aleator classicus

Reading at Random in Classical Literature

Nepos, Life of Hannibal 1

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Nepos offers his assessment of Hannibal’s abilities.

Hannibal, Hamilcaris filius, Carthaginiensis. si verum est (quod nemo dubitat) ut populus Romanus omnes gentes virtute superarit, non est infitiandum Hannibalem tanto praestitisse ceteros imperatores prudentia, quanto populus Romanus antecedat fortitudine cunctas nationes. nam quotienscumque cum eo congressus est in Italia, semper discessit superior. quod nisi domi civium suorum invidia debilitatus esset, Romanos videtur superare potuisse.

Hannibal, the son of Hamilcar, was a Carthaginian. If it is true – and no one doubts that it is – that the Roman people has excelled all other races in courage, it is undeniable that Hannibal excelled other commanders in his shrewdness by as much as the Roman people surpasses all nations in bravery. For whenever when he joined battle with the Romans in Italy, he always left with the upper hand. And, were it not for his being damaged by his citizens’ envy at home, he would, it seems, have been able to conquer the Romans.

Written by aleatorclassicus

September 18, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Nepos

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