The twilight of the Roman Empire saw a revolution in the way war was waged. The drilled infantryman, who had been the mainstay of Mediterranean armies since the days of the Greek hoplite, was gradually replaced by the mounted warrior. This change did not take place overnight, and in the 3rd and 4th centuries the role of the cavalryman was primarily to support the infantry. However, by the time of the 6th century, the situation had been completely reversed. Late Roman Cavalryman gives a full account of the changing experience of the mounted soldiers who defended Rome's withering western empire.
Between