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In this riveting book, fourth in the author′s definitive histories of the legions of ancient Rome, Stephen Dando–Collins draws on his three decades of painstaking research into the Roman military to present the enthralling story of the indefatigable 3rd Gallica Legion. Carefully culling material from classical sources, Mark Antony′s Heroes elegantly weaves together a goldmine of little–known facts and influences on the legion′s wars, campaigns, battles, skirmishes, speeches, and dialogues, as well as the men of the legions of Rome.
By a.d. 69, the men of the 3rd Gallica Legion had gained a reputation as fearsome fighters, even among their fellow Romans. They had recently slaughtered nine thousand heavily armored Sarmatian cavalry on an icy battlefield south of the Danube. The unit made a name for itself under Mark Antony, only to see its early glory fade. Then, bloodied and withdrawn from the fray, it turned its fortunes around and put an emperor on the throne marching, ironically, behind another man named Mark Antony. Yet these formidable warriors are also credited with saving St. Paul′s life, not once, but three times, allowing him to spread the Word in Europe, which allowed Christianity to flourish.
During the first centuries b.c. and a.d., the 3rd Gallica Legion would defeat the dashing prince Pacorus and the opportunistic Quintus Labienus while retrieving Syria from the Parthians. It would allow King Herod to secure his throne in Judea and help Mark Antony survive his botched campaign against the Parthians. Thanks to the 3rd Gallica Legion, Corbulo regained Armenia for Rome, the Roxolani Sarmatians were thwarted from crossing the Danube for an entire century, two Jewish uprisings were put down, Vespasian became emperor of Rome, and the empire′s stability and prosperity were restored. And, by saving the life of the Christian apostle Paul, the officers and men of the 3rd Gallica Legion gave the disciple as many as nine more years for his ministry.
Covering some of the most graphic battle scenes contained in Dando–Collins′s Roman legion books, Mark Antony′s Heroes is an eye–opening account of the common men who helped make Rome great.
An enthralling look at the most formidable legion of the Roman Empire
In Mark Antony′s Heroes, the fourth installment in the author′s seminal histories of the legions of ancient Rome, Stephen Dando–Collins paints a vivid portrait of the 3rd Gallica Legion from the unique vantage point of the soldiers. Drawing on scores of classical texts, Dando–Collins tells the gripping story of a unit that made a name for itself under Mark Antony, only to watch its early glory fade and rise again. Dreaded by friend and foe alike, they used their muscle to install Herod the Great and Caesar Vespasian on their thrones. They made Rome′s enemies from one side of the empire to the other dread their legion′s name. They were renowned as the fearless servants of two Mark Antonys, saving the skin of Cleopatra′s lover and making possible the meteoric career of Mark Antony Primus. By weaving together new information about the legionaries′ lives with factual Roman military practices, Mark Antony′s Heroes is a landmark in ancient military history.
Praise for CAESAR′S LEGION
"A unique and splendidly researched story, following the trials and triumphs of Julius Caesar′s Legio X. . . . More than a mere unit account, it incorporates the history of Rome and the Roman army at the height of their power and gory glory. Many military historians consider Caesar′s legion the world′s most efficient infantry before the arrival of gunpowder. This book shows why. Written in readable, popular style, Caesar′s Legion is a must for military buffs and anyone interested in Roman history at a critical point in European civilization."
T. R. Fehrenbach, author of This Kind of War, Lone Star, and Comanches