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The Young Carthaginian (1887)

by G. A. Henty

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342557,969 (3.76)1
Set in ancient times, during the Punic wars, this story follows the adventures of young Malchus, an officer in Hannibal's army. Henty describes the army's incredible journey through southern Europe and across the Alps in fascinating detail, providing both a lesson in ancient history and an absorbing story. The balance of power in Europe swayed between Rome and Carthage and the outcome of this struggle would determine the course of Western Civilization, even until today.… (more)
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As an avid fan of Roman and Carthaginian history, I thoroughly enjoyed this easy reading novel. Despite its status as historical fiction, the author presented an interesting account of the 2nd Punic War, i.e., from a Carthaginian solder's perspective. Equally interesting (and accurate) was the emphasis upon the rival political factions in Carthage that limited oversea support for Hannibal during his famous, but ill fated, attempt to overcome Rome and its allies. ( )
  la2bkk | Feb 28, 2014 |
G.A. Henty was a 19th century author of more than 120 books, many of them written for children. In the case of this book, I'd say it was aimed at 12 to adult.

I've read just about every popular account of Hannibal and his invasion of Italy, so I am quite familiar with the story. Henty does a superb job distilling the essentials of this story, without the usual comparisons of whether Polybius or Livy was a more accurate primary source.

The story is about a young Carthaginian noble, Malchus, who becomes part of Hannibal's inner circle from his battles to subdue Spain, the journey with the elephants across the Alps, and his invasion of Italy. Malchus himself is a fictional storyline, but he exists within as authentic a telling of Hannibal's story as there is. Henty shows us that one doesn't have to mess with a good true story to make it entertaining -- something Hollywood should take note of as they crank out ridiculous parodies such as "300".

While Malchus leaves Hannibal's service years before the general's recall to defend Carthage against Scipio's invasion and his defeat at the Battle of Cannae. Historians like to debate what might have happened had Hannibal attacked Rome after his destruction of 8 consular legions at Cannae, but Henty reminds us Carthage was no loveable underdog (although Hannibal himself might qualify). Corruption was rampant in Carthage, and the ruling party of Hanno was every bit as loathsome as Rome had been to date. Malchius experiences this corruption first hand. Again, it's an effective presentation of history, an interesting story to read with the added bonus of learning something in the end. What we know of Hannibal hasn't increased much over the 100 years or so since Henty's death; perhaps some of his other stories will seem more dated. His writing style is similar to his American contemporary Jack London; the story is one easily enjoyed by adults and children alike. ( )
1 vote JeffV | Feb 14, 2014 |
A tale of the times of Hannibal in the of the Carthaginians against the Romans. Originally printed in 1886.
  hgcslibrary | Nov 29, 2009 |
The struggles between Rome and Carthage are the basis for this story.
  gnbclibrary | Apr 3, 2008 |
This book is about a young Carthaginian who fought for Carthage alongside Hannibal ( )
  Dage9 | Nov 15, 2006 |
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Set in ancient times, during the Punic wars, this story follows the adventures of young Malchus, an officer in Hannibal's army. Henty describes the army's incredible journey through southern Europe and across the Alps in fascinating detail, providing both a lesson in ancient history and an absorbing story. The balance of power in Europe swayed between Rome and Carthage and the outcome of this struggle would determine the course of Western Civilization, even until today.

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