Beginnings of Rome - Livy
- Hello, all!
Of the responses I had for starting out with Livy vs. going directly to
Hannibal, there was only one vote for Hannibal.
So, Livy it is! Books I through V, from the founding of Rome through the
Gallic occupation in 386 BCE.
We will start the discussion on Wednesday, February 16, 2000. I assume that
we probably need at least three chats for this.
As to getting Livy, you either can use the online version:
mages/modeng&data=/texts/english/modeng/parsed&part=0. I will post all 5
links on the website soon.
Or get the book. I bought the Penguin Classics Paperback Edition, "The Early
History of Rome", ISBN 0140441042.
Related background readings will be put on the website soon too. I'll let
you know when it's ready.
I'm really looking forward to this!
Regarding your collateral readings, I wonder if you or the list would be
interested in my
suggestions on background reading for Hannibal. I know that the group opted for
Hannibal ( I assume you mean a study of Hannibal per se rather than the sources).
completing my review of George P. Baker's _Hannibal_ (1929, reissued in pbk in
1999) for the H-War newslist, I was able to compile and evaluate a comprehensive
list of Hannibal studies, popular, academic and military- professional. Please let
me know if you or anyone on the list would like my in-put.
- Jim, your list of Hannibal studies would be wonderful!
The group did not really opt for Livy over Hannibal, but Livy first,
thereafter the Hannibal novels. We often, though not really by design,
alternate between fiction and non-fiction.
I will put your list on the website, giving you due credit.
- Irene (and group)
Here are some modern studies on Hannibal. I have make brief annotations.
De Beer, Gavin. Alps and Elephants: Hannibal's March. NY: Dutton, 1956
and Hannibal: Challenging Rome's Supremacy. NY: Viking, 1969,
Both are out of print but are easy reading, if a bit too flamboyant in
places. DeBeer is respected by scholars in general, though he writes for a
popular audience. Lots of illustrations.
Lamb, Harold. Hannibal: One Man Against Rome. Garden City, NY: Doubleday,
Lamb is a well-known popularizer who also tries to get his details right.
This is likewise out of print. Lamb is usually a "first book" (or only book)
for folks who want a nice basic introduction to
Proctor, Dennis. Hannibal's March in History. Oxford: Clarendon, 1971.
Back and forth on the noted (or notorious) conjecture about what Alpine pass
and why. Or, as some might say, who cares.
Lazenby, J.F. Hannibal�s War, Wiltshire:Aris & Phillips, 1978, reprinted
with new preface, Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1998.
Outstanding military account, well written. Scholarly without being
stuffy. If you like
well-informed accounts of battles, strategy, tactics, logistics and all like
that there, this is the book to read. Available through Amazon, B&N in a
reasonable paperback edition.
Peddie, John. Hannibal�s War; Gloucestire: Sutton Publishing Limited, 1997.
A bit pricey (about $35) but also a very well done military account with
good illustrations and
written in a lively, conversational style.
Lancel, Serge: Hannibal ; Malden: Blackwell Publishers Inc., 1998 is
translated from the 1995 French original and furnishes a needed Carthaginian
perspective, all of our extant primary sources reflecting Romano-centric
Cornell,T., Rankov, B. and Sabin. P. The Second Punic War: A Reappraisal,
Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies, Supplement 67 (London,
Scholarly debate over various aspects --- mostly on the military side. Well
done. A bit hard to
come by though available. Has to be special ordered, though I believe Amazon
and B&N can
get it for you. Reflects latest scholarship.
There are several books focusing on the Punic Wars which that similarly
present a good military critique of Hannibal, prominent among which are
Field Marshall Nigel Bagnall�s The Punic Wars (1990) and Brian Caven�s
similarly titled 1980 work, both emphasizing the battles and strategies.
Bradford, Ernle D. Hannibal. NY: McGraw-Hill, 1981, Cottrell, Leonard.
Hannibal, Enemy of Rome. NY: Holt, 1961, John, Prevas: Hannibal Crosses
The Alps. ; Rockville Center,N.Y.: Sarpedon, 1998.. These are in the
"popular" vein. Bradford and Cottrell focus on the military aspect but are a
bit too "colorful" for my taste, i.e., make unsupported, and undocumented,
assertions. Cottrell and Prevas are still available, Cottrell in pb. Prevas'
book is broader than its
title indicates, giving a concise background of the entire war.
Baker, George P. Hannibal. Cooper Square Press, NY, 1999 (reprint of the
Good solid narrative, firmly rooted in Polybius and Livy. Footnoted where
necessary but not
to excess. Engages the ancient sources in debate where he disagrees. He is a
knows his stuff. Some of the political science philosophizing about forms of
and ethnic style is a bit dated, reflecting 1920s racial stereotyping, but
this doesn't predominate.
Very good review of the campaign up through Zama and the after-effects. At
$16.95 a good
Between Cottrell and Baker, I'd go for the latter.
For military history buffs, Lazenby, or Peddie. Lancel is also good on the
military bit and
really knows the Carthaginian side. Latter will be in paperback soon, or may
Hope this helps.