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Customer Review

on 17 August 2009
A populist history of the military successes and failures of the Empire in less than 200 pages charting the evolution and development of battle tactics. Populist on this occasion is a positive rather pejorative term as this book relies heavily on illustration and less on literary sources to outline its theme. Topographical maps and military plans show the key victories and defeats, distilling a great deal of information into snapshots of the Empire's history with a bibliography at the end of each chapter for the reader to follow up at their leisure.
He outlines the development of the army showing the shifts in its emphasis, from infantry to cavalry, garrison and siege-craft and highlights the central area of weakness as the absence (in the Byzantine rather than the Roman army) of an NCO class which could have obviated the worst excesses and faults of bad generalship.
A good book as many others covering Byzantine history singularly lack the useful adjunct of good mapping as part of the illustrative process
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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4.3 out of 5 stars