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Pride of Carthage: A Novel of Hannibal

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  1,517 Ratings  ·  119 Reviews
An epic work of literary fiction about the superb military leader of Carthage, Hannibal Barca, and his struggle against the mighty Roman Republic.

With a vast cast of characters and nationalities, twists of fate, and tales of inspired leadership, David Anthony Durham perfectly captures the legendary Hannibal's world in Pride of Carthage. Beginning in ancient Spain, where Ha
Hardcover, 576 pages
Published January 18th 2005 by Doubleday (first published January 1st 2005)
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Oct 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: antiquity, owned

Ever get sick of hearing about how great Rome was? The roads, the aqueducts, the politics, the legislation, the big names, the military...ever just wanna see Roma herself get knocked flat on her ass and piss herself? Then Hannibal is your man! Most people agree that if someone was gonna dislodge Rome's greedy grip from the Mediterranean relatively early in her rise to power it was gonna be Hannibal. Whether or not he could have actually have pulled it off still seems to be a matte
Heard many great things about this book from friends.... you dinny let me down!

Great storytelling from the get-go with Hannibal front & centre with his brothers, which after trying another series was exactly what I was after, having wanted to read about the period of the 2nd Punic war from Hannibal’s (Carthage) stance.

The Barca family are characterised as POV main players along with their Roman adversaries. The author also includes a few (low level) characters namely one from the infantry, a
Bryn Hammond
Jan 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: imagined-fiction
Splendid, and straight onto my list of most-admired HFs – and since Hannibal is a real hero of mine, and his story nigh perfect for a novel, high on that list too. My only complaint is that I feel sure this book needed to be 800 pages, not 600. At times he moves too fast over the ground, so that there are pages almost indistinguishable from a historian’s.

He uses an old fashioned, classic language that, I’d say, maintains the dignity of the material; there’s a dignity and weight. He is not indul
WOW! What a bloody terrific book. I know that probably isn't the most eloquent way to say that, but I don't think anyone here is going to ping me for that.
David Anthony Durham is an amazing author. Of course he can get caught up in his story and go off on tangents when he shouldn't, and in doing this he retracts from the better storyline. And he seems to only do it simply because he has had a thought and wants to run with it, but all in all, he is an amazing author and you can just scan read tho
Apr 08, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Historical fans
Recommended to Jeni by: My husband
Althought Hannibal's military tactics are fascinating, I was not impressed with the explicit sexuality in this book, nor the use of the "F" bomb because that word wasn't even around during that time period. It "un-authenticated" the book for me. But I did enjoy the "voyage" of Hannibal's quest in fighting the Romans.
Ok, this book was not a good fit. There was one major thing that prevented me from enjoying it: the time line. The book starts with the introduction of POV characters, but their background is not described and neither is the Carthaginian culture. Author just throws them into the story and gradually reveals who they are. I am sorry, but such story telling completely missed me. The resulting effect was that for the most exciting part of the book I did not really care about the characters, and once ...more
I have very little time to read, so it took me several months to finish this book. It was worth the long haul, and as historical fiction, I enjoyed it to some degree as much as Colleen McCullough's series. However, unlike McCullough, I was disappointed in Durham's omission of maps (one simply isn't enough), glossary and a lengthy afterword explaining his changes and motivations in fabricating certain things. I know this is fiction, not a history text, but including more facts and contexts can en ...more
Oct 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is interesting to sometimes ponder on how we choose a book to read. I had an interesting experience on this front recently. I was on the verge of finishing Neil Gaiman’s ‘Neverwhere’ sometime back. At that time, I thought on what book I would like to read next. The font using which ‘Neverwhere’ was printed made me think of another book I had with the same font. (In case you are interested in such things, this font was ‘Melior’. It is typically used in paperbacks published by Black Swan / Tran ...more
May 04, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I began reading a hard copy of David Anthony Durham's "Pride of Carthage" several years ago and never seemed to get around to finishing it until an audio version was recently released on I am one of the unfortunate individuals that becomes unbearably sleepy if I attempt to read a traditional book for more than about 45 minutes but I listen to books while I exercise each morning on my exercise bike, so if an audio version of a book becomes available, I'll usually finish it in due cou ...more
Dec 16, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pride of Carthage is a glorious historical novel on the fascinating culture and times of the Second Punic War. I consider this to be one of the best historical fiction reads focused on ancient history, because it has a variety of full-fleshed personalities including Hannibal (who is one of the best developed characters in the whole) and a vast supporting cast who includes Hannibal's wife, brothers, sister, and his opponents in the Carthage government and within the Roman military. Yet, amazingly ...more
Aug 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
I love the premise of this one. Current day Western historical fiction has a bit of a fascination with Rome, but rarely writes from the point of view of their enemies. I would love to read more work in this vein. So, I'm somewhat confused that the book itself wasn't more engaging for me. I think the problem is one of pacing and scope. The military campaign described took place over several years, and this results in the book occasionally dropping into a tone that feels very much like a summary, ...more
More on the lines of a 3 1/2 star rating.

