Why is it that Hannibal, who was beaten by Scipio Africanus, is better known now than Scipio is? After all, Scipio never lost any of his battles as a Roman commander. Perhaps it is because of all the bad press Hannibal got - you know, the more ruthless you are, the better known you are. It is still that way today. Nevertheless, B.H. Liddell Hart attempted to right the oversight of history by introducing Scipio to the world with the tagline that Scipio was “greater than Napoleon."
Does this book bear out that claim? Let us just say that after reading this book, military historians will have something to debate. With descriptions of battles and even battle diagrams of his strategy, Scipio is presented as a great military leader.
Scipio Africanus is definitely a book for the avid history and or military buff. To the average reader, its prose may seem dry and dull. Military history lovers, however, will revel in the minutiae of brilliant military maneuvers. One note of caution: there are some excerpts concerning the fate of sacked cities civilians which, by today’s standards, would be totally unacceptable. Keep in mind that the times and mores were different then. On the other hand, there is a moving story of how Scipio saves the women of a village from certain rape, so it all evens out.
If you like military history, read this book and enjoy.