Early Roman Warrior 753-321 BC Paperback – 20 Jul 2011
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I wholeheartedly recommend this title as indispensable to all Ancient wargamers --Miniature Wargames
An examination of the earliest Roman warriors and their military development.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
To be fair, this Osprey Warrior title was not an easy one to come up with. As others have mentioned, the scope (over four centuries) could in itself be an issue, especially when this has to be summarised in the usual sixty four pages format.
There is worse, however: all the sources are debatable, when they are not lacking. The written sources, Livy in particular, but also Polybius to some extent, are questionable and have been questioned. This was largely because they wrote centuries after the time and events that they described. It is also because what they contain is in part drawn from older lost sources, which we do not know and whose worth we cannot assess. This is, to quote T.J. Cornell, the issue about “the sources of the sources”.
A second and related set of issues is that archaeology and its findings may help, but only up to a point, and it can also contribute in some cases to further “muddying the waters”. A case in point is the discussions about Early Roman shields, where the Scutum is assumed to be derived from a Gallic prototype, which is very plausible. However, the shape, dimensions and construction of early Scutum shields are assumed to be similar to the unique exemplar preserved and found in Egypt and which dates, at best, from the second century BC.Read more ›
The Contents are:
P07: Chronology of major events
P09: Italy before Rome
.Villanovans; Etruscans; Latins; Sabines; Oscans; Greeks
P18: Early Roman Warfare
.Clan warfare; City-state warfare
.Clan gathering; Citizen muster
P33: Equipment and Appearance
.Spear; Sword; Shield; Citizen phalanx
P44: Belief and Belonging
.Gods of crops and war; Group identity
P49: On Campaign
.Raid and ambuscade; Pitched battle
P62: Glossary; Bibliography
The author describes the evolution of the Roman warrior from a brigand and cattle-raider, to a member of a tribal war-band (still interested in brigandage and cattle raiding) to membership of a citizen-phalanx, examining cultural influences from the neighbouring tribes, and the evolution of weaponry and armour, as well as the evolution of the cultural / civic milieu in which the warrior existed. The next stage of Roman military evolution / development would be the conversion of the warrior to soldier (a major cultural change).
The colour plates are:
A: Clan chieftain – “They were resplendent in shining helmets, pectorals and greaves, which were fashioned from beaten bronze often beautified with embossing”. As well as showing a clan chieftain in full panoply, there are detailed illustrations of his armour, plus a range of swords and helmets.Read more ›
Fair enough, but equally true of any field of conflict.
The photographs of archeological finds are well chosen though, and the illustrations are fine, though not yet outstanding. My personal preference is for less crowded battle scenes, a few more individual poses.
All in all a book which focuses more than I like on broad history, and less on the "Early Roman Warrior 753-321 BC".
An excellent work and all to which we are accustomed to the publisher.