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Hannibal: A History of the Art of War among the Carthaginians and Romans down to the Battle of Pydna, 168 B.C., with a detailed account of the Second Punic War

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Carthage grew to rival Rome. But only under the leader of its greatest general: Hannibal. A clash of titans was inevitable. Roman jealousy brought about the First Punic War — in which Hamilcar became a leading commander — and her efforts enabled her to defeat Carthage in her own element: at sea. Although Carthage was on the wane at the time of the Barcas, the impetus, in Carthage grew to rival Rome. But only under the leader of its greatest general: Hannibal. A clash of titans was inevitable. Roman jealousy brought about the First Punic War — in which Hamilcar became a leading commander — and her efforts enabled her to defeat Carthage in her own element: at sea. Although Carthage was on the wane at the time of the Barcas, the impetus, intelligence and ability of Hamilcar and then his son Hannibal almost carried them to success. As a commander Hannibal was a visionary, recognising challenges that he would have to face before being able to set foot on Italian soil in 218 B.C., as well as opponent’s weaknesses. By virtue of having followed in his footsteps with the sources, Dodge’s narrative is very much grounded in the topography and delivers a greater understanding to the general’s wars. With admirable calculation of the power of the forces opposing him, Hannibal disregarded the accepted rules of war and took advantage of circumstance … or made his own. Much like Alexander, Hannibal would act promptly and energetically on this knowledge but following Cannæ he was obliged to confine himself within much narrower boundaries. A master tactician, it was in logistics and overall strategy that Hannibal excelled and led to him defying numerous efforts to dislodge him from his Italian foothold. In the end it was the Carthaginian senate, facing defeat at Scipio’s hands, who would relieve the pressure on Rome by ordering Hannibal to return home in attempt to save a lost cause. Inevitably the Romans proved themselves fast learners once more, and for all the bitter experiences he had inflicted upon them it was Hannibal who taught them the art of war. In this masterful two-volume study of the Romano-Carthaginian art of war, Theodore Ayrault Dodge charts Hannibal’s extraordinary career and examines how he earned the moniker “the Father of Strategy.” “This book has never been bettered.” Michael Grant, author of History of Rome Theodore Ayrault Dodge (1842-1909) was an American soldier and military historian. Enlisting in the U.S. Army in 1861, he saw action at Gettysburg and eventually rose to the rank of brevet lieutenant colonel. Spending his later life devoted to writing, he became known for his works on the Civil War and the great captains of Ancient and European history. Albion Press is an imprint of Endeavour Press, the UK's leading independent digital publisher.


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Carthage grew to rival Rome. But only under the leader of its greatest general: Hannibal. A clash of titans was inevitable. Roman jealousy brought about the First Punic War — in which Hamilcar became a leading commander — and her efforts enabled her to defeat Carthage in her own element: at sea. Although Carthage was on the wane at the time of the Barcas, the impetus, in Carthage grew to rival Rome. But only under the leader of its greatest general: Hannibal. A clash of titans was inevitable. Roman jealousy brought about the First Punic War — in which Hamilcar became a leading commander — and her efforts enabled her to defeat Carthage in her own element: at sea. Although Carthage was on the wane at the time of the Barcas, the impetus, intelligence and ability of Hamilcar and then his son Hannibal almost carried them to success. As a commander Hannibal was a visionary, recognising challenges that he would have to face before being able to set foot on Italian soil in 218 B.C., as well as opponent’s weaknesses. By virtue of having followed in his footsteps with the sources, Dodge’s narrative is very much grounded in the topography and delivers a greater understanding to the general’s wars. With admirable calculation of the power of the forces opposing him, Hannibal disregarded the accepted rules of war and took advantage of circumstance … or made his own. Much like Alexander, Hannibal would act promptly and energetically on this knowledge but following Cannæ he was obliged to confine himself within much narrower boundaries. A master tactician, it was in logistics and overall strategy that Hannibal excelled and led to him defying numerous efforts to dislodge him from his Italian foothold. In the end it was the Carthaginian senate, facing defeat at Scipio’s hands, who would relieve the pressure on Rome by ordering Hannibal to return home in attempt to save a lost cause. Inevitably the Romans proved themselves fast learners once more, and for all the bitter experiences he had inflicted upon them it was Hannibal who taught them the art of war. In this masterful two-volume study of the Romano-Carthaginian art of war, Theodore Ayrault Dodge charts Hannibal’s extraordinary career and examines how he earned the moniker “the Father of Strategy.” “This book has never been bettered.” Michael Grant, author of History of Rome Theodore Ayrault Dodge (1842-1909) was an American soldier and military historian. Enlisting in the U.S. Army in 1861, he saw action at Gettysburg and eventually rose to the rank of brevet lieutenant colonel. Spending his later life devoted to writing, he became known for his works on the Civil War and the great captains of Ancient and European history. Albion Press is an imprint of Endeavour Press, the UK's leading independent digital publisher.

