Hannibal Crosses The Alps: The Invasion Of Italy And The Punic Wars
When he left his Spanish base one spring day in 218 B.C. with his 100,000-man army of mercenaries, officers, and elephants, Hannibal was launching not just the main offensive of the Second Punic War but also one of the great military journeys in ancient history. His masterful advance through rough terrain and fierce Celtic tribes proved his worth as a leader, but it was his extraordinary passage through the Alps—still considered treacherous even by modern climbers—that made him a legend. John Prevas combines rigorous research of ancient sources with his own excursions through the icy peaks to bring to life this awesome trek, solving the centuries-old question of Hannibal's exact route and shedding fresh light on the cultures of Rome and Carthage along the way. Here is the finest kind of history, sure to appeal to readers of Steven Pressfield's Gates of Fire: alive with grand strategy, the clash of empires, fabulous courage, and the towering figure of Hannibal Barca.
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TL;DR- How much should you pay for this book? If it’s at or below 40 USD, it’s worth the price if it catches your interest!
What is this book all about? It’s not a history of Hannibal or the Punic War he fought. Rather, it’s a detailed analysis, almost a dissection, of Hannibal’s time in the Alps. That’s it. This book is a great and interesting read if that is what you’re looking for. You’ll be disappointed if you’re looking for something else, because it’s not here. There is a brief summary at the end of what happened after he made it into the Po Valley, but the prime meat of this book is about his army marching over the Alps.
It’s a short book, but that is to be expected. Hannibal spent about two weeks, maybe a bit longer, in the Alps, so not only was the actual journey short but the source texts conflict on what path he took, so we are left with proposals and theories, and not much else. The path itself is reconstructed in this book, as are a few alternative paths. There were also a series of mountain battles and skirmishes that took place, so the book describes that as well.
All in all, it’s a highly detailed, yet very specific book. You should only buy it if you want to know more about Hannibal’s mountaineering adventures.