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Read & Download The Punic Wars Ü PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook Ç An impressive new historian of Roman warfare highly praised by John Keegan has written a thoroughly engrossing account of the greatest conflict of antiuity It will grab the attention of military buffs and general readers alike The struggle for supremacy between Rome anAn impressive new historian of Roman warfare highly praised by John Keegan has written a thoroughly engrossing account of the greatest conflict of antiuity It will grab the attention of military buffs and general readers alike The struggle for supremacy betwe. The Fall of Carthage is a very readable account of the three Punic Wars between Rome and Carthage The Second War takes up most of the narrative as it was the most dramatic and bloody episode but the other episodes are also given their due according to their relevance Sources are limited of course and all from the Roman or sometimes Greek perspective but overall this is a very accessible book on the conflict for supremacy in the ancient Western Mediterranean The Punic Wars and Ancient History in general are not well known by the general public these days but even those with only a slight interest will immediately mention Hannibal crossing the Alps with elephants though someone in my personal circle keeps thinking Hannibal crossed the Bosporus – I assume it’s a false association he just can’t shake There is something legendary and almost mythical about history that old and events on such a scale There is spectacle and the rise of Rome as the main power of the Mediterranean – something which was not a given at the time although it may seem only natural to us There is lots and lots of blood and some anecdotes which were to become the staple for histories of the ancient world like Appius Claudius throwing the ‘holy chickens’ in the sea to drink since they refused to eat the grain reserved for the ritual to ascertain divine favour for the coming battle a battle which was of course lost the Roman ambassador giving Carthage a choice of letting slip either war or peace from the folds of his toga Hannibal managing to pass Fabius Maximus’ army in the passes of the Apennines by stampeding a herd of oxen at night and following up on them the Carthaginian senate showered with golden senators’ rings taken from the dead of Cannae Rome refusing to treat with Hannibal after said tremendous defeat Cato with his ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam and dropping ‘Carthaginian’ figs from his toga again the toga and Scipio Aemilianus crying at the destruction of CarthageGoldsworthy analyzes and discusses the reasons for the conflict the sources and the events that took place to shape the narrative The author is well known for his books on the Roman army so he’s right at home here He has a strong grasp of the sources and takes the time to point out why X or Y is to be preferred without bogging the narrative down in academic detail One does note however that although Goldsworthy warns us that Livius as a traditionalist and moral critic and especially Polybius in favouring the Scipiones and Aemiliani because he was a member of Scipio Aemilianus’ inner circle are not always reliable he still paints a very rosy picture of Scipio Aemilianus in the Third War Perhaps he just wanted to finish or he simply chose to go with the sources we have as there are no Punic sources left and nothing to replace the unreliable ones with Maybe a minor fault but it made the part about the Third War read a bit like a cheap novel Alternatively Scipio Aemilianus could have been a Roman Superman – he certainly was a better politician that Scipio Africanus who had trouble getting by in the Roman senate after his successes as a generalSectioning in the book in three parts one for each installment of the war makes sense because the three wars were very different The First War was centered around the fight for Sicily with only a few battles on land including a short and unsuccessful Roman excursion into Northern Africa and a number of naval battles Control of Sicily was all that was at stake The Second War was a war for control of the Western Mediterranean with battlegrounds in Spain Italy Africa and even Greece and the Balkans This was a war for dominance and for survival The Third War however was the result of Roman unease about an enemy not meek enough and plain opportunityGoldsworthy does a good job of pointing out how we should interpret what actually happened and gives a strong analysis of especially the Roman strengths and weaknesses the Punic ones are far harder to grasp again because Carthage was utterly destroyed and there are no Punic sources left Where there are gaps in our sources or narrative Goldsworthy tells us what he thinks is most likely to be what happened giving his reasons for us to consider for ourselves He also keeps from imagining about the prosaic or romantic aspects that earlier historians have inserted and warns us when all we have is Roman propaganda All in all I think this is a great read both for those unfamiliar with the subject who want to learn and those who are familiar and want a good modern approach of a monumental topic of the Ancient world

