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The Complete Roman Army [Hardcover]

Adrian Goldsworthy
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

15 Sep 2003 Complete
"The Complete Roman Army" draws on archaeology, ancient art and original documentary sources to present a picture of one of the world's most famous fighting machines. Every aspect of the Roman army, from the daily lives of individual soldiers to the outcome of major campaigns, is explored in five accessible sections. Discussions of key Roman battles, hundreds of illustrations and brief biographies of the great commanders bring the campaigns and personalities to life.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson; 1st edition (15 Sep 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500051240
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500051245
  • Product Dimensions: 2.7 x 20.3 x 26.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 359,887 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Adrian Goldsworthy has a doctorate from Oxford University. His first book, THE ROMAN ARMY AT WAR was recognised by John Keegan as an exceptionally impressive work, original in treatment and impressive in style. He has gone on to write several other books, including THE FALL OF THE WEST, CAESAR, IN THE NAME OF ROME, CANNAE and ROMAN WARFARE, which have sold more than a quarter of a million copies and been translated into more than a dozen languages. A full-time author, he regularly contributes to TV documentaries on Roman themes.

Product Description


If you or someone you love has an interest in Rome, ancient history, or military history, this would make an excellent gift come Christmas. " --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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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rose Mary Sheldon 18 Mar 2012
Goldsworthy's book is a compendium of information about the roman army in its republican and imperial forms. He has section on the life of the roman sodlier,the army on campaign,and the army in late antiquity.Newcomers to the field will find a useful summary of roman history in the beginning of the book along with a chronology of Rome's war.At the end there is a glossary of latin terms plus a useful list of scholarly works for those wishing to do further study. Goldsw. has a talent for condensing a tremendous amount of information into books that are eminently readable and lively. Leaving aside his penchant for never discussing intelligence (one would never know what the speculatores or the frumentarii did by this book),readers are given a good foundation of knowledge on the daily life and activities of roman sodlier. The book's accessibility and the lack of footnotes mark this as a popular work for a general audience.
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65 of 74 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Complete! 24 May 2004
The book is a bit disappointing. There are some bad mistakes like naming a "Gladius" to "Spatha" in one picture. Is it also too hard to have also good pictures of republican and late roman re-enactors in one book instead of those high-empire "Ermine Street Quard" guys who seem to be everywhere? Why are there whole-page pictures of Hadrian`s crumbling walls in colour and then a tiny black-and-white picture of a very interesting looking late roman soldiers? Bad editing, I quess. Also the illustrations are very disappointing and rudimentary. They also give the wrong impressions for example of roman swords. The shape of "Mainz type" sword is awful and in comparison to newer "Pompeii style" sword they were usually longer.
The text is very good like always with Adrian Goldsworthy, although there`s not much new. So there`s plenty of room for another basic book about roman army, this book won`t fill the need. The "dream book" about roman army would be in my mind a combination of Peter Connolly`s illustrations, Daniel Peterson "Roman Legions Recreated in Coulour Photographs" style photos and Adrian Goldsworthy`s writing. We are still waiting for a "Complete Roman Army".
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good reference but sadly poor graphics 12 Feb 2004
By A Customer
Good reference book for beginners on the subject.
Sadly battle maps and graphics are very rudimentary.
Too expensive for what one gets.
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18 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for a begginer 1 Jan 2005
I picked up this book being interested in the Roman millitary but not knowing a thing on the subect. After simply browsing through several chapters, I knew enough to write an essay. The writing, whilst sometimes vague and confusing, is extremely informative for the greater part. The pictures are a fine addition, and the battle descriptions are worth praise.
The book is divided into three sections. The Early Army, from the founding of Rome to the Legionary. The Proffesional Army, from Marian to the Batlle of Adrianople, and the Army of Late Antiquity. The ill fated army that fought at the collapse of the western empire. In fact, it is essentiall to note that the Byzantine Empire hardly gets a mention in the works, although most intrepid historians should start off with the 'tradditional' roman solider. Each section is divided into sub-chapters, detailing things such as seige and the average soldier's working life.
To conclude, a great book that you will treasure, mostly because of it's hefty price tag.
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