30 review for Hannibal: A History of the Art of War among the Carthaginians and Romans down to the Battle of Pydna, 168 B.C., with a detailed account of the Second Punic War

  1. 4 out of 5

    The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon)

    Hannibal by Theodore Ayrault Dodge - Insight Into a Thousand Books            Theodore Ayrault Dodge joined the Infantry as an enlisted soldier in the New York all Volunteer infantry Regiment during the Civil War.  He rose to the rank of Brevet Lieutenant Colonel and lost his leg at the Battle of Gettysburg.  He had received his military education in Berlin and the University College London and the University of Heidelberg.  If you’re a Heinlein “Glory Road” fan, he’s a Heidelberg man.  His milit Hannibal by Theodore Ayrault Dodge - Insight Into a Thousand Books            Theodore Ayrault Dodge joined the Infantry as an enlisted soldier in the New York all Volunteer infantry Regiment during the Civil War.  He rose to the rank of Brevet Lieutenant Colonel and lost his leg at the Battle of Gettysburg.  He had received his military education in Berlin and the University College London and the University of Heidelberg.  If you’re a Heinlein “Glory Road” fan, he’s a Heidelberg man.  His military carrier did not end with the loss of his leg.  He served at the War Department from 1864 and received a commission in the US Army in 1866 retiring as a Major in 1870.   He wrote a twelve volume work called “A History of the Art Of War” that discussed generals from Alexander to Napoleon.  He wrote a sympathetic opinion of Robert E. Lee and his journals written when he was part of the Army of the Potomac and Gettysburg have been cited by noted historians of his age and ages past.  The second of his twelve volume observation of the Art of War discussed Hannibal and, this is that volume.           Dodge is a slave to minutia and detail.  He tends to run through the supply train then go back over the roles of each different unit and major player, regardless of how much the overlapped.  It is easy to get caught up in the attention to detail here, and I nearly did.  Then, strangely, Hannibal began to take shape as a person, a very remarkable person.  A boy wizard general like Alexander before him, once given the go-ahead to harass and invade the Roman Empire crossed the Alps and did not return again until many years later.  He fought the Romans and their Allies, the Lombards, Gauls and other Germanic tribesmen with his own, very diverse multi-national force from North Africa.         Despite his obsession with minute details, Dodge manages sort through differing reports from the two leading Roman Historians who wrote about Hannibal settling disputed evidence with a very practical warrior’s sense of what’s likely, and unleashed the Romantic Noble Warrior in his heart.  One might argue that he blended a romanticized version of Robert E. Lee into his vision of Hannibal and not be far from the truth.  One might say that he made up a lot of facts because there is scarce evidence to support any version of Hannibal’s conquests.  Well you could say that, but it’s not exactly true.   And of course, all of those arguments, while even possibly valid, will miss the true value of a book like this.        The beauty of Dodge’s work is that it gives those people who write fiction stories, be they fantasy, Science Fiction or historical fiction, a frame that they can use to help imagine a great hero in an impossible situation defying the odds, not for a month or a year, but for more than a decade.   Hannibal was the Resistance fighting the Empire in Star Wars.  He was “Black Jack Geary” from Jack Campbell’s wonderful “Lost Fleet Series” hopelessly lost behind enemy lines, with no hope of relief battling his way back to safe space.   He’s Adamma from Battlestar Galactica 2005, the television series starring Edward James Olmos leading his rag-tag fugitive fleet, seeking a safe haven from the hoards of Cylons chasing them.  He’s “Hile Troy” from Stephen R. Donaldson’s “Wounded land” series battling the forces of the Despiser (and one of the few heroes we could like from that series).  In Dodge’s Hannibal I can see Robert E. Lee, faced with a choice between duty and the land that he was born and raised in fighting the overpowering union army as much as Sherman disappearing in South Carolina only to reappear in Vicksburg with Ulysses Grant.  I can even see Thorgrim the king leading his riders to rescue Minas Tirith at least for one battle’s worth looking like Hannibal, invincible against all Sauron’s might.    And here, is one hero, cut much like those I’ve loved in books, except this one is real taking on the enormous might of the Roman Empire.  The best strategy the Roman’s ever came up with was, “if it’s Hannibal, do not engage, don’t’ fight and we can’t get beat,” at least until Scipio Africanus figured out that, with Hannibal in Italy, then there was nobody guarding Carthage.  Her is our charismatic leader who holds the alliance together like Captain Ready in the Destroyermen series by Taylor Anderson.  Hannibal.  Who else is there?    So, one can read this and yawn at the numbers and details of the soldiers.  If you don’t like to read about military maneuvers in battles or how Hannibal’s Phalanx would have fared against a properly organized and trained Greek Phalanx, then remember.  There is so much more in this book.  So much to draw from as inspiration if you’re a writer who dares to write a hero through impossible odds and needs a realistic example of how it all comes together.    And the best tidbit of information, the one thing that I didn’t already know about Hannibal is that he lived as a mercenary general fighting with Judea and other nations in the middle east long after his foray into Italy and died an old man after a long and fruitful life.    It’s worth reading at least once.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ana

