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  • Carthage Must Be Destroyed

  • The Rise and Fall of an Ancient Civilization
  • By: Richard Miles
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 14 hrs and 9 mins
  • Categories: History, World
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (13 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

An epic history of a doomed civilization and a lost empire. The devastating struggle to the death between the Carthaginians and the Romans was one of the defining dramas of the ancient world. In an epic series of land and sea battles, both sides came close to victory before the Carthaginians finally succumbed and their capital city, history, and culture were almost utterly erased.

Drawing on a wealth of new archaeological research, Richard Miles vividly brings to life this lost empire-from its origins among the Phoenician settlements of Lebanon to its apotheosis as the greatest seapower in the Mediterranean. And at the heart of the history of Carthage lies the extraordinary figure of Hannibal-the scourge of Rome and one of the greatest military leaders, but a man who also unwittingly led his people to catastrophe. The first full-scale history of Carthage in decades, Carthage Must Be Destroyed reintroduces modern listeners to the larger-than-life historical players and the ancient glory of this almost forgotten civilization.

©2011 Richard Miles (P)2011 Gildan Media Corp

What listeners say about Carthage Must Be Destroyed

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Punic Wars Masterwork

My knowledge of the Punic Wars has always been poor with few references to correct this. No longer.

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Profile Image for Haakon B. Dahl
  • Haakon B. Dahl
  • 21-01-2013

Outstanding! This is THE book on Carthage.

This is an awesome history of Carthage, with a fresh look at how it existed in its own times and setting, as opposed to the way it appeared to Greek and Roman historians. Obviously, we have no opportunity to do primary research on Carthaginian mores and motives, but the author does an outstanding job of dissecting much of the conventional wisdom about Carthage, its people, and the events surrounding its rise and fall.

Some reviews have addressed a long dry patch somewhat early in the work, and I did in fact wind up forwarding past a few chapters. Yet this is what makes the book definitive. I was blown away by the level of detail assessing sources such as works of art, artifacts, and secondhand histories through the economic drivers, likely cultural influences, and geographic facts of life lend the author's own analysis a great weight. Just the same, this section is a bit dry if you are not already conversant with much of the artifact-based history. Having heard a good sampling of the evidence, I skipped much of it, decided to take him at his word and got back to the juicy mainstream of the book.

This is a powerful and convincing history well told by the writer and well-read by the narrator. A top-notch effort and well worth not only your money, but your time and attention.

If you were interested enough to check out this title, then this IS a book you want.

22 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-01-2012

Fascinating Overview, Occasional dry stretches

I have read a fair amount of ancient history, but never knew much about Carthage in particular. This book gives a compelling, easy to understand and enjoyable to hear overview of the ancient city's entire history. There are just a few dry as dust sections where archaeological details get a little overwhelming, but the vast majority of the book moves along well. Grover Gardner, as always, does a great job with the narration.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Liz
  • 01-03-2013

Facinating

This is a thought provoking overview of the political, military, religious and social history of the rise and fall of an early "world" power. The book covers an approximately 800 year period from the founding of the city of Carthage to its complete destruction by Rome. The book is well researched but does not overwhelm the lay reader with source material. Events are presented both from the perspective of Carthage and from other, primarily Greek and Roman sources. There are many parallels between events in this time period and our own. Carthage was much more than Hannibal and the elephants crossing the alps. Well worth a listen.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 24-10-2019

Very enjoyable and unique

I've gone through the story of the punic wars over and over again but this is the first I've heard the story from the carthaginian pov. Beyond that, the book gets into history you probably haven't heard about the carthaginians such as their Sicilian campaigns.

2 people found this helpful

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  • James M.
  • 20-02-2017

Excellent and Informative

Where does Carthage Must Be Destroyed rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It's in my top twenty- I'm generally fond of historical books and this is in my top 5, in that particular category.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I found the early sections of the book to be most enjoyable, in spite of a popular consensus that they are "Dryer" than the rest- indeed, to an extent I found the earlier parts the most engaging of the entire work, because of how well the author explains the painstaking work that goes into reconstructing any bit of useful historical information about Qart-Hadasht.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ryan Anderson
  • 02-07-2020

Great book read by a great choice

this want my favorite groover Gardner performance because of some pronunciation issues, but his voice is perfect for audio books overall.

I really like Richard Miles presentation of Carthage. it's honest and deep. so many authors of books like this fall in love with their subject and cannot be critical of the failings of cultures or leaders. Miles sticks to the facts and presents Carthage in a relatable, human way. His presentation of the culture and how it for into the greater Greek and Latin world was very insightful, showing them in the truest way we can see in light of the limited sources. Impressive authorship!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ralph
  • 27-04-2020

Great account of the Mediterranean's "Other" City

As much as I have read about Roman history, I have only learned about Carthage while studying about Rome. Everything has been derived. Thus, Carthage was typically presented in almost a stereotypical manner, juxtaposed as the proverbial villain against Rome. Miles did a good job in distilling Carthaginian history, much of which was passed to us through Roman bias.

