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Arms and Armour of the Imperial Roman Soldier: From Marius to Commodus by [Summer, Graham, D'Amato, Raffaele]
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Arms and Armour of the Imperial Roman Soldier: From Marius to Commodus Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 62120 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Frontline Books (17 Sept. 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00L6Z97TI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #560,762 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Hardcover
Anyone who thought that this would be just another routine coffee-table book on the Roman Army is in for a surprise .
Author Raffaele D'Amato argues strongly that the Romans made extensive use of leather body-armour , a view that has been unfashionable for many years . He presents evidence that many of the body-defences shown on Roman monuments and usually assumed to be mail or plate , may well be leather after all .Readers may be surprised by Graham Sumner's colour plates showing Valerius Crispus and Favonius Facilis clad in leather instead of the usual mail , or Caesarian legionaries wearing Hellenistic-style linen armour .
It will be interesting to see how other Roman Army experts react to this book in the years ahead .Controversy aside , this a well produced book , packed with black-and-white and colour photos of archaeological finds and lesser known military monuments .Although it might be heavy reading for a beginner , old hands will find much to
ponder .
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Format: Hardcover
This is a well-researched, generously illustrated, academic work that is written in a clear, easy-to-read, descriptive manner. It is packed with information and detail that is logically and clearly presented, with frequent referencing and cross-referencing.
The book is divided into two parts, covering the late republican (112–30 BC) and early imperial (30 BC–AD 192) eras. Each is preceded by a descriptive timeline and the whole is supported by detailed chapter notes, bibliography and glossary. It is lavishly illustrated throughout; with extra lavish! Images come from three As:
artists impressions: VII full-page, colour plates by Graham Sumner, plus numerous, smaller black and white drawings,
artefacts: hundreds of photos of both general and detailed views); and
ancient monuments: similarly with hundreds of photos from columns, monuments, friezes and buildings, showing both the overall view and close-ups of detail.

These are not mere eye-candy, but are an integral part of the book that are used in every paragraph to describe the arms and armour of the Roman soldier in the late republican and early imperial era.

The images provide evidence for each statement D’Amato makes and for his overall thesis, that modern interpretations of the Roman soldier have simplified and standardised their arms and armour into categories of ‘uniform’. He argues, lucidly and with reference to the available sources from the era, that the opposite was the case. Roman soldiers were armed and clothed from local sources and influences, their equipment (all of which was hand-made) was not standardised and was utilised by many generations of soldiers. He considers that “the ancient literary sources and their description of equipment are highly reliable against modern concepts that try to deny them” (p.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is, without any doubt, the best book I have read on the armour of the Roman soldier since H Russell Robinson's book all those centuries ago! Signore D'Amato has produced a superb work. As I was never convinced by post-1970 claims of endless tens of thousands of Republican and early Imperial legionaries clad in mail this has admittedly backed up beliefs I have held for a long time (supported by Caesar's own 'Civil Wars' - read it!) but D'Amato supports his assertions with painstaking analysis of the evidence. This is a work, which any serious student of the Roman army simply has to read. Magnificently illustrated and persuasively written; don't hesitate - buy it and read it, now! Oh yeah - why not 5 stars after all that; because the author's sections on Roman army organisation are surprisingly out of date. He does not appear to be aware of Dr Kate Gilliver's excellent 'The Roman Art of War' (1999 - also available from Amazon), which questions (as effectively as D'Amato himself) accepted 'facts' about the organisation of the various components of the Roman army (legions, auxiliary cohorts, etc.); make sure you read that too. As usual, great artwork by Graham Sumner and I am looking forward to the next two volumes in D'Amato's planned trilogy.
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Format: Hardcover
Massive reference. Almost every item is fully described in text: weapons, armor, "soft" clothes, insignia, foot, horse, auxiliary and naval troops equipment etc. The only drawback (in my opinion) is that the text is illustrated mostly with frescoes, sculptures (which are hardly "readable" for an average inexperienced student) and original items from museum collections (same badly damaged). There are comparably few "modern reconstruction" drawings - in fact just 7 full page color plates by Graham Sumner (4 of which were already published in another massive book by Sumner - "Roman Military Dress", 1st plate descriptions are confused), the book lacks (again, in my opinion) accurate line drawings of javelins, swords, shields, helmets etc. This makes the present title rather "academic", perhaps not suitable for beginners who should use Osprey series first
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Format: Hardcover
Fantastic book very well illustrated, it contains a lot of illustrations that I have not seen elsewhere, probably my favourite book on the subject. Think the book argues a little too strongly for leather armour from the sculptural evidence, the examples they use I personally think in are a little ropey, it is not to say that I think that I think that leather body armour was not more prevalent in the Roman army than the traditional view
Interestingly the book goes into the evidence for tunic colours from literary and mosaic, and painted examples, it also refers to the possibilities available with Roman fulling (this would be expected see Sumners book on Roman military dress). The volume is a very interesting collaboration between two respected authors. Highly recommended. The book is the middle of 3 planned volumes, on probably the more interesting of the periods for me, the others will deal with early Rome to Marius, and the latter volume on the late Roman empire. Due to the sheer quality of this publication will be getting the other volumes, just wish I knew when when they were getting published
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