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It's late in the third century before Christ. Rome's war with Carthage has gone on far too long. Thirteen years have passed since Hannibal's invasion of Italy, and he's still there, plundering the farmland and terrorizing the inhabitants. Publius Cornelius Scipio, recently back from casting the Carthaginians out of Spain, now wants a chance at Hannibal.

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Fighting strong resistance in the Roman Senate, Scipio demands an opportunity to invade Africa and besiege Carthage, promising this will force Hannibal to leave Italy and come to the rescue of his homeland. Such is Scipio's popularity and his reputation as an up-and-coming general, the Senate cannot refuse him. He is given the authority to raise an army and sail for Africa.

Meanwhile, Timon Leonidas, once Archimedes' slave, and more recently a scribe for the deceased Claudius Marcellus, has gained attention as a mapmaker. Desperately needing accurate maps of North Africa, Scipio tracks down Timon and asks him to travel to Africa with him. Despite recently reuniting with his mother after six years of separation, Timon gives in to Scipio's charm and signs onto the campaign.

Just as Scipio predicted, his invasion of Africa draws Hannibal back to Carthage. The two generals maneuver across the African plains with armies of forty thousand men, finally confronting each other outside the city of Zama to determine the outcome of the war in a battle that rivals any in history for its impact on the direction of western civilization.

Zama is the third book in The Eyes of Archimedes Trilogy.

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