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Customer Review

on 5 March 2005
Nick Secunda has an easy writing style that requires no effort to read; the book is entertaining for the casual reader and factual enough for the serious reader. The illustrations back up the text well, and the colour plates are up to the Hook dynastys' usual standard. The text refers continually to actual events and cites many contemporary sources and archaeological discoveries. Nick Secunda has written a high quality academic work, which justifies my belief that Osprey consistently publish quality works of unquestionably good value for money.
The three down sides to the book are that;
1) it is so brief! I feel that Secunda could easily have written another hundred pages without repeating himself and it would allow him to expand on many of the issues he simply did not have the space to fully explore. I sincerely hope Secunda produces a much larger volume based on this work. I know I would buy it!
2) The study only focuses on the traditional use of the hoplite phalanx. I would like to see a follow up work detailing the development of the phalanx from, say, the Peloponnesian War to Cynoscephalae and Rome's conquest of Greece. Could Secunda create another Osprey work on this topic?
3) Having written reviews for several other Osprey books, my standard gripe remains the same. Maps. As the maps Osprey use are generally very small, lack detail and often fail to highlight all the sites and battles mentioned in the text, I feel that they should omit them altogether. Alternatively, increase the cost of the books by a pound or two and add some detailed maps at the back. Better still Osprey, why not publish some historical atlases of your own? Surely there would be a large enough market amongst your readers? Many of the historical atlases on the market are substandard, while better ones are hugely expensive - isn't a compromise possible?
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in ancient warfare.
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