Customer Reviews


5 Reviews
5 star:
 (1)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mostly good introduction and overview
Although I am no expert on Roman fortifications beyond Hadrian's Wall, I found this little Osprey booklet to be a rather good and well-structured introduction and overview. The first part lays down the context: the subjugation of the Brigantes by Cerialis, followed by the northern campaigns of Agricola, Roman Governor of Britannia (AD 77 to AD 84). We know rather more...
Published 15 months ago by JPS

versus
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An OK summary
I was hoping for a more detailed book with regards to all of the Roman sites in Scotland hence my low score. It was OK though in what it contained.
Published 16 months ago by TVR-Andy


Most Helpful First | Newest First

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mostly good introduction and overview, 25 Sep 2013
By 
JPS - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Rome's Northern Frontier AD, 70-235: Beyond Hadrian's Wall (Fortress) (Paperback)
Although I am no expert on Roman fortifications beyond Hadrian's Wall, I found this little Osprey booklet to be a rather good and well-structured introduction and overview. The first part lays down the context: the subjugation of the Brigantes by Cerialis, followed by the northern campaigns of Agricola, Roman Governor of Britannia (AD 77 to AD 84). We know rather more than usual about these thanks to the work of Tacitus, Agricola's son-in-law. Despite his hard-won successes and victories, Agricola's campaigns were stopped. The Caledones and the most northern tribes were not subdued and the northern part of Scotland was not conquered with the Emperor Domitian decided instead to pull out troops and redeploy them to fight Germanic tribes.

Accordingly, the second section presents the Gask Ridge, the first set of semi-temporary fortifications, explains its role and details its main features, including descriptions of the main forts and of the observation points (termed "fortlets" in the book) that were part of it. Then starts the third section and the Antonine conquest whereby an Emperor newly arrived on the throne and in need of a token military victory to "legitimise" his rule expanded Roman rule north of the Tyne-Solway. Starting this section is a concise but accurate and well-placed piece on the Roman Imperial ideology of victory and how essential it was for each Emperor to be seen as "ever victorious". Then comes the piece on consolidation and the origins of the Antonine Wall, which was built once Antoninus Pius had made his point and could present himself as victorious.

The last section is about the building of the Wall itself, its role, its very limited timespan with troops between pulled back to Hadrian's Wall after a couple of decades, and an assessment of whether it was a success or a failure. Also included are descriptions of some of its components, in particular the description of one of its forts, once again backed up by rather good plates showing the various features of the Wall. Then you get the various usual items that are standard in the fortress series: the sites today, a glossary and a short but diversified little bibliography for those which may be looking for more.

I did have one problem however: the book did not clearly explain (or perhaps I did not clearly understand) why the Romans pulled back from the Antonine Wall to Hadrian's Wall, which was both much longer and needed about 50% more troops so as to be adequately garrisoned. Clearly, saving manpower does not seem to have been the main issue, despite the author mentioning that as the years went by, the Roman Army was increasingly stretched and short of manpower. Once the Romans pulled back, the fortifications beyond Hadrian's Wall, although temporarily re-occupied at times (under Septimius Severus, for instance), never became the main line. One explanation, perhaps, relates to the Romans' lines of communications between York (Eburacum), the headquarters of the 6th Legion. These would have been significantly longer when the frontier was the Antonine Wall. A related explanation is that the land in between (most of the Lowlands) may have populated by tribes which, despite being "allies" of Rome (including the Votadini) may not always have been as "friendly" as suggested. The implication would then be that the Roman lines of communications could become very vulnerable and easy to cut if one of these tribes revolted, possibly in conjunction with an attack coming from the North. Simply put, the garrisons on the Antonine Wall could find themselves stranded. Unfortunately, none of this is really explained, or discussed, and this is perhaps the element which is missing from what is otherwise a rather good and very interesting little volume. Four stars.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beyond Hadrian's Wall, 14 July 2008
This review is from: Rome's Northern Frontier AD, 70-235: Beyond Hadrian's Wall (Fortress) (Paperback)
It is a well known fact that Hadrian's Wall marked the frontier of Roman rule in Britain, but what is not well known is that it was not always the most extreme point of the Roman Empire.

Nic Fields provides us with a look at the Antonine Wall, and the assorted watchtowers and fortlets that the Romans built as form of their 'Gask Ridge frontier system'.

The book starts out by describing Julius Agricola's campaigns in Northern Britain. Some recent scholarship points out that the Romans might have moved into the area long before the victory at Mons Graupius, but as that theory is still a matter of debate, the author does not mention it.

Fields then describes the Gask Ridge, its function as well as the anatomy of the Flavian forts and fortlets that covered this area. But the main emphasis is on the Antonine Wall, its construction, function and garrison.

Some nice photographs and a few pages of colour plates by Donato Spedaliere help give you a better idea of the appearance of these buildings, as they are today, and as they would have been in Roman times.

Those who study Roman Britain will find this a useful book on an often neglected subject. It would certainly act as a great short introduction to Roman Northern Britain for students and interested non-experts.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good overview of Rome's Northern Frontier AD, 70-235, 11 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Rome's Northern Frontier AD, 70-235: Beyond Hadrian's Wall (Fortress) (Paperback)
The perfect gift for all Roman history enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
Another welcome addition to the Osprey fortress series, this very informative booklet of 64 pages, highlights Agricola's northern campaigns, the Gask ridge project, and the Antonine wall, with many fine illustrations colour plates, photos and maps. Recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An OK summary, 14 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Rome's Northern Frontier AD, 70-235: Beyond Hadrian's Wall (Fortress) (Paperback)
I was hoping for a more detailed book with regards to all of the Roman sites in Scotland hence my low score. It was OK though in what it contained.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars rome,s nortem frontier, 12 Jun 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Rome's Northern Frontier AD, 70-235: Beyond Hadrian's Wall (Fortress) (Paperback)
A wonderful product and all of osprey, magnificent illustrations, though few, easy and entertaining reading.
An excellent work and all to which we are accustomed to the publisher.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Rome's Northern Frontier AD, 70-235: Beyond Hadrian's Wall (Fortress)
£11.59
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews