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You'd almost be forgiven for thinking that the Roman navy ceased to exist after 31BC. Octavian gains command of the Mediterranean after Actium, and the fleet seems to disappear from history, at least as most books are concerned. This is the point at which Raffaele D'Amato begins, covering the next five centuries.

The book addresses all the usual kind areas to be found in an Osprey - the fleets themselves; organisation & crews, ranks, recruitment and service; clothing, armour and weapons; the ships themselves; and seaborne warfare. A few surprises are thrown up to combat our misconceptions and suppositions. For example, it is commonly believed, on the basis of one single literary reference, that all naval personnel wore blue clothing as a camouflage, but archaeological analysis suggests that red was in use too. Graham Sumner's accompanying colour plates are of the usual high standard.

Readers interested in the Roman navy may also wish to take a look at the more thorough Roman Britain and the Roman Navy.
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on 11 April 2011
Like most Osprey titles this is an excellent 'little' book. It gives a brief history of the Roman Navy and where it originated and why. With stunning colourful pictures of the men involved and their vivid uniforms its a great edition for anyone's library who has an interest in the Roman Empire.

If you buy it from Amazon you'll get it a lot cheaper than from the likes of Waterstones. Highly recommended, the only reason I haven't given it five stars is because like most Osprey titles its as slim as slim and you can read it from cover to cover in no time!
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on 18 September 2010
A very understudied part of the roman military structure, and with this book. hopefully more will come to light on roman naval forces. Personally was confused as to what kit marines would have worn,but discussion with fellow re-enactors seems that it may well have been that worn by shore based military units, possibly with the use of more copper alloy kit over iron due to the salty sea air rusting properties.
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on 24 December 2012
I often wondered how the Romans became the Masters of the Seas.It was through the invention of a simple piece of Apparatus(The Corvus) they achieved this.This Book has excellent Illustrations by Grahame Sumner and Raffaele DAmato shows his Mastery on this Subject.I will be adding more of this Author to my Collection.
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on 9 August 2011
I write historical fiction and books like this are invaluable. Well done to Osprey (again)and well done to the writer and illustrator.
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on 11 January 2016
You sometimes forget, that for a Roman Legion to get from place to place, they needed ships. A great little read for those with an equiring mind.
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on 4 April 2016
A bit heavy reading
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