After completing the famous Mme Bovary, Flaubert put all his efforts into researching the Punic Wars and completed the lesser known Salammbô. In this volume, Flaubert describes in detail the Mercenary Revolt and the fight of the Mercenaries against the all-powerful Carthage, the theft of the magical Zaimph and the love and hate between the Carthaginian princess Salammbô and the fiercest leader of the Mercenaries, Matho.
By Gustave Flaubert
It was at Megara, a suburb of Carthage, in the gardens of Hamilcar. The soldiers whom he had commanded in Sicily were having a great feast to celebrate the anniversary of the battle of Eryx, and as the master was away, and they were numerous, they ate and drank with perfect freedom.
The captains, who wore bronze cothurni, had placed themselves in the central path, beneath a gold fringed purple awning, which reached from the wall of the stables to the first terrace of the palace; the common soldiers were scattered beneath the trees, where numerous flat roofed buildings might be seen, wine presses, cellars, storehouses, bakeries, and arsenals, with a court for elephants, dens for wild beasts, and a prison for slaves.
Fig trees surrounded the kitchens; a wood of sycamores stretched away to meet masses of verdure, where the pomegranate shone amid the white tufts of the cotton plant; vines, grape laden, grew up into the branches of the pines; a field of roses bloomed beneath the plane trees; here and there lilies rocked upon the turf; the paths were strewn with black sand mingled with powdered coral, and in the centre the avenue of cypress formed, as it were, a double colonnade of green obelisks from one extremity to the other... Continue reading book >>
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