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Extended Audio Sample The Ghosts of Cannae: Hannibal and the Darkest Hour of the Roman Republic, by Robert L. O’Connell Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Robert L. O’Connell Narrator: Alan Sklar Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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For fans of Victor Davis Hanson, Donald Kagan, and Barry Strauss comes a rich, sweeping account of the most imitated—and vicious—battle in history.

Hannibal’s battle plan at Cannae became the mother of all great battle strategies—the first battle of encirclement that has been imitated (often to disastrous effect) endlessly over the past two thousand years. In this brilliant, long-overdue, and beautifully written account, Robert L. O’Connell gives listeners an epic account of one of the most dramatic battles of antiquity.

The Ghosts of Cannae is at once a book about a specific battle (the massive defeat of a huge but inexperienced Roman army in southern Italy by Hannibal in 216 BC) but also an interpretation of the larger course of the Second Punic War, as well as an assessment of the historical impact of Rome’s storied rivalry with Carthage. What ties the book together is the fate of the survivors, their treatment by the authorities in Rome, and ultimately their vindication nearly two decades later, when they defeated Hannibal at the decisive battle of Zama in North Africa. With an unforgettable cast of heroes and villains, The Ghosts of Cannae is history at its finest.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The distinctive edge of The Ghosts of Cannae is Robert L. O’Connell’s consistently professional instinct for the behavior of men and units on the battlefield.”

    New York Times

  • “Sklar’s gravelly bass, its tone never far from irony, suits this reconsideration of the decades of struggle between the Roman Republic and Hannibal Barca.”

    AudioFile

  • “O’Connell’s examination is thoughtful and in-depth.”

    Library Journal

  • “Sklar’s engaging and witty narration complements this well-researched and well-written work recommended for all those interested in Roman and military history.”

    Library Journal (audio review)

  • “A masterpiece of style, imagination, and erudition.”

    Victor Davis Hanson, author of Ripples of Battle

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About the Author

Robert L. O’Connell received a PhD in history at the University of Virginia and spent thirty years as a senior analyst at the National Ground Intelligence Center. He is presently a visiting professor at the Naval Postgraduate School and was a contributing editor to MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History. He is the author of numerous books, including The Ghosts of Cannae: Hannibal and the Darkest Hour of the Roman Republic; Of Arms and Men: A History of War, Weapons, and Aggression; and Soul of the Sword: An Illustrated History of Weaponry and Warfare from Prehistory to the Present.