The latest programme of BBC's In Our Time touched on a subject you can listen about also in many other podcasts. Carthage was Rome's competitor in the third century BCE and with it's destruction by the Romans history took a definite turn. In Our Time investigated the destruction of Carthage and what it meant for the Romans
Obviously with the fall of Carthage, Rome went on the fast track to becoming a hegemony and this is what is emphasized in Dan Carlin's Hardcore History trilogy about the Punic Wars. However, the sheer magnitude and completeness of the destruction filled the Romans with a sense of foreboding and took on the meaning not just of the entrance to greatness, but also the road to downfall. The Romans seemed to understand that each great victory in a way implies also a defeat, not for the defeated, but for the victor.
If you follow the history from Carthage's perspective, as does Patrick Hunt in his series about Hannibal the same seems true. Hannibal's feats in Italy constantly had defeat and victory interwoven. No matter how strong and smart Hannibal was, his downfall seemed to be inevitable and only expedited by his successes. Somehow these great warriors and warrior nations understood a deep truth about victory in battle: there are no pure gains and even victory is a fateful and fearful event.
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More In Our Time:
The brothers Grimm,
The modest proposal,
History of history,
The Consolation of Philosophy.
The Punic Wars in Hardcore History:
Punic Nightmares III,
Punic Nightmares II ,
Punic Nightmares I.
Hannibal by Patrick Hunt:
Hannibal in the end,
Ten discoveries that rewrote history,
Patrick Hunt on Hannibal (and more),
Hannibal Barca on the couch,
Where did Hannibal cross the Alps?.