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En Rome and Carthage encompassed the First 264 241 BC and Second 149 146 BC Punic Wars; both sides suffered casualties exceeding that of any war fought before the modern era Its outcome had far reaching conseuences for the Western world too as it led to the a. Goldsworthy wisely uses the Osprey techniue of reviewing the opposing forces before he tackles the narrative of the Punic Wars The First war and its unresolved conseuences gets adeuate coverage The Second war inevitably forms the bulk which is not a bad thing; the bibliography caters to the needs of every other focus of interest Hannibal disappears into the background a year after Cannae tough The Third war comes off as a bit rushed Goldsworthy switches perspectives effortlessly He can place you in the heat of battle one moment show how the events in Sicily Spain Italy interact the next He does a fine job of offering different plausible theses where the ancient sources stay silent Unfortunately sometimes our knowledge is simply too sketchy; he admits as much regarding the Carthaginian side of the story The book could've used maps ànd a synopsis of the discussion on Hannibal's route through the Alps Too many authors skip it

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The Punic WarsScendancy of Rome In grand narrative style follow the fighting on land and sea; the terrible pitched battles; and such generals as Hannibal Fabius Maximus and Scipio Aemilianus who finally drove Carthage into the ground A Main Selection of the History Book Cl. Reading The Punic Wars I was reminded of Rick Atkinson’s An Army at Dawn which I had read just prior to this book Both are largely straightforward and well written accounts of epochal wars and both have to do with campaigns in North Africa and Italy if one were to stretch the comparison to include Atkinson’s Day of Battle his account of the Allied invasion of Italy The only reservation I have against the current book at least the edition I read is not one of content but of editing – there are far too many easily caught typos at least two instances where battle sites are confused the one I noted because I was near pen and paper at the time was confusing Cannae with Zama and they misspell the North African city of Hadrumetum as “Hadrumentum”The Punic Wars were a series of conflicts between the rising state of Rome and the dominant power of the Western Mediterranean the Phoenician city of Carthage It comprised three officially declared wars and lasted from 264 146 BC Naturally enough Goldsworthy divides the book into three parts corresponding to the three wars and I will follow suit in this reviewFirst though as in all histories of the Ancient World a note on sources – or better their lack We truly have only a handful of sources and the closest in time to the periods under discussion Polybius breaks off at Cannae and only survives in fragments thereafter Beyond that all surviving sources are Roman or pro Roman though we know of at least two histories written by Greeks who traveled with Hannibal Unfortunately archaeology is of little help since the politics of the period the organization of armies the economies and all that other interesting stuff is not preserved in the rock strata Despite these handicaps Prof Goldsworthy does an admirable job of synthesizing what we can know and reasonably speculating about what we can’t1st Punic War 264 241The first war happened almost by accident; there’s little evidence that Carthage and Rome’s relations were particularly hostile prior to 264 Nevertheless both sides found themselves drawn into a direct confrontation over the disposition of Sicily Goldsworthy argues that the escalation was largely the result of the nature of Roman politics pp 74 5 Consuls served for only one year and before these wars pro magistracies extensions of authority beyond the stipulated term were rare Thus to win glory and honor magistrates were compelled to move uickly and the consuls for 264 Claudius Caudex and Fulvius Flaccus saw opportunities in Sicily I won’t begin to narrate the course of the first war but what emerges from Goldsworthy’s account are two distinct differences between the foes which proved decisive in all three wars The first was the nature of the armies involved The Carthaginians relied almost entirely on mercenaries primarily Spanish Numidian and Libyan In fact it’s only the final army that faced Rome in the third war where a sizable Punic contingent is noted While individual units may have been well trained and led the armies as a whole were composites where communication between units was difficult and coordination awkward One of the factors in Hannibal’s success in the second war was that he managed to forge a unified fighting force but only after years of preparatory warfare in Spain In contrast the force he led at Zama had only been marshaled recently lacking the esprit de corps that his Italian army enjoyedRoman armies on the other hand though made up of citizen conscripts and allies were far homogeneous and spoke related languages so communication was easier Beyond that they were highly trained to work togetherThe second factor that ultimately led to Rome’s success was how both sides viewed war Carthage’s view was the uintessential Hellenistic one – wars were fought between rival states to secure advantages They often boiled down