This volume shares many of the features of the one on Roman legionary fortresses. Both have the same author. They also have the same structure which is hardly surprising since this is imposed throughout the "Fortress" series. It is also has a rather good section on the chronology of the forts, although, given the size limitations of the collection, some may find it is either too much or too little.
The author then presents a brief overview of the types of auxiliary units under the Empire. There were infantry, cavalry or mixed units and normal sized or double sized cohorts. Added to this, the locations where the forts were built would also ensure diversity so that, as the author clearly asserts, no two auxiliary forts were the same.
Another good point raised in this book is to question the assertion that forts somehow have standard sizes which were related to the size of the units that they contained. As shown by the author through examples, there was no fixed and absolute rule. However, one would, of course, expect that a larger double-sized unit would have a larger fort than that of a ordinary cohort, if only because everyone would not fit in otherwise.
The sections on the elements of such forts and living in a Roman fort deal with the various buildings, barracks, headquarters, granaries and supply buildings which could hold reserves for up to one year and so on. Both sections are very similar to those that can be found in the other Osprey title on Legionary fortresses, although this is hardly surprising. The issues were the same and they were addressed in a similar way. The bathing complex, however, was set outside of the fort, partly because of size constraints but also partly to avoid the fire hazard that it implied.
This is a good, solid introduction worth a solid four stars, although we know less about the Roman auxiliary forts than about the legionary fortresses.
on 5 February 2016
A compact study into the accommodation for the less glamorous end of the Roman military.
Campbell has written several Osprey books on fortifications across time, and of those I own I've not been disapointed. This book fills a gap that very much needed filling, and has been a huge help in my research, but if only it were bigger.
Recommended as an additonal recource to M.C. Bishop's Handbook of Roman Legionary Fortresses, and Campbell's own Osprey book on the same subject.