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on 26 June 2017
A standard work. If this is your interest area, you really should have this book. This is the third time I've bought this title (although not always at this price), so I knew exactly what I was getting. Accessible but detailed and authoritative/scholarly. It's been around a while, but has not been superseded yet.
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on 31 July 2017
Narrative is very good as is the illustrations. Well worth it if you enjoy military history.
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on 17 July 2008
I remember reading Peter Connolly's 'The Roman Army' as a child and being very impressed with it. It was one of the catalysts that sparked my interest in the Classical World, and I eventually got round to buying this book. I've read dozens of titles on Greek and Roman Warfare, but this still stands as one of the best books ever written on the subject.

Peter Connolly covers the development of ancient warfare from the Persian wars of the 5th Century BC to the Collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD.
The book provides a broad historical overview of the entire period with an indepth look at ancient arms, armour and battle tactics.

This title is divided into three sections: Greece and Macedonia, Italy and the Western Mediterranean, and The Roman Empire. Every section covers a certain campaign, for instance we have overviews of the Persian Wars, Alexander's conquests and a very detailed account of the Second Punic War. Every section comes with colour photographs of the modern battlefields, tactical diagrams and strategic maps.

Along side the overviews, Connolly also writes about the equipment, weapons, armour, tactics and logistics of these ancient armies. Most pages also come with Connolly's paintings of archaeological finds. The book's brilliance is to show how Connolly can create his detailed reconstructions of a soldier's appearance through study of pottery art, coins, statues, mosaics; and archaeological items such as swords, helmets and cuirasses etc.

The book is filled with Connolly's reconstructive illustrations. These help give you a good idea about the appearance of soldier such as a Spartan Hoplite, a Roman Centurion or a Thracian Peltast. The very last section of the book is filled with several pages of brilliant paintings of Roman soldier's costumes, from Caesar's day to the end of the Empire.

I was also pleased to see that the other Classical peoples beside the Greeks and Romans are portrayed and illustrated. These include the Etruscans, Samnites, Celts, Persians, Iberians, Numidians and more.

The book finishes with a number of appendices that look at naval warfare, fortifications and sieges, artillery and siege machinery, and Roman military costume.

This is a exceptional book. It's well-written, scholarly but accessible, and well illustrated with 350 colour paintings, 38 maps, colour photographs, diagrams and charts. If you have an interest in Classical Warfare then this book should be right up there on your reading list. An Absolute Must Have!
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on 25 May 1999
This book summarizes almost a millenium of warfare, not only in words but also with a large number of the authors own excellent paintings. The development of all instruments of war ranging from arrows to battleships, military organisation, tactics of battle, fortifications and siege techniques (not only of the two empires themselves but also of their adversaries) is covered. The battles covered by the book are illustrated with photographs of topographic models of the battlefield as well as photographs from the actual site as it looks today. This book sets standards for what books on history should be like. Strongly recommended.
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on 4 June 2000
Peter Connolly has managed to do a fairly difficult job in a very conscise way. No doubt the extensive use of the author's own paintings contribute significantly to the overall feel of the book. Connolly has also managed to put Greek and Roman warfare firmly in the context of the actual social history of these two great peoples so not only does the reader get to know how the Roman's waged war but also gets a 'potted history' of Rome into the bargain along with excellent original artwork - what more could you want?
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I have enjoyed Peter Connolly work, since my childhood. Mr Connolly sadly passed away in May 2012, he was a well-known British scholar of the ancient world, Greek and Roman military equipment historian, and he was also an archaeologist and illustrator. This book is both sumptuous, in its beautiful illustrations, detailed in its narration and well researched to boot, while times have moved on and we know `more' about these subjects, his books and this one on `Greece and Rome at War' gives a fantastic introduction to the subject. I believe his pictorials are good enough for modellers as well as those interested in the ancient military history. Well worth a full five stars.
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on 27 February 2017
Just to be clear - it's not a history of ancient wars between Greece and Rome. It is though, a military history of the rise, development, tactics, equipment, and campaigns, of the Greeks and Romans individually. The book is heavily slanted toward the Romans with probably two thirds of the book dealing their rise and development. The Punic wars for example being heavily focused on - as is land warfare as a whole.

What sets this book apart is that it is superbly illustrated by the authors own artwork/drawings throughout. The text is certainly not lacking. but it's the drawings, diagrams, maps, and large format, that make it the perfect book for 'geeking-out' on many relaxing Sundays. There are many detailed drawings of battle-formations and weapons and equipment. There is a lot more detail on the equipment here than you would typically find in a military history. The authors ability to show examples of this material lends itself to that type of discussion and makes it possible. There are so many things in here to help visualise what is only discussed in other works. I also like that there are modern photos of many of the ancient battlefields discussed.

I have came across more than a few large illustrated ancient warfare books (usually in bargain book stores) that were just thrown together by an editor. They usually have no real quality or depth in terms of the written content. This brilliant piece of work is at the other end of the scale from those books. Anyone interested in ancient warfare is not going to be disappointed in this one.

The scope of the book is:

Greece and Macedonia 800-360 BC
Macedonia 360-140 BC
Italy and the Western Mediterranean 800-140 BC
The Roman Empire 140BC-450 AD

The version of the book I have was published by Greenhill Books in 1998. I have noticed that some reviews at Amazon.com have stated that the newest reissue version - published by Frontline Books - has inferior resolution of the illustrations. I would recommend getting this particular book in this large 'Greenhil Books' hardback version instead.
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on 21 August 2010
This was a fine book when it first appeared in 1981 , and it still is today, but to call it a "new edition" is stretching things a bit . A few small illustrations have been added , and a few pages and paragraphs have been altered in a clumsy way , like a cut-and-paste job .If you already have the first edition , then you should consider whether you want to buy the same book over again for a few minor updates .
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on 26 July 2011
There are a number of excellent reviews of this book already in place, particularly the one by D. Evans, so I won't go into great detail about this book's content. Suffice it to say that like others, I read this book as a child, and have rediscovered it with joy as an adult. The author's fine paintings and illustrations make it a stand out book, and the in-depth text is also rich in detail.

For those who want to know more about warfare in ancient Greece and Rome, this book is an absolute MUST. Enough said.

Ben Kane, author of Hannibal: Enemy of Rome.
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on 17 March 2013
This is both a brilliant book and a infuriating one. The bad is that some of the descriptions and articles and are far too brief and undetailed, mostly on the subject of weaponary. Perhaps the worst example of this is Roman Auxiliary Cavarly, where the author fails to mention what they used in battle beyond vaguely mentioning their swords and the javelin quivers mentioned in realtion to Vespasian's eastern cavalry and showing them with spears in pictures. On the other hand the vast good is the staggering degree of obstruse detail the author goes into in other areas. Invaluable information, available nowhere else, such as how Hoplite armies organised themselves, cavarly saddles and the houses for warships in ancient harbours. Also, the illustrations are fabulous both on an artistic and an instructive level.
In short, this book is excellent and valuable to the enthusiast because it covers ground not covered by other books. However, it probably needs to be supplimented by other books which cover the more basic ground fully, such as Warfare in Ancient Greece. In fact, I think combine these two marvellous books and one has all one needs on Ancient Greek warfare, each making up for the other's shortcomings.
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