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Cornelius Nepos, Life of Hannibal

Cornelius Nepos


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Recommended Works on Nepos and Ancient Biography

Hägg, T. 2012. The Art of Biography in Antiquity. Cambridge University Press, 187‒196. Available at

Pryzwansky, M. 2009‒2010. ″Cornelius Nepos: Key Issues and Critical Approaches″. Classical Journal 105.2: 99‒108.

Stem, R. 2012. The Political Biographies of Cornelius Nepos. University of Michigan Press. Available at

Titchener, F. 2002. ″Cornelius Nepos and the Biographical Tradition″. Greece & Rome 50.1: 85‒99.

Recommended Works on Hannibal and the Punic Wars

Goldsworthy, A. 2001. The Punic Wars. Cassell Press.

Hanson, V. D. 2007. Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power. Anchor Press, 99‒134.

Hoyos, D. 2015. Mastering the West: Rome and Carthage at War. Oxford University Press.

Lancel, S. 1998. Hannibal. Blackwell Press.

Ancient Accounts of Hannibal and the Second Punic War

Appian. Roman History: Books 7 and 8 treat the Second and Third Punic Wars, respectively. [Transl. by H. White]. Available at

Eutropius. Breviarium: Books 2‒4 treat the Punic Wars. [Transl. by J. S. Watson]. Available at There also exists a recent student edition of Book 3 by B. Beyer (2009. War with Hannibal. Authentic Latin Prose for the Beginning Student. Yale University Press).

Livy. History of Rome. Books 21‒30 treat the Second Punic War [Transl. by C. Roberts]. Available at

Polybius. Histories . Book 1 treats the First Punic War; the Second Punic War and the simultaneous conflicts in the east are treated in Books 3‒15 [Transl. by W. R. Paton]. Available at

Silius Italicus, Punica: a lengthy Latin epic on the Second Punic War [Transl. by J. D. Duff]. Available at

Select Films, Documentaries, and Novels

Cabiria (1914): a feature‒length Italian silent film; the title character was a Roman slave who narrowly escaped from the villainous Carthaginians during the Second Punic War. Available at

Scipio l′africano (1937): an account of Scipio′s invasion of Africa, sponsored by Benito Mussolini. Caveat spectator: in the climactic Battle of Zama, several elephants are killed on screen. Available at

Jupiter′s Darling (1955): a comedic musical; while Fabius Maximus delays, Hannibal is visited by his fiancée, Amytis.

Hannibal (1959): Hannibal falls in love with the fiancée of Fabius Maximus′son, before the Battle of Cannae. Not a first‒rate film.

Engineering an Empire: Carthage (2006): an episode in the History Channel′s series on ancient technology. An excellent source of reconstructions and short video clips on Carthaginian archaeology, battle tactics, and more. Excerpts available on YouTube.

Hannibal: Rome′s Worst Nightmare (2006): a docudrama produced by the BBC; it focuses on Hannibal′s Italy campaign. Available at

On Hannibal′s Trail (2012): a BBC documentary in which three Australian brothers bike Hannibal′s route from Spain through Italy to Tunis.

Anderson, P. 2006 (new edn). ″Delenda est″ in the Time Patrol anthology. ″Delenda Est″ imagines an alternative history in which time travelers kill Scipio Africanus at the Battle of Ticinus, allowing Hannibal to annihilate Rome in 210 BCE.

Durham, David Anthony. 2006. Pride of Carthage. Anchor Press.

Flaubert, G. 1862. Salammbo, translated by A. J. Krailsheimer. Penguin Classics (1977). Flaubert′s sensuous and sensational follow‒up to Madame Bovary. The novel follows Salammbo, the daughter of Hamilcar Barca, as she becomes ensnared by the intrigues of the Mercenary War. Criticized by some as an indulgent exercise in Orientalism and imperialist propaganda, Flaubert′s novel helped shape the image of Carthage in art and the popular imagination. Review essay by A. Mayor, 2010 available at

Further Readings on Nepos and Ancient Biography

Beneker, J. 2009/2010. ″Nepos′ Biographical Method in the ′Lives of the Foreign Generals′″. Classical Journal 105.2: 109‒121.

Conte, G. B. 1994. Latin Literature: A History. The Johns Hopkins University Press, 221‒223. Available at

Dionisotti, A. C. 1988. ″Nepos and the Generals″. Journal of Roman Studies 78: 35‒49.

