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Synopsis

The Death of Carthage tells the story of the Second and third Punic wars that took place between ancient Rome and Carthage in three parts. The first book, Carthage Must Be Destroyed, covering the second Punic war, is told in the first person by Lucius Tullius Varro, a young Roman of equestrian status who is recruited into the Roman cavalry at the beginning of the war in 218 BC. Lucius serves in Spain under the Consul Publius Cornelius Scipio and his brother, the Proconsul Cneius Cornelius Scipio. Captivus, the second book, is narrated by Lucius’s first cousin Enneus, who is recruited to the Roman cavalry under Gaius Flaminius and taken prisoner by Hannibal’s general Maharbal after the disastrous Roman defeat at Lake Trasimene in 217 BC. Enneus is transported to Greece and sold as a slave, where he is put to work as a shepherd on a large estate and establishes his life there. The third and final book, The Death of Carthage, is narrated by Enneus’s son, Ectorius. As a rare bilingual, Ectorius becomes a translator and serves in the Roman army during the war and witnesses the total destruction of Carthage in the year 146 BC. This historical saga, full of minute details on day-to-day life in ancient times, depicts two great civilizations on the cusp of influencing the world for centuries to come.

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