    This is an incredibly detailed work about Hannibal's military operations in the war that we know as the Second Punic War, but Rome knew as "The War Against Hannibal". That ought to tell you about his greatness, and especially the great fear he managed to instill in the strongest military power in the world, at the time of their prime. While much of the writing is concerned with military operations, strategy, logistics and operations theaters, it does not skimp on a fine analysis of the men invol This is an incredibly detailed work about Hannibal's military operations in the war that we know as the Second Punic War, but Rome knew as "The War Against Hannibal". That ought to tell you about his greatness, and especially the great fear he managed to instill in the strongest military power in the world, at the time of their prime. While much of the writing is concerned with military operations, strategy, logistics and operations theaters, it does not skimp on a fine analysis of the men involved, their motives, and their characters. Hannibal - for good reason - will forever be one of the greatest generals of the world. In my opinion, he stands unmatched to this day.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Myke Cole

    Sorry to say that I couldn't finish this one. While I know Dodge is traditionally acknowledged as a heavy-hitter in the field, I found so many glaring errors by chapter 5 that it left me feeling like he was hand-waving, without real command of the sources, relying on the ignorance of his audience to carry the narrative. This left me with a sour taste in my mouth. Pedagogic to the point of being patronizing. Skip it. Sorry to say that I couldn't finish this one. While I know Dodge is traditionally acknowledged as a heavy-hitter in the field, I found so many glaring errors by chapter 5 that it left me feeling like he was hand-waving, without real command of the sources, relying on the ignorance of his audience to carry the narrative. This left me with a sour taste in my mouth. Pedagogic to the point of being patronizing. Skip it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ian Mullet

    written by a retired union general, this is the definitive account of hannibal's campaigns. Dodge's Hannibal made me fall in love with the ancient world and was one of the first steps i took that ultimately led me to st. john's. written by a retired union general, this is the definitive account of hannibal's campaigns. Dodge's Hannibal made me fall in love with the ancient world and was one of the first steps i took that ultimately led me to st. john's.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan H

    Fair warning: I created this ebook version - but then I only do that for books I love! Dodge was a retired army officer, and puts a lot of thought into explaining Hannibal's strategic problems, and his solutions to them (many of which were "first-evers" in known history, e.g. first-ever army ambush at Trasimene, first-ever double encirclement at Cannae). He also explores the fifteen years of "small war" after Cannae, which many other authors skip over. Finally, he manages to cram in over 200 pic Fair warning: I created this ebook version - but then I only do that for books I love! Dodge was a retired army officer, and puts a lot of thought into explaining Hannibal's strategic problems, and his solutions to them (many of which were "first-evers" in known history, e.g. first-ever army ambush at Trasimene, first-ever double encirclement at Cannae). He also explores the fifteen years of "small war" after Cannae, which many other authors skip over. Finally, he manages to cram in over 200 pictures, maps, and diagrams to keep things moving.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Giacomo

    There are many great books on Hannibal, and this is one of them. It is difficult to get through at times, but it provides a great deal of information on this intriguing man who had such an impact on history. Reading this together with a good book on his nemesis, Scipio Africanus, is highly recommended as it puts it all into perspective. While they consider Hannibal one of the world’s greatest generals and strategists, the man who defeated him, Scipio, goes almost unnoticed in history.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sarahandus

