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Selected References

Here we have listed some of the references we have used in compiling authors' ideas about the Battle of Cannae and related issues. They are given in no particular order. Some of these contain only very brief descriptions of Cannae, but I include them to show the variety of opinions and theories about the battle one finds in the popular literature. Of course there are many more books and articles about Hannibal or Cannae, but we cannot track them all down. This list is only what I have in my personal library.

Author Title Publisher and data on book Subject
There are several related Wikipedia files
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Cannae
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Punic_War http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hannibal
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Trebia http://www.livius.org/ha_hd/hannibal.html
Healy, Mark Cannae 216 BC: Hannibal smashes Rome's Army Osprey Publishing, London, Campaign series 36, 1994, 96 pgs., index, notes, reading list, chronology, excellent maps, diagrams, and illustrations. This is the best analysis of the battle and campaign I have found. But I have a few disagreements. Of course, being an Osprey book the color illustrations are superb, and so are the B/W illustrations of archeological finds.
Healy states that there were 17 legions under arms in 216, the same as Arnold Toynbee (without citing his source). He picks up on Livy's note that Hiero sent archers to presume they were at Cannae but there is no evidence of this. His effort to track each legion raised since 219 is excellent, following on Toynbee without citation. The description of the actual battle and especially the diagrammatic maps is the best as are the descriptions of Trebia and Trasimene. His comments on how and why later Roman historians vilified Varro is fine also. He presents a diagram layout of a two legion Roman army of 5000 men for Cannae. He shows each maniple at 5 ranks by 15 files with significant space between maniples. I believe this would result in a total width of the Roman order of battle much too wide. And he then agrees in the text by stating the formations were 30 ranks by 5 files with each man spaced at 3 feet and a total width for each legion of 300 feet and a total line of battle including cavalry of 3,000 meters. I reached the same conclusion. But he notes that the 10,000 man garrison of the Roman camp was formed from the triarii. He also places all 15,000 velite skirmishers in front of the line initially. These are a strong possibilities but Delbruck disagrees with both. There is no source information on these points. Delbruck is right, I believe, in noting that there could be no space for 15,000 skirmishers to deploy in a skirmish type line. Healy states that the allied formations were posted on both flanks, but Livy wrote that they were all on the Roman left side. Healy's estimate of the composition of the Carthaginian army is reasonable - but he writes that fully a third of the infantry were the light type while I would estimate no more than a quarter. He describes the Carthaginian line as a crescent, which Delbruck and others note is misleading - the line would have appeared from above more like a step pyramid as each sub-unit formed a rectangle and this is what his battle diagram shows.
Wise, Terence Armies of the Carthaginian Wars 265-146 BC Osprey Publishing, London, Men-at-arms series 121, 1982, 40 pgs., excellent illustrations, index, notes, chronology tThis is a good reference for the illustrations of the various armies involved.
As the title indicates the subject is the composition and arms and armor of the two opponents - not any of the specific battles. Wise gives the total military manpower of Rome including Latin and Italian allies at 600,000. He points out that the legionary organization described by Polybius was that of the end of the Third Punic War rather than as formed for Cannae. Wise notes the remark from Livy that Hiero sent 1000 archers and slingers to assist after the Roman loss at Trebia and that these were likely then lost at Trasimene. Other authors (see Healy) mistakenly believe these were sent for the Cannae campaign. But there is no source evidence for either. I estimate that they were more likely used in the manning of the fleet. Ironically it is clear that by 211 there were archers in the Roman army besieging Syracuse.
Cottrell, Leonard Hannibal: Enemy of Rome Da Capo Press, NY., 1992, reprint of 1961 edition of Henry Holt and co. Biography of Hannibal, with study of the Second Punic War - O'Connell does not reference this book.
The author personally drove and walked along Hannibal's route across the Alps as a matter of great interest. His conclusion is that Hannibal used the Col da la Traversette. In this he notes his use of the studies by Sir Gavin De Beer (Alps and Elephants, (1959) and M. Auguste Longnon. His account of the crossing is very detailed, relying mostly on Polybius. His account of Cannae comprises 12 pages. In this he follows the translation of Polybius by W. R Paton (1922). He quotes Livy frequently but does not include a reference to Livy in his bibliography. He gives the Roman strength ON the battlefield at 86,000, but Delbruck long ago showed that figure is much too high. He shows the Carthaginian formation with its center initially in a crescent shape, which, again, Delbruck indicated was not likely. And he shows the two African infantry formation on line ( while I believe they must have been in columns, and behind their cavalry.) He writes that at the moment of engagement these African units were "swinging" left and right, which they indeed would have to do if shifting a line formation - that is wheeling - a very difficult maneuver. But if they were in column all they would do is face right or left and be already on line, which is what Polybius indicates. He repeats the common mistake, "And in front of the Carthaginian ranks are pikemen and slingers from the Balearic Islands." "Pikemen" is a mistranslation of Polybius' Greek term. (see Duncan Head - Armies of the Macedonian and Punic Wars) He describes the battle "as the legionaries hack and thrust their way deeper and deeper into the faltering ranks of the enemy foot." I disagree - The Romans could not move INTO the Carthaginian units. Rather as the Romans pressed forward the Spanish and Celtic infantry fell back and was compressed from its wider initial extent into a straight line and then expanded again into a concave set of small units.
Prevas, John Hannibal Crosses the Alps Sarpedon, NY., 1998 A personal study of Hannibal's route from Spain into Italy, especially his crossing of the Alps. O'Connell cites this book.
Mr Prevas is due credit for pursuing the issue of Hannibal's crossing of the Alps on foot and checking out all the possible passes. He concludes that Hannibal used the Col da la Traversette. So do I, but I reached that conclusion by reading Dupuy and De Beer years ago. So I don't know why Prevas claims that he is so revolutionary and that the "Classical" solution as he terms it is the Claiper pass. To complete his account Prevas gives a brief description of Cannae. First he writes that the 'mass of 80,000 Roman soldiers would destroy anything in front of it." But when summarizing the battle results his numbers are different.
Polybius, trans. Ian Scott-Kilvert The Rise of the Roman Empire Penguin Books, NY, 1979 - one of many editions - this one translated by Ian - Scott-Kilvert The accounts of the First and Second Punic wars are relatively complete, but there are sections missing from available copies of Polybius' later books plus this version also leaves out some sections. Naturally, this is the primary reference for O'Connell. The translation from Greek contains errors on technical terms
There are several problems with the text we all use. First is not Polybius' fault - the translation repeatedly uses 'pikeman' instead of spearman or better javelin thrower. Pikeman cannot be a skirmisher or a skirmisher cannot use a pike. The second problem is in the strength count for Hannibal. Polybius states that Hannibal had 12,000 Africans, 8,000 Celt-Iberian infantry and 6,000 cavalry on arrival in Italy. This we presume to be true. But Polybius then mentions 8,000 light infantry in the Trebia battle. He also mentions light infantry and or Numidian infantry several times during the crossing. I believe either he or Hannibal did not include the Balleric slingers and some other light infantry in the total given. Clearly also he did not include the several thousand mule skinners and other supporting men. This becomes important when describing the army at Cannae. Also, Polybius apparently creates larger numbers for Hannibal's army in Spain and during the crossing, resulting in apparent huge personnel losses in the Alps. Delbruck successfully demonstrates these errors. Polybius mentions that Hiero sent a contingent of 500 Creatans and and1,0001,000 light infantry to Rome after Trebia and before Trasimene, but nothing more about these. Several modern commentators presume without evidence that these were at Cannae. My guess is that their best use was in the expanded manning of the fleet. Polybius writes that the Roman army at Cannae contained 80,000 infantry and 6,000 cavalry. (Clearly a product of multiplying 5,000 infantry times 16 legion-sized formations). Here again the translator states that he 'brought his slingers and pikemen over the river'. The slingers were not counted in the initial 20,000 infantry and the 'pikemen' were rather javelin throwers. He then writes that Carthaginian strength was 40,000 infantry and 10,000 cavalry - numbers we can accept. For results he states that 360 cavalry escaped along with 3,000 infantry and that 10,000 infantry were captured in the camp after the battle. He then gives the Roman total loss as 70,000 died. But Delbruck shows the errors in these estimates. (Livy also gives different totals). His brief description of the course of the battle can be accepted. But Polybius' discussion of the political backgrounds of Aemilius Paullus and Terentius Varro has caused much controversy for modern commentators. Most now note that Polybius took pains to place all blame for the disaster on Varro and present Paullus in the best light because Polybius was beholden to the Paullus family. And not only Polybius, but all the Roman historians who supported the senate. We should note Polybius' descriptions of Roman religious practices related to warfare.
De Beer, Sir Gavin Hannibal: Challenging Rome's Supremacy Viking Press, NY., 1969, 320 pgs., bibliography, illustrations, maps A biography of Hannibal, but including a full narrative and commentary on the Second Punic War. O'Connell mentions this only with respect to the crossing of the Alps.
Of special interest is the author's extensive investigation of Hannibal's route and his conclusion that Hannibal used the Col da la Traversette pass. The author also notes that Hannibal lacked the means for besieging Rome. He writes that the Carthaginian army center formed a wedge toward the Romans. This is much more likely than a crescent. He notes that as the Celts and Spanish infantry withdrew the Romans were drawn in - a better description than that the Romans 'penetrated Carthaginian lines. He offers only very broad estimates of the numbers of troops on each side and the casualties.
Dupuy, Trevor The Military Life of Hannibal: Father of Strategy Franklin Watts, NY., 1969, 161 pgs., index Biography and account of the Second Punic war with emphasis on analyses of strategy. O'Connell does not mention this book.
Dupuy agrees with De Beer that Hannibal crossed the Alps via the Traversette pass. For Cannae he estimates the Roman army at 66,000 infantry and 7,000 cavalry with an additional 10,000 troops left to guard the camp. He credits the Carthaginians with 32,000 infantry and 10,000 cavalry and 5,000 camp guards. He notes that the Carthaginian light troops consisted of Baleric slingers and light spearmen as skirmishers. But he is mistaken in believing the Hasdrubal who commanded the cavalry on the left wing was Hannibal's brother. He depicts the Roman and allied forces in three lines plus the light troops - but it is more likely that the 10,000 troops in the camp were the Triari so there would have been only two Roman lines. He does note that the Roman maniples were narrower and deeper than usual with less than normal intervals between them. He describes the course of the infantry battle correctly - the Celts and Iberian infantry withdrew in the face of the massive Roman attack. his assessment is that perhaps 40,000 Roman infantry and 4,000 horsemen were killed -plus the 10,000 in the camp were captured. Plus perhaps 15,000 Romans escaped. Hannibal lost nearly 8,000 casualties.
