Monday, June 7, 2010

Summer Reading: The Fall of Carthage

The blog took another break last week while I spent some time in Florida visiting relatives, playing on beaches, and lazing about. I took some time to put some paint on some Late Roman infantry and some fantasy miniatures. I may post some pics when I have completed those small projects.

I have been reading Adrian Goldworthy's The Fall of Carthage in my spare time. The author attempts to place the three Punic wars in context with each other and the wider Mediterranean world, and not solely in juxtaposition to Rome. He defaults to Polybios whenever he presents differences in evidence or traditions. Even then, he is careful to point out the limitations of the ancient historical accounts. Furthermore, Goldsworthy does his best to put the reader in the frame of mind of the ancient world and not let the modern thoughts on political and military motivations drive the narratives.

From a gaming perspective, I think there's plenty of material here for creating and modifying Carthaginian army lists. For that matter, its probably worth a look for its review of the naval aspects of the First Punic War.

I highly recommend this book. It's a good introductory to the period. Even if Goldworthy has made errors - and I am no expert who can say what's right and what's wrong with it - I still think the reader will come away with a better understanding of the big and little pictures of Rome's wars with Carthage.

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