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In the Name of Rome: The Men Who Won the Roman Empire (Phoenix Press) by [Goldsworthy, Adrian]
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In the Name of Rome: The Men Who Won the Roman Empire (Phoenix Press) Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Length: 484 pages Word Wise: Enabled
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Review

Absorbing. The best book I know on the Roman army and its commanders. Allan Massie, Spectator--Allan Massie "Spectator ""

"Absorbing. The best book I know on the Roman army and its commanders."--Allan Massie, Spectator--Allan Massie "Spectator "

Book Description

The complete and definitive history of how Roman generals carved out the greatest and longest-lasting empire the world has ever seen.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1636 KB
  • Print Length: 484 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0753817896
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson; New Ed edition (24 Jun. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003TSDI1I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #90,008 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am 1/3rd way thru' this book - highly readable, packed with relevant info., and if you are a reader who might be shy of history books on "the ancients" because they are "stuffy", this has been penned in a style which is never that. I recommend to all readers (16 years upwards) interested in the Empire which was Rome. How I wish my history teacher had been able to have brought the past to life like Mr Goldsworthy. On that, my mediocre tacher failed terribly, but the fact I am enjoying this book is proof he failed to kill my interest in ancient Rome entirely!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Goldsworthy does it again. His knowledge is as clear as his writing style.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Despite exceeding 400 pages, covering some 800 years of Roman history through a series of 15 chapters (plus the 16th, which is a conclusion on the legacy of these generals), this is barely enough to cover the topic, and another 400 pages could have been easily added. Nevertheless, Adrian Goldsworthy has done a wonderful job here and managed to present a clear, concise and well-researched collection of vignettes summarizing the main achievements of his selection of generals.

A close look at his selection will show, however, that this is a bit biaised towards the generals of the Republic (9) as opposed to the generals of the Empire (only 6 mentioned, and one of these is Belisarius). This is were you need to look carefully at the book's subtitle: it's about "The Men Who Won the Roman Empire", so this may explain why a number of Imperial generals (who were mostly also Emperors) are missing, such as Septimus Severus, Aurelian or Constantine, to name but three. However, the presence of others, such as Corbulo or, even more so, of Julian in Gaul, is more surprising, if only because they did not exactly "win the Roman Empire", or add to it, especially not Julian. Other, less well known defenders of the Empire who did at least as well as Julian, such as Galerius (colleague of Diocletian) or Valentinian (successor of Julian and Jovien), could also have deserved a place. Finally, there is at least one glaring omission in the list of Republican generals: Marius gets a full chapter but Sylla, who was probably the better general of the two, is barely mentioned and does not make it to the A-list. Rather strange...

It is for these omissions and inconsistencies in treatment, which were probably at least in part the result of some difficult choices related to space constraints that this book gets 4 stars, instead of the 5 that it would have otherwise deserved.
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Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book that gives you a complete overview of the Roman Empire detailing the generals who commanded the legions from Scipio Africanus to Caesar. It gives information about specific battles, where they occurred, the landscape, geography and how these charasmatic men won them and why.

Additionally it gives you information about the people they fought such as Hannibal and the campaigns against him. If you are interested in Roman history then you are sure to enjoy this book thats written in a way that helps make learning history easy (its not suffy academic stuff) and goes to the sixth century!

As History Today says its, Here is a highly readable compedium of military experience; Goldsworthy knows his material inside out. It's a great book packed with all kinds of useful information!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A bit dry to be honest.
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Format: Hardcover
In the Name of Rome chronicles the major periods throughout Roman history, from early republic to late empire. Goldsworthy does this in a series of sections, each devoted to a particular period.
The writing itself is detailed, yet it does not bombard the reader with too much information. The text is indeed saturated, but reading it is a pleasure. The diagrams which intersperse the text are informative, and easy to comprehend.
A word or two about the content is also necessary to highlight why In the Name of Rome is such an excellent book in general, and as a resource.
Goldsworthy blends the actual happenings of the campaigns with the political background, giving a wide overall picture of the "climate" at the time.
These are all important traits for any book. In the Name of Rome is special, in my mind, because of its versatility and accessability. It can be read by anyone, for almost any purpose, be it for study of for pleasure.
For those with an interest in this period of history or for those studying the Roman Republic and Empire then I would definitely recommend this title.
I hope this has been of use - cheers, Simmo.
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Format: Paperback
There are so many books about the Roman Empire and the Roman Army that it must be hard to think of a new angle from which to write. Adrian Goldsworthy's answer is to focus on the careers of fifteen of Rome's generals from the second century BC to the middle of the sixth century AD. The subtitle is misleading, because seven of the fifteen were defending Rome or its Empire rather than winning it.

In his preface, Goldsworthy says his concern is with such things as, "what was actually done, why it was done, what it was supposed to achieve, how it was implemented and what were its consequences in fact." (p 11) Of these five points, the first and last are descriptive while the middle three are analytic; so I was expecting to find a good deal of analysis in the book. Goldsworthy does a good job of describing the careers of his chosen generals, summarising their deeds from the accounts of the primary historians from Polybius to Procopius. However the analysis is much weaker. There are comparisons made between the actions of the different generals but there is no overall drawing together into a summary of what made a Roman general successful and why.

There are, too, some surprising omissions. Thus Goldsworthy says of the final confrontation between Hannibal and Scipio Africanus at Zama, "[the] battle was not marked by especially subtle manoeuvring on either side. In the end, the Romans prevailed in the resultant slogging match..." (p 76) Very true; but why did the two greatest generals of the era (arguably of any era) allow the battle to become a slogging match? Both generals had shown themselves to be masters of deploying and manoeuvring an army. Perhaps this question cannot be answered but surely it should be discussed.
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