Richard Miles’ widely-praised retelling of the spectacular rise and fall of Carthage is now out in paperback and is available as part of Blackwell’s popular “342” promotion. Although very little of the Carthaginians’ own writings have survived and we are reliant upon somewhat biased Roman accounts, Miles has managed to piece together a fascinating portrait of this often misunderstood people. The backbone of the Carthaginian state was its powerful navy which allowed it to control important trade routes in the western Mediterranean and compensate for its lack of a standing army. Carthage’s growing military and economic might inevitably led to conflict with the expansionist Roman state and despite the audacity of Hannibal, complete destruction awaited. Richard Miles is Professor of Classics at the University of Sydney and has written widely on ancient Africa.