An Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Uniforms of the Roman World Hardcover – 4 Dec 2012
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About the Author
Kevin F. Kiley, author, is a retired Marine Corps artillery officer, a graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point, and a veteran of the First Gulf War. An enthusiastic uniformologist, he has a masters degree in military history from Norwich University. This is his third title in the Lorenz Books uniform series. Jeremy Black MBE, consultant, is an expert in military history and has a impressive and sustained body of published work.
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Top Customer Reviews
You get the sense that the author sometimes just doesn't know what he's talking about. There are a shocking number of errors in the captions which accompany the artwork, most of them are brief and feel uninformed. The author doesn't make much use of specialist terms, or simply uses the wrong terms. For example he labels a bucket-looking helmet as a pot helmet, and uses the same term to describe an elaborate, ornamental helmet not a few pages later. Another statement which floored me was the claim the Diocletianic reforms abolished segmented armour. Where on earth did the author find this statement??
Figures and helmets are mislabeled in pretty glaring ways. One bronze age-esque helmet is described as a later Germanic helmet (this term doesn't really exist), and several uniforms that clearly belong in the late 1st century are labeled as 4th century. I think late Roman scholarship has progressed to a level of general public awareness that makes this kind of mislabeling unacceptable.
The worst part was two figures that appear toward the end of the book. Both are copied from or at least heavily influenced by Graham Sumner's illustration in Osprey's Roman Naval Forces. One soldier was carrying a short javelin-like object, and the caption read: the arrow-like object is probably not a weapon but a symbol of rank. That's it. No further elaboration as to what its purpose was or where it came from. It's almost like the author was taken by surprise at what the illustrator gave him.Read more ›
The book is obviously designed to appeal to readers for its large amount of illustrations of Roman soldiers. The illustrations themselves are a matter of taste, but they're decently done. Unfortunately, this cannot be said for the research that has, or rather has not not, gone into them. The illustrations are nearly all mere copies of pictures that have appeared in other works. Most have been adopted from the Osprey series (whose plates, let it be said, are not beyond some criticism themselves), but there are also illustrations copied from works like "Roman Cavalry Equipment" (Stephenson), "Byzantine Armies 325-1453 AD" (Belezos/Giannopoulos), and the brilliant two "Greece and Rome at War" (Peter Connolly)and "Warfare in the Ancient World" (John Warry), both still available and exquisitely illustrated if slightly dated.
"An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Uniforms of the Roman World" is riddled with mistakes and inaccuracies. Other reviewers have already remarked upon the rather quaint mistakes which have made their way into the book, e. g.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's very pretty, even if it does regurgitate previous works- however its presentation as a single and very well presented volume means it works well for everyday people and kids. Read morePublished 2 months ago by james faulkner
A good document of the time. Has a timetable for the empire, emperors and etc. Not to detailed but a good book for both historians and apassionate history readers.Published 17 months ago by Nikola Aleksic
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