Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Pride of Carthage Sources

People have been asking me what sources I looked to while writing Pride of Carthage. There were a lot, actually, but there were some I used more than others. Below are the ones I mention in the back of the book. They're all titles I'd recommend for anybody wanting to do more research on Hannibal...

For those interested in an historian's take there are many sources to consult, beginning with the ancient’s themselves: Polybius and Livy. Among the many more recent texts I considered I wore a few thin and ragged: Lesley and Roy A. Adkins' Handbook to Life in Ancient Rome, Nigel Bagnall's The Punic Wars, Ernle Bradford's Hannibal, Brian Caven's The Punic Wars, Leonard Cottrell's Hannibal: Enemy of Rome, Gregory Daly's Cannae, Theodore Ayrault Dodge's Hannibal, Florence Dupont's Daily Life in Ancient Rome, Peter Berresford Ellis' The Celtic Empire, J. F. Lazenby's The First Punic War and Hannibal's War: A Military History of the Second Punic War, Adrian Goldsworthy's Cannae, Victor Hanson's Carnage and Culture, B.H. Liddell Hart's Scipio Africanus, Serge Lancel's Hannibal, John Peddie's Hannibal’s War, John Prevas' Hannibal Crosses the Alps, John Gibson Warry's Warfare in the Classical World, and Terrence Wise's Armies of the Carthaginian Wars 265-146 BC.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

David, are there one or two of these sources that you'd recommend above the others as a starting point for an exploration into the life of Hannibal Barca?

7:08 AM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...


Thanks for writing. Yes, there are a few I think are better starting points than the rest. As I read more accounts of the same people and situations I recognized more and more bias in particular accounts. Usually there was something I could use from each book, but many of them have a surprising amount of unsubstantiated statements.

But anyway, for a slim but thorough basic introduction to Hannibal I recommend Ernle Bradford’s "Hannibal". It's not a big book or anything, but it's readable and he lays out the entire story of the Second Punic War with efficient detail.

After that, Nigel Bagnall’s "The Punic Wars" comes to mind. This one covers the whole sweep of the conflict between Carthage and Rome, including the First and Third Punic wars. Bagnall is great at examining tactics and strategy. Reading him, Hannibal's actions make a lot of sense, actually, and don’t just seem driven by hatred or arrogance.

Oh, there’s also Livy and Polybius. Never forget them.

10:41 AM  

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