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Hannibal

Rome's Greatest Enemy

Published by Pegasus Books
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

Telling the story of a man who stood against the overwhelming power of the mighty Roman empire, Hannibal is the biography of a man who, against all odds, dared to change the course of history. 

Over two thousand years ago one of the greatest military leaders in history almost destroyed Rome. Hannibal, a daring African general from the city of Carthage, led an army of warriors and battle elephants over the snowy Alps to invade the very heart of Rome's growing empire. But what kind of person would dare to face the most relentless imperial power of the ancient world? How could Hannibal, consistently outnumbered and always deep in enemy territory, win battle after battle until he held the very fate of Rome within his grasp?

Hannibal appeals to many as the ultimate underdog—a Carthaginian David against the Goliath of Rome—but it wasn't just his genius on the battlefield that set him apart. As a boy and then a man, his self-discipline and determination were legendary. As a military leader, like Alexander the Great before him and Julius Caesar after, he understood the hearts of men and had an uncanny ability to read the unseen weaknesses of his enemy. As a commander in war, Hannibal has few equals in history and has long been held as a model of strategic and tactical genius. But Hannibal was much more than just a great general. He was a practiced statesman, a skilled diplomat, and a man deeply devoted to his family and country. 

Roman historians—on whom we rely for almost all our information on Hannibal—portray him as a cruel barbarian, but how does the story change if we look at Hannibal from the Carthaginian point of view? Can we search beneath the accounts of Roman writers who were eager to portray Hannibal as a monster and find a more human figure? Can we use the life of Hannibal to look at the Romans themselves in an unfamiliar way— not as the noble and benign defenders of civilization but as ruthless conquerors motivated by greed and conquest?

About The Author

Philip Freeman earned his Ph.D. at Harvard University and has taught at Boston University, Washington University, and Luther College. He currently holds the Fletcher Jones Chair in Humanities at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. He has been a visiting fellow at the American Academy in Rome, the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington D.C., and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He has published over twenty books, ranging from biographies of Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, and Saint Patrick to translations of Cicero and Aristotle. His books have been translated into fifteen languages around the world. Philip lives in Malibu, California.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Pegasus Books (February 1, 2022)
  • Length: 400 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781643138725

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Raves and Reviews

"Freeman gives his readers much to consider in learning about a totally alien world in an easy, uncomplicated lively prose about an epic tale."

– New York Journal of Books

Praise for Philip Freeman’s Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great:

“Freeman’s cultural and historical knowledge bring the emperor to life and humanize him in a way no writer before him has succeeded in doing.”

– Publishers Weekly

“Philip Freeman takes the reader through every dizzying thrill. The scholar will find much to admire in this book, but, better still, the newcomer to ancient Rome will turn its pages with excitement, enlightenment – and sheer narrative suspense.”

– Anthony Everitt, author of Augustus and Cicero

“Reading Philip Freeman’s pacy and panoptic narrative of his life from unpromising early beginnings to the fateful Ides is one very rewarding approach to answering that perennially fascinating question.”

– Paul Cartledge, author of The Spartans and Alexander the Great, Professor of Greek History, University of Cambridge

“Elegant, learned, and compulsively readable, Julius Caesar moves from broad sweep to brilliant detail. Freeman triumphantly tells the story of one of history’s greatest and most terrible figures. Through it all, the figure of Caesar draws our attention and stimulates our deepest thoughts.”

– Barry Strauss, author of The Trojan War and Professor of History and Classics, Cornell University

“Here, in vivid and exciting detail, are all the familiar highlights of Alexander’s career: the battles, the tempestuous relationships, the dazzling ambitions, the mysterious death in Babylon. Mr. Freeman’s ambition, he tells us in his introduction, was ‘to write a biography of Alexander that is first and foremost a story.’ It is one he splendidly fulfills.”

– The Wall Street Journal

“Freeman does not hero worship Alexander, and does not paper over his subject’s many faults. At times, Alexander can seem like an almost mythic figure, but, as Freeman shows, he was all too human.”

– The Boston Globe

"The greatest victory of the book, however, is Freeman’s storytelling. This biography stands out from others written about Alexander thanks to its smooth flow and interesting narrative. It is, as Freeman hopes, a history book for those readers who are not already experts on Alexander or his world.”

– The Saturday Evening Post

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