    This book will be liked by those who are interested in the art of war. Battles are loving detailed and diagrammed. For myself, I learned more, very much more, than I ever wanted to know about the Roman legions. And to top it off after 200 pages still had not gotten more than a mention of Hannibal. For those who are interested in battle strategy, this book can't be beat. This book will be liked by those who are interested in the art of war. Battles are loving detailed and diagrammed. For myself, I learned more, very much more, than I ever wanted to know about the Roman legions. And to top it off after 200 pages still had not gotten more than a mention of Hannibal. For those who are interested in battle strategy, this book can't be beat.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Greffin

    Hannibal: A History of the Art of War, written by Theodore Ayrault Dodge, though is not the best book I’ve read about the Carthaginian general and his campaign against Rome after his brazenly crossing his army through the Alps, is a very respectable and informative one. It takes the reader from the early military histories of both Rome and Carthage, detailing through the centuries of evolution of their respective societies, especially of their armies, briefly summing up the first Punic War and t Hannibal: A History of the Art of War, written by Theodore Ayrault Dodge, though is not the best book I’ve read about the Carthaginian general and his campaign against Rome after his brazenly crossing his army through the Alps, is a very respectable and informative one. It takes the reader from the early military histories of both Rome and Carthage, detailing through the centuries of evolution of their respective societies, especially of their armies, briefly summing up the first Punic War and then going into the second Punic War where the title figure comes in to play, and thus is what the bulk of the book is about. Though this was written over a century ago, some probably inflated battle-figure numbers are taken at face value, and some dates of significant events are off, albeit just by a matter of months (for example on the battle of Cannae it lists as June of 216 BC instead of the date assumed my modern historians of August 216 BC) it’s still is a strong source on the topic; though it can get a little wordy and repetitive in its expressing of opinion at some points (in I guess an older-fashioned kind of biographical style). Hannibal is a remarkable figure, certainly earning his rank among the greatest military commanders of all time. The bold decision to trek across the Alps, with an army in the tens of thousands, and successfully doing it by itself would have had him earned him praise in the annals of history. But beyond that, he turned out to be one of the greatest military tacticians in the history of warfare. He bested Roman armies that were multiple times his army’s size, and didn’t only win but decimated the opposition. But as much effect as he had on his own successes, he had just as much on the Romans, as he forced them to change their strategy, taught them that they should isolate him, and how and when to fight him on the battlefield at selective times. The famed leader Scipio (for whom the book makes the case perhaps gets too much credit for Rome’s ultimate success) rose in status, though not him, nor Fabius (of the famed Fabian strategy of war of attrition) nor anybody else can come close to Hannibal’s influence of that time. The Second Punic War was truly regional, stretching from Italy to Spain to Sicily to northern Africa, and contained many more complex dynamics than I can talk about in this review. This book has good information setting up background of conflict, great history on the colossal war itself, and a good if preachy section at the end summarizing the conflict and broadening on certain themes touched throughout. Bottom line: anyone with interest in history of war, or history generally, should read about the remarkable figure and story of Hannibal, whether from a source like this one, or a modern one like Ghosts of Cannae or The Punic Wars—two of the better non-fiction titles about the war—written by Robert L. O’Connell and Adrian Goldsworthy respectively.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Betsey Smith

    Where are the maps? This is an exhaustive and scholarly examination of the 2nd Punic war between Carthage and Rome. It goes into considerable detail on all subjects relevant to this conflict. The author was a Union officer in the American civil war and writes in a charming Victorian voice. He clearly loves his subject. I would have given this book five stars but for the glaring and unforgivable lack of maps. Any book on military history needs clear and legible maps for the reader to understand wh Where are the maps? This is an exhaustive and scholarly examination of the 2nd Punic war between Carthage and Rome. It goes into considerable detail on all subjects relevant to this conflict. The author was a Union officer in the American civil war and writes in a charming Victorian voice. He clearly loves his subject. I would have given this book five stars but for the glaring and unforgivable lack of maps. Any book on military history needs clear and legible maps for the reader to understand what's going on. The print version has these maps and I am simply amazed that the kindle version omits them. Nevertheless, if you are interested in this conflict, which was the prelude to Roman conquest of the Mediterranean, I recommend this book highly. I also recommend the author's other books on Alexander, Caesar, etc.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Diane L

