Cornelius Nepos, Life of Hannibal: Latin Text, Notes, Maps, Illustrations and Vocabulary - cover image

Book Series


Bret Mulligan

Published On





  • English

Print Length

174 pages (xii + 162)


Paperback156 x 9 x 234 mm(6.14" x 0.37" x 9.21")
Hardback156 x 11 x 234 mm(6.14" x 0.44" x 9.21")


Paperback560g (19.75oz)
Hardback935g (32.98oz)



OCLC Number





  • DB
  • HBLA1
  • CFP


  • LIT004190
  • FOR016000
  • HIS002020


  • DG249


  • Cornelius Nepos
  • Hannibal
  • Chartage
  • Ancient Rome
  • Punic wars
  • Latin literature
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Cornelius Nepos, Life of Hannibal

Latin Text, Notes, Maps, Illustrations and Vocabulary

Trebia. Trasimene. Cannae. With three stunning victories, Hannibal humbled Rome and nearly shattered its empire. Even today Hannibal's brilliant, if ultimately unsuccessful, campaign against Rome during the Second Punic War (218-202 BC) make him one of history's most celebrated military leaders. This biography by Cornelius Nepos (c. 100-27 BC) sketches Hannibal's life from the time he began traveling with his father's army as a young boy, through his sixteen-year invasion of Italy and his tumultuous political career in Carthage, to his perilous exile and eventual suicide in the East.

As Rome completed its bloody transition from dysfunctional republic to stable monarchy, Nepos labored to complete an innovative and influential collection of concise biographies. Putting aside the detailed, chronological accounts of military campaigns and political machinations that characterized most writing about history, Nepos surveyed Roman and Greek history for distinguished men who excelled in a range of prestigious occupations. In the exploits and achievements of these illustrious men, Nepos hoped that his readers would find models for the honorable conduct of their own lives. Although most of Nepos' works have been lost, we are fortunate to have his biography of Hannibal. Nepos offers a surprisingly balanced portrayal of a man that most Roman authors vilified as the most monstrous foe that Rome had ever faced.

Nepos' straightforward style and his preference for common vocabulary make Life of Hannibal accessible for those who are just beginning to read continuous Latin prose, while the historical interest of the subject make it compelling for readers of every ability.

This book contains embedded audio files of the original text read aloud by Christopher Francese.


Over the years, Cornelius Nepos has given many students of Latin their first opportunity to read through an entire (shorter) work with ease. But until now there has been no resource as intellectually satisfying and pedagogically effective as Bret Mulligan provides for the Life of Hannibal...Mulligan's volume makes me excited about the next time I will get to use it...and about how DCC and Open Book are making ancient texts more accessible than ever before, both materially and conceptually.

Dr James Ker

"Cornelius Nepos: Life of Hannibal. Latin text, notes, maps, illustrations, and vocabulary". The Classical Outlook (0009-8361), vol. 91, no. 2, 2016.

Full Review

Additional Resources


1. Life of Nepos

(pp. 1–12)
  • Bret Mulligan

2. Reading Nepos

(pp. 13–20)
  • Bret Mulligan

3. Historical Context and Hannibal

(pp. 21–42)
  • Bret Mulligan


(pp. 43–46)
  • Bret Mulligan

Chronology of Hannibal’s Life

(pp. 47–50)
  • Bret Mulligan

Text of Nepos’ Life of Hannibal

(pp. 51–61)
  • Bret Mulligan


(pp. 63–122)
  • Bret Mulligan

Full Vocabulary for Nepos’ Life of Hannibal and Prologus to the Lives of Outstanding Commanders

(pp. 123–156)
  • Bret Mulligan