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Hannibal: One Man Against Rome

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  414 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
This is the breathtaking adventure of the great Carthaginian general who shook the foundations of Rome. When conflict between Rome and Carthage resumed in 219 B.C., after a brief hiatus from the first Punic War, the Romans decided to invade Spain. Eluding several Roman legions sent out to intercept him in Spain and France, Hannibal Barca astoundingly led his small army of ...more
Published March 23rd 2003 by Audio Connoisseur (first published 1958)
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Jan 04, 2012 David rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Carthaginians, Romans
Ostensibly a biography of the great Carthaginian general Hannibal Barca, the fact is that it's hard to write authoritatively about what the man himself was like. Most of the records were written by his enemies, the Romans, who characterized him as cruel, mad, and treacherous. However, by looking at his actual actions, a different picture emerges, of someone who was a pretty decent man for his time, considering he spent the latter half of his life at war with an enemy that wanted to destroy his n ...more
Dale Pearl

I have been quite fortunate this year to read such excellent history commentaries. Hannibal by Harold Lamb does not fail here either. The audio book was superb. The writing was crisp and held your attention till the very end.

Sometimes it is difficult to engage into a book on history when you already know the outcome. Hannibal is a unique case in that we know so little about the man that virtually all the information about him comes from his enemies.

Hannibal invokes strategies that every general
Dec 30, 2011 Craig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biographies
A well-written biography of Hannibal, a Carthenian general who was taken to Spain as a child by his father in about 230 BC. Upon his father's and older brother's deaths, he succeeded as commander of the Carthenian forces in Spain. Upon Rome's violation of a treaty regarding territories in Iberia (Spain) ruled by Carthage, Hannible decided to take the war to Rome - hence, his historic trek (with elephants) over the Alps into Italy. His victories in Italy allowed him to rule much of that country f ...more
Nov 04, 2010 Zare rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hannibal Barca, commander of armies of Carthage, man who almost brought Rome to its knees. Man of whom we know nothing except what was written by his bitter enemies, Romans, centuries after Carthage was razed.[return]Harold Lamb s takes us on the journey through northern Africa, Spain, through wilderness of Alps and finally all the way from the northern plains of Italy to the old Greek cities in the south of Italy (to Capua and even further south to Syracuse).[return][return]It is time of great ...more
Aug 09, 2012 Ahsan rated it it was amazing
A very exciting, very readable history of Hannibal, the great Carthaginian general. Despite the little information we have about Hannibal himself, Harold Lamb has written a very detailed history of Hannibal's battles and the many Romans who played a role in what became the Second Punic War - with the equally great Roman general, Scipio Africanus, foremost among them.

Hannibal spent over 15 years inside Italy, dominating Rome with a small, heterogeneous army (including Italians) in which not a sin
Jun 30, 2012 Brenton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent biography of a great general on the wrong side of history. Hannibal, the great Carthaginian nemesis of Rome, ranks with the best military strategists ever to lead an army into the field. Always outnumbered, undersupplied, and lacking the technologies possessed by the Romans, he managed to defeat them again and again. To this day, historians are staggered by some of his disappearing acts--for instance, when he disappeared from Spain, and reappeared in Italy having crossed the Alps by ...more
At the beginning of his book, Harold Lamb states his purpose - to attempt to get inside the head of Hannibal Barca, one of the greatest generals of western world. There is a problem with this statement - no new information has been uncovered about the subject of Mr. Lamb's study to enable him to do better job than other military historians that attempted to do exactly same thing before him. So the only option for the author to contribute something new about the subject matter lies in new interpr ...more
Jul 22, 2009 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hannibal is best known as the Carthaginian military commander who led his African forces, including a number of "war elephants," over the Alps into northern Italy to defeat the Romans in the Punic wars. I was fascinated by this description of his life and the times in which he lived (about 250 to 180 B.C.), and learned much about geography (now, where was Carthage exactly?) as well as history. Hannibal is considered by many to be one of the greatest military strategists who ever lived. This book ...more
Patrick King
The Second Punic War is a milestone point in Roman history. Really this is the story of Hannibal.