A couple of things that I didn't like was a lack of maps (kind of important when covering a campaign; especially if that campaign took place 2300 years ago and many of the towns/cities/countries don't exist anymore or have different names), the ending was a bit abrupt and the story line didn't always flow as well as it could have (and did in certain parts). The latter could be attributed to the fact that I have recently read some outstanding historical f
Bookmarks Magazine

Durham (Walk Through Darkness, Gabriel's Story) offers a compelling study in contrasts. Pride of Carthage is at once a sweeping saga, an intimate portrait of an individual, a military history, and a tale about love, devotion, and loyalty. Critics hailed such plays in scale, praising Durham for pulling off the risks of writing a panoramic history of epic battles while capturing the dramas of individuals, from Roman generals to North African kings, foot soldiers, and former slaves. Only The New Yo

Ian Racey
Feb 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hannibal is referred to several times in the text as the "Lion of Carthage", so at first I wondered why that more evocative phrase wasn't the title of the book. But then I realised that it wouldn't be fair to see Hannibal as the sole protagonist of the book; there's also his three brothers, his two sisters, his wife and his mother. I see what you did there, David Anthony Durham or whatever editor at Doubleday came up with the title.

There are some memorable characters here--my favourite (well, ma
Shane Barr
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have always enjoyed history and the story of Hannibal is a good read if you enjoy history. I was a bit disappointed about the battle descriptions but you can get into the mind of Hannibal as he is let down by Carthage who saw him as a problem rather than the hero he was. His hatred of Rome took him and his army on an unbelievable journey from Carthage to Rome only to be abandoned by the country he loved. Never defeated in battle until he met Scipio in his homeland for his last battle. Would he ...more
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Una piacevole sorpresa. Sarò anche di parte, visto il mio interesse per le vicende legate all'indomito condottiero cartaginese ed alla seconda guerra punica, ma questo libro ha avuto davvero un esito inaspettato. Considerando come ne sono venuto in possesso (trovato per caso tra le ceste di un supermercato, in vendita a 5 euro in abbinamento con "una cioccolata per due"...), sospettavo fortemente si trattasse di un libro appartenente alla categoria "non gli daresti du' lire", e invece...sorpresa ...more
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
I picked this up for he subject matter, I mean, it's Hannibal, you rally can't go wrong. Well, this one sorta does. First, there's only one map showing the entire Mediterranean, that's it. I'm a firm believer that maps are essential to books that touch on geography and, well, Hannibal was the master of using geography so it really would be smart to include a map or two of the battlefields. Second, the author felt it was more important to describe sex scenes in more detail than the battle scenes, ...more
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found Pride of Carthage to be a thoroughly enjoyable read. I was at times a bit of an uphill battle for me as the story slowed and progress seemed as labored as Hannibal's ascent of the Alps. The book did however have very well worded descriptions of the various battles taking place. I found myself caring about both sides at times. Sometimes wanting Hannibal to prevail and others wishing the Romans would be victorious. I'd say it is a good author which can feel emotion in the story. David Anth ...more
J. Jones
Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Most books written about Roman history seem to focus on the period 50Bc to 50AD which is fine because there are a lot of interesting stories to be recounted about that period, but the earlier years have always been of great interest to me as well so i was delighted when I found this book.

The story of Hannibal's legendary journey from eastern Spain to Italy via the Alps has passed into legend, quite rightly so, but to see it so vividly brought to life in this book was a delight.