It is amazing to consider what Phoenicia and Carthage did through their exploration and establishing trade routes. Reading that they made it to the West coast of Africa, and probably up the French coast is not surprising. But to accomplish what they did given their technology and tools is remarkable.

Its tragic end was somewhat anti-climatic, although everything we have of it is through a Roman lens. And I don't think Miles fully grasped Scipio Corculum's opposition to the war. He presented this as a possible addition by later generations who had experienced the Roman Civil Wars that broke out after the fall of Carthage. But many Roman's understood their history and had seen what had happened previously when an up-and-coming civilization had supplanted its rival and arrived on the pinnacle with no rivals. Athens (Persian Empire) and Sparta (Athens) both suffered in a breakdown of their society's and then of their country after having bested their nemesis. The parallel with the US and the USSR is unmistakable.

Great read and a great companion to Cline's 1177 B.C., both of which I recommend highly. - Hamilton of the Smokies

1 person found this helpful

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  • William
  • 02-09-2016

Complement to The Rise of Rome

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. You'll learn a lot about Carthage, Carthaginians, and Carthage's relationship to Rome.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Hannibal to learn about, but not to like.

What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

His voice was clear with gravitas that kept your attention.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No.

1 person found this helpful

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  • D. Armstrong
  • 08-08-2015

Okay pop history, terrible narration

Carthage isn't a subject given a lot of attention outside of as an antagonist for Republican Rome, fair enough, but Miles delves deep into the background of one of the great cities of the Ancient Mediterranean. Indeed, much of the book only sets the scene for the Second Punic War, which seems to be the primary focus (or at least the subject given the most attention) rather than the events immediately surrounding the destruction of Carthage.
Like a lot of popular history books these days, it seems, Carthage Must Be Destroyed relies heavily on connecting various, and sometimes loosely, related topics to provide an overarching narrative that grasps for word count rather than content. Miles' work here is more reminiscent of an excellent, if overly ambitious, undergrad thesis (or an underwhelming graduate one) than a moderately serious work designed as anything other than selling units.
While probably worth a read if one is interested in Carthage, or Republican Rome, actually reading the book, rather than listening to this audiobook, may be a better option. Gardner's narration, or more precisely his pronunciation, is often so randomly off that it's jarring. Ancient names and words, understandably, have a certain leeway with pronunciation but one is often forced to wonder if Gardner has ever thought to look up a word rather than attempt to sound it out. It's truly terrible.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-04-2021

Amazing mythic analysis

Richard Miles catalogs the Three Punic Wars from start to finish whilst tracing the attempts both sides made to align themselves with the Hercules myths to garner support. Through illuminating these connections one can see how war in the ancient world was also a politicized religious affair. The case he crafts about the perseverance of Hannibal and Romes resilience in an ideological and military sense.

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  • Marcus
  • 13-04-2012

History by the victors

The book covers the whole history of Carthage from it's foundation to it's destruction.  All the major events are covered, but if you want a more comprehensive account of the Punic wars and Hannibal, you will find better books on the market.  I like the accounts of lesser know events such as the battle for Sicily  with the Greeks, and the Mercenary Wars.    The problem for any history of Carthage is that virtually all the sources are Roman or Greek, which are hostile, and getting a deep understand of how the Carthaginian thought and operated are difficult. The author discusses the problem of the bias in source material, which I'm a fan of.

As a scholar the author looks to emphasis the  role of the divine in motivating ancient peoples, not just the political and economic.  Heracles is constantly referred to as the ideal template for a conquering hero, but some of the subtles of how this related to the actions of the ancients was lost on me at times.

This history has both depth and is accessible, and I loved the final lines that said that when the Romans needed to be reminded how great they were they thought of the Punic Wars.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Manish
  • 13-01-2019

Carthago delenda est

This is a fabulous book and a fantastic story. It is a version of the other side. Too often we only here about Rome and Hannibal. There is a whole lot more. The move from the Levant, the overriding economic reasons and the battles of Sicily as well as Spain shows what a close run thing this was! How different would the world have looked if "African" Carthage had won.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Dave
  • 10-06-2012

Good solid account

I enjoyed listening to this account of one of the lesser-known civilisations on the ancient world. Naturally the Punic Wars are better known, as is Hannibal's trip across the Alps, but this history covers the whole of Carthage's history, which puts those events into their proper context. The book is well written and covers all aspects of Carthage and her world - not just the fights with Rome. Of course evidence is scarce, but the story that emerges is interesting and well told.

The narrator reads the text well, and if not the greatest reading in the world then it is certainly plenty good enough and I found it easy to listen to. If you have an interest in Carthage or Republican Rome then this book is recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 27-01-2021

What a great book

Always wanted to know the history of the Punic wars and this book didn’t let me down , great narration and story thank you 👍

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  • Roper
  • 25-01-2021

Good book, horrific pronunciation

Interesting story of Carthage and its origins. The voice artist has some horrific and glaring mispronounciations.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Jon Simcox
  • 22-12-2012

poor narrator

clearly a very extensive book and informtion, let down by a very poor narrator

I also feel the title does not match the content of the book so well, many will be drawn to is based upon the roman/carthage wars, but there is also a huge amount of pre history to get through first.

1 person found this helpful

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