    The one star rating is entirely for this edition. The Kindle edition is an un-edited OCR with many, many errors. Rome frequently appears as Pome or Borne, Scipio as Soipio or Seipio. But shows as bnt and hut, np is up, beaching is reaching. So many errors make the already dense 19th century history difficult. The book itself is well-written, well-researched and while Dodge frequently repeats himself I take that to be on a par with the writing of the time. I heartily recommend this narration of th The one star rating is entirely for this edition. The Kindle edition is an un-edited OCR with many, many errors. Rome frequently appears as Pome or Borne, Scipio as Soipio or Seipio. But shows as bnt and hut, np is up, beaching is reaching. So many errors make the already dense 19th century history difficult. The book itself is well-written, well-researched and while Dodge frequently repeats himself I take that to be on a par with the writing of the time. I heartily recommend this narration of the Second Punic War but don't try to do it on the cheap with the buck Kindle edition. Pay the money to get a hard copy.

  11. 5 out of 5

    MARK HUMPHRYES

    Very comprehensive and informative. Has encouraged me to read more about other early great empires such as Assyria, Persia and Egypt. Rather heavy to read at times due to language structure. As with many books of this nature by academics, the author assumes that his readership will have an understanding of other languages such as French, Latin, Greek, so using quotes in foreign languages without providing a translation tends to detract from one's understanding! Although thankfully this occurred Very comprehensive and informative. Has encouraged me to read more about other early great empires such as Assyria, Persia and Egypt. Rather heavy to read at times due to language structure. As with many books of this nature by academics, the author assumes that his readership will have an understanding of other languages such as French, Latin, Greek, so using quotes in foreign languages without providing a translation tends to detract from one's understanding! Although thankfully this occurred on only a few occasions.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Roberto Toro

    A very interesting book about Hannibal. the author seems to discredit Scipio Africanus a bit too much to my liking, but with the amount of information about the second punic war, it is more than bearablr.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    Just finished this excellent book. It’s a story of a genius (Hannibal Barca) who undertook an impossible mission (defeating Rome) and in the process created what we know today as military strategy. The writer (a Union officer from the US Civil War) describes Hannibal's life in extensive detail. He is especially focused on Hannibal's 16 year war against Rome. There is a detailed and breathtaking description of Hannibal's march across the Alps leading 100,000 soldiers 10,000 cavalry and 200 elepha Just finished this excellent book. It’s a story of a genius (Hannibal Barca) who undertook an impossible mission (defeating Rome) and in the process created what we know today as military strategy. The writer (a Union officer from the US Civil War) describes Hannibal's life in extensive detail. He is especially focused on Hannibal's 16 year war against Rome. There is a detailed and breathtaking description of Hannibal's march across the Alps leading 100,000 soldiers 10,000 cavalry and 200 elephants. That feat alone would place Hannibal in military history. This was followed by several crushing victories over Roman armies which were not prepared for the Carthaginian general's strategic war, his cunning and his power. Hannibal crushed the Romans at Lake Trasimene, at Geronium and of course at Cannae in a battle still studied at military academies for its brilliant strategy and the surrounding and destruction of a much larger Roman army by a brilliant Carthaginian maneuver. Historians often wonder why Hannibal did not march on Rome right after his famous win at Cannae. The author claims this was good strategic thinking by Hannibal who must have known that he would face an army up to 10 times his if Rome had to fight for her life. He was apparently hoping instead to destabilize the Latin Alliance and then dictate peace terms to Rome. He had some successes in this including getting Capua, the second largest city in the alliance, to turn on Rome and side with Carthage. But it would not be enough. For 15 years Hannibal and his army fought in Italy and the Romans eventually stalled the Carthaginian genius by refusing to meet him head on in a battle. Rome was so awed by Hannibal's military skills that they dared not fight him despite having a massive advantage in troop numbers. They simply followed Hannibal around Italy, skirmished occasionally and prevented him from destroying the alliance and sacking Rome. But they dared not fight Hannibal head on. It proved enough. Carthage was run by a group of corrupt oligarchs (does this sound familiar......) who were more concerned in fighting for Spain and keeping its resources as a trade colony than with supporting the campaign in Italy. For this, Carthage paid a price. Defeated in Spain, Carthage was forced to recall Hannibal to defend the city against the Romans led by Scipio. By this time the Carthaginian army was no match for the Romans having been depleted and exhausted by a 15 year campaign in Italy and the local conscripts were not experienced. The Battle of Zama was Hannibal's only defeat. Even that was based on some luck as the battle had been even until Roman cavalry returned from a pursuit unexpectedly and turned the battle. Hannibal then spent some years in government and was close to returning Carthage to greater power, but the Romans would not let that be. They hounded Hannibal until cornering him and forcing him to commit suicide at age 64. The author has a deep respect for his subject, almost a reverence. This helps the book also. The subject is well worthy of this reverence in my opinion. Hannibal was truly one of history's great leaders and this book makes his achievements clear in a great way.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Eric Shoemaker

