mago with the front line of the Celtic troops closely engaged in the melee.
P28: Map – Battle of Zama 202 BC
P33: Colour Plate – Two minds meet: Hannibal at Zama
This shows the parley before the battle – Hannibal & Scipio, with their interpreters.

Further Reading
Hannibal: A History of the Art of War Among the Carthaginians and Romans Down to the Battle of Pydna, 168 BC, with a Detailed Account of the Second Punic War
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 March 2014
The perfect gift for all history buffs is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker

An excellent complement to the Osprey campaign title Cannae, although a mini biography it is still packed with very illuminating and concise details of the great man. The booklet opens with an introduction to Hannibal's early life and continues on through the march on Rome and the salient battles, to his eventual defeat and sad demise.
Nic Fields within the confined space allotted by Osprey, pens an excellent overview of one of the greatest generals in history depicting his talents as a born leader and great tactician with a compelling narrative, fast paced and at times humorous. The narrative is complimented with fine illustrations and colour plates. Highly recommended.
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on 6 April 2015
less than average
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