Creasy, E. S. The Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World from Marathon to Waterloo Standard Book Co. Chicago, 1882, 562 pgs, The chapter on the Battle of the Metaurus is pages143 to 185. Creasy draws a parallel between Hannibal's war against Rome and Wellington's war against Napoleon. He makes a strong case that Metaurus was the decisive battle not only of the Second Punic War but of Rome's emergence as the master of Europe.
Creasy writes, "When the Metaurus witnessed the defeat and death of Hasdrubal, it witnessed the ruin of the scheme by which alone Carthage could hope to organize decisive success - the scheme of enveloping Rome at once from the north and the south of Italy by two chosen armies, led by two sons of Hamicar. That battle was the determining crisis of the contest, not merely between Rome and Carthage, but between the two great families of the world, which then made Italy the arena of their oft-renewed contest for pre-eminence." Today we might consider all the rest of Creasy's thoughts and his quotations from Michelet as Euro-centrism." There follows a general outline history of Carthage and its place on the Med. On the Roman side he credits the senate rather than any of the generals, including Scipio, for the leadership which prevailed. He credits Polybius with valuable historical writing but considers Livy as worthless. He notes Scipio's failure to accomplish his main mission, to keep Hasdrubal in Spain. He describes both Nero and Livius well - among other things that it was Livius who had celebrated the last Roman triumph for the Illurian war before Hannibal's invasion. He then describes the dangerous situation confronting Rome already and how much worse it would be if Hasdrubal was victorious. Creasy notes that while Hannibal lost men in the crossing, Hasdrubal gained men and entered Italy stronger than he had left Spain. He credits Nero with having 40,000 foot and 2,000 horse, plus another 20,000 man army south of Hannibal. When Nero received the intercepted letter Hasdrubal had sent to Hannibal he promptly acted on his own initiative and moved north with 7,000 picked infantry and 1,000 cavalry. He carefully planned and executed a remarkable forced march to join Livius while keeping Hannibal ignorant of his departure. Creasy describes the battle in detail based on Livy's extensive account. Creasy notes then that the victory was recognized in Rome as decisive for its future.
Spaulding, Oliver L. Hoffman Nickerson and John W. Wright Warfare: A study of Military Methods from the Earliest Times Infantry Journal Press, Washington D.C., 1937, 601 pgs, index, some notes Warfare from ancient Near East to the death of Frederick the Great. O'Connell does not mention this reference. The text may be considered outdated now, but it was a standard book on military history for many years.
This was one of my first military history books as a school boy. The strength figurers he credits for Hannibal at the start of his march are the highest from sources. He does not guess at the crossing of the Alps. But he gives the standard strength figure as of the army reaching the Po in Italy - 20,000 infantry, 6000 cavalry. He does comment that the apparent losses using initial and final strength figures seem excessive. He duly notes that Delbruck discounted the initial figures and considered that Polybius was correct only for the final strength. His description of the Roman formation for battle at Cannae is good. And he conjectures that the unusually deep and narrow Roman formation was due to the relative lack of training of the mostly new troops. At any rate the Roman tactic was to push through the center of the Carthaginian line. But his battle diagram depicts the African units on each flank in line formation rather than in column behind their cavalry. He estimates the Roman force as 10,000 in the camp, 70,000 infantry on the battlefield with 6,000 cavalry. Hannibal had 40,000 infantry and 10,000 cavalry. Spaulding notes that Hannibal's formation was similar to Alexander's at Arbela. We know that Hannibal was a student of Alexander's campaigns and all Greek and Macedonian military history, but of the references I have this is the only one that makes this comment. He believes that when the Carthaginian cavalry struck the Roman army rear the Triarii turned to meet them. But I believe the Triarii were in the camp and it was only the velites - light infantry in the rear, easily overcome by the Carthaginian cavalry. Spaulding comments on the way Cannae has been studied and specifically mentions von Schlieffen (as does O'Connell) but also mentions Tannenberg, which O'Connell does not.
Warmington, B. H. Carthage
Penguin Books, Baltimore, 1964, paperback, 286 pgs, index, extensive notes to sources. The only book I have that is a history of Carthage - with a description of the Punic Wars from the Carthaginian side (however the ancient sources are of course from the Roman and Greek side. Note mentioned by O'Connell.
Warmington notes that the pass used by Hannibal cannot be identified with certainty but guesses on the Col de Genevre. But we believe it was the Col de Traversette. He gives Polybius's strength figure at the Po, 20,000 foot and 6,000 horse and does not discuss initial strength or possible losses during the march. For Cannae he gives Hannibal 40,000 infantry and 6,000 cavalry as usual. but greatly underestimates the Roman army - believing it only had half the number of legions Polybius indicated. He lists Roman end as 25,000 lost, 10,000 captured and 15,000 escaped. With Hannibal loosing 5,700. The full battle description fills only one page. But this book is useful for its information on Carthage.
Goldsworthy, Adrian The Punic Wars Cassell, London, 2000, 412 pgs., index, extensive scholarly notes, chronology Probably the best modern study of the entire Punic Wars. Major reference for O'Connell. The detailed description of the battle is only equalled by that of Mark Healy.
This book is a very comprehensive treatment of all three wars. But here we are concerned only with the battle of Cannae so I won't comment on the rest of the book beyond saying that it is the best. In the opening section on "the opposing sides' Goldsworthy provides a description of the Roman Army's evolution from citizen militia to conscripted army. This chapter is mandatory reading for an understanding of Cannae. He notes that we do not know the time frame to which Polybius's description refers. He then gives the reader this Polybian legion. He thinks the Romans adopted the gladius after the First Punic War (which means they were using it at Cannae ). He believes that the detachments supplied by the allies were armed the same manner as Romans, but I doubt this was true for those allies from tribes and towns recently conquered (such as Samnites) who had their own weapon and armor designs. He notes that these detachments came in various sizes, usually around 400 to 600 each. But no one knows how these small units could have been integrated into the standard Roman formation of 1200 - 1600 men in each of two main lines plus 600 in a third line and 1200 skirmishers. It must have been a mess. He does note the 'high number of officers' and thinks this 'made it easier to control' while I think it sacrificed the principle of 'unity of command'. He notes that it 'took time' to form and train a legion. For specific detail Goldsworthy provides the following: The hastati and principes formed in 10 maniples 6 to 8 ranks deep (which would mean usually 20 files wide). He notes that Polybius states that each legionary held a space of 6 feet square but later sources write 3 feet wide by 6 deep. This results in a maniple occupying a space 20 yards wide by 12 yards deep and a legion would have a width of 400 yards. A full consular army infantry would occupy a full mile but an unknown depth. He then notes that most modern scholars don't believe the legion could have entered battle with such wide spaces between the maniples. No one knows how the individuals within a maniple relieved each other when in direct combat, not how the maniples of hastati and principes interacted. He concludes that "neither the Romans nor the Carthaginians possessed a modern army based on the Hellenistic model". An interesting idea, since Hannibal was a Hellenistic general and certainly did try to emulate the best practices as he understood them. Goldsworthy remarks cogently that "Battles were rarely if ever fought for any strategic purpose greater than destroying the enemy field army." This is a very important point, as it divorces the strategy Hannibal conceived from the tactical role of his battles. The description of how a battle developed is excellent and important to read.
Now lets shift to the chapter on Cannae and skipping the battles of Trebia and Trasimene. Goldsworthy begins by commenting that General Schwartzkopf claimed to have employed principles from Hannibal in the Desert Storm war - but WHAT principles. O'Connell picks up this idea without considering what it means. Goldsworthy then remarks about German general von Schlieffen being 'obsessed with Cannae'. Another point that O'Connell repeats without analysis. But von Schlieffen was NOT the architect of the actual plan the Germans used against France in World War I. Goldsworthy continues with remarks about Rommel and the Germans at Stalingrad, which O'Connell dutifully repeats.
Goldsworthy then properly notes how Roman writers such as Livy denigrated Terentius Varro as a scape goat for political purposes. He believes, rightly I think, that the whole discussion of Varro versus Paullus is wrong. Goldsworthy's diagram of the order of battle on both sides on the field at Cannae is excellent as is his discussion of the battle plans. All in all he gives more credit to Polybius' ideas than to those of Livy.
The description of the battle follows. The Roman cavalry some 2,400 strong occupied a restricted space on their right flank. The allied cavalry some 3,600 strong was on the left between the infantry and a ridge. The infantry formed the center of some 55,000 heavies and 15,000 light troops (velites) and they were, according to Polybius, formed in exceptionally tight and narrow files with double normal depth of ranks. Goldsworthy estimates that this may mean maniples of 5 files wide by 50 to 70 ranks deep with a total infantry frontage of half mile to a mile and 1 to 2 miles for the entire army. He infers good reasons for this Roman deployment. He notes that 10,000 Roman (or allied) infantry were left in the camp. He discounts the sometimes presented idea that these were the triarii and considers that they may have been a whole legion and its allied unit. Delbruck has a different idea about this. He also does not note, as does Delbruck, that the entire 15,000 velites could not have acted as skirmishers in front of such a narrow Roman battle line.
On the Carthaginian side Hannibal had 40,000 infantry and 10,000 cavalry. This included 8,000 (light) slingers and javelin men, 20,000 Celts, 4,000 Iberians and 8-10,000 Libyans. The description of the course of the battle is excellent. But he does not note that the narrower the Roman deployment the deeper the Carthaginian formation. He notes that the Romans could not have thrown many pila. (Considering the small number of Carthaginian casualties, I have always thought the pilum must have been a very ineffective weapon. He comments that the triarii would have had a difficult time engaging the Carthaginian cavalry in the rear, but does not remember that behind the triarii by this time were nearly 15,000 velites. It seems that no commentators (at least that I have read) place emphasis on the accounts that indicate the Romans deployed first while Hannibal was watching, so he could structure his deployment accordingly - that is Hannibal could make the length of his main battle line conform to the length of the opposing Roman line, which he could see was much narrower than normal.
The results according to Goldsworthy's estimate: Hannibal lost 4,000 Celts, 1,500 Iberians and Libyans and 200 cavalry (Balearic losses not considered). He gives us Livy's estimate of 45,000 Roman and allied infantry and 2,700 cavalry killed; 3,000 foot and 1.500 horse captured on the field and 17,000 surrendered later. Please compare this estimate with that of Delbruck. By way of perspective Goldsworthy compares this battle with the British at Somme. I think a better comparison would be the Russians and French at Borodino. He then cogently points out that Hannibal had "exploited the diversity of his multiracial army." This indeed is the point of comparison with generals such as Schwartzkopf.