    Outstanding look at the Carthaginian General, Rome's nemesis. I did my Senior Thesis on Hannibal Barca at the University of Nevada-Reno. Outstanding look at the Carthaginian General, Rome's nemesis. I did my Senior Thesis on Hannibal Barca at the University of Nevada-Reno.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Eric S

    First off I'd really like to give this book 3 1/2 stars. It's really in the middle of the two. The book is one of Dodge's 12 volume History of the Art of War which has been broken up into individual biographies. As such it has a significant amount of detail, about 20%, on the history of both Rome and Carthage as well as the differences in their respective military establishments. It is a typical 19th century "popular" history so it doesn't contain numerous footnotes one would expect from a more First off I'd really like to give this book 3 1/2 stars. It's really in the middle of the two. The book is one of Dodge's 12 volume History of the Art of War which has been broken up into individual biographies. As such it has a significant amount of detail, about 20%, on the history of both Rome and Carthage as well as the differences in their respective military establishments. It is a typical 19th century "popular" history so it doesn't contain numerous footnotes one would expect from a more scholarly work. As this was just one part of a multi-volume work on the art of war, it is often less of a biography and more of a history. The illustrations and maps are very helpful if dated. I found the author's insights to be well presented. When ancient writers disagree, he does a good job of explaining why he prefers one over the other. He also tends to analyze what data is available and draw his own conclusions. For example, on the second battle of Nola against the Roman, Marcellus, the author does a good job of explaining why it was probably a draw and not a Roman victory. The major drawback, in my opinion, is that the author is too repetitive. He frequently repeats his opinions of persons and political systems. The second weakness is the age of the book. Though the author uses what were "current" examples when written they are now very dated. So for the modern reader this can be confusing if the reader is unfamiliar with the U.S. civil war or Napoleon's campaigns. In summation, I would recommend this book but with the caveats already mentioned.

  16. 4 out of 5

    ***Dave Hill

    I suspect that Hannibal reads better than it listens to. As an audiobook, it is a longer, more endless drudge than the Carthaginian General's Journey over the Alps. Dodge spares no detail, and begins his book with a lengthy discussion of the history of the military of Rome and of Carthage, detailing their units and formations and how they evolved over the centuries, as well as their arms and examples of their early wars, all sprinkled with much meticulously pronounced Latin. Further, each chapte I suspect that Hannibal reads better than it listens to. As an audiobook, it is a longer, more endless drudge than the Carthaginian General's Journey over the Alps. Dodge spares no detail, and begins his book with a lengthy discussion of the history of the military of Rome and of Carthage, detailing their units and formations and how they evolved over the centuries, as well as their arms and examples of their early wars, all sprinkled with much meticulously pronounced Latin. Further, each chapter begins with a lengthy summary of the chapter to follow, which gives the actual listening to the book an odd sense of deja vu. The information presented is thorough, but -- in audio form -- came across as unengaging, the language a bit end-of-the-last-century stilted. Bill Wallace's narration is clear and precise, but there's not a lot he can do to make it more exciting, esp. when he has to pause a few times seemingly every paragraph to give the original Latin term for an English translation that's just been given. I made it a quarter of the way through, so perhaps it livens up later on. It does sound like it carries a wealth of information for a military scholar of the era, thus an "Okay" rating, but I cannot recommend it as an audiobook.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Cody True

