Although there a myriad of books on the Second Punic War, The Ghost of Cannae: Hannibal and the Darkest Hour of the Roman Republic was an awesome read.
So I was watching this series on the History Channel the other night called Barbarians Rising and the first episode was about Hannibal and Virathus. The Hannibal story was good, but I knew about most of it already, Having read more than a few books on Hannibal, including The Ghost of Cannae, which I highly recommend.. The second story was about this wild shepard from Lusitania (in modern Portugal) called Virathus. Talk about one tough, never say die grunt, Virathus was it! Anyways here is his amazing TRUE story. -SF
“He carried on the war not for the sake of personal gain or power nor through anger, but for the sake of warlike deeds in themselves; hence he was accounted at once a lover of war and a master of war.” –Cassius Dio
Even before they were an ever-expanding empire hell-bent on world domination and the unconditional submission of anything they even remotely perceived as an enemy, the Romans were still pretty colossal jackasses. While this statement can confidently be broadly applied to almost every single dealing between the time that Romulus first suckled a she-wolf and when Mehmet the Conqueror’s Turkish forces overran the last bastion of Constantinople nearly two millennia later, the Iberian peninsula is as good a place as any to focus on the good people of Latium and their crush-tastic propensity for violently ruining the lives of everyone in their general vicinity.
The whole mess started with a charming little African city called Carthage, and the fact that it’s mere existence was enough to send the Roman senate into hysterical bouts of implacable, over-the-top Lou Ferrigno-style blood rages. Much like people didn’t like Lou when he was angry, so was it with Rome, and over the years Rome and Carthage ended up embarking on some pretty epic murder-fests that left a large part of the Mediterranean either plundered, appendageless, or otherwise seriously jacked up beyond all recognition. The people of Rome were particularly upset when a Carthaginian general named Hannibal put together a huge army, stomped his way around southern Italy, and nearly demolished their entire civilization beneath the heels of a few thousand rampaging elephants, and when you’re a classical-age warrior culture you tend to have a little bit of trouble getting over a little thing like that.
Carthage was eventually crushed, burned down, and urinated on, and the earth was salted so that no crops could ever grow there again, which more or less took care of that problem. After handling diplomatic relations with North Africa in a thoroughly Roman way, the powerful Latin consuls still hadn’t satiated their kill-boners, so they decided to march into Hispania and extend their domination to the native peoples of the Iberian Peninsula – many of whom had lent their services to the afore-mentioned Hannibal and his murdergasmic marauding death force.
Well Spain and Portugal, and particularly a region known as Lusitania, weren’t really down with getting their necks stomped on by the sandaled foot of Roman-style totalitarian domination, so they decided to pick up a bunch of shiv-tastic weapons and stab anybody foolish enough to get within appropriate kidney-shanking distance. The Roman commander Sulpicus Galba wasn’t particularly interested in going toe-to-toe with these indigenous hardasses, so he approached the good people of Lusitania and offered them a deal – if they handed over their weapons and agreed to play nice, he would listen to their demands and try to work out a deal with them.
Read the Remainder at Bad-Ass Of The Week
Being a History Geek and Amateur Historian I wanted to share with you guys a few Ancient History books you might like. Although Ancient History is not really something I read a lot, sometimes my Military History research takes me there.-SF
NATIONAL BESTSELLER. For millennia, Carthage’s triumph over Rome at Cannae in 216 B.C. has inspired reverence and awe. No general since has matched Hannibal’s most unexpected, innovative, and brutal military victory. Now Robert L. O’Connell, one of the most admired names in military history, tells the whole story of Cannae for the first time, giving us a stirring account of this apocalyptic battle, its causes and consequences.
O’Connell brilliantly conveys how Rome amassed a giant army to punish Carthage’s masterful commander, how Hannibal outwitted enemies that outnumbered him, and how this disastrous pivot point in Rome’s history ultimately led to the republic’s resurgence and the creation of its empire. Piecing together decayed shreds of ancient reportage, the author paints powerful portraits of the leading players, from Hannibal—resolutely sane and uncannily strategic—to Scipio Africanus, the self-promoting Roman military tribune. Finally, O’Connell reveals how Cannae’s legend has inspired and haunted military leaders ever since, and the lessons it teaches for our own wars.
In 1521, Suleiman the Magnificent, Muslim ruler of the Ottoman Empire, dispatched an invasion fleet to the Christian island of Rhodes. This would prove to be the opening shot in an epic clash between rival empires and faiths for control of the Mediterranean and the center of the world. In Empires of the Sea, acclaimed historian Roger Crowley has written a thrilling account of this brutal decades-long battle between Christendom and Islam for the soul of Europe, a fast-paced tale of spiraling intensity that ranges from Istanbul to the Gates of Gibraltar. Crowley conjures up a wild cast of pirates, crusaders, and religious warriors struggling for supremacy and survival in a tale of slavery and galley warfare, desperate bravery and utter brutality. Empires of the Sea is a story of extraordinary color and incident, and provides a crucial context for our own clash of civilization
In the fifth century B.C., a global superpower was determined to bring truth and order to what it regarded as two terrorist states. The superpower was Persia, incomparably rich in ambition, gold, and men. The terrorist states were Athens and Sparta, eccentric cities in a poor and mountainous backwater: Greece. The story of how their citizens took on the Great King of Persia, and thereby saved not only themselves but Western civilization as well, is as heart-stopping and fateful as any episode in history. Tom Holland’s brilliant study of these critical Persian Wars skillfully examines a conflict of critical importance to both ancient and modern history.
All of the Book Descriptions come from Ancient-Origins
So go Pick Up a Book, Remember, Knowledge is Power!