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4.0 out of 5 stars
An excellent companion for the military history student!, 1 Jan 2006
The book contains everything that one wants to know about the leadership of the imperial or republican Roman army; from formations of the legions to the training practises of each military unit of the day. The book is set in chapters in chronological order with each chapter about a famous general of the time (from Fabius Maximus 'the delayer' circa 200BC to General Belisarius circa 500AD). Though in each chapter Goldsworthy describes their triumphs and notable failures to trace the evolution of the Roman Army with supporting references from Livy and Plutarch rather than decribing their entire careers. Goldsworthy also successfully describes famous battles and wars such as the battle of Anctuim or the Punic wars against Carthage in terms of tactics and politics, this is a rare acheivement. Raise the 'gladii' to Adrian Goldsworthy, this is his 'Spolia Opima'!