to a single decisive battle after much maneuvering and the subseuent peace treaty left both sides intact and didn’t change the nature of their relationship For Rome though war was “total” The only conceivable outcome was unconditional victory for Rome the enemy being destroyed or reduced to dependency or her utter defeat The idea of a “negotiated settlement” between euals was foreign to Roman ideas of diplomacy Thus what was a standard Hellenistic style war to the Carthaginians was an existential threat to the Romans The difference is clear in Rome’s response to defeat in battle – They lose a fleet They rebuild it They lose 50000 men at Cannae They recruit younger and older men and reconstitute the legions Hannibal appears before the walls of Rome They have a land sale which includes the ground he camps onThe first war was fought and won at sea From a solely land based Italian power in 264 Rome became a formidable naval one by 241 and dictated harsh terms to the Carthaginians Rome was still not powerful enough and its political constitution and military organization not flexible enough to fully exploit its new found dominance Despite Carthage’s defeat it remained a power to be reckoned with Though it was forced to abandon its designs in Sicily Carthage immediately began to exploit opportunities in SpainThe Second Punic War 218 201The second war is one of the relatively best documented periods in ancient history Hannibal was the “devil” of Roman nightmares and Scipio Africanus who defeats him at Zama one of Rome’s greatest generals Hannibal started it deliberately when he marched out of Spain across modern day Provence and down into Italy where he terrorized Rome and her allies for the next sixteen years Even at the end cornered in Italy’s boot heel no Roman general relished confronting him so they sent legions to invade Africa insteadUnfortunately for Hannibal’s efforts Carthage was still fighting a Hellenistic war and he received almost no support from the city and despite a potentially powerful fleet there was never any serious attempt to contest Rome’s mastery of the seas With any other state any of Hannibal’s three great battles – Trebia Trasimene and Cannae – would have brought both sides to the negotiating table Instead Rome dug in her heels raised legions and avoided engaging Hannibal in battle As Goldsworthy points out forcing unwilling armies to fight was extremely difficult Most battles were fought between commanders who felt they enjoyed the upper hand and wanted to do so Absent this attitude most wars settled into maneuvering to control towns disrupt supply lines and win allies All conditions which favored Rome Adding to the Punic general’s woes and critical to his eventual failure in Italy was the political situation among the city states that defected to his side Though anti Roman they weren’t necessarily pro Carthaginian and they proved unable to work together indeed freed from Rome’s oversight some went to war with each otherMore so than the first the second war fundamentally changed Roman society and set it firmly on the path to empire Among other things I’ll mention two notable developments First the army evolved into a highly professional organization Under Scipio it achieved miracles that would have been unthinkable in the first war and at the start of the second and impossible in the Carthaginian ranks Second the heavy losses amongst the ranks of the Roman elite changed the makeup of the legions – unpropertied and poorer men in the ranks at the lowest ebb even slaves and the promotion of middle ranking citizens to the senatorial class That combined with the increasing custom of multiple magistracies and pro magistracies sowed the seeds that would bring down the Republic 150 years laterThe Third Punic War 149 146The third war was almost an afterthought As a political power and threat to Rome Carthage was impotent So why the war Goldsworthy argues that Rome “needed” the war because her position in the Mediterranean was slipping It had been over 50 years since Rome’s legions had so thoroughly triumphed at Zama The veterans were all dead and the legions’ professionalism was long gone Roman prestige was at stake and it was not helped by the arrogant rapacious and brutal policies of its politicians and soldiersDespite its weakness and because of Rome’s ill preparedness Carthage mounted a doomed but effective resistance for three long years before admitting defeat Rome enslaved its citizens razed most of the city there’s evidence the harbor remained in operation after 146 and incorporated Africa into its growing network of provincesFor Goldsworthy the legacy of the wars was threefold1Overall it marked Rome’s emergence as a world power and arbiter of foreign affairs throughout the Mediterranean2 It accustomed Rome to long term commitments of troops and resources overseas and made an already highly militarized society even so3 And the need for such long term military service destroyed the small farmer class of citizens that had formed the bulk of the legions By the end of the Republic they had been replaced by the vast slave worked estates of the Roman elite and a professional army was increasingly estranged from the State becoming personally loyal only to its generalsEnthusiastically and most definitely recommended to any interested in the period