Saturday, January 15, 2005

Hannibal and his elephants

This image accompanies a book review in the Christian Science Monitor. Here's the citation and intro paragraph:
Maybe Hannibal wasn't so horrible
Hannibal swarmed over the Alps with elephants, assembled a rainbow coalition of enemies against Rome, and almost overwhelmed the world's only superpower.
By Ron Charles

The brief prologue to David Durham's new novel inspires all the faith needed to march through the next 500 pages. We meet a reluctant young warrior whose division is laying siege to the city of Arbocala (now Tordesillas, Spain) in the 3rd century BC When the wall finally collapses, he mounts the rubble in time to take an arrow through his palm and get trampled by the soldiers following behind, but he survives. That evening, a humbly dressed officer enters the soldier's tent and commends his bravery with a lavish tribute. For one of ancient history's forgotten millions, it's a moment filled with awe. For us, it's an introduction to the benevolent side of the world's most formidable warrior: Hannibal.

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