Jump to content
UNRV Ancient Roman Empire Forums
  • Time Travel Rome

Sign in to follow this  
parthianbow

Cannae by Adrian Goldsworthy

Recommended Posts

I'm not sure how many of Goldsworthy's texts I own now, but it's at least 7 or 8. He's one of the preeminent Roman scholars about, and usefully, he's very good at writing about the Romans too. I've had this book for about 3 years, but only got around to reading it now, because it's now that I am writing about the battle of Cannae in my series of novels about the Second Punic War.

 

The first 80 or so pages of the book fleshes out details of the history that led to this battle, and provides succinct accounts of the mid-Roman Republic, Carthage, and the armies of both civilisations. We're told about Hannibal and the Roman leaders he faced, the controversies surrounding the exact location of the battlefield, and then the juicy details of the battle. What I like about Goldsworthy is that where ever there is doubt about a detail or a moment in the battle, he says so, and then explains how and why he agrees or disagrees with it. Not all academics are this transparent, which leads to some readers making incorrect assumptions about what has been said.

 

There are plenty of good maps and diagrams of the battle, and a decent bibliography as well. In my opinion, this is an indispensable text for those who are interested in one of the bloodiest one day battles of all time. It's also very useful to have if wandering about the site of Canne della Battaglia, in Puglia, Italy, because it makes the site come alive. Five solid stars out of five.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I totally agree. Bought this book a while ago and found it a very good account of the battle. Goldsworthy deserves his reputation as a foremost authority on ancient Rome and his writing style is both informative and engaging. The inclusion of maps and photos of the battle site only adds to the value of the book as a whole and like you say, he is always transparent when there is any doubt as to the veracity concerning details that cannot be confirmed.

Apparently he is writing a biography of Augustus which I am looking forward to reading.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Map of the Roman Empire

×