Still the definitive book (biography) on Hannibal by all accounts but the book suffers by perhaps a lack of material to work with given the sources available. The phrase that the victors write the history is true (and they destroy what was recorded but a lack of recording doesn't help).

On the cons of the book, it gives only a cursory review of the major battles from a tactical perspective; however,
May 16, 2009 Charles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfic-history
One of my favorite's by Lamb. I felt like I was along on the March with Hannibal. Good stuff.
Scott Wozniak
Hannibal is a fascinating character, but he didn't leave any writings and all his friends--along with his entire civilization--were destroyed by Rome. So while this book is well written the data on Hannibal is scarce and that from his mortal enemies.

What we know most--his battle tactics--dominates the book. His thinking and character as a person are largely unknown. So I learned about managing a military campaign behind enemy lines. But I learned little about being a great person or great leade
Aug 30, 2011 Erwin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the breathtaking adventure of the great Carthaginian general who shook the foundations of Rome. When conflict between Rome and Carthage resumed in 219 B.C., after a brief hiatus from the first Punic War, the Romans decided to invade Spain. Eluding several Roman legions sent out to intercept him in Spain and France, Hannibal Barca astoundingly led his small army of mercenaries over the Alps and thundered down into the Po Valley. The Carthaginian swept all resistance from his path and, as ...more
Vincent Wood
This book is about some cannibal... No it is not about a cannibal. However, while I was reading this book, several people have asked me what I was currently reading and after I told them the name, they then asked me about cannibalism.

This book is about a man that many historians consider one of the greatest generals in history. Hannibal Barca of the city of Carthage, son of Hamilcar Barca was a general who marched an army from Spain across the Pyrenees and the Alps into Italy where he caused all
Aug 21, 2015 John rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, biography
A good listen if you are interested in the Punic wars. The author is forced to rely upon the Roman historians because that is all that is, but he is appropriately skeptical in his reliance on Livy and others. His conjectures are clearly identified. The sound recording has some cheesy sound effects between chapters, but I won't mark my review off because of it. As with any audiobook history, some familiarity with geography is helpful.

Frank Thun
Jan 17, 2015 Frank Thun rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Catharginians were such a world open Society, so much differnt to the monotolistic Rome. A merchant Nation, where a lot of their strength and weaknesses can be attributed in the strive for Money.

