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The Frontiers of Imperial Rome Hardcover – Illustrated, 24 Mar 2011

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 265 pages
  • Publisher: Pen & Sword Military (24 Mar. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848844271
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848844278
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 15.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 448,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Professor David Breeze prepared the successful bid for World Heritage Site status for the Antonine Wall and now leads the team implementing its management He was formerly Chief Inspector of Ancient Monuments for Scotland. He has written books on both the Antonine Wall and Hadrian's Wall as well as on Roman Scotland and the Roman army. David Breeze is an honorary professor at the universities of Durham, Edinburgh and Newcastle, and is chairman of the International Congress of Roman Frontier Studies. He lives in Edinburgh.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By E. L. Wisty TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 Feb. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What was the purpose of the Roman frontiers? It seems a simple enough question and one might think that the answer ought to be equally simple, yet many years of scholarship have failed to reach a consensus. Indeed some more pessimistic investigators feel that we may never be able to arrive at an answer.

David Breeze thinks otherwise. He begins with a survey of the sources available to us, along with historical background. The larger part of the book considers the nature of the frontiers themselves, whether constructed linear barriers, walls, palisades & ditches, or making use of natural boundaries in the form of rivers, deserts, mountains, the sea and even forests, marshes and swamps. Breeze notes that our understanding is variable due to differing levels of archaeological research around the various parts of the frontier, and he furthermore confesses that his coverage of some areas in this book is not complete, such as the later defences of the Julian Alps and the long walls of Thrace, as well as the Great Hungarian Plain and at Galati in Romania. The book nevertheless provides a useful overview of the variety of forms, features and structures employed.

The third and final part discusses the interpretation of the evidence, finally addressing the question of purpose. Was it really to defend against attacks by large armies? Well it's historically clear that this was spectacularly unsuccessful if that was indeed its purposes. Was it to defend against smaller scale raiding? Was it (as seems to be an obligatory reason given for anything by historians these days) a "statement of power", a prestige construction to impress foreigners with the might of Rome? Perhaps a deterrence?
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Torben Retboll TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 19 Mar. 2012
Format: Hardcover
David J. Breeze is an Honorary Professor at the universities of Durham, Edinburgh and Newcastle. He is the author of several books about Roman history, including Hadrian's Wall (Penguin History) (with Brian Dobson, 4th edition, 2000) and The Antonine Wall (2006).

His book about the frontiers of imperial Rome is based on ancient literary sources, archaeological objects and modern scholarship. The text is divided into three major parts. Here is a brief overview:

* Part I: Sources - chapters 1-6
* Part II: The Frontiers - chapters 7-13
* Part III: Interpretation - chapters 14- 20

At the end of the book we find the following five items: Conclusions - Further Reading - Sites to See - Notes - Index.

The illustrations are numerous and well-chosen. There are 48 black-and-white illustrations (maps and drawings). In addition, there are 28 plates with photos printed on special paper in the middle of the book. Most photos are in colour.

In the introduction the author explains what his book is about: "The vital questions at the heart of this book are therefore: how did Roman frontiers operate and what were their purpose and role?"

He adds that his book is not about Roman emperors, not about Roman foreign policy, and not about the Roman army: "The focus is firmly on the frontier installations themselves.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A. Coppola on 29 Sept. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A book, which as the author suggests, try to generate a synopsis on the Roman frontiers; at my advice it does more than that especially by putting together the archaeological evidence, which until today, has always been considered in "bits", depending on the frontier, without generating an overall picture.

A good book for this who would like to deepen their knowledge on Roman Empire frontiers!
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By Graham hyland on 10 Sept. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Superb detail that I did not think existed
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By Helen Stamp on 28 Jan. 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Exactly as advertised
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