Caspari, Maximillan Otto Bismark Hannibal Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th edition, 1911, Vol XII, pgs 920 -922 A standard study of Hannibal - I have posted this article to the web with the other entries on Hannibal and Punic wars.
This biography focuses on Hannibal himself to the extent possible from the scarce references. The battles at Trebia, Trasimene, Cannae and Zama are mentioned only briefly. The victory at Cannae is attributed to superior cavalry tactics (a general assessment by scholars today). The general assessment of Hannibal is that he was the greatest master of the ambush and clever tactics in the ancient world. The author does not focus on annihilation.
Wary, John Warfare in the Classical World St. Martin's Press, NY., 1980, 224 pgs., heavily illustrated, index, glossary This popular book is frequently cited by other authors. The chapters include wars from Homeric times to the barbarian invasions.
There is a section on the "Roman Army in Early Times" that describes the 'Servian" army. There is a graphic that depicts an elaborate tactical maneuver in which the hastati and principes shift and merge . The maniple is shown in a 10 wide by 6 deep formation.. The Punic Wars is the subject of a full chapter, complete with a clear map and schematic diagrams of battles of Lake Trasimene, Cannae and Zama. The orders of battle are given: for Trasimene - Romans 2 legions=10,000 infantry, Italian allies 10,000 infantry Cretan archers 1000 and 1000 peltasts, 600 Roman cavalry and 2/3000 allied cavalry. For Hannibal - infantry - 10-12000 Africans, (including 4,000 light) 7-8000 Spanish, 10-15,000 Celtic, - cavalry - 4,000 Numidian, 4,000 Celtic heavy - 2,000 Spanish heavy - 1 elephant.
For Cannae - Roman infantry 8 legions=40,000 infantry, 8 allied units=40,000, cavalry Legionary 2,400, Allied 3,500 - 4,000 - For Hannibal - Infantry 10,12000 African (4,000 light) - Spanish 7,8000 (4,000 light) - Celts 20,25,000 (some light) - cavalry - Numidian 4,000, Spanish 2,000, Celtic 4/5000. I believe he is merging the Balaeric slingers into these light infantry. He does not mention if the Roman formation was different than that described above for the the"Servian" army.
For Zama - Roman infantry Legions V and VI 10-11,000 - Allies 12-13,000 Numidian 5-6,000 - Cavalry Roman 2,000, Numidian 4,600. For Hannibal - Veteran Italian 12-15,000 - Mago's Italian 5-6,000 - Carthagian 10-12,000 - Numidian Moors 3-4,000 (light) - cavalry Numidian 2-3,000 - Carthaginian 2,000 - Elephant 80.
The diagram of Cannae correctly shows the African infantry deployed in columns outside the main battle line - but depicts the Spanish and Celtic infantry in a crescent rather than step formation with center advanced, although I believe he understands the line was not actually curved. The result is 45,500 Roman infantry and 2,700 cavalry dead - 3-5,00 infantry and 1-2,000 cavalry captured plus 9,000 more Romans captured in camps later. By subtraction this would mean about 29,000 Roman and allied troops escaped, but Wary does not list them. He comments as so many others do that Hannibal formed his battle line to take advantage of the daily wind so it would blow dust into the Romans. But it was the Romans who formed first and aligned their line to take advantage of the space between the river and Cannae ridge line. It is clear without mention that the Roman victory was due to their Numidian allies and that the Romans who were survivors of Cannae formed only a part of the infantry.
Goldsworthy, Adrian The complete Roman Army Thames and Hudson, 2003, 234 pgs., large format, index, illustrations, extensive bibliography, glossary of Roman terms, maps Organized topically about both the army and the individual Roman soldier, his life and experiences. Not mentioned by O'Connell. The illustrations in particular are an important supplement to Goldsworthy's book on the Punic Wars.
This is an important reference for study of the Roman army throughout its existence. Most of it is devoted to the Imperial era. Goldsworthy begins with the early Roman (Servian) army described by Livy. The illustrations of weapons and armor are excellent. He presents an excellent graphical depiction of a Roman (Polybian) army in line of battle. This shows a maniple of 120 men in 6 ranks by 20 files wide, with officers extra. The legion formed with 10 maniples on line with gaps between each equal to their frontage. And there was a gape between the lines of hastati, principes and triarii. The full width of this type of Roman army is not given here, but would be the same as Goldsworthy describes in his book on the Punic Wars.
Goldsworthy, Adrian Roman Warfare Cassell, London, 2000, 224 pgs., large format, illustrations, selected bibliography, index, glossary - also reprinted in paperback as part of both the Smithsonian Books and Cassel History of Warfare series - these are identical Probably intended as a popular reference, a mix between Goldsworthy's other two books here. Not mentioned by O'Connell. The two paperback editions have the same excellent maps but at much smaller scale. The general map showing Hannibal's campaigns is excellent
This important reference is organized into chapters chronologically describing Roman military operations in each era. Chapter 2 is about the Punic Wars. The detail is less than in the two other books listed here. But the description of the time consuming manner in which a Roman army changed from the approach march in column to the triple line of battle is very interesting. One has to consider this when thinking about how the Roman army of 16 legion-sized formations deployed for battle after crossing a river at Cannae. He believes it took hours for a Roman army to deploy. He gives a good description of the reality of hand-to-hand fighting with swords and spears - the same as in the other books. Among the fine maps is one showing the locations of the campaigns of the 2nd Punic war in Italy. The graphics depicting the details of the battles at Cannae and Zama are excellent. There is not a detailed description of the battle in the text. Goldsworthy writes and excellent appraisal I have not found elsewhere - "By his understanding of war Hannibal won the Second Punic War at Cannae, but the Romans were following a different set of rules and when they did not admit defeat there was little more that he could do to force them." He makes this remark in the context of his description of the nature of Hellenistic warfare. But Rome's attitude toward warfare was different. In his evaluation of the battle of Cannae O'Connell does not consider this. He mentions the battle of Arusio in which the Romans lost more than double their losses at Cannae.
Mommsen, Theodor The History of Rome,trans by William Dickson, London, Richard Bentley, 1872. Volume II, 478 pgs, notes. The standard work by Germany's greatest scholar on Rome - won a Nobel Prize. Not mentioned by O'Connell but still very important for an understanding of the war and the context of battles such as Cannae. I have scanned and published the relevant chapters here.
Mommsen's description of the battle at Cannae is very brief and does not add appreciably to our understanding of the battle. But his lengthy descriptions and analysis of the Roman economic, social, political and cultural background of the war are essential for understanding why and how it was waged and its outcome. He also places it and Hannibal's understanding of reality in the larger context of the Mediterranean world and Hellenistic politics. His estimates for troop strength on both sides come from Polybius - Romans, 80,000 infantry and 6,000 cavalry; Carthaginians 40,000 infantry and 10,000 cavalry. Results - of 76,000 Romans on the battlefield, 70,000 killed, 10,000 captured in the camp plus a few thousand escaped. Several times Mommsen notes that Roman control of Italy was based on a considerable net of fortresses. I believe Delbruck's conclusions are better - but Mommsen's discussion of the overall picture in the Punic Wars is best.
Delbruck, Hans Warfare in Antiquity, Vol I of History of the Art of War, trans., Walter Renfroe Univ. of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, 2975, based on the 1920 German edition, 603 pgs., index, notes. Hans Delbruck was famous in his time for his detailed analysis of the strength and loss figures reported by ancient authors. In general he showed that such figures were greatly inflated. One needs to note that he engaged in lengthy controversy with the leading German scholars of the day. His conclusions were subjected to much more peer analysis than are those of authors today.
Delbruck estimates the Roman strength and loss in the battle as follows: Heavy infantry in battle, 55,000; Heavy infantry in camp, 2,600; Light infantry initially in the front line 8,000; Light infantry deployed in rear, 7,000; Light infantry in camp, 7,400, cavalry 6,000:
Killed - infantry 45,500, killed cavalry 2,700; captured infantry 18,000; captured cavalry 1,500; escaped infantry 14,000; escaped cavalry 1,800; missing 2,500 - totals for the whole Roman force 86,000. I would not be surprised if 2,500 allied men simply went back to their towns and were unaccounted for.
For the Carthaginians he estimates 32,000 heavy infantry of which 11,000 African infantry, 7,000 Iberian infantry, 14,000 Celt infantry, plus 8,000 Balearic slingers; and 10,000 cavalry Delbruck also studied the Carthaginian strength reports provided by Polybius and greatly discounts the large numbers given for Hannibal's army at all stages prior to his arrival in Italy. In particular he disputes the idea that Hannibal could have lost a significant number of troops during the Alpine crossing. Delbruck devotes many pages to analysis of the whole history of the structure of the Roman legion. I believe his conclusions are the best today.
Matyszak, Philip Chronicle of the Roman Republic Thames and Hudson, London, 2003, 240 pgs., index, select bibliography, many illustrations Biographies of Roman rulers from Romulus to Augustus with significant events during their reigns. Useful for checking the names and dates of the Roman commanders. Not mentioned by O'Connell.
For the period of the Punic Wars these consuls are: Marcus Atilius Regulus, Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Asina, Publius Appicus Claudius Pulcher, Gaius Lutatius Catulus, Gaius Flaminius, Publius Cornelius Scipio, Quintus Fabius Maximus Vedrucosus, Claudius Marcellus, Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus, Titus Quinctius Flaminius, Marcus Porcius Cato, Aemilius Paullus, Servius Sulpicius Galba, Scipio Aemilianus, Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus and Gnaeus Servilius Caepio. Obviously by far not all the Roman consuls, let alone generals are included. But these are the major ones. And in the course of describing each of their careers Matyszak provides a considerable content of the wars in which they engaged.
Bagnall, Nigel The Punic Wars 264-146 BC Osprey, London, 2002, 95 pgs., index, select bibliography, illustrations A complete history of the three Punic Wars with typical Osprey style illustrations.
I disagree with the diagram depicting the Carthaginian army at Cannae. Bagnall shows the Libyan units on the flanks drawn up on line, but I believe they must have been in column. He gives the strength of the Carthaginian army as it crossed the Pyrenees at 50,000 infantry and 5,000 cavalry, which I believe is too high. But he says Hannibal had 'losses' of 40,000 infantry and 3,000 cavalry up to then, when the great majority of the decrease in Hannibal's force was due to soldiers being detached, not to losses. He agrees with de Beer that Hannibal used the Col de la Traversette to cross the Alps. And he gives the standard strength figure from Polybius for Hannibal's force in Italy as 12,000 Africans and 8.000 Spaniards plus 6,000 cavalry. (note again no mention of the Balaeric slingers). At this point Bagnall notes that the Romans then could mobilize 700,000 men. He well identifies Hannibal's strategic, operational and tactical concepts. He makes a mistake in writing that Maharbal killed half of Servilius' two legions after Trasimene (he only engaged the cavalry component). At Cannae he notes that Varro reduced the frontages of the Roman maniples and the spaces between them. But in citing the Roman infantry strength at 80,000 he ignores the 10,000 guarding the camps. Thus he writes that Roman casualties were 70,000. I believe Delbruck has shown these numbers are too great. Bagnall concludes his book with a comparison of Hannibal and Scipio, and general comments about the results of the war.

