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Early Roman Warrior 753-321 BC Paperback – 20 Jul 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey (20 July 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849084998
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849084994
  • Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 0.6 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 553,293 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


I wholeheartedly recommend this title as indispensable to all Ancient wargamers --Miniature Wargames

About the Author

Dr Nic Fields started his career as a biochemist before joining the Royal Marines. Having left the military, he went back to University and completed a BA and PhD in Ancient History at the University of Newcastle. He was Assistant Director at the British School at Athens, Greece, and then a lecturer in Ancient History at the University of Edinburgh. Nic is now a freelance author and researcher based in south-west France.

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3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Mice Guy TOP 100 REVIEWER on 26 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very good basic introduction to the subject – and to be honest, as there isn’t that much information to begin with, and greater depth would involve listing small bits of archaeological evidence and going into detailed academic arguments over the interpretation thereof.

The Contents are:
P04: Introduction
P07: Chronology of major events
P09: Italy before Rome
.Villanovans; Etruscans; Latins; Sabines; Oscans; Greeks
P18: Early Roman Warfare
.Clan warfare; City-state warfare
P27: Levying
.Clan gathering; Citizen muster
P33: Equipment and Appearance
.Spear; Sword; Shield; Citizen phalanx
P44: Belief and Belonging
.Gods of crops and war; Group identity
P49: On Campaign
.Raid and ambuscade; Pitched battle
P62: Glossary; Bibliography
P64: Index

The author describes the evolution of the Roman warrior from a brigand and cattle-raider, to a member of a tribal war-band (still interested in brigandage and cattle raiding) to membership of a citizen-phalanx, examining cultural influences from the neighbouring tribes, and the evolution of weaponry and armour, as well as the evolution of the cultural / civic milieu in which the warrior existed. The next stage of Roman military evolution / development would be the conversion of the warrior to soldier (a major cultural change).

The colour plates are:
A: Clan chieftain – “They were resplendent in shining helmets, pectorals and greaves, which were fashioned from beaten bronze often beautified with embossing”. As well as showing a clan chieftain in full panoply, there are detailed illustrations of his armour, plus a range of swords and helmets.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By amazon customer on 2 April 2014
Format: Paperback
Over a course of years the Roman Army became the world's first professional army playing a vital role in the establishment and maintainence of Roman hegemony. However, when we think of Rome we seldom think of it as a collection of Iron Age villages on the yet to be storied Seven Hills. Rome's struggles with its neighbors and its sack by the Gauls in 390 B.C. are more well known but, in Early Roman Warrior, author Nic Fields uses both archeology and ancient sources to show how the citizens of Rome developed their powerful army over the centuriew. Covered are early warfare, manpower procurement, arms and armor and the religious background of Roman military life. The other peoples and civilizations that influenced the infancy of the Hegemon are also introduced to the reader in this interesting Osprey number.

Although the want of a maps will be apparent, this volume is highly reccomended for those interested in the Early Republic.
The perfect companion to this fine work is THE ROMA VICTRIX wine beakerCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
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By JPS TOP 500 REVIEWER on 25 Nov. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have had this Osprey title for a while, having bought it shortly after it was published in 2011. However, I have not up to now, reviewed it simply because I had trouble making up my mind and coming up with a well-balanced assessment. This is what my review’s title is supposed to reflect and it is also what the somewhat contrasting reviews of other reviewers reflect to some extent.

To be fair, this Osprey Warrior title was not an easy one to come up with. As others have mentioned, the scope (over four centuries) could in itself be an issue, especially when this has to be summarised in the usual sixty four pages format.

There is worse, however: all the sources are debatable, when they are not lacking. The written sources, Livy in particular, but also Polybius to some extent, are questionable and have been questioned. This was largely because they wrote centuries after the time and events that they described. It is also because what they contain is in part drawn from older lost sources, which we do not know and whose worth we cannot assess. This is, to quote T.J. Cornell, the issue about “the sources of the sources”.

A second and related set of issues is that archaeology and its findings may help, but only up to a point, and it can also contribute in some cases to further “muddying the waters”. A case in point is the discussions about Early Roman shields, where the Scutum is assumed to be derived from a Gallic prototype, which is very plausible. However, the shape, dimensions and construction of early Scutum shields are assumed to be similar to the unique exemplar preserved and found in Egypt and which dates, at best, from the second century BC.
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