The Punic Wars triggered an era of astonishing human misfortune. Resulting from a mighty power struggle between the military confederation of Rome and the trading empire of Carthage between 264--241 B.C., 218--201 B.C., and 149--146 b.c., the wars were fought over a period of 118 years. Massive man-made devastation on both sides left RB.C.ome’s population radically depleted and Carthage razed and erased from the map. Sir Nigel Bagnall brings his military experience and a modern professional eye to bear in analyzing the Punic Wars here. He marshals classic military strategists such as Livy, Polybius, and Diodorus to plot the wars’ campaigns in Spain, Africa, Sicily, and the Peloponnese, and follows Hannibal’s daring but unsuccessful strike into the heart of Italy.
But Bagnall goes beyond military strategy to discuss the force, structures, and politics of Rome and Carthage at their heights. And he contrasts their conduct of battle at strategic, operational, and tactical levels to show how they were governed by the same military principles used by nations today. His thought-provoking final chapter relates these wars’ lessons to modern times in an impressive argument for adapting the experience of the past to the needs of the future. While the history of the Punic Wars dates back over 2000 years, Bagnall’s comprehensive account demonstrates that this ancient conflict is remarkable both for its scope and its contemporary relevance.