Elder, J. P. 1967. ″Catullus I, His Poetic Creed, and Nepos″. Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 71: 143‒149.

Geiger, J. 1985. Cornelius Nepos and Ancient Political Biography. Franz Steiner Verglag.

Gibson, B. J. 1995. ″Catullus 1.5‒7″. Classical Quarterly 45.2: 569‒573.

Hallett, J. P. 2002. ″Cornelius Nepos and Constructions of Gender in Augustan Poetry″. In Hommages à Carl Deroux I: 254‒256.

Horsfall, N. 1989. Cornelius Nepos: A Selection, Including the Lives of Cato and Atticus. Oxford University Press.

Jenkinson, E. 1967. ″Nepos: An Introduction to Latin Biography″. In T. A. Dorey (ed.), Latin Biography. Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1‒15.

Marshall, P. K. 1977. The Manuscript Tradition of Cornelius Nepos. Institute of Classical Studies.

Millar, F. 1988. ″Cornelius Nepos, Atticus and the Roman Revolution″. Greece and Rome 35: 40‒55.

Moles, J. L. 1989. ″Nepos and Biography″. Classical Review 39.2: 229‒233.

Momigliano, A. D. The Development of Greek Biography. Harvard University Press, 96‒104.

Nipperdey, K., and K. Witte. 1913. Cornelius Nepos. Weidmann.

Rauk, J. 1996‒1997. ″Time and History in Catullus 1″. Classical World 90.5: 319‒332.

Stem, R. 2009‒2010. ″Shared Virtues and the Limits of Relativism in Nepos′Epaminondas and Atticus″. Classical Journal 105.2: 123‒136.

Tatum, W. J. 1997. ″Friendship, Politics, and Literature in Catullus: Poems 1, 65 and 66, 116″. Classical Quarterly 47: 482‒500.

Tuplin, C. 2000. ″Nepos and the Origin of Political Biography″, in Studies in Latin Literature and Roman History X: 124‒161. Available at

Wiseman, T. P. 1979. Clio′s Cosmetics: Three Studies in Greco‒Roman Literature . Rowman and Littlefield, 143‒174. Available at

Further Readings on Hannibal and the Punic Wars

Bagnall, N. 2002. Essential Histories: The Punic Wars 264‒146 BC. Osprey Publishing.

Charles, M. B., and P. Rhodan. 2007. ″′Magister Elephantorvm′: A Reappraisal of Hannibal′s Use of Elephants″. Classical World 100.4: 363‒389.

Daly, G. 2002. Cannae: The Experience of Battle in the Second Punic War. Routledge.

De Beer, G. 1969. Hannibal: The Struggle for Power in the Mediterranean. Thames & Hudson.

Garland, R. 2010. Hannibal. Bristol Classical Press.

Goldsworthy, A. 2007. Cannae: Hannibal′s Greatest Victory. Phoenix.

Hoyos, D. 2010. A Companion to the Punic Wars. Wiley‒Blackwell. (In particular Chs. 13, 14, 16‒18, and 27).

Hoyos, D. 2005. Hannibal′s Dynasty: Power and Politics in the Western Mediterranean, 247‒183 BC. Oxford University Press.

Lancel, S. 1995. Carthage: A History. Oxford University Press.

Lazenby, J. F. 1998. Hannibals War: A Military History of the Second Punic War. University of Oklahoma Press.

Little, C. E. 1934. ″The Authenticity and Form of Cato′s Saying ′Carthago Delenda Est′″. Classical Journal 29.6: 429‒435.

O′Connell, R. 2010. The Ghosts of Cannae: Hannibal and the Darkest Hour of the Roman Republic. Random House.

Palmer, R. 1997. Rome and Carthage at Peace. Fritz Steiner Verlag.

Peddie, J. 1997. Hannibal′s War. Phoenix Mill. [lavishly illustrated]

Rich, J. 1996. ″The Origins of the First and Second Punic Wars″, in T. Cornell, B. Rankov, and P. Sabin (eds.), The Second Punic War: A Reappraisal. Institute of Classical Studies, 1‒37.

Rosenstein, N. 2012. Rome and the Mediterranean 290 to 146 BC: The Imperial Republic. Edinburgh University Press.

Wise, T. 1982. Armies of the Carthaginian Wars 265‒146. Osprey Publishing.

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