There are a dozen books on the ancient Roman military aimed at the layman. This is one of the finest. Erudite and lucid text; stunning illustrations, photographs and colour plates, and intelligently edited.
This book gives you the entire overview of Roman military history, from the founding of the city, to the fall of the Western Empire. Each section has a chapter centering on the Romans, as well as a few others that look solely on their enemies. For instance, in part one (the Early Republic), we have chapters on the Etruscans, Carthaginians and Hellenistic Empires. In part two (the Late Republic), their are chapters on Numantines, Gauls and Germans etc. These help show you the developments of Roman equipment, tactics and strategy, as well as the developments of their enemies.
Each section is filled with photographs, maps and paintings, but most stunning of all are illustrations from various artists, ranging from Angus McBride to Richard Hook and a dozen others. These illustrations help demonstrate the changes in costume and weaponry of the Romans, from the Bronze Age Warbands of Romulus's day to the medievalesque appearance of the late Roman legionary. It also contains reconstructive paintings of Rome's enemies. If you've ever wondered what a Thracian Chieftain looked like, or a Parthian horse-archer or even an Iberian cavalryman, then this book will show you. Each reconstruction is based on historical and archaeological evidence.
If you've just begun studying Rome's military, then this book would make a good choice. It's well written, packed with good pictures, short biographical sections, good maps (the tactical maps are not up to scratch though), chronological timelines and a dozen other things.
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