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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A GOOD REFERENCE WORK, 2 April 2014
Archeology constantly challenges our perceptions whether by new discoveries or new interpretations. This Osprey edition presents the history of the dress, arms and duties of those mainstays of Roman military power, the Centurions of the legions. Tracing their presence from the earliest history of the city and its Etruscan roots, and tracing the development of these soldiers to the end of the republic we learn how they were arrayed through the legions. Varying grades and varying duties are all documented, from the headquarters to the first rank of the deployed legion to detached duty on dangerous missions.

The author pays particular attention to ancient texts and monuments and thus we are able to know many centurions by name and service. In fact, Titus Pullo and Lucius Vorenus, two characters in a recent television series are based on real soldiers who were mentioned by Caesar in De Bello Gallico (p. 33). In addition to organizational details and derring do, arms, armor, decorations are all covered. The artist, Giuseppe Rava, skillfully brings color to data collected from written records and monuments and shows the centurions in action and performing civic duties. His rendition of a centurion leading the captured King of Numidia in the triumph of Marius (104 B.C.) is very evocative (Plate E).
For the general reader or as a reference while reading the classics, Roman Centurions is highly recommended.
The perfect companion to this fine work is THE ROMA VICTRIX wine beakerCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good introduction to the subject, 6 Sep 2011
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No More Mr. Mice Guy (London, England) - See all my reviews
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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: Introduction
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
.Weapons
P34: Defensive Equipment
.Helmets; shields; body and leg armour
P37: Clothing and distinctions
.Clothing; the Centurion’s vine-staff; military decorations
P41: Bibliography
P43: Plate Commentaries
P48: Index

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 BC
Roman 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' Histories
New Perspectives on Ancient Warfare (History of Warfare (Brill))
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars roman centurions, 12 Jun 2012
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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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 22 Sep 2014
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