Reading List: Rome/Carthage

The local library is invaluable when conducting research when building/painting  historical armies (or I should say, my wife the librarian is invaluable when conducting research).    Be sure to check the juvenile section of your library – many of the well illustrated volumes are located in the kids section.

Several books that I have/am reading to get me up to speed for my new Punic army.

Warfare in the Classical World by John Warry – the book covers the whole of the classical world, with only 3 chapters dedicated to the period of the Successor Wars/Punic Wars.  The strength of the book are color prints of solders from the various armies – limited to one or two per chapter, the prints provide a strong reference for army building/painting.  For the Punic army: solders typically dress in white tunics with purple trim.  (Per Goldsworthy, the purple trim was for Spanish soldiers only.)

Roman Warfare by Adrian Goldsworthy – a rise to fall overview of the Roman military.  Battles are well mapped and well diagrammed.

The Fall of Carthage by Adrian Goldsworthy – in depth history of the Punic wars.  Text with limited battle maps.  The author borrows text from Roman Warfare in the overview of the two powers.

pg 207:  Hannibal’s army at Cannae August 216

10,000 cavalry: 4K Gallic, 2K Spanish, 4K Numidians

40,000 infantry:  8K skirmishers, 20K Celts, 8K Libyan and 4K Spanish

Generals: Mago (brother of Hannibal), Hasdrubal – hv cav, Maharbal- Numidian cav

pg 208:  “Our sources were most struck by the diverse dress of the enemy army.  On the one hand were the Libyans, dressed in Roman helmets and armour, and with oval scuta, then the Gauls stripped to the waist (since this is probably what Polybius means by ‘naked’), and the Spanish in their white tunics with purple borders, to which we might add the unarmoued Numidians with their distinctive hairstyles and riding their small, shaggy horses.  It is uncertain how accurate this picture is.  The Spanish had left home two years before and one may wonder how many still wore their native garb and had not replaced it with what ever was available locally or could be made in camp.”

215BC and 214BC – Hanno leads smaller armies of local troops from south-west Italy:  Bruttians and Lucanians with Numidian cav support.  These smaller forces were routinely defeated by the Romans while Hannibal was unchallenged.

pg 242:  Hasdrubal 207BC attempts to march reinforcements into northern Italy.  Defeated at battle of Metaurus.  Hasdrubal killed & army destroyed.

“Significantly” fewer than 40,000 men.  Spanish and Gauls.  10 or 15 elephants.  Little cavalry.

pg 243:  Mago 205BC lands near Genoa.  2800 cavalry, 18000 infantry, 7 elephants.  Forces drawn from Balearic Islands, Ligurian tribesmen and (presumably) Libyan/African forces.  Army defeated in 203BC, Mago dies of battle wounds, and army is withdrawn to Africa.

Roman Fort by  ??? – a fully illustrated overview of a typical Roman fort based on findings from Hadrian’s wall.  The pictures are a good source of information for terrain projects.  (lost track of the author’s name)

  1. #1 by Thomas Whitten on June 12, 2009 - 3:07 pm

    If it is the Roman Fort book I have, it is by Peter Connolly. He has a large collection illustrated guides. And if you have kids like me, you can justify purchasing them ‘for the kids.’

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