BOOK REVIEW: "... [T]he issue isn't just how to write about a nation distant in time, place, and culture, but how to write about a civilisation that was wiped off the face of the earth more than 2,000 years ago. Carthage was levelled and burned in 146BC, its population slaughtered or sold into slavery and its language, culture and literature all but annihilated. 'At times researching a history of the city is like reading a transcript of a conversation in which one participant's contribution has been deleted,' says Miles. What's more, the side of the conversation that remains was generally written by the very Romans who did the deleting – so has to be taken with hefty pinches of salt. In spite of all the obstacles, however, Miles paints a full and convincing picture of this lost civilisation and its players. ... One of the most powerful aspects of the book is the feeling it creates for the brutality of ancient life. Alongside those sacrifices and the murderous intrigues of the Carthaginian court are numerous breathtaking stories about the hardship of ancient warfare."