The Punic Wars

There were three Punic wars fought between ancient Rome and Carthage. The first lasted from 263 to 241 B.C. The origins of the First Punic War are rather murky, and it would seem that the Romans and the Carthaginians blundered into it. The catalyst was the city of Messana which had been conquered by an […]

Justice in Ancient Rome and Justice in the Modern American Republic

The trial of the century took place in Rome in 70 B.C. It featured the two most renowned legal minds of the day, the up and coming thirty-six year old Marcus Tullius Cicero for the prosecution, and the venerable Quintus Hortensius Hortalus for the defense. The defendant was Gaius Verres, formerly governor of the province […]

How Was Rome Affected by the Punic Wars?

The Punic Wars brought about Rome’s vast increase in power and at same time a significant moral decline. From the introduction in my book The Death of Carthage: “As warlike as they were, the Romans of the third century B.C. maintained certain principles that were gradually lost in the second century B.C.. The first of […]

How Good a General Was Scipio Africanus?

How good of a general was Scipio Africanus? Was he truly one of the greats, or did he simply benefit from the fame of defeating Hannibal at Zama?  Robin Levin Scipio Africanus was definitely one of the greatest generals in history. The Battle of Zama, where he defeated Hannibal wasn’t even his most brilliant accomplishment. […]

The Genius of Scipio Africanus: Simple but Deceptive, with an Emphasis on Deceptive

Elephants were known to wreak havoc in ancient warfare. In the case of Zama, it wasn’t a simple matter of stepping out of the way and clearing a path for the elephants. Scipio wanted Hannibal to think that his elephants would be effective in disrupting the Roman lines, so he disguised the paths he was […]

Quora Question: How Did Rome Finally Defeat Carthage?

Rome and Carthage fought three wars during the third and second centuries B.C. The first and second wars both ended with treaties on Roman terms. Some fifty years after the end of the Second Punic War, Rome was strongly influenced by an aged veteran of that war named Marcus Porcius Cato, AKA Cato the Elder. […]

Quora Question: Who was Hannibal Barca and What Books Should I Read to Learn More About Him?

Who was Hannibal Barca? Which book should I read to learn more about him? Robin Levin · During the third and second centuries B.C. the ancient civilizations of Rome in Italy and Carthage in North Africa fought three wars, these are known as the Punic wars-the word Punic comes from the Roman word for Phoenician […]

Book Review: Battling the Gods by Tim Whitmarsh.

Battling the Gods by Tim Whitmarsh Battling the Gods explores the ancient origins of atheism. Most of the book deals with ancient Greece. Most other civilizations of the ancient world were decidedly not fertile grounds for nurturing atheists, but the culture of ancient Greece bred philosophy, and some of the strains of Greek philosophy allowed […]

Quora Question:Why did Tiberius Gracchus Promote Land Reform in the face of Roman Senatorial Opposition?

Tiberius Gracchus was the son of Cornelia, the Mother of the Gracchi, and the grandson of Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus, the Roman general who defeated Hannibal and ended the sixteen year long Second Punic War. Cornelia was married to Tiberius Gracchus the Elder. She bore twelve children, but only three of them, Tiberius, Gaius, and […]

Quora Question: What Year Was the Rise of Rome?

Rome didn’t rise in a day, nor in a year. The rise of Rome was a very long process. The Greek historian Polybius explored the rise of Rome in his Histories. In the preface he wrote: “For who is so indolent and so worthless as to not wish to know by what means and under […]