Dr Louis Rawlings

Dr Louis Rawlings

Senior Lecturer in Ancient History

School of History, Archaeology and Religion

+44 (0)29 2087 5744
+44(0)29 2087 4929
4.02, John Percival Building

Research interests

  • Ancient warfare (Greek, Roman Republican, Italian, Gallic, Carthaginian)
  • Warrior values and display
  • State formation
  • Herakles/Hercules
  • Carthage (including Hannibal)
  • Ethnography and history

Research projects

Carthaginian Warfare (6th to 2nd centuries BC)

Education and qualifications

1987-1990, 1991-1994 University College London

1990 BA Ancient and Medieval History, 1st class honours

1997 PhD (thesis: The Ethos of Aristocratic Warrior Elites in the Ancient World)

Career overview

1995Lecturer in Cardiff School of History and Archaeology


Carthaginian Warfare (6th to 2nd centuries BC)

The Punic military system is a relatively neglected topic. For the most part, treatments have been subsumed into more general histories of Carthage or narratives of Rome's wars with the city. Modern assumptions about the nature of Punic warfare have often been influenced by ancient stereotypes of the Carthaginians as a mercantile and unwarlike people who depended on a small elite of citizen career generals who commanded mercenary armies with little interest or support from the broader Punic elite or general population. A rigorous examination of such perspectives is long overdue and by drawing on recent studies of the manner in which authors, such as Polybius, consciously and sub-consciously shaped their material this study will produce a better understanding of the distorting effects of historical and ethnographic writing in shaping modern perceptions, and a more sophisticated and nuanced appraisal of the dynamics of Carthaginian warfare.

The purpose of the project is to assess the nature of Carthaginian war-making and its influence on the development of warfare in the western Mediterranean and beyond, from the sixth to the second century BC.