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Drawing on a wealth of new archaeological research, Richard Miles vividly brings to life this lost empire-from its origins among the Phoenician settlements of Lebanon to its apotheosis as the greatest seapower in the Mediterranean. And at the heart of the history of Carthage lies the extraordinary figure of Hannibal-the scourge of Rome and one of the greatest military leaders, but a man who also unwittingly led his people to catastrophe. The first full-scale history of Carthage in decades, Carthage Must Be Destroyed reintroduces modern listeners to the larger-than-life historical players and the ancient glory of this almost forgotten civilization.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Haakon B. Dahl on 01-21-13
Outstanding! This is THE book on Carthage.
This is an awesome history of Carthage, with a fresh look at how it existed in its own times and setting, as opposed to the way it appeared to Greek and Roman historians. Obviously, we have no opportunity to do primary research on Carthaginian mores and motives, but the author does an outstanding job of dissecting much of the conventional wisdom about Carthage, its people, and the events surrounding its rise and fall.
Some reviews have addressed a long dry patch somewhat early in the work, and I did in fact wind up forwarding past a few chapters. Yet this is what makes the book definitive. I was blown away by the level of detail assessing sources such as works of art, artifacts, and secondhand histories through the economic drivers, likely cultural influences, and geographic facts of life lend the author's own analysis a great weight. Just the same, this section is a bit dry if you are not already conversant with much of the artifact-based history. Having heard a good sampling of the evidence, I skipped much of it, decided to take him at his word and got back to the juicy mainstream of the book.
This is a powerful and convincing history well told by the writer and well-read by the narrator. A top-notch effort and well worth not only your money, but your time and attention.
If you were interested enough to check out this title, then this IS a book you want.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful
By Amazon Customer on 01-28-12
Fascinating Overview, Occasional dry stretches
I have read a fair amount of ancient history, but never knew much about Carthage in particular. This book gives a compelling, easy to understand and enjoyable to hear overview of the ancient city's entire history. There are just a few dry as dust sections where archaeological details get a little overwhelming, but the vast majority of the book moves along well. Grover Gardner, as always, does a great job with the narration.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Marcus on 04-13-12
History by the victors
The book covers the whole history of Carthage from it's foundation to it's destruction. All the major events are covered, but if you want a more comprehensive account of the Punic wars and Hannibal, you will find better books on the market. I like the accounts of lesser know events such as the battle for Sicily with the Greeks, and the Mercenary Wars. The problem for any history of Carthage is that virtually all the sources are Roman or Greek, which are hostile, and getting a deep understand of how the Carthaginian thought and operated are difficult. The author discusses the problem of the bias in source material, which I'm a fan of.
As a scholar the author looks to emphasis the role of the divine in motivating ancient peoples, not just the political and economic. Heracles is constantly referred to as the ideal template for a conquering hero, but some of the subtles of how this related to the actions of the ancients was lost on me at times.
This history has both depth and is accessible, and I loved the final lines that said that when the Romans needed to be reminded how great they were they thought of the Punic Wars.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
By Dave on 06-10-12
Good solid account
I enjoyed listening to this account of one of the lesser-known civilisations on the ancient world. Naturally the Punic Wars are better known, as is Hannibal's trip across the Alps, but this history covers the whole of Carthage's history, which puts those events into their proper context. The book is well written and covers all aspects of Carthage and her world - not just the fights with Rome. Of course evidence is scarce, but the story that emerges is interesting and well told.
The narrator reads the text well, and if not the greatest reading in the world then it is certainly plenty good enough and I found it easy to listen to. If you have an interest in Carthage or Republican Rome then this book is recommended.