Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Review of Hoyos, Mastering the West

Dexter Hoyos, Mastering the West: Rome and Carthage at War. Ancient warfare and civilization. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2015. Pp. xxi, 337. ISBN 9780199860104. $29.95.

Reviewed by Fred K. Drogula, Providence College (fdrogula@providence.edu)


Dexter Hoyos is a leading authority on ancient Carthage and its wars with Rome, and his numerous works have advanced our understanding of these subjects.1 In Mastering the West: Rome and Carthage at War, Hoyos takes up the daunting tasks of giving a detailed narrative of the three Punic Wars and their intervening periods, of analyzing the catalysts and motives driving critical events in these wars, of drawing attention to problems in our evidence, and of working through those problems to present the best reconstruction possible. Hoyos also asks several larger questions in his work, such as why the three Punic Wars (and related Macedonian Wars) began, how Carthage and Rome were able to sustain the immense costs of the wars, and why winning the wars did not leave Rome enfeebled. In all of these areas he has succeeded admirably, and has produced an engaging and highly readable work that will attract a wide readership.

Cross-file under Punic Watch.