A thoroughly enter
Dave Yeo
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent well written book, I have heard lots about Hannibal and his quest across the Alpes with elephants and although this is obviously just speculation the author brings to life a realistic story taking into account the obvious many losses he and his men faced, I got completely engrossed into the storyline one would think the encounters against many Roman leaders were actually true. For this reason I gave 5 stars. Well done Mr Durham.
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book contains some graphic sexuality, which I found to be gratuitous and juvenile. However, the rest of the book is such a masterpiece that I'm sticking with 5 stars despite this handful of offensive scenes. If you are interested in this time period, the figure of Hannibal, or historical fiction in general, this is a book you don't want to miss.
Linday Wilson
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was well written and the detail and history was interesting. I didn't like how it didn't have chapters, just a few very large sections. Also there is a lot of violent and sexual detail.
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical-f-nf
I enjoyed the insights Durham has woven into the story, giving new life to this ancient tale.
Brent Morrison
Nov 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Everyone with any amount of education or historical reading behind them has heard of the man. But it seems that most people don't really even understand who he was. They know the Hollywood History, as I call it...Hannibal crossed the Alps on elephants!...but not much more. One person I know said "he was a Hun right?" lol This is the problem in a culture where many people do get their historical educations from Hollywood, and we all know how they treat facts. Then add in the other obviou ...more
L’anno scorso ho letto un bel fantasy epico d’oltreoceano, Acacia, di uno scrittore che non conoscevo assolutamente.
David Anthony Durham.
Sul suo sito avevo scoperto che quello era il suo primo libro fantasy, e che in precedenza aveva scritto altri due libri, uno dei quali pubblicato anche in Italia.

Il libro in questione è questo Annibale, un romanzo storico. Quando qualche mese fa mi ci sono imbattuto in libreria, l’ho preso mosso dalla curiosità visto che lo stile di Durham mi era piaciuto. E a
Oct 11, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
An amazing book; I've read a couple of reviews on (not necessarily about this particular book) that begin, "I really wanted to like this book...," implying a big "but." Well, I didn't really have a preconceived notion of how well I would like this book. I read it because I wanted to see how someone would treat the story of Hannibal Barca in fiction (Oh, yes, this book is about him who is, to me, one of the potentially most important and pivotal people of all time - certainly one of th ...more
Jhon Peranquive
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Feb 19, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
As a long time reader (and translator for six years) of Roman history, I was drawn to this book because of the subject matter: The Second Punic (i.e. Hannibal Bacara's) War.

Having read about it a long time ago, I wanted to see what new this novel might add to my recollection of one of the severest spankings given to the nascent Roman Empire. (Yes, the literal empire was almost 150 years later, but Rome was conquering outside the Italian peninsula already at this point.)

Alas, while nicely written
J.R. Tomlin
Dec 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I very much enjoyed reading about a period that is normally referred to as 'Roman history' through non-Roman eyes! History should not be written solely by the ultimate winners and the Romans were not necessarily “good guys”.

Hannibal's rise, the early successes of the Carthaginians and Hannibal's fall make a fascinating story. I like novels about military campaigns. This doesn't appeal to everyone and for historical fiction fans who like a more domestic novel, this wouldn't suit, probably. For me
Pride of Carthage mainly concerns itself with the events preceding and including the second Punic War between Carthage and Rome. The title of the book is of course a double entendre - it refers both to Hannibal, as well as the Barca family (as in pride of lions). Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, so I was already positively inclined towards this book, and Durham doesn't disappoint.

The pros of the book are the relationships between Hannibal and his brothers Hanno, Mago and Hasrudba
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Ancient & Medieva...: OCTOBER 2013 (Group Read 1) Pride of Carthage by David Anthony Durham 215 107 Mar 01, 2015 01:43PM  
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David Anthony Durham was born in New York City to parents of Caribbean descent. He grew up mostly in Maryland, but has spent the last fifteen years on the move, jumping from East to West Coast to the Rocky Mountains, and back and forth to Scotland and France several times. He currently lives in Edinburgh, Scotland. Or... actually, no he doesn't. He's back in New England at the moment.

He is the aut

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“You see, hannibal said, I happily give wine to my friends, but a man who drinks my wine and then rejects my friendship is a thief.” 0 likes
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