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Riding for Caesar: The Roman Emperors' Horse Guard Hardcover – 6 Sep 1994

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 6 Sep 1994
£21.46
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (6 Sept. 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674768973
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674768970
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 16.4 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,190,048 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Speidel's exhaustive knowledge of the Roman army emerges on every page...Well researched, rich in new ideas, and attractively produced. -- Everett L. Wheeler "American Historical Review"

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Format: Hardcover
Spiedel draws on a variety of source materials to give us a view of the role of gaurd cavalry in the overall Roman military system. What this reader sees as being of greatest value in the book, are the generally reasonable conclusions Spiedel offers concerning the evolving ethnic makeup of the gaurd cavalry units at certain times in the history of their existence, and the consequent ability of those units to function as a part of the Roman army. This aspect of Spiedel's work is particularly important in light of the fact that any history of Roman gaurd units must have something to say about the political context within which they originated and operated. A good and reasonable series of conclusions given the relative dearth of primary written materials.
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Format: Paperback
The author express his praise for the work done by the imperial horse guards, as if they were very effective in their work, but the reality is very different. A very large number of rome emperors were killed by the praetorian guard or the army, and in none of these cases the Germani Corpores Custodi or later the Equites Singulares Augusti could prevent the killings. So their work were not very good
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 6 reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A good work, but is totally exaggerated the usefulness of this riders 20 Jan. 2010
By Fco Javier Morales Segura - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author express his praise for the work done by the imperial horse guards, as if they were very effective in their work, but the reality is very different. A very large number of rome emperors were killed by the praetorian guard or the army, and in none of these cases the Germani Corpores Custodi or later the Equites Singulares Augusti could prevent the killings. So their work were not very good.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Source 4 April 2014
By M. D. Strong - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Highly recommended. A view into Roman history I was only half aware of. Written well and for the neophyte. Just a great source.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Emporers Rough Riders 27 Dec. 2001
By Laurence Orr - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Prof. Speidel writes of the little known Germani Corporis Custodes, AKA the German (Batavi) imperial body guard horsemen; first hired by the Julio-Claudian Emporers. The Batavians one may recall were well known to Julius Caesar who first wrote of them in his book The Conquest of Gaul. The Batavi were sought after not only because they were foreigners but because they were the best riders in Europe at the time. The Horse Guard, later known as the Equites Sigularis Augusti (expanded), became the symbol of tyranical imperial rule and perhaps an appendage to the Pratorians or even protection from them. Speidel specificaly covers the "roughshod" riders of the 1st 2nd, and 3rd centuries in great detail with just enough historical overlay as is needed, and does not over fill his pages with exponet historical facts. The book continuously retains its focus topic and is a good read for the historical novice and perfect for the historicaly serious. The book contains descriptions of gallant exploits in combat as well as the humdrum daily drudgery of garrison duty.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book centers on the role of guard cavalry in the Roman army 3 Jun. 1998
By jolive@earthlink.net - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Spiedel draws on a variety of source materials to give us a view of the role of gaurd cavalry in the overall Roman military system. What this reader sees as being of greatest value in the book, are the generally reasonable conclusions Spiedel offers concerning the evolving ethnic makeup of the gaurd cavalry units at certain times in the history of their existence, and the consequent ability of those units to function as a part of the Roman army. This aspect of Spiedel's work is particularly important in light of the fact that any history of Roman gaurd units must have something to say about the political context within which they originated and operated. A good and reasonable series of conclusions given the relative dearth of primary written materials.
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended for cavalry or ancient history enthusiasts. 14 May 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
By focusing in on one particular unit of the Imperial Roman Army, Spiedel perhaps inadvertantly points up how many historians of ancient military institutions squeeze a maximum of explanation from a minimum of sources. The author uses words such as "seems", "assume", "must have" and "probably" rather frequently. He is aware of the limitations of too much interpretation, though he seems too uncritical of most of his sources (he doesn't care for Dio Cassius though.) Nonetheless, a solid attempt at understanding one element of the Roman military system. For cavalry buffs, read this with Hyland's work on training the Roman cavalry.
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