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3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  470 Ratings  ·  50 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 July 1st 1976 by Pinnacle Books (Mm) (first published 1958)
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Dec 27, 2011 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 25, 2012 Ahsan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 04, 2010 Zare rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 17, 2011 Craig rated it really liked it
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
Jun 30, 2012 Brenton rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 05, 2012 Marcus rated it it was ok
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
May 16, 2009 Charles rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfic-history
One of my favorite's by Lamb. I felt like I was along on the March with Hannibal. Good stuff.
Joshua Horn
Mar 21, 2017 Joshua Horn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great biography of Hannibal. It's interesting, and sticks pretty close to the sources and doesn't stray too far into speculation. It's really remarkable to hear the story of Hannibal - how the talants of one man, or one family, created a world superpower that rivaled the rising star of Rome. He was one of history's greatest generals, fighting against great odds, yet he ultimately was defeated in what could be considered the first defeat of his career. An amazing tale with many lessons ...more
Nathan P Musick
Jan 12, 2017 Nathan P Musick rated it it was amazing
More historical than fiction, this is a scholarly researched book by Harold Lamb that is consistent with his other efforts. Great read on the Punic Wars.
Aug 30, 2011 Erwin rated it really liked it
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
Feb 17, 2012 Vincent Wood rated it liked it
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
Patrick King
Dec 27, 2015 Patrick King rated it liked it
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,
Nov 01, 2008 Mark rated it really liked it
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
Jul 01, 2013 Kyran rated it it was amazing
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
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
Jaime Contreras
This is a forgotten classic that I found at a resale shop in Tampa Bay. Lamb pens a visceral portrait of the Hannibal, the military genius of the circa 200 BC whose motivation to conquer Rome stemmed from his father. The author relates a tale of a patriarch who passes on his hatred of and desire to conquer Rome. Hannibal was raised for one purpose and lived that legacy out his entire life. The book ends on a sad note as the general has to cope with his destiny. The book is solid and is a great r ...more
Andrew Parnell
Apr 20, 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
Scott Wozniak
Jul 21, 2014 Scott Wozniak rated it liked it
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
Max Skidmore
Aug 02, 2016 Max Skidmore rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I knew the basics about Hannibal but this book gave me the details about his life and his conquests. He was a remarkable leader and solved problems as varied as getting an army (including elephants) over the Alps to generating tax revenues that solved seemingly impossible budgetary problems. He was a master of using terrain to his advantage as well as studying his enemies. After this book and one on Alexander the Great, I expect to be familiar with the Mediterranean a ...more
Feb 02, 2012 Mike rated it really liked it
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
Sep 20, 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.
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.
Aug 21, 2015 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
John David
Oct 19, 2012 John David rated it really liked it
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.
Apr 18, 2016 Bobby rated it really liked it
I'm amazed that some reviewers say this reads "like a textbook". If anything, it reads like tour-de-horizon fiction, with sweeping vistas composed of oft overly dramatic narratives. Surprisingly, it brings Hannibal and his magnificent rise and fall to life. While it's not something you'll be citing for your Masters in Antiquity, it still makes for fine reading and is a fine starter book for those unfamiliar with Carthage and the Punic Wars.
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!
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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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