Conditions of Use
Book provides everything an intermediate student needs to read this text. The Latin is clear, the explanations of grammar in the commentary and the glossary make the bar for entry very low. Each section of the commentary has a brief summary of... read more
Book provides everything an intermediate student needs to read this text. The Latin is clear, the explanations of grammar in the commentary and the glossary make the bar for entry very low. Each section of the commentary has a brief summary of the contents of that section which will be particularly useful if a student's attendance is spotty, they will be able to orient themselves rapidly. The essays about the author, context, contents, perquisites and impacts of the events told are written at the appropriate level and were even interesting to me.
The only inaccuracy in the book is that the links to the Dickinson College Commentaries are out of date. It appears that DCC rearranged their website (the links to Allen and Greenough point to a different page) and deleted some files (there are no longer Faraone's recordings of Nepos in Latin). This isn't a critical problem, but I can see it being confusing to some students.
Nepos will never go out of style. The tone and language of the commentary and essays should be durable for years. There are no faddish idioms or hip lingo.
The text should be easily apprehensible by an intermediate Latin student
The text and commentary is even throughout, no shifts in tone or style.
The text and the commentary as well as the essays are easily divisible and excerptable. Each chapter and essay is linked in the Table of Contents. I can see an electronic syllabus using this easily
The book has standard organization for texts and commentaries.
As mentioned above, the links to the DCC site lead to a landing page not the specific items listed. Because text, commentary and vocabare in different sections of the book, students will need to have three browser windows open to do their homework. This isn't grievous, but a little annoying.
The text is clean and clear.
Text is sensitive to multicultural issues internal to the Romans, and this in turn highlights these issues today. Quite useful.
The maps are quite handy and are up to date. Refers to other free texts where appropriate. Some of the commentary items are masterful in breaking down and explaining the structure of a complex sentence. This is an excellent book.
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: Life of Nepos
- Chapter 2: Reading Nepos
- Chapter 3: Historical Context and Hannibal
- Chronology of Hannibal's Life
- Text of Nepos' Life of Hannibal
- Full Vocabulary for Nepos' Life of Hannibal and Prologus to the Lives of Outstanding Commanders
About the Book
Trebia. Trasimene. Cannae. With three stunning victories, Hannibal humbled Rome and nearly shattered its empire. Even today Hannibal's brilliant, if ultimately unsuccessful, campaign against Rome during the Second Punic War (218-202 BC) make him one of history's most celebrated military leaders. This biography by Cornelius Nepos (c. 100-27 BC) sketches Hannibal's life from the time he began traveling with his father's army as a young boy, through his sixteen-year invasion of Italy and his tumultuous political career in Carthage, to his perilous exile and eventual suicide in the East.
As Rome completed its bloody transition from dysfunctional republic to stable monarchy, Nepos labored to complete an innovative and influential collection of concise biographies. Putting aside the detailed, chronological accounts of military campaigns and political machinations that characterized most writing about history, Nepos surveyed Roman and Greek history for distinguished men who excelled in a range of prestigious occupations. In the exploits and achievements of these illustrious men, Nepos hoped that his readers would find models for the honorable conduct of their own lives. Although most of Nepos' works have been lost, we are fortunate to have his biography of Hannibal. Nepos offers a surprisingly balanced portrayal of a man that most Roman authors vilified as the most monstrous foe that Rome had ever faced.
Nepos' straightforward style and his preference for common vocabulary make Life of Hannibal accessible for those who are just beginning to read continuous Latin prose, while the historical interest of the subject make it compelling for readers of every ability.
This book contains embedded audio files of the original text read aloud by Christopher Francese.
About the Contributors
Bret Mulligan's research focuses on the twilight of classical culture, the period now known as "Late Antiquity." In Bret is interested in the adaptive strategies taken by authors when they must contend with a frightening accumulation of tradition, a cultural moment that has many similarities with our own age. The engagement of late antique authors with their artistic predecessors allows me to dabble in the full range of Classical antiquity. And since this period was also when much of Classical culture was packaged for transmission through the medieval period to us, it also serves as an ideal jumping off-point for my interest in the Classical Tradition and the continuing influence of Classical culture. His publication include 'Translation and the Poetics of Replication in the Late Antique Latin Epigram', in The Living Past: Recasting the Ancients in Late Latin Poetry (forthcoming) and 'Coniuratio! Ethopoeia and Reacting to the Past in the Latin Classroom (and Beyond)', Classical Journal 109.3 (Feb/Mar 2014).