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Caesar's Legions: The Roman Soldier, 753 BC to 117 AD Paperback – 1 Jan 2000

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing; 1st Edition edition (1 Jan. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841760447
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841760445
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 18.4 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,551,156 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Customer Reviews

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Format: Paperback
This is a compilation of three Men-at-Arms books (Early Roman Armies; Republican Armies 200-104BC; Roman Army from Caesar to Trajan). There are different authors with different writing styles, different artists and the books were written between 1982 and 1997. They are bound together with a single index, but otherwise are still three separate entities; even the different printing styles are maintained!
So, you perhaps would expect the volume would be mismatched and awkward. Fortunately the work fits together quite well; the topics do not overlap and cross referencing is not a significant issue (the altar of Domitius Ahenobarbus aside). Nick Sekunda co-authored book 1 and wrote book 2, and I have a great deal of respect for his work; very readable with a decent level of analysis and interpretation (see my review for Osprey Warrior Series Greek Hoplite). The colour plates complement the text well, with the usual good photographs. Book 1 does struggle a little because the actual evidence for the period is limited, and a fair amount of conjecture is used. Personally book 2 is the best here, as the Republican Army is well documented and there is a lot of evidence to go on; and the plates are by Angus McBride.
Moving to book 3, here I struggle to avoid being negative; my expectations from Osprey are very high. Written in 1982, Michael Simkins' writing style seems aimed more at older children than at any serious amateurs, never mind serious academics. I realise knowledge of the Imperial Roman army has moved on greatly in recent years - the work on the Varian disaster at Kalkriese since 1987 has helped significantly here. However, I don't feel that the work is any more than a brief summary of the period and compares badly to books 1 and 2.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You cannot go wrong with this book. Informative and covers a large and definitive area of Roman history. The art is first rate.
This is actually a compilation of 3 Osprey books, so in terms of value for money, you cannot do better than this.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9acf7a14) out of 5 stars 1 review
24 of 32 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9acd8bd0) out of 5 stars You Need This Book! 18 Feb. 2000
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just received a wonderful book on the Roman military. It is called "CAESAR'S LEGIONS: the Roman Soldier from 753 BC to 117 AD". There are loads of photographs and over a dozen color plates! This is written by Nicholas Sekunda, Simon Northwood, and Michael Simkins. There are 143 pages, 110 B&W photos, 37 line drawings, 4 maps and 24 color plates. The book is published by Osprey Books. Michael Simkins is a craftsman and historian who has many of his recreations of Roman armor on display in European museums and re-enactment groups. The book will be a great addition to the historian, reenactor and wargamer's library.
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