Of the first Punick Warre

  • Walter Ralegh


That question handled by Livie, Whether the great Alexander could haue preuailed against the Romans, if after his Easterne conquest, he had bent all his forces against them, hath beene, and is, the subject of much dispute; which (as it seemes to me) the arguments on both sides do not so well explane, as doth the experience that Pyrrhus hath giuen, of the Roman power, in his daies. For if he, a Commander (in Hannibals judgement) inferior to Alexander, though to none else, could with small strength of men, and little store of monie, or of other needfull helps in warre, vanquish them in two battailes, and endanger their estate, when it was well setled, and held the best part of Italie, vnder a confirmed obedience: what would Alexander haue done, that was aboundantly prouided of all which is needfull to a Conquerour, wanting only matter of emploiment, comming vpon them before their Dominion was halfe so well setled. It is easie to say, that Alexander had no more, than thirtie thousand foot, and foure thousand horse (as indeede, at his first passage into Asia, he carried ouer, not many more) and that the rest of his followers were no better than base effeminate Asiatiques. But he that considers the Armies of Perdiccas, Antipater, Craterus, Eumenes, Ptolomie, Antigonus, and Lysimachus, with the actions by them performed, euery one of which (to omit others) commanded only some fragment of this dead Emperours power; shall easily finde, that such a reckoning is farre short of the truth.


Great Part Good Part World History Small Strength Roman Power 
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  1. 1.
    Jean de Serres, in Inventaire général de l’histoire de France (1597); translated into English by E. Grimeston (1607).Google Scholar
  2. 1.
    Sir Clement Edmondes, in his Obseruations upon Cœsars Commentaries (1600).Google Scholar

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© C. A. Patrides 1971

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  • Walter Ralegh

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