6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Who wants to be a Legionnaire!!,
This review is from: Mark Antony's Heroes: How the Third Gallica Legion Saved an Apostle and Created an Emperor (Paperback)
The Third Gallica Legion was both revered and reviled throughout the Roman Empire and beyond. Originally raised in Gaul by Caesar in 49 BC this most feared of the legions was taken east by Mark Anthony during the second triumvirate. While Mark Anthony's campaign floundered to disaster the Third Gallica fought with distinction and the ranks were swelled with Syrian recruits. Worshipping the sun god Baal only added to their already ferocious reputation. After their general's suicide the Third Gallica swore alleigance to Octavian. After suffering heavily at the hands of the Jews the legion's surviving cohorts were transferred to Moesia where they slaughtered 9000 Sarmatian cavalrymen which culminated in them being awarded the Triumphal Decoration. They then swore for Vespasian and found themselves at the forefront of the fighting at Bedriacum and Cremona and ended with the looting of Rome and Capua. Much is made of the saving of the Christian apostle Paul in this book but ultimately even the Third Gallica couldn't save him from fate. Maybe meddling with Nero's sex life was not such a good idea!!
I enjoyed this book. Even though it reads like a novel and has some larger than life characters the accuracy of historical fact and threading together of a good story can sometimes prove difficult. For me Dando-Collins succeeds in this attempt. I am aware that this author has indeed many detractors and no doubt the pedants will gleefully scrutinise every historical fact written, questioning everything right down to the minutiae of who picked his nose and with what finger!! To them I say "How's your book coming along?"
If you have an interest in all things Roman then this book will certainly hold your attention.