Montagu, John D. Greek and Roman Warfare: Battles, tactics and trickery Greenhill Books, London, 253 pgs., index, notes, maps. Part One is on "Human and Tactical Elements" with chapters on doubt, planning. human element, surprise, deception, secrecy and chance plus more. Part Two is a study of tactics in a list of specific battles of which Trebia, Cannae, Baecula, Metaurus, Ilipa and Zama are included
The author mentions Cannae in his section on thematic elements in the context of Hannibal's use of the wind from his rear. But I don't think this frequently mentioned situation was a result of Hannibal's planning, since it was the Romans whose deployment fixed the details of positions. He devotes a chapter in the section on individual battles to Cannae. His descriptions are based on Livy and Polybius with little criticism. For instance he accepts Livy's attack on Varro. His diagram shows the Lybian units formed on line rather than in column, making necessary their wheeling into battle rather than simply facing right or left. But he accepts Lazenby's estimate for the troop strengths. The description of the battle is standard. But Montagu concludes with an interesting assessment that focuses on three of Hannibal's tactical dispositions, which he terms brilliant and elegant. He includes a good description and critique of Zama in another chapter.
Bowder, Diana, ed. Who Was Who in the Roman World Cornell Univ. Press, Ithaca, 1980, 256 pgs., index, maps, illustrations, references Brief biographies of important individuals, not only Romans
Includes of course Hannibal and eight Scipios. Each brief summary includes references.
Keppie, Lawrence The Making of the Roman Army Univ. of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 1998, index, bibliography, appendices, illustrations The book is about the Roman from the time of Marius and Caesar to the imperial army, but there is a brief discussion of the earlier republican army.
The one page text plus one page diagram of Cannae is typical (that is with mistakes). He separately describes Polybius' Roman legion.- all standard in its detail.
Peddie, John The Roman War Machine Sutton Publishing, London, 1994-97, 169 pgs., index, notes, bibliography, illustrations Organized by functional topics, focused mostly on the late Republican and Imperial army - O'Connell does not mention.
For our purpose the chapter on supply trains and baggage is most useful because so few other references provide much information and the general nature of this function and its organization will not have changed much from the era of Cannae. The conclusion is that supply trains required large numbers of animals and their handlers not counted in the strength estimates of either Roman or Carthaginian armies. The chapter on supporting arms includes a very different appraisal than that of O'Connell of the use and value of elephants in ancient warfare generally and by the Romans as well as Carthaginians.
Montagu, John D. Battles of the Greek and Roman Worlds Greenhill Books, London, index, illustrations, each entry has several references from ancient authors. A chronological encyclopedia type listing with brief articles on 667 battles prior to 31 BC. There is an excellent chronological table. O'Connell does not mention.
This is divided into the Greek and Roman sections and within each the articles are in chronological order. The book is useful because of its comprehensive content, many small engagements are included. The table conveniently shows, place, war or episode, victors, vanquished. When a specific commander is known it is listed. There are 55 battles listed for the Second Punic War. Of these Hannibal is shown as victor of 14 and vanquished of 10. Cannae is the 7th in the list and his 7th victory. The 10 defeats are all after Cannae. But some of these may be questionable or draws. Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus is credited with 9 victories and no losses. But the list includes naval battles but does not include sieges.
His account of Cannae is standard with the typical diagram.
Livy, - (Titus Livius) The War with Hannibal- books XXI to XXX of his history Penguin paperback, Baltimore, 1965, 688 pgs., translated by Aubrey de Selincourt and Betty Radice, There are about 10 pages on Cannae and more for subsequent events. O'Connell quotes Livy extensively.
Livy inserts presumed speeches ( as does Thucididies) and stories about Roman religious practices. There is much cultural and political background. In my opinion the translation is too into English colloquial words to insure the proper meanings of military terms. Most modern commentators give more weight to Livy's strength and loss figures in the battle itself than to Polybius'. But Livy claims Hannibal's strength on arrival in Italy at 100,000 infantry and 20,000 cavalry OR 20,000 infantry and 6,000 cavalry and concludes it could have been 80,000 infantry and 10,000 cavalry. He notes 8,000 light infantry at Trebia. And Roman strength there as 18,000 legionaries and 20,000 allied infantry. He specifically mentions Balaires on flank, and again at Lake Trasmene. For Cannae he notes each Roman legion increased to 5,000 infantry and 300 horse for total of 87,200 men in service. He mentions Hiero sent 1000 men (archers and slingers) to Ostia AFTER Lake Trasmene, (Polybius writes before) but does NOT mention where they were deployed by Rome. A Cannae he writes the entire allied detachments were on the left flank with light infantry in front. For Carthaginians he notes Balaires and light troops in front. For losses he estimates 7,000 Romans escaped to small camp, 10,000 to larger camp and 2,000 to Cannae ruin. And Roman losses 45,500 infantry and 2,700 cavalry killed - 3,000 infantry and 1,500 cavalry captured. Interesting point he makes that modern commentators don't usually notice is that Cannae was LESS of a Roman disaster than battle of Ailia. He notes that Hannibal's ransom demand included 500 denarii for cavalryman, 300 for foot soldier and 100 for a slave. Now of course there were many slaves and other support personnel in both armies and in their camps, but these are not counted. Livy includes much information on Roman religious practices both routine and those specially occasioned due to the war. He also gives great detail on politics and family rivalry. His main theme is to absolve the senate from any blame for losses.
Scullard, H. H. A History of the Roman World 753-146 B.C. Methuen, London, 1935, 1964 reprint, index, bibliography, notes, maps Provides a context, background, and analysis helpful in evaluating Cannae. O'Connell refers to this book several times.
Scullard notes that Polybius' figures for Hannibal's army in Italy are correctly based on Hannibal's tablet, but the figures for Hannibal's army on departure from Spain are inflated. He does not venture a guess as to which pass Hannibal used. He does not think the crossing was more than moderately difficult. He gives the Roman strength at only 4 and not 8 legions. Therefore his estimate of the battle results show only 25,000 killed, with the 10,000 captured and 15,000 escaped.
Jones, Archer The Art of War in the Western World Univ. of Illinois Press, Chicago, 1987, 740 pgs., index, notes His analysis of Hannibal's and Carthaginian warfare against Rome is focused at the higher strategic and political level
Jones, comments "Hannibal and his Macedonian system of combat possessed the same tactical predominance over the Romans as did Alexander over the Persians and, like Alexander, the Carthaginian leader enjoyed a succession of tactical triumphs. But he faced a completely different political situation. Thought Italy was minute compared to the vast Persian Empire, it still had too large an area and population for Hannibal to dominate it with an army that initially could not have exceeded 50,000 men. Even after Hannibal's overwhelming victory at Cannae, most of the cities of Italy remained loyal to Rome. Further, the Romans themselves, plus their allies, all had militias, which meant that every city could defend itself and the Romans could create and replace, if destroyed, larger armies than could the king of Persia. Hannibal thus faced what in the twentieth century would be called national resistance in a country large and populous enough to prevent his army from controlling very much of it at one time." Jones continues with his critique of Roman and Carthaginian strategy in the context of what the total situation made possible and realistic. Hannibal was faced with a Roman strategy based on fortified cities. Jones comments much on his comparison between Hannibal and Alexander the Great. He discusses Nero's campaign to the Metaurus River in terms of the 'rare use of interior lines'.
Anglim, Simon; Phyllis Jestice, Rob Rice, Scott Rusch, John Serrati Fighting Techniques of the Ancient World 3--- BC - 500 AD , Thomas Dunne Books, NY., 2002, 256 pgs, index, illustrations, maps The book is organized into 5 chapters, Role of Infantry, Mounted warfare, Command and Control, Siege Warfare and Naval Warfare. The discussion of the Roman infantry at Cannae is brief and mixed with the evolution of the army in general. The discussion of Cannae is in the chapter on Mounted warfare, which may reflect the view that it was indeed the Carthaginian cavalry that won that battle.
The entire discussion of Cannae is focused on the cavalry action, no doubt reflecting the author's appraisal (same as Delbruck) that it was the cavalry that was key to Hannibal's planning and successes. This is one of the best I have found. There is a brief description of the structure of the legion as described by Livy and Polybius in the chapter on infantry. While the lovely map-diagram of the battle of Cannae in the chapter on cavalry is faulty, it is not so much as some others. I believe the authors are right in crediting Hasdrubal, the commander of the Carthaginian cavalry with great skill in leading his mounted men throughout the struggle. It was the closure of the Roman rear by this cavalry which first of all insured that the entire formation would not continue forward, but second that those toward the rear would have difficulty escaping.
Scullard, H. H. The Elephant in the Greek and Roman World Thames and Hudson, London, 1974, index, notes, few maps.
A scholarly look at the use of elephants in warfare in classical Greece and Rome. Scullard describes the significant differences between African and Indian elephants. his account shows that elephants were much more successfully employed by many generals than O'Connell's sarcastic comments would indicate.
Nossov, Konstantin War Elephants Osprey, London, 2008, 48 pgs., index, bibliography, Glossary, illustrations, A description of the use of elephants by armies not only in the Mediterranean region but also in south Asia.
Nossov's conclusion is much more favorable to the role of elephants than O'Connell's dismissive view. He notes that elephants disappeared from Mediterranean armies when the forest elephants of North Africa disappeared - it was too expensive to obtain and train elephants from India. Also he notes that many of the failures of elephants in Carthaginian and Roman use was due to lack of sufficient training. But, he notes, in south Asia, where elephants were plentiful and the people were much more experienced in their training and use elephants continued to be used into the 19th century.
Fuller, J. F. C. A Military History of the Western World: From the earliest times to the Battle of Lepanto Funk and Wagnalls, NY., 1954, index, few footnotes A former standard military history - volume One of his complete history. Since 1954 there has been a great amount of scholarship, especially on ancient warfare including much from archeological research.
Fuller provides the standard description of the organization of a Roman legion, following Polybius. He provides a brief summary of the Punic Wars. Most interestingly, in his chapter titles "The Metaurus and Zama" he discusses the Battle of Cannae in a few lines. But gives great detail including diagrams for the Battles of Metaurus and Zama. His analysis of the strategic aspects of the war indicate that he does not consider Cannae as significant. Among other points, he notes that the towns in Italy were fortified and connected by good roads, were well supplied and that Hannibal could do little to counter this Roman strength.
Sekunda, Nick, and Angus McBride Republican Roman Army 200 - 104 BC Osprey, London, 1996, 48 pgs., bibliography, many valuable illustrations One of the Osprey Men at Arms series (number 291) - which rely on the detailed illustrations  
The description in text and illustrations stresses the continuous change and development of the Roman army in both weaponry and tactics. Thus, we have to take Polybius' detailed description of the Roman army with some care. It may related more to the army as it evolved by the time of Zama or even later, rather than that employed at Cannae.
Sekunda, Nick, and Simon Northwood Early Roman Armies Osprey, London, 1995, 48 pgs., heavily illustrated One of the Osprey Mean at Arms series (number 283) which rely on the detailed illustrations to carry the message 
This book depicts the Roman army - its weaponry, equipment and organization for battle from the early (possibly mythical) era of the kings down to army described by Livy in war against Pyrrhus. Possibly relevant to the study of Cannae is the fact that half the infantry were from 'allied' cities and tribes whose armament may have been closer to these earlier types, especially the Samnite units.
Hackett, General Sir John, ed. Peter Connolly on Roman army Warfare in the Ancient World Facts on File, NY., 255 pgs., index, sources, many illustrations, Separate chapters on each major period or army such as Assyrians, Hoplites, Persians, Romans. Peter Connolly wrote the two chapters on Early Roman warfare and Roman Army in age of Polybius. While O'Connell refers to Connolly the references are not to this book. 
Lets look first the detailed diagram of the Battle of Cannae. Connolly shows the Roman 'allies' on both flanks of the Roman legions - this is the standard idea for a single consular army of two Roman legions in the center and one allied 'legion' on each flank. But Livy specifically wrote that all ( that is four) of the allied units were to the left of the four Roman legions. But at least this concept is better than Lazenby's that presumes the allied formations were alternating with the Roman legions across the battle line. He correctly shows that the Roman velites retired and formed up at the rear of the Roman line after their initial use. He does not show triarii as the rear line of the Roman forces, but considers that they were the 10,000 left to guard the camps. I think this is a very logical conclusion, but Delbruck disagrees and there is no source about this.
On the Carthaginian side he shows 'light armed' in the center of the forward line and 'spearmen' on each flank. Well at least it is not 'pikemen' - but the sources don't indicate this, rather likely was a mix of javelin throwers and Balleric slingers. He then shows these 'spearmen' as shifting to the rear and forming columns on either flank of the main line of Celtic and Spanish units. But for sure this is not correct. The columns (correctly not line) units were of the elite, heavily armed African units that were Hannibal's key (equivalent of Napoleon's Old Guard) who were specifically formed (that is concealed) right from the start behind the cavalry on each flank and destined to be the critical units to envelop the Roman forces. He would not risk them deployed as a covering force with the light infantry, but rather sought to conceal them prior to their use. Besides, Polybius specifically states that Hannibal had rearmed the African troops with captured Roman weapons and armor. In the accompanying text he notes that the 'African spearmen' were positioned behind the cavalry. Connolly shows the Carthaginian light infantry shifting toward the conclusion of the battle from the rear of their army clear around the flanks of the ongoing struggle and then attacking the Roman rear. I think this would be difficult for all of them. More possible might be that the slingers continued to fire into the Roman mass from all sides. The whole account of Cannae is brief - relying on the diagram. Connolly then has a second chapter "The Roman Army in the Age of Polybius" in which he wisely cautions that the elaborate description of the Roman army written by Polybius may be a mixture of what it was at Cannae and at Zama and even later. For sure the Roman army was rapidly developing during this crucial period. Connolly gives a very good analysis and critique of what we read in Polybius. The strongest part of Connolly's work is his detailed descriptions and analysis of the Roman weapons for which he has extensive archeological evidence not available to earlier historians. He gives an excellent picture of the Roman army on the march, in camp and deployed for battle. He conjectures that the Roman soldier left his second pilum in a reserve since he could not throw but one during his initial charge.
Head, Duncan Armies of the Macedonian and Punic Wars Wargames Research Group, England, 1982, 192 pgs., bibliography, excellent drawings of many types of warrior. The book is in three parts, organization and composition of armies, major battles, and highly illustrated section on dress and equipment. The book is based on much research conducted by members of the Wargames Research Group and others. It appears that O'Connell has not used this book although several of his references have. 
By far the most comprehensive study of the organization and equipment of every type (and there were very many types - 188 numbered sections including artillery, elephants and more) of warrior, light and heavy infantry, light and heavy cavalry that participated in battles from 359 BC to 146 AD. Of particular interest to us is Head's explanation of the mistaken translation of Polybius which has even Peter Connolly confused. The Greek term Polybius used islongchophoroi, which the translator wrote as 'pikeman' but which Head translates as a light spear, usually thrown. In other words a kind of javelin - the pilum was also a kind of javelin. So the Carthaginian army had both Libyan spearmen and javelin men. But for Cannae the sources specifically state that the spearmen were rearmed with Roman weapons and equipment.
Connolly, Peter Hannibal and the Enemies of Rome Macdonald Educational. London, 1978, 77 pgs., index, highly illustrated. Connolly is an acknowledged expert on the Roman and other armies of the late Republican period. His work is based on archeological research that it continuing to reveal more and more about the ancient military. The book is designed for the popular readership - even at high school level - the illustrations are magnificent. 
This is probably one of the most frequently used references now. It is based on the extensive archeological research now available and used by Connolly. The illustrations of the various ethnic elements in Hannibal's army are terrific. They show that these warriors were heavily armed and effectively armored. But the Balearic slingers are not shown. The detailed descriptions with illustrations of the fortified towns throughout Italy give an often overlooked picture of the problem Hannibal had in expanding his battlefield successes into effective sieges. The illustrated descriptions of the many nations allied to Rome indicate that most likely their units deployed with a Roman legion were not equipped uniformly. But it is when we get to the graphic layouts and text descriptions of the Polybian legion and its possible variation for Cannae that we find essential information. But I believe there are mistakes for the Carthaginians. The principal one stems from what I believe is the unfortunate listing of Polybius that everyone uses as a basis - namely Hannibal's army on reaching Italy was composed of 12,000 African, and 8,000 Iberian infantry and 6,000 cavalry, which no doubt it was - but what about the 8,000 Balearic slingers and javelin men that Polybius himself notes were deployed at Trebia? This reduces his estimate of the size of Hannibal's army at Cannae. Thus he estimates the combined Celtic - Celtoiberian main line at 16,000 in a 'crescent' rather than step pyramid formation. Worse, he shows the elite African infantry deployed in the initial skirmish line and then withdrawn to form the critical envelopment wings. Plus he uses the unfortunate translation of spear or javelin men (light infantry) into "pikemen" and also shows the Africans as 'pikemen'. But more important is the excellent graphic depiction of a Roman legion in line of battle. This shows a maniple formed normally with 10 files times 12 ranks. And spaces between the 10 maniples equal to their frontage. But for Cannae he shows the maniple at 5 files wide by 14 deep. This is very reasonable. For total army size he estimates the infantry legions would be 1,500 meters wide, the Roman cavalry 400 meters, the allied cavalry 1,100 meters for an army total width of 3 kilometers. He believes the 10,000 troops left in camp were 9,000 triarii plus 1,000 others. This is disputed. His estimate for Roman losses is also disputed.

