The Roman Army was originally made up of citizens who volunteered in time of war. By Caesar’s time, in the 40’s B.C., most soldiers had become paid professionals in a professional permanent army. Their training and discipline made the Roman Army one of the greatest military forces of all times. At the time of Augustus, about 20 B.C., some 350,000 men served in the army. The main division, a legion, (the basic military unit of the ancient Roman army in the period of the late Roman Republic and the Roman Empire), included about 6,000 infantry and 120 cavalry. Smaller groups included the cohort (the basic tactical unit of a Roman Legion), the maniple, (a tactical unit of the Roman Legion adopted from the Samnites (the warlike tribes inhabiting the mountainous center of the southern half of Italy) during the Samnite Wars (343–290 BC), and the century, (the smallest unit within the Roman Legion). Legionaries were Roman citizens who enlisted for 20 years. Attached to every legion was an auxiliary, a force of the same size made up of non-citizens drafted for 25-year terms. Auxiliaries also included cavalry regiments called alae, a military formation composed of conscripts from the socii, Rome's Italian military allies. The Roman Army formed not only a conquering force, but a civilizing one as well. Their military camps served as centers of Roman influence in faraway places. When soldiers were not fighting or patrolling the frontiers, they built roads, bridges, and walls, of which samples still exist to this day
Osprey Publications Ltd has released The Roman Army – The Greatest War Machine Of The Ancient World. It is a paperback edition with 280 pages. Included with the text are black and white and color illustrations, black and white and color photographs and detailed captions. It has a 2010 copyright with the first paperback edition published in 2012 and the ISBN is 978-1-84908-813-8. As the title states, the book examines and discusses the Roman Army.
- The Early Republican Army, 753-146 BC
- The Army Of The Late Republic, 146-27 BC
- The Earlier Roman Empire, 27 BC-c. AD 200
- The Later Roman Empire, AD 200-6TH Century
- Further Reading
The text in the book is well written and extremely detailed. As I read through the text I didn’t notice any spelling or grammar errors. Grammar and spelling might not be an important factor to everyone however it is something that I take notice of and pass on my findings. This is a well written history that will be of great use and interest to the well-seasoned and knowledgeable Roman Army historian or the individual that is new to this world famous army and wants to learn about its history. Anyone wanting to add an excellent reference and history book on the Roman Army to their personal library will be pleased with this book.
There are a total of 18 black and white illustrations, 54 color illustrations, 1 black and white map and 20 color maps featured in this volume. The illustrations contained in this book will prove to be a valuable asset to the military historian as well as the scale figure modeler. The main contributing artists to this volume are:
- Angus McBride
- Richard Hook
- Adam Hook
- Brian Delf
- Gerry Embleton
- Graham Sumner
- Christa Hook
There are a total of 48 black and white and 13color photographs featured in this volume. The majority of the photographs are nice, clear, centered and focused images. I haven’t seen a majority of the featured photographs before and I was pleased with this. I definitely consider that a bonus as it is nice to have a reference book that contains several lesser known photographs as opposed to the same old over used photographs that many books tend to contain. The photographs contained in this book will prove to be a valuable asset to the military historian as well as the scale figure modeler. More photographs of actual Roman military equipment and weapons that are in museums or personal collections would have been nice and a welcome addition to this excellent volume.
The captions are well written and are very detailed and explain the accompanying photographs and illustrations well. They go into detail discussing things such as the action taking place, specific individuals, specific locations and dates, etc. As I read through the captions I didn’t notice any spelling or grammar errors. Grammar and spelling might not be an important factor to everyone however it is something that I take notice of and pass on my findings.
All in all I am very impressed with the book. This is a very nice reference book that contains a very well written and detailed text, many interesting illustrations and photographs and well detailed captions. It details the Roman Army of the ancient world very well. I would have no hesitation to add other Osprey titles to my personal library nor would I hesitate to recommend this book to others as it will be a welcome addition to one’s personal military reference library. This book was provided to me by Osprey Publishing Ltd. Please be sure to mention that you saw the book reviewed here when you make your purchase.
Take a look at the book at the Osprey Web Site:http://www.ospreypublishing.com/store/The-Roman-Army_9781849088138
Take a look at the book at the Amazon web site:http://www.amazon.com/The-Roman-Army-Greatest-Military/dp/1849088136/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1341189412&sr=1-1&keywords=osprey publishing The Roman Army