    Dodge did a fantastic job with his overview of Hannibal, specifically the Second Punic War. In truth, not much is known about Hannibal so he goes into great depth about the prelude to the war and its details as well. His work is extremely educational regarding the typical discussion of Cannae, Trasimane, Trebia, and the Alps, but he goes into great detail regarding the following dozen years, discussing instances that do not get noted during most history works which merely overview this war. The o Dodge did a fantastic job with his overview of Hannibal, specifically the Second Punic War. In truth, not much is known about Hannibal so he goes into great depth about the prelude to the war and its details as well. His work is extremely educational regarding the typical discussion of Cannae, Trasimane, Trebia, and the Alps, but he goes into great detail regarding the following dozen years, discussing instances that do not get noted during most history works which merely overview this war. The only complaint would be a clear favor being shown to Hannibal himself, though Dodge goes to great lengths to justify his favoritism. Beyond that, he speaks well of the Romans on the other end in several instances, though he does not view Scipio with a great positivity. Nonetheless, Dodge gives a great overview of this war, breathing life to it and its combatants.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tyler Windham

    Just as in his classic work on Alexander the Great, Dodge against impresses, entertains, and captivates his audience with both his thorough detail and his narrative energy that, in this volume, takes the reader from Hannibal's early days fighting the rebellious tribes of the Iberian peninsula, to his daring (and almost reckless were it not so expertly done) crossing of the Alps, through all of his victories bearing testament to the Carthaginian general's near unmatched tactical prowess that shoo Just as in his classic work on Alexander the Great, Dodge against impresses, entertains, and captivates his audience with both his thorough detail and his narrative energy that, in this volume, takes the reader from Hannibal's early days fighting the rebellious tribes of the Iberian peninsula, to his daring (and almost reckless were it not so expertly done) crossing of the Alps, through all of his victories bearing testament to the Carthaginian general's near unmatched tactical prowess that shook the marble columns of Rome to their core. This is the definitive work on Hannibal's campaigns and for anyone interested in the man who inhabits the highest echelon of history's strategists, the Punic Wars, or in ancient/classical history in general should read this book!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Evan

    Hannibal Barca's life was incredible. This book is the third I have read on Hannibal, and I think I enjoyed it the most. The beginning was a little tedious, going through all the Roman fighting arrangements (especially over an audiobook). Once Dodge got into the 2nd Punic War, his insight was invaluable. He clearly illustrated the motives and circumstances that forced Hannibal's actions. His analysis of Hannibal and Alexander at the end was interesting as well. His insight on Hannibal's occupati Hannibal Barca's life was incredible. This book is the third I have read on Hannibal, and I think I enjoyed it the most. The beginning was a little tedious, going through all the Roman fighting arrangements (especially over an audiobook). Once Dodge got into the 2nd Punic War, his insight was invaluable. He clearly illustrated the motives and circumstances that forced Hannibal's actions. His analysis of Hannibal and Alexander at the end was interesting as well. His insight on Hannibal's occupation of Italy after Cannae was the best I have read. I didn't necessarily care for his style of writing, but overall, a great account of Hannibal and Carthage.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kamin

    This is an amazing and eye-opening book detailing the Second Punic War and one of the greatest of history's generals, Hannibal. Dodge goes to the utmost length to explain the tactical limitations of the time and how much of a military genius Hannibal truly was. It is also an interesting read in regards to the Romans of the time. I for one found the warmongering, imperialist Romans to be very interesting, as it showed the basis of why they went on to form one of history's greatest empires. All in This is an amazing and eye-opening book detailing the Second Punic War and one of the greatest of history's generals, Hannibal. Dodge goes to the utmost length to explain the tactical limitations of the time and how much of a military genius Hannibal truly was. It is also an interesting read in regards to the Romans of the time. I for one found the warmongering, imperialist Romans to be very interesting, as it showed the basis of why they went on to form one of history's greatest empires. All in all, a extremely interesting read for anyone interested in history or warfare in general.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ruben

    Detailed and well-explained life of Hannibal to the extent that history allows. The campaign of Hannibal during the Second Punic War is extensively detailed. war arrangements and logistics, tactics and battles are carefully explained. I missed some more details about the last part of Hannibal life after the battle of Zama but probably not much remains about that period. Very interesting comparison of Hannibal, Napoleon and Alexander. A great book, most of it is even better than Games of Thrones.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Gabriel

    I cannot even recall how I stumbled upon reading this one, but it was a great find. I enjoyed the tremendous detail provided by the author. His additional ability to mix some storytelling into so many facts made it an fast read. The story is truly amazing in and of itself - and perhaps the only thing keeping it from a modern major movie retelling is the failure of its subject to accomplish anything more than teaching his foes to fight. If you like military strategy, early Roman culture, larger th I cannot even recall how I stumbled upon reading this one, but it was a great find. I enjoyed the tremendous detail provided by the author. His additional ability to mix some storytelling into so many facts made it an fast read. The story is truly amazing in and of itself - and perhaps the only thing keeping it from a modern major movie retelling is the failure of its subject to accomplish anything more than teaching his foes to fight. If you like military strategy, early Roman culture, larger than life characters - you will enjoy this one.

