The Complete Roman Army Hardcover – Dec 31 2003
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If you or someone you love has an interest in Rome, ancient history, or military history, this would make an excellent gift come Christmas. — Portland Book Review --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Adrian Goldsworthy studied at Oxford University. His publications include Roman Warfare, The PunicWars and Cannae.
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Top Customer Reviews
What I liked about this book was the simplicity of writing, the quality of illustrations and paper used, and the logical movement of the book from the earliest Roman armies through Late Antiquity. Chapters cover the development of the chain of command through the republic and the Principate, equipment, recruitment and training, frontier duties, battle strategies, sieges, the army's peacetime duties, the layouts of the marching camps and permanent forts, and naval warfare. There are some descriptions about particular battles and war heros as well.
The Complete Roman Army is engaging and easy to read. It is also loaded with fascinating facts, even for a pacifist like myself.
It is easily accessible to the average reader, the writing is interesting, and the topics are highly varied. From the soldiers kit and weapons, to battle tactics, life outside of battle, recruitment, leadership, etc., there's a lot of variety in the topics in the book. There are numerous illustrations of good, if not great quality, as well as several photographs of modern archaeological sites or modern reenactors. The latter are particularly nice, as they give a very clear view of what ancient Roman soldiers and officers would have looked like. Pictures of Roman artifacts depicting soldiers, and about 6 two-page color spreads on particular battles, round out the book.
It's hard to criticize this book, other than to say that the coverage is more broad than it is deep. That's a limitation of the size of the book, as each page is quite densely packed with information. This isn't a graduate thesis in the Roman army, but it does make for an easy, entertaining, yet informative overview of the Roman army. Given that it was one of, if not THE, most successful armies in history, this makes this book an excellent overview for anyone interested in Ancient Rome, the military in general, or history in general.
One slight peeve, though: the Empire map alternates between Latin names and modern English ones, as in "Italia" but "Sicily" and not "Sicilia," or "Neopolis" but "Rome" and not "Roma," "Belgica" and "Dacia" but "Lower Germany" instead of "Germania Inferior," etc.
Most recent customer reviews
I found it to be a good general overview of the roman army from the days of the republic to late antiquity. Not as much detail on the tactics of the roman army as I had hoped.Published on May 17 2014 by Bluewater guy
This is possibly the best Amazon purchase I have ever made. The book is absolutely beautiful, filled with amazing diagrams and pictures and very straightforward. Read morePublished on Feb. 24 2014 by Kyle
I've oft received genocidally scorching disparagement for not being "sunshiny" enough, or even just "cordial" or "respectful" enough-but the tide must be turning and the sun... Read morePublished on May 18 2004 by The Nemean Lion Of Herculean Bitterness