This is a very interesting volume, looking at the most famous of Roman military figures. As well as detailing the history of the rank in relation to the various organisations of the Roman army we also get a look at the various `Italian' opponents. There are `case studies' of individual centurions where evidence exists.
The Contents are -
P03: The Age of Kings
.Centurions in the armies of the first kings; centurions in the army of Servius Tullius
P05: The Early Consular Period
.Organization of the manipular legion; the legion in the 3rd-2nd centuries BC; the centurions
P09: The Late Consular Period
.The Marian reforms; the cohortal legion
P11: Career and Status
.The early periods: L. Siccius; Ennius, the puzzle of the promotion sequence; Spurius Ligustinus;
.The Late Consular Period: centurions of equestrian status; the civil wars; the qualities expected of centurions; pay and rewards
P17: Duties and Service
.Training and discipline; camp duties; punishment for failure; guarding standards; detached service; centurions in council;
.Courage and high casualties; Laevinus; P. Sextus Baculus; Caesius Scaeva
P24; Arms and Equipment
P34: Defensive Equipment
.Helmets; shields; body and leg armour
P37: Clothing and distinctions
.Clothing; the Centurion's vine-staff; military decorations
P43: Plate Commentaries
The colour plates:
A - The Age of Kings: three very colourful characters from the 6th & 5th centuries BC, one Roman, one Latin and one Etrusco-Tarquinian.
B - Expansion in Italy, 4th-3rd Centuries BC: fight scene at a ford with four figures, Etruscan hoplite and centurion, Roman princeps and centurion.
C - The Sardinian Revolt, 215 BC: big battle scene, with a duel in the foreground between a Roman centurion and a Sardinian noble, and a background of Romans, Carthaginians, Spanish and local tribesmen.
D - The Second Punic War, 3rd-2nd Centuries BC: after Zama, a Carthaginian officer of the Sacred band is surrendering to a Roman and an Etruscan centurion, in the background is the aftermath of the battle.
E - Marius's Triumph over Jugurtha, 104 BC: Marius in his chariot, Jugurtha and sons walking ahead, with a centurion leading, various other characters in the background.
F - Sacrifice of Purification, 101 BC: A centurion in ceremonial dress in a parade to sacrifice a ram, with various ceremonial characters and some legionaries.
G - Caesar's Centurions, 58-46 BC: three figures in detailed costumes.
H - The Last Consular Centurions, 44-30 BC: two armoured, one unarmoured figures.
The colour plates are excellent, with a mixture of figures and action scenes, as well as showing allies and enemies. This is a very good companion volume to the other Ospreys on the early Roman army.
Further reading:Roman Battle Tactics 390110 BC (Elite)Early Roman Armies (Men-at-arms)Early Roman Warrior 753321 BCRoman Republican Legionary 298-105 BC (Warrior)Mediterranean Anarchy, Interstate War, and the Rise of Rome (Hellenistic Culture and Society)Andrea Palladio and the Architecture of Battle with the Unpublished Edition of Polybius' HistoriesNew Perspectives on Ancient Warfare (History of Warfare (Brill))