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4.3 out of 5 stars31
4.3 out of 5 stars
Format: Hardcover|Change
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Very useful and well illustrated book for research. It's a elementary tool for illustrators to develop their work. I recommend.
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on 26 April 2015
great book for reference and for artist illustrations.
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on 24 December 2012
This is a very attractively produced book. It is excellent value for its price having over 600 specially drawn, colour illustrations as well as many "period" illustrations packed into 256 pages.

The book covers the whole of the Roman period, including the Eastern Roman empire until 1453. (Although uniform illustrations stop short of this end date at around the end of the 13th century).

Subjects include the the Roman army and navy and the enemies of Rome. I like the sections on the Roman Navy and artillery and there are some nice reconstructions of the Theodosian Walls of Constantinople.

The worst feature, in my opinion, is the lack of references and a bibliography. This is a pity because much of the information, and many of the illustrations, are derivative, owing much to Osprey series of military uniform books and other works by Peter Connolly, H Russell Robinson, Mike Bishop, Graham Sumner and Raffaele D'Amato.

Those who already have the books by those authors will probably be disappointed to find there is nothing new here. The illustrations are, in many cases, almost direct re-drawings of pictures by Angus McBride, Peter Connolly and Graham Sumner.

Nevertheless, many of the "copies" do full justice to the originals on which they are based. They are also drawn together in a single book, the price of which is less than the full cost of just two Osprey titles.

One of the strengths of this series of military uniform books is that the historic context for each period is more detailed, better written and much more readable than that found in some of the more "technical" studies of arms and uniforms. That is certainly evident here. One can follow the entire history of Rome from its founding to the fall of Constantinople in 1453. According to the synopsis on the jacket, the author, Kevin F. Kiley, has a special interest in the Eastern Roman Empire. It is heartening that a substantial part of this book is dedicated to that oft forgotten part of the Roman world.

The author and publishers seem to have taken on board criticism levelled at previous books in this series where the quality and style of illustration was much more varied. Here, the quality is of a consistently good to excellent standard and there is a far better blend of styles between the three artists used, Ton Croft, Simon Smith, and Mathew Vince.

My only real criticism of the illustrations is that a small number of the computer generated images show some very poor rendering of mail and some of the armour and equipment appears awkward and badly fitting.

One amusing point. Some of the figures appear to have been closely based on modern actors. I recognised Ewan McGregor as a Gallic warrior on page 117 and the Lakhmid horse archer on page 171 looks suspiciously like Christopher Lee!

If I was looking for a reasonably priced book which offers an inspiring and comprehensive overview of the subject, this is the book I would choose. It would certainly make a very good addition to a school or college library.

Charles Glenn, 24/12/2012
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on 6 May 2016
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on 13 January 2016
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on 28 December 2014
Very comprehensive!
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on 16 February 2013
I bought this book for some inspiration when painting some model Roman soldiers. There is a good introduction to this history of the Roman empire. The drawings are fantastic, they provide a lot of inspiration for painting models. What I like is that there are often two large drawings on most pages. The details on the figures is excellent. For me this book has served its purpose. My 12 year old son has also taken an interest in it and there is plenty of information in the text to keep him occupied!

There have been some critism of the acuracy of some of the drawings in the Amazon reviews. I can't comment on this, but it is obviously not a book aimed at schollers of Roman history. It's a Dorland Kingsley style book, that is a pleasure to look at the pictures and enough information to be of interest. Its not a dry academic account of Roman uniforms. It has also been compared to the Osprey books - for me it is far better value because the Osprey books are very expensive if you only use them for the limited number of colour plates they have.

If you have a child interested in Romans it would make an excellent present for them.
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on 31 January 2013
Hardcover 256 pages and well illustrated book of the arms and armour of the Roman military machine and Rome's enemies. already commented on its contents by other reviews the quality of the illustrations are very good, although a good purchase for the price i would personally refer this book really for the schoolastic level and as a tool to seek other detailed publications of this era. the other aspects of Romes military machine are briefly explored such as the triremes, siege equipment, cavalry etc, the book is mostly dealing with the latter times of the Roman Empire and interesting information of the Roman emperors ( died naturally, murdered, poisoned, mysterious death, retired, etc ) is quite fascinating. Romes enemies are covered from the early days of the republic right up to the 15th century with the dawn of the Ottomans, again the details are brief and i would recommend you look to other publications for more study- i think that's where this book is praised to encourage further reference, Connolly's books such as Hannibal and the enemies of Rome, The Roman Army, and The Greek Army go more into detail especially the republic and early imperial era's are concerned, also his Dacian campaign ( The Roman Legionary ) should be consulted into Trajan's Danube operations for further detail. on the whole i would say its a good buy for its price and good for general reference only.
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on 8 March 2015
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on 25 June 2015
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