Connolly, Peter The Roman Army Macdonald Educational, London, 1975, 77 pgs. index, highly illustrated The same comment applies  
Another version of Connolly's references - focused on the Roman army itself but during the times of Caesar and the empire. The first chapter is about the republican army but that of the later republic described by Polybius. His text accompanying the excellent graphical showing of a legion indicated the maniple consisted of 120 -150 heavy infantry and 50 - 60 velites. But the diagram shows 178 heavies and 60 lights with heavies formed in 5 ranks with 14 files in each rank with the two centuries side by side. And he states that the allied formations were the same. But the battle formation shows the centuries in column in either open order ( that is 14 files by 10 ranks) or closed (that is 28 files by 5 ranks). He depicts a rather complex maneuver for the hastati and principes. But the The battle illustrated is Pynda in 168 BC. I don't beleive these diagrams are relevant to Cannae.

Lazenby, J. F. Hannibal's War University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 2nd ed., 1998, first edition was 1978. index, extensive notes and bibliography, some illustrations. The best study of the Second Punic War and especially Hannibal's participation that I have found. O'Connell makes many citations to this book. 
The second edition contains a new preface in which Lazenby discusses research and new ideas developed since the first edition. Included is more bibliography. The maps and diagrams are excellent. But one has to wonder why there are detailed battle diagrams for battles at The Great Plains and Illipa, but not Cannae. He describes the battle in considerable detail (more than many authors) but I question some of his ideas. See my discussion of the battle. For one thing, he believes the allied contingents were deployed on each side of their specific legions as would be the case when two Roman legions operated as a single army. I believe this is much to complicated as it would result in a mix such as the following;
A - R - R - A - A- R - R - A - A- R - R - A - A - R - R - A for 16 columns - A=allied and R=Roman. And of course he assigns all the cavalry from all the legions to one or the other outside flank. I believe Livy's note that all allied units wee on the left side is more reasonable. Lazenby then divides the Roman line of battle into four armies each under command of its original consul - but this means Paullus and Varro each commanded a mix of their own infantry and a mix of merged cavalry. And then Geminus and Minucius each have 2 Roman and 2 allied legions in the center. But the legions were actually administrative units, like British regiments, not tactical units. Note also, that when allied cavalry was retreating Varro bugged out and did not continue to command any infantry. But when Paullus was wounded he returned to the center of the infantry as a commander in chief should do.

