‘You know how to win a battle, Hannibal; you do not know how to use the victory!’
Livy’s great history of Rome contains, in Books 21 to 30, the definitive ancient account of Hannibal’s invasion of Italy in 218 BC, and the war he fought with the Romans over the following sixteen years. Livy describes the bloody siege of the Spanish city of Saguntum, Rome’s ally, which sparked the war, and the Carthaginian leader’s famous march with elephants over the Alps into Italy. Livy’s gripping story-telling vividly conveys the drama of the great battles, the disastrous encounters at Trasimene and Cannae, and the final confrontation between Hannibal and the youthful Scipio Africanus. Individuals as well as events are brought powerfully to life, as the long course of the Second Punic War unfolds.
This new translation captures the brilliance of Livy’s style, and is accompanied by a fascinating introduction and notes.