  23. 4 out of 5

    F.

    Dodge is a great writer. Granted it takes a little while to get used to his style now since he wrote everything almost a century ago. But is exceptionally nice to read military history written by a soldier. They point things out in a way that makes sense to people I think. They emphasize the importance of strategy, tactics, supply lines etc. Everything that I've read by Dodge has been exceptional and this is no different. I recommend this to all fans of military history. Dodge is a great writer. Granted it takes a little while to get used to his style now since he wrote everything almost a century ago. But is exceptionally nice to read military history written by a soldier. They point things out in a way that makes sense to people I think. They emphasize the importance of strategy, tactics, supply lines etc. Everything that I've read by Dodge has been exceptional and this is no different. I recommend this to all fans of military history.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kyle

    This is not just a history of Hannibal and his famous battles. It;s a history of the warfare of the times. Dodge goes out of his way to set the events up in a strong framework by first explaining Roman and Carthaginian tactics and history and then addresing their clashes. Like all of Dodge's work this is invaluable in it's presentation and it's ability to grab the reader. READ IT! This is not just a history of Hannibal and his famous battles. It;s a history of the warfare of the times. Dodge goes out of his way to set the events up in a strong framework by first explaining Roman and Carthaginian tactics and history and then addresing their clashes. Like all of Dodge's work this is invaluable in it's presentation and it's ability to grab the reader. READ IT!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Idiom

    Dodge wrote this as a retired US Civil War general, giving him an insight to his writing that isn't found in many other accounts. This perspective brings his narrative to vibrant life. Two of his other accounts on Julius Caeser and Alexander of Macedon are near hypnotic in bringing their stories to life. Dodge wrote this as a retired US Civil War general, giving him an insight to his writing that isn't found in many other accounts. This perspective brings his narrative to vibrant life. Two of his other accounts on Julius Caeser and Alexander of Macedon are near hypnotic in bringing their stories to life.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    There's a lot of bias, which is to be expected since it was the norm for "history" related material when it was originally written (1890's). Many blanket conclusions spoken as fact, are just a couple of the drawbacks that come to mind. Pretty decent on telling us how the Consul armies were formed & operated as well as the tactics & strategies used at the time. There's a lot of bias, which is to be expected since it was the norm for "history" related material when it was originally written (1890's). Many blanket conclusions spoken as fact, are just a couple of the drawbacks that come to mind. Pretty decent on telling us how the Consul armies were formed & operated as well as the tactics & strategies used at the time.

  27. 4 out of 5

    John Warren

    very interesting outlook on hanibal from theodore dodge a retired union gerneral. his insights on hannibal i really enjoyed plus the use of ancient historical sources bad this book a very enjoyable read. i like how he compares alexander and hannibal and the the legin vs the phlanx chapter was cool as well. will definitely have to read his book on alexander

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mark Dunstan

    A very detailed account of Hannibal and the Second Punic War - a very entertaining read despite being written in the late 19th century - Dodge's bias and hero-worship aside, this is one of the best books on Hannibal. A very detailed account of Hannibal and the Second Punic War - a very entertaining read despite being written in the late 19th century - Dodge's bias and hero-worship aside, this is one of the best books on Hannibal.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Slava

    On my humble opinion Hannibal is in a top 3 best generals ever walk the surface of the Earth. This book gives very detailed account of the Hannibal Barks's life and attachments. Must read for every fan of the Creates carfaginian captain. On my humble opinion Hannibal is in a top 3 best generals ever walk the surface of the Earth. This book gives very detailed account of the Hannibal Barks's life and attachments. Must read for every fan of the Creates carfaginian captain.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Evelyn

    I actually only read the beginning about the way the Carthaginians and the Romans set up their armies, and that was fascinating. One of these days I'll get around to reading the part about Hannibal! I actually only read the beginning about the way the Carthaginians and the Romans set up their armies, and that was fascinating. One of these days I'll get around to reading the part about Hannibal!

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