Barker, Phil Armies of the Macedonian and Punic Wars Wargames Research Group, London, 1971, 60 pgs, many illustrations, references A pioneering study by one of the founders of the Society of Ancients.
A basic reference. The book contains a detailed sketch and accompanying descriptive text for each of the many types of infantry and cavalry that participated in these wars. The illustrations show that the Balearic slingers were not "Spaniards" and in fact that there were several different types of Spanish and Lybian infantry men and cavalry. A more elaborate reference now is that of Duncan Head.

Montross, Lynn War through the Ages Harper and Brothers, NY., 1960. index, bibliography, illustrations The history of warfare from ancient times through World War II, but limited to western world. O'Connell does not use this book. It is a general book for the popular press. 
The typical description of Cannae with the usual errors about Hannibal's formation.

Adcock, F. E. The Roman Art of War Under the Republic Barnes and Noble, NY., 1960, 140 pgs., index, notes, For years this small published version of the author's lectures was a basic reference on the subject. The lectures are each devoted to a functional topic, such as The Men, Generalship., and Foreign Policy.  
Professor Adcock notes that the Romans managed to break through the with 10,000 at the Trebia and that this experience led them to think that massing even more at Cannae to break the Carthaginian center would win the day. He credits the Romans for their use of fortifications to block Hannibal's operations and strategy. He also considers Scipio rather less of a great commander than many others do. He notes, "But I am inclined to think that he (Scipio) owed more to the incompetence of the enemy or the battle qualities of his troops than to his own strategic judgment. He failed to pin down Hannibal's brother in Spain, which was one task that it was his prime duty to carry out." This is the same conclusion Mommsen reached. His general assessment of Roman generals is that they were rather poor. He believes the Roman maniples formed with 6 ranks except the triarii who were in 3 ranks. He believes the pilum was thrown at under 30 yards. He comments that details about the tactical layout and tactics of the maniple and legion are not given in the sources, but ventures his own ideas which are for a rather elaborate bit of maneuver. He believes that the turning point at which the Roman soldiers became fully professional and loyal to their generals was during the command of Marius.

Grant, R. G. Battle: A visual Journey Through 5,000 Years of Combat DK Publishing, London, 2005, 360 pgs., Index, profusely illustrated A visual history, but with clear summary text accompanying the pictures. The content covers war from ancient times to the Vietnam War.  
The Punic Wars are well described, with individual entries for battles at Trebia, Lake Trasimene, Cannae, Syracuse, Metaurus, Zama and Siege of Carthage. Each has a map, Cannae has a clear diagram, the text notes 50,000 Roman dead. A good general reference for the young reader. However it is narrowly focused on 'battle' and not wars.

Nepos, Cornelius The Book of Cornelius Nepos on the Great Generals of Foreign Nations Harvard Univ. Press, Cambridge, 1929, 1960 reprint, 363 pgs, few notes, index Loeb Classical Library - It has Latin and English translation on alternate pages.  
The individual chapters are appraisals of various Greek, and Carthaginian generals, plus one on Cato. There is a chapter on Hamilcar (Hannibal's father). Nepos describes briefly Hamilcar's conclusion of the First Punic War in Sicily, then the mercenary revolt, and then in Spain. Next follows the chapter on Hannibal. The account begins well with Hannibal in Spain and then marching across the Alps. The series of battles at Trebia and Trasimene are mentioned correctly but Cannae is only noted in passing. The description of Hannibal' actions after Zama is confused. Nepos does discuss Hannibal's time at the court of Antiochus and after, until his death. But he mixes up the activities and death of Mago.

