Mitchell's Reviews > The Ghosts of Cannae: Hannibal & the Darkest Hour of the Roman Republic

The Ghosts of Cannae by Robert L. O'Connell
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's review
Nov 15, 11

bookshelves: non-fiction, history
Read from October 31 to November 14, 2011

I enjoyed this book quite a bit. My knowledge of Roman history is quite lacking, and though I had a vague idea that Hannibal attacked Rome through the Alps with some elephants, I was completely surprised by the scope of the battles. Modern estimates of Roman casualties at Cannae are around 50k, just in the one battle! Its a staggering number to think about. This book is nominally about the survivors of that battle, but really is a short summary of the Second Punic War. While detailing the events and battles, the author also looks at the effects of Cannae in specific and Hannibal's invasion in general on Rome, contending that these effects lead to the eventual downfall of the republic. I would have enjoyed more maps and diagrams, but all in all, a good read
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