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Republican Roman Army 200-104 BC (Men-at-Arms) Paperback – Illustrated, 15 Apr 1996

4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing; UNKNOWN edition (15 April 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1855325985
  • ISBN-13: 978-1855325982
  • Product Dimensions: 18.4 x 0.3 x 24.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 631,802 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Nicholas Sekunda was born in 1953. After studying Ancient History and Archaeology at Manchester University, he went on to take his Ph.D. in 1981. He has taken part in archaeological excavations in Poland, Iran and Greece, participated in a research project on ancient Persian warfare for the British institute of Persian Studies. He has published numerous books and academic articles, and is currently teaching at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology in Torun, Poland. Angus McBride is one of the world's most respected historical illustrators, and has contributed to more than 70 Osprey titles in the past three decades. Born in 1931 of Highland parents but orphaned as a child, he was educated at Canterbury Cathedral Choir School. He worked in advertising agencies from 1947, and after national service, emigrated to South Africa. He now lives and works in Cape Town.


Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By JPS TOP 500 REVIEWER on 27 Nov. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This Osprey title is useful up to a point. However, it has two main flaws. It has not been updated and it contains some rather strange and unsubstantiated statements.

The book was first published in 1996. It has been reprinted numerous times since then, but never updated. Consequently, all of the references on which the author has drawn to pull this title together are over twenty years old, with the most recent published in 1993. This is clearly a pity. It essentially means that any reader wanting to go further will be unable to access the most recent literature on the subject.

The second flaw is perhaps more serious and has been already noted by several other reviewers when they state that the author is “biased”. I do not know it this was the case, at the time Nicholas Sekunda wrote this book. What I do know, however, is that this book contains some blunt statements that are not backed by any historical evidence and even contradicted by whatever evidence there may be. The section where this appears the most clearly is the last one about “the Roman legion in battle”.

Other reviewers have noted the strangeness of the statement according to which “brutality and massacre were hallmarks of Roman methods of warfare.” They were NOT. This is not to imply that the Romans were all sweetness and light, of course, but simply that all powers could be – and at times were – just as bad, brutal and ruthless, and obliterated the cities they stormed after having slaughtered their inhabitants and sold the survivors into slavery. The point here is that such behaviour was not in any way specific to Rome. To mention just a few examples, Alexander did it to Thebes, Tyr, Gaza and to numerous cities during his Indian campaign.
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By A Customer on 10 April 2002
Format: Paperback
Like almost all osprey books, this one is extraordinary; the archeological evidence is solid enough, the angus mcbride plates, altough not the best, are quite good and informative.
But after this favorable review why didn't I gave a 5 stars? Because Mr. Secunda is partial...He portrays the Romans like the "bad guys", he doesn't lie about what the romans did, but he forgets to mention that their foes were as vicious (sometimes worst) as the romans were.
All in all is a good book and I recommend it...
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By Squirr-El HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on 24 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
This is an ‘old-fashioned’ Osprey – large text, excellent colour plates showing a wide variety of activities and equipment, but managing to show you the important stuff for painting toy soldiers – concentrating on the army but not its enemies.

The Contents are –
P03: Introduction
P04: Infantry Equipment
.The Roman shield; helmets; The cuirass; Greaves; The pilum; The Spanish sword (gladius).
P11: Organization of the Legions
.The levy; The legion; The cohort; The maniple; The century; The principales.
P18: tactics
.The velites; The hastate; The antesignani; The principes; The triarii.
P36: Other Arms
.Cavalry; Allied contingents.
P40: The Roman Legion in Battle
P42: Bibliography
P44: The Plates
P48: Index

The colour plates (pp25-32)
A: Roman Legionaries, Spain, Second Punic War, 218-201 BC. Hastatus, Triarius, Veles, standing ‘at attention’, facing us, all wearing white tunics and with white shields, though with a ‘wolf’s head’ painted on the shield boss – which actually looks like Felix the Cat to me. The velite (‘veles’) has a fur cover to his helmet, which looks like an animal’s head, but not a full wolfskin hanging down his back, as is often portrayed. The hastatus has a bronze pectoral plate for chest armour, while the triarius has a mail shirt in the Celtic style.
B: Cavalry, Thessaly, Second Macedonian War, 200-197 BC. This shows wo cavalrymen and one ‘veles’ (wearing a badger on his head). Everyone in white tunics, one cavalryman appears to be armoured, each has a different shield type and helmet.
C: Roman Infantry, the Battle of Pydna, 168 BC.
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