Florus, Lucius Annaeus Epitome of Roman History Harvard Univ Press. Cambridge, 1929, 1960 reprint, 360 pgs., notes, index Loeb Classical Library - It has Latin and English translation on alternate pages. 
This reads like a chronicle - with wars described year by year. Hannibal's invasion of Italy proceeds with the battles of Ticinus, Trebia and Trasimene. He gives the Roman loss at Cannae at 60,000 men. And he ascribes to Hannibal the tactic of using wind and dust storm to aid in his victory. He repeats the story that Hannibal suffered from dissolute living in Capua. He gives a very positive spin to the Roman valor and successes during the rest of the war. For instance "How well did the Roman people deserve the empire of the world and the favour and admiration of all, both gods and men!" He does not the significance of Hasdrubal's defeat at the Metaurus.

Schlieffen, General Fieldmarshal Count Alfred von Cannae U. S. Army Command and General Staff School Press, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, 1931 - translation from German, 306 pgs. many maps - reprint in 1980's by U. S. Army War College With an introduction by General Baron von Freeytag-Loringhaven . This is the famous study that several generations of commentators have described as a very influential work. It was originally published in a magazine series. It was then published as part of von Schlieffen's "Collected Writings" in 1913. The introduction and some footnotes were taken from part of the 1925 edition of "Cannae". It was again reprinted by the U. S. Army War College in the 1980's. It is well worth study today for the author's professional analysis of the lessons of military history 
Only the brief (4 page) first chapter of this lengthy study of military history is a description and analysis of the battle of Cannae itself. The other chapters continue the author's examination of military history with focus on Frederick II, Napoleon, the Campaign of 1866, and the Campaign of 1870-71. It seems to me that some recent commentators confuse von Schlieffen's theme of the strategy and tactics of annihilation with the specific method (mechanism) of the double envelopment and encirclement. He was very interested in how commanders might attempt to achieve the former but he also noted that the latter would be very difficult in the changed conditions of modern warfare. His description of Cannae follows closely that of Delbruck. He gives the strength figures as follows based on Delbruck: Roman heavily armed men - 55,000, lightly armed men - 8,000, mounted men - 6,000. And Carthaginian heavily armed men - 32,000, lightly armed men - 8,000, mounted men - 10,000. The Carthaginian heavy infantry consisted of 12,000 Carthaginians and 20,000 Iberians and Gauls. He presumes this Carthaginian force deployed 12 ranks deep. He assumes the Romans deployed with a frontage of 1,600 men and a depth of 36 men. He includes the triarii in this formation, while Delbruck does not assume they were the 10,000 men left to guard the camps. The 1,600 men formed the front of the 16 legions and allies, each with a frontage of 100 men. He gives the Roman loss at 48,000 dead and 3,000 prisoners on the field plus thousands more captured later, and Carthaginian loss at 6,000. His key conclusion is "Still the greater conditions of warfare have remained unchanged. The battle of extermination may be fought today according to the same plan as elaborated by Hannibal in long forgotten times. The hostile front is not the aim of the principal attack. It is not against that point that the troops should be massed and the reserves disposed; the essential thing is to crush the flanks..... The extermination is completed by an attack against the rear of the enemy." Count von Schlieffen devotes the remainder of his book to analysis of how commanders from Frederick on attempted to destroy their opponents but usually had great difficulty achieving even a single envelopment let alone a double envelopment and encirclement. In his commentary on each of the subsequent commanders and campaigns he continues to refer to Cannae.
For an extensive commentary on Field Marshal von Schlieffen's military thought one should read William Groener's The Testament of Count Schlieffen, published in Germany in 1926 and reprinted by the U. S. Army War College in the 1980's Groener brings attention to von Schlieffen's focus on Frederick the Great's plans and actions at the Battle of Leuthen. In fact, he considers Frederick to be von Schlieffen's model much more than Hannibal. And his analysis of the German campaign in France in World War I claims that the so-called "Schlieffen" plan was not executed. The key principle of von Schlieffen was to attack the flank and rear, the concentration of the strongest possible forces at the decisive point, the surprise of the enemy, and the coordination of the operation of front and flank.

---- Great Captains Before Napoleon Dept. of Military Art and Engineering, U. S. Military Academy, West Point, NY., 1952, 77 pgs, extensive maps and diagrams In the 1950's military history was taught by professors in the Military Art and Engineering Department. The course was largely focused on Napoleon - the American Civil War - and World Wars I and II.
The description of Cannae contains many errors. The battle is presented as an example of Hannibal's tactical brilliance. This was part of a comparative study of Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar and Frederick the Great focused on their leadership. It was but a small part of the study of ancient warfare, which, in turn, is but a very small part of the overall course on the history of war. I list this and the following texts to refute O'Connell's idea that the study of Cannae has been extensive at the U.S. Military Academy. I reproduce the entire section on Hannibal here.

May, Major Elmer C. The Art of Ancient Warfare Dept. of History, U. S. Military Academy, West Point, NY., 1970, 128 pgs., extensive maps, selected bibliography Course text with brief descriptions of selected battles and campaigns. I include it here as an example of what the course in military history at West Point really contains about Cannae, contra O'Connell. But this text is an extensive improvement and elaboration on Roman warfare in comparison with the 1952 text above.
The chapter on Cannae contains many errors. The battle is presented as an example of Roman warfare, but not as something to serve as a model for all time. Moreover, the study of Roman warfare is but a small part of the study of ancient warfare, which, in turn, is but a very small part of the overall course on the history of war. I list this and the following two texts to refute O'Connell's idea that the study of Cannae has been extensive at the U.S. Military Academy. The Servian legion is described first. Then the text includes the standard description of the deployment of a Roman legion of 4,200 foot and 300 horse - 1,200 velites, 1,200 hastati, 1,200 principes and 600 triarii in three distinct waves. Each maniple of the first two lines is 40 men wide by 3 men deep or 12 men wide by 10 men deep, or sometimes 20 men wide by 6 deep. Each maniple in the front line occupies a front of 15 to 40 yeards and depth of 6 to 10 yards. There is an equal space in width between each maniple. And the distance between lines is about 80 yards. The maniples are arranged in checkerboard style. All this detail is conjuecture as there is no contemporary description. And it is not clear when this formation was adopted - prior to the Second Macedonian War. In the description of battle tactics the author claims that the principes "fired their pila over the heads of the first wave as they rushed forward." I very much doubt this could have been possible without striking the hastati in the back. It is also questionable if the individual legionaries of the first line could throw BOTH pila prior to engagement, unless they engaged in a throwing contest prior to the attack with swords. The text continues with description of the Marian legion (for which there is more contemporary evidence).
The text then describes the Carthaginian army. The author repeats dubious estimates of Hannibal's army size prior to and during his march across Gaul and the Alps. He lists only the 20,000 heavy infantry reaching the Po Valley and ignores (as it too typical ) the 8,000 slingers and light infantry. The description of the Trebia and Trasimene battles is standard. But the descripton of Cannae is full of doubtful conjecture and error beginning with the estimate that the Roman army numbered only 48,000 infantry rather than the 80,000 most authorities since Polybius claim. He claims that Varro was in active command, when we know that he fled the field with the allied cavalry. The discussion of Hannibal's strategy is erroneous. The author, however, does note that it was the Roman victory at the Metaurus River that practically decided the war. The diagrams of Cannae are better than in the earlier text book but still contain a major error.

May, Lt.Col. Elmer C, and Major Gerald Stradler Ancient and Medieval Warfare Dept. of History, U. S. Military Academy, West Point, NY., 1973, 151 pgs, extensive maps, selected bibliography Course text with brief descriptions of selected battles and campaigns. Designed as an outline of significant trends in warfare. I include it here as an example of what the course in military history at West Point really contains about Cannae, contra O'Connell.
The chapter on Cannae in identical to that from the 1970 edition and contains many errors. (See above comments). The battle is presented as an example of Roman warfare, but not as something to serve as a model for all time. Moreover, the study of Roman warfare is but a small part of the study of ancient warfare, which, in turn, is but a very small part of the overall course on the history of war. My point is that the major emphasis is on Roman warfare and the second emphasis is on the generalship of Hannibal, but not on the strategy of annihaliation warfare, which was not the strategy anyway.

---- Summaries of Selected Military Campaigns Dept. of History, U. S. Military Academy, West :Point, NY., 1962, 175 pgs., extensive maps A set of battle maps with brief summaries for use as a text accompanying the course on the history of military art  
The one page summary of Cannae has two diagrams of the battle, both incorrect. The commentary notes that the battle was considered by Schlieffen as a classic example of the battle of annihilation. It is also considered an outstanding example of a defensive-offensive operation. But the battle is not described as having anything to do with strategy nor as a significant battle over all. The study of Roman warfare is very brief in this course.

