Kirkus Star


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A gigantic great of history is viewed through the watching eyes of a Greek slave, Sosylos (whose version of Hannibal's early achievements was used by Polybius and later by Livy) and comes off with eternal and human virtues. Here is the slave, educated, freed, and enslaved again, learning to know -- and love -- the man who hated Rome, who banded together a conglomerate army in a common cause and who used it in a way that has kept his name alive in strategical history and left him with a reputation for undemanding patriotism. Here, from one man's view, is Hannibal as he melded his strange group, confronted his inimical terrain, and, with force of character and determination and understanding, traversed the Alps, fought in the marshes and the hills, terrified the Roman senators and their generals and continued a war that always paid off to his advantage. Here too is his young brother, Mago, the colorful Numidians, his Captain Marr and the odd romance with the Amazonian Clara; there are the Celts, the elephants, the oxen whose horns carried blazing torches to confuse the enemy; the awful moment when his other brother's head was delivered to him; Iris, whose captivity was a thing of love; and always the General, the amazing, the unpredictable, the disciplinarian, ""the man who set out to make his dream a deed"", and who hasted to overtake his fate...or in other words, the Second Punic War like you never read before. GOSH!

Pub Date: June 21st, 1955
Publisher: Macmillan