--- In Roman_History_Books@egroups.com
, "C. Gottselig"
> On Fri, 31 Mar 2000 22:31:30 EST, you wrote:
> I thought I had ordered (via inter-library loan) the Lancel book,
> when it came it turned out to be the one by Leonard Cottrell,
> Hannnibal: Enemy of Rome.
> Jim notes that he often makes undocumented assertions but I am not
> enough on the era to catch these. The author describes it as a
> personal journey along the route of Hannibal and at times it reads
> almost like a travelouge, these not being my favorite parts.
I felt that Cottrell fails to refer back to any sources or
contemporary scholarly opinion when he suggests battle sites, march
routes, etc. at odds with Livy or Polybios, or where the sources are
silent. It's like the official Israeli tour guide that I had on
Masada. She was very knowledgeable regarding the "official" version
without really talking about alternative theories etc. When I brought
up some recent excavations and scholarship that contradicted her
account ( a mis-reading of Josephus, according to recent
she refused to discuss it...waived me off, saying that of course
are a hundred theories and she just can't get off track like that.
Cottrell struck me the same way. He put great stock in the fact that
he "was there" and sometimes decided to introduce the ancient
but at other times he simply went on a ramble.
You will notice a big difference when you read Lancel. He manages to
be all at once an entertaining storyteller, a thought-provoking
raconteur AND a scholarly prof. Likewise Baker is shrewd, learned,
> Carol (eclectic)