Hannibals exploits are of course outstanding. But getting to know the reasons behing his ultimate failure is a lessons about romes strength, which took it to its dominating Position for the next 700 years.
Andrew Parnell
May 03, 2015 Andrew Parnell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
They say Hannibal left nothing for all the fighting he did against the Romans! Before Hannibal, the Romans were dogged and single minded , but very unimaginative . Their fighting consisted in standard formation and persevering till victory, Hannibal (after many years) taught them that ruse and deception were the equivalent of extra legions, and it is only when the Romans used clever tactics did they finally beat Hannibal. So ultimately without out the Cathaginian, Rome quite possibly would never ...more
Nov 01, 2008 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you like history, you will love this story about the legendary Carthaginian general who crossed the Alps with an army and confounded the Romans for 16 years on their own turf. I learned a great deal about the City states of the Italian peninsula and that Rome, although militarily strong, did not have the support of all the inhabitants of the region. It was surprising to find that Hannibal's home base was Spain, rather than Carthage, in North Africa. He was able to outfight and outmaneuver his ...more
I had a hard time with this one for some reason. I love Roman history and usually find it really fascinating. And I didn't actually know much about Hannibal, so I was looking forward to learning about him. But something about it made it soooo hard to focus. Honestly, I think it might have been the narrator I had trouble with. It's an interesting production--at times I almost felt like I was listening to a tv documentary with all sorts of sound effects. And Griffin kind of sounds like he's readin ...more
Mar 07, 2015 Christina rated it really liked it
An amazing biography of one of the greatest military generals of all time. This is one of those stories that bring up more questions than we have answers, partly because he didn't have a big, flashy personality. He's pretty much a mystery in a lot of ways and it's too bad we don't have more historical data on him. I really enjoyed this book!
Curtis J. Correll
Jun 29, 2015 Curtis J. Correll rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story is one I did not know well at all. I am glad to have read this excellent account. I knew that Hannibal had done amazing things, but it shocked me how thoroughly his rag-tag army of mixed origins dominated the Roman armies for so long on the soil of Italy. This is a great book if you have any interest in Classical History.
Jul 01, 2013 Kyran rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having read this to a Year 6 class, I realised just how engaging and engrossing military tales can be. It involves the Carthaginian general's quest to conquer Rome and defy logical reason to achieve it. Hannibal possesses all the qualities of a courageous warrior and the students I read the story to clearly admired him and thoroughly enjoyed reading the novel.
There is plenty of action , large battles and small skirmishes. There is also plenty of gore to keep things interesting. As the tale play
David Little
Oct 24, 2012 David Little rated it liked it
Obviously a fascinating book, crammed cover-to-cover with detailed insight on Hannibal's campaign against Rome. A masterful tactician, choosing the battlefield to his advantage and also a genius influencer of allied armies.
Unfortunately, what spoiled this audio version of the book is the narrator's ridiculous accent - sorry, I couldn't help but be subjective here. He sounds like an American trying to be an English thespian, and stumbles over so many incongruous word pronunciations that I was con
Mar 05, 2015 Nicholas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, rome, biography
Thoroughly enjoyed it. One of my favorite people of the time.
Feb 02, 2012 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Before Ceaser Agustus the Romans fought the Punic Wars with Carthage over the very birth of empire. Whoever won that war would have founded the empire of the Mediterranean that became the Roman Empire. The most famous leader of Carthage was Hannibal. He maintained his army on Roman territory for 18 years and defeated the legions. He came very close to sacking Rome itself. He lost because the Roman navy defeated his brother Hasdrubal from resuppling him. This is a histograpgy of Hannibal. It is a ...more
Duane Wilson
Jan 17, 2015 Duane Wilson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable audio book.
Laurel Connell
Boring in places. I wanted to skip pages.
Interesting book, it shows how Hannibal won against the Romans by outthinking his enemy. He studied the Roman battle tactics and found that the leaders on the field followed orders based on what horn was blown but they were not trained to think on their feet. He won by creating unexpected conditions. All the elephants died from the cold except one, the only Indian Elephant; 36 african elephants died soon after crossing and were only used in 1 battle.
Oct 17, 2011 Greg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great biography on a little-known general/leader from the past. Hannibal lived around the 2nd Century B.C. when Rome was just another City-State and before it became an empire. Many have heard of Hannibal as the guy who brought elephants over the Alps, but few understand that he controlled the southern half of modern Italy for over ten years.
The book does a great job explaining the events that eventually gave rise to the Roman Empire.
John David
Oct 19, 2012 John David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: worth-your-time
A very interesting biography. There are some very important life lessons to be learned, as well. If you are a fan of military history or military strategy, then you must learn about Hannibal, and this book is a great place to start.

It is an easy read, yet has great detail about Hannibal's many victories, betrayals, and defeats.

Your time will not have been wasted if you read this book.
Tom Schulte
Jul 02, 2011 Tom Schulte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to my friend Rich for drawing my attention to this classic history of Hannibal. Lamb's account draws out the heroic perseverance and single-minded drive of Hannibal. I am drawn to this story like that of the explorations of Shackleton. Though I've read the arc of the Punic wars before, this work really underscores how the Roman reaction to this threat became the impetus to empire.
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Harold Albert Lamb was an American historian, screenwriter, short story writer, and novelist.

Born in Alpine, New Jersey, he attended Columbia University, where his interest in the peoples and history of Asia began. Lamb built a career with his writing from an early age. He got his start in the pulp magazines, quickly moving to the prestigious Adventure magazine, his primary fiction outlet for nine
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