Scipio Africanus: Rome's Greatest General

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Potomac Books, Inc., 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 326 pages
The world often misunderstands its greatest men while neglecting others entirely. Scipio Africanus, surely the greatest general that Rome produced, suffered both these fates. Today scholars celebrate the importance of Hannibal, even though Scipio defeated the legendary general in the Second Punic War and was the central military figure of his time. In this scholarly and heretofore unmatched military biography of the distinguished Roman soldier, Richard A. Gabriel establishes Scipio's rightful place in military history as the greater of the two generals. Before Scipio, few Romans would have dreamed of empire, and Scipio himself would have regarded such an ambition as a danger to his beloved republic. And yet, paradoxically, Scipio's victories in Spain and Africa enabled Rome to consolidate its hold over Italy and become the dominant power in the western Mediterranean, virtually ensuring a later confrontation with the Greco-Macedonian kingdoms to the east as well as the empire's expansion into North Africa and the Levant. The Roman imperium was being born, and it was Scipio who had sired it. Gabriel draws upon ancient texts, including those from Livy, Polybius, Diodorus, Silius Italicus, and others, as primary sources and examines all additional material available to the modern scholar in French, German, English, and Italian. His book offers a complete bibliography of all extant sources regarding Scipio's life. The result is a rich, detailed, and contextual treatment of the life and career of Scipio Africanus, one of Rome's greatest generals, if not the greatest of them all.

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User Review  - la2bkk - LibraryThing

An outstanding analysis of Roman general Scipio Africanus' contribution towards Rome's victory over Carthage in the Second Punic War. Combining the various ancient sources with modern scholarship, the ... Read full review

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User Review  - hellbent - LibraryThing

This biography was very thoroughly researched by a very experienced military historian. It contains very detailed accounts, with maps of several battles during the Second Punic War and includes much ... Read full review


1The Man
2The Strategic Setting
3The Armies
4Scipios Spanish Campaign
6The African Campaign
7Scipio and Hannibal
8Triumph and Fall
9Scipios Place in Military History
About the Author

5The Strategist

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About the author (2008)

Richard A. Gabriel, a historian, is Adjunct Professor of Humanities and Ethics at Daniel Webster College. He is the author of forty books, including The Great Battles of Antiquity, The Great Armies of Antiquity, and Great Captains of Antiquity.

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