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Edge of Empire: Rome's Frontier on the Lower Rhine [Hardcover]

Jona Lendering , Arjen Bosman

Price: 25.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Edge of Empire: Rome's Frontier on the Lower Rhine + Handbook to Roman Legionary Fortresses
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Karwansaray BV; 1 edition (4 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9490258059
  • ISBN-13: 978-9490258054
  • Product Dimensions: 26.4 x 21.4 x 1.6 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 937,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

From the Inside Flap

"In this place, a poverty-stricken tribe lives on high terps and hand-built platforms, which raise their homes above the known high water mark. When the waves wash over the surrounding land, the inhabitants look like seafarers, but when the water subsides they have the appearance of shipwrecked people."

That's how a Roman officer described the people living on the shores of the North Sea. To him and his comrades, this was the edge of the world. In the sea, he expected to find fabulous monsters, and on land, savage barbarians.
Every ancient author writing about the Low Countries was preoccupied with the complete contrast between the civilized people of the Roman Empire and the tribes of noble savages or barbarians living outside it. Julius Caesar exploited this preconception to enhance his own reputation, boasting that he had overcome the 'bravest of all Gauls'; Tacitus employed the same stereotypes when he described the Batavian Revolt; and, in Late Antiquity, the Franks were still described as resembling monsters.
The reality was different. The presence of the Roman army along the River Rhine radically changed the way of life in the small Roman province of Germania Inferior, and the need to maintain and feed this large army became a significant incentive for economic change. The tribes living along the lower reaches of the Rhine and close to the North Sea gradually began to resemble their occupiers.
Historian Jona Lendering and archaeologist Arjen Bosman have combined their considerable expertise to create a successful synthesis of historical and archaeological evidence, in this history of Rome's Lower Rhine frontier. Their award-winning book is now available in English for the first time.

"an excellent overview and source collection" - Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great single volume, lavishly illustrated 26 July 2013
By Dean Emmerson - Published on Amazon.com
Edge of Empire is a beautiful book. The artwork and illustrations are wonderful, the quality of the paper is top-notch, the layout attractive and engagingly done. The production quality of the book is simply terrific.

Edge of Empire provides a very good overview of the Romans and their expansion into the Low Countries, or Lower Rhine. The text is easily accessible and well written. The authors quote extensively from period works, providing clarification, analysis, and sometimes postulating about the significance or accuracy of one passage or another. At times it was almost as though the authors were providing an annotated or guided look at the earlier texts.

I really enjoyed the manner in which the authors blended history, historical works, and archeological finds. There are some wonderful examples of Roman engineering, buildings, and of their life on the frontier.

The illustrations are lavish. Throughout the book you will find beautifully colored maps, photographs of battlefields, examples of buildings and forts, baths and other engineering examples, and full color illustrations of soldiers, uniforms, and equipment. Each of the illustrations are captioned, with interesting facts and observations.

The illustrations alone will make the book worthwhile for many people.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rome in the Low Countries 17 Aug 2013
By Margaret A. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Readers of Roman history know of Caesar's Gallic Wars and Varus' defeat at the Teutoburg Forest. However, the battles, treaties, and trade agreements between the Romans and the peoples of the Lower Rhine valley (modern Belgium, Germany, and Holland) were equally important aspects of Roman history. Jona Lendering and Arjen Bosman's work provides an outstanding English-language history of the Lower Rhine frontier, from Julius Caesar through Charlemagne, for the general reader. The authors blend history and archaeology to present an up-to-date, very well illustrated volume. This book contains long quotations from classical sources, interspersed with commentary and archaeological information that puts the Roman material into the context it has so long needed. For readers interested in Roman history, western European history, or northern European Late Antiquity (formerly known as the Dark Ages), this book is a valuable addition to the library. Translator Marie Smit-Ryan deserves praise for her excellent work.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect overview about Roman presence in the lower Rhine 15 Oct 2013
By Anibal Madeira - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Roman military history owes a lot to Jona Lendering and Karwansaray publisher - Jasper Oorthuys. Just think about it and try to erase livius.org or Roman Army Talk, or Ancient Warfare Magazine!!! They (and obviously other contributors, academics and scholars) have provided not only platforms for communication but also tons of reliable information.

Unfortunately, most of Lendering's works are written in Dutch. Although a charming language it's nigh impossible for a Mediterranean to be proficient in (just joking). But now, this wonderful work by Lendering in cooperation with the very competent archeologist Arjen Bosman is finally translated and available in English.

This investigation takes the reader through ancient writings, clarifying them with archeological finds, fighting some assumptions and explaining to the common reader the history of Rome's frontier on the lower Rhine.

It is essentially a military history, but with excellent insight relating to individuals, economic and financial flows, urbanization, crisis and its management in this frontier, Romanization, language dominance, etc.

With magnificent color art by Johnny Shumate and Graham Sumner, perfect maps, photographs of statuary and artifacts and copy-edited by Duncan B. Campbell you simply can't afford to miss this first hardcover book by Karwansaray Publishing.
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