Parker, Geoffrey, editor Cambridge Illustrated history of Warfare: The triumph of the West Cambridge Univ. Press, 1995, 408 pgs, extensive illustrations, maps, references A general history of warfare in which the essays for each era are assigned to specialists in the history of that period. Victor David Hanson writes the first two - on early infantry battles and on the era of Roman infantry preponderance. Bernard Bachrach then writes an excellent article "On Roman Ramparts 300-1300 in which he displays both his knowledge of medieval warfare and his theory (correct) that the period was mostly one of siege warfare.
Hansen, Victor Davis From Phalanx to Legion 350 BC - 250 BC - Chapter 2 in the above history. Chapter three is titled "The Roman Way of War." Same - 18 pgs, In these two chapters (on early infantry and on Roman preponderance) Hanson presents his theory about the uniqueness of the 'Western Way of War' and his effort to follow John Keegan in emphasizing psychological factors in combat. Throughout Hanson continues to relate his assessments to the "West" and his claims about its peculiar methods and concepts.
I include this book here because it is clear that O'Connell has subscribed to Keegan and Hanson's theories and ways of expressing themselves in prose. This is especially so with respect to Hanson's writing here about Cannae. The first section is about Alexander and Macedonian warfare. His description of the Roman legion itself is standard. The only Roman battle described in specifics is Cannae (most of two pages) in which he uses such terms as 'slaughter' that O'Connell loves and the remark that O'Connell repeats without citation that 'more than 100 men killed each minute'. It is Hanson also who begins his account with the following, "For two millennia, no battle has exerted such a narcotic spell on western military thinking as Cannae." But Hanson cannot resist including his standard pitch about West versus East. He writes. "in short, Cannae was an abject reversal of the usual military paradigm of the ancient world: now a western army outnumbered its foe, relying on unintelligently deployed, but savage power - the non-western enemy in contrast seeking protection for its outnumbered forces by co-ordination and strategy." Well, what to make of this? First, Hannibal was a general thoroughly imbued with Greek culture and schooled in the best of Macedonian and Hellenistic warfare. Second, his army was a least as 'western' as any Roman force. It was composed actually of western peoples destined to be destroyed by the Romans.

Montgomery, Field-Marshal Viscount of Alamein A History of Warfare World Publishing Co. NY., 583 pgs, extensive illustrations A general history designed for the popular reader and clearly based for its appeal on the author's name.
The only reason for including this book here is that O'Connell cites Montgomery's comment about Hannibal at Cannae. And O'Connell misinterprets this remark. Montgomery writes on page 91 in discussing the immediate result of the battle the standard note that "Maharbal urged Hannibal to march on Rome straightaway. He refused. As we have said, his strategy was not to prosecute a war to the death, but simply to bring Rome to terms; and in any case he lacked the resources to undertake a massive siege. A war of attrition followed....." All of this is correct and is Montgomery's opinion on the issue. Then on page 97 in the context of a general assessment of the strategies of both Scipio and Hannibal, Montgomery writes, "Hannibal's strategy in Italy was a complete failure." Which it was, and "Maharbal was right when he told Hannibal after Cannae that he did not know how to use a victory. " Which also was true, but had nothing to do with Montgomery's view on whether Hannibal should or should not have attempted to besiege Rome. Montgomery's point is that Hannibal's whole strategy was doomed to failure, which it was. Montgomery considers it 'extraordinary' that Hannibal never 'raised a proper siege-train'. But there were very good reasons for this as Hannibal could not conduct a campaign of sieges of towns he hoped to gain as allies with our without such equipment. Nor could he have held them if he had taken them. As it was he could not even keep the cities that voluntarily joined his side.

Parker, H. M. D. The Roman Legions Barnes and Noble. NY., 1928, notes, index, bibliography This book is mostly about the legions of the Roman early empire. But there is an opening chapter on the Pre-Marian Army.
The description of the composition of the legion is standard - velites, hastati, principes and triarii. Their tactical movement is standard. Parker gives each legionary a space of a square yard plus 3 feet interval between files. He believes there were 23 legions in service in 211 ( from Livy). The number of men in each category and the descriptions of the weapons are standard.
Toynbee, Arnold J. Hannibal's Legacy: The Hannibalic War's Effects on Roman Life Oxford Univ. Press, London, 1965, 2 volumes, Volume I (642 pgs.,) is "Rome and her Neighbours before Hannibal's Entry', Volume II is Rome and her Neighbours after Hannibal's exit. 752 pgs., index, extensive notes and lengthy bibliography, maps including a detailed one showing the various regions of Italy and their status with respect to Rome. The author is the nephew of the famous historian, Arnold Toynbee. It is an indispensable reference, however too many authors today don't refer to it. O'Connell does by second hand reference, but I am not sure he realizes this author is NOT the more famous Toynbee. In his introduction Toynbee writes that all subsequent scholarship has built on that of Theodore Mommsen. And the study of Mommsen continues to be essential today. One wishes that this advice was followed by authors who try to describe Cannae. Toynbee takes great pains to analyze the scholarly contributions of many other leading authorities on Roman history - again, something that authors today slight.
Although the subject of Toynbee's study is the continued after effects of the Hannibalic War down to the present, the author includes a huge amount of valuable information relative to the battle of Cannae itself. This includes the social, political, cultural, economic environments in which the war took place. His description of the strengths and weaknesses of the Roman 'commonwealth' is basic to understanding Roman eventual victory. The detailed analysis of Roman census data provides an understanding of the vast manpower resources on which the Romans drew. Toynbee shows that not only was Roman effective military manpower vastly greater than that of Carthage, but also that it overwhelmed the other 'great powers' of the Mediterranean - Macedon, Egypt and Syria. In volume II he describes in detail the Roman military structure and numbers of troops in the field, legion by legion and theater of war by theater. Very important is Toynbee's analysis of the actual Roman legion as described by Livy and Polybius. He presents several tables in which he indicates the number of Roman legions in the field each year and where they were stationed.
Slingshot is the Official Journal of The Society of Ancients - There are too many articles in the various issues devoted to aspects of Cannae, Hannibal, Carthaginian or Roman army, weapons, Punic Wars and related issues for me to list here. The membership includes both professional experts on ancient warfare and interested amateurs. Over the years the discussions and sometimes controversies highlight what is known and what can be known about these topics.
Here are a few of the interesting, relevant articles - Issue 34, March 1971, Roger Johnson, "Victory Complete - Cannae, 216 B.C.", typical brief description giving Roman loss at 70,000 but he does mention the Balearic slingers. Issue 36, July 1971, Charles Grant, The Army of Carthage at the Time of the Second Punic War" He describes each ethnic component of Hannibal's army including the Balearic slingers as a separate group. The Celtiberians formed heavy infantry phalanx 16 by 10 deep. After Cannae Hannibal also had Bruttion, Lucanian, Apulian, Samnium and Campanian troops. Issue 54, July 1974, Russell King "The sling as a weapon'. He quotes an article in Scientific American about experiments that showed a range of 400 meters. The sling is rotated counter clockwise parallel with the body, not overhead. He quotes Livy on the extreme accuracy of the slingers. Supplement 1974, Alan Rogers "The Use of Elephants in the Ancient World". He remarks that the battle at the Metaurus was the crucial battle of the war. The use of elephants in battle depended on the terrain and fighting methods of the army that employed them. They were used more by Asiatic armies because the quality of their infantry was poor.
Issue 96, July 1981, Duncan Head review of book by Brian Caven, The Punic Wars". That Hannibal was a military genius is noted. Issue 98, November 1981, Phil Barker review of Tony Bath book "Hannibal's Campaigns". Phil compares this book favorably with Lazenby's Hannibal's War.
Issue 99, January 1982, Michael lane "The Roman Republican Army, 218 - 168 BC - Part I". The author cites Polybius that in 225 BC the Romans could call on 700,000 foot and 70,000 cavalry. but this may be wrong, as the field forces for the campaign in that year could number only 190,800 infantry and 10,700 cavalry. Then he presents a long list of detailed force strengths for individual cities or tribes, such as Saminum at 70,000 foot and 7,000 horse. All together the Romans could call on a huge manpower base. He describes the legion organization in detail - a 6,000 man legion would have 1,800 each of velites, hastati and principes and 600 triarii. He presents a detailed description of the weapons citing Polybius. He notes that the allied component might reach double the size of the Roman citizen component. He notes that at Trebia there were 20,000 allied infantry for 16,000 Roman. And in Spain for 8,000 Romans in two legions there were 14,000 allied infantry. At Zama there were 13-16,000 allied infantry for 10,000 Romans. In the Third Macedonian war two strong Roman legions totaling 12,000 were supported by 16,000 allies. He gives cavalry numbers at various battles, noting that no two were the same. In Issue 100, March 1982 Michael Lane continues with "The Republican Roman Army, 218-168 BC Part II". This article is about non-Italian auxiliaries or allies. He mentions the 500-1000 Cretan archers and 1,000 other infantry (probably peltasts) sent by Hiero and suggests they may have been a Lake Trasimene in 217 or at Cannae. The Scipio brothers had 20,000 Celtiberian allies in 211, but these then deserted. Later Scipio the younger also had 20,000 at Ilipa in 206. In Africa he had 6,000 Numidian foot and 4,000 cavalry provided by Masinissa. Lane then describes the Roman wars in the east, where they employed elephants and numerous allies. This is a very detailed discussion, but beyond the limits of our emphasis on Cannae. Beginning with Issue 89, May 1980 Russell King published "The Elephant in the Mediterranean Wars" in 5 parts. These articles are based on Scullard's book The Elephant in the Greek and Roman World, which is listed above. He describes the Roman use of elephants as well as that of other powers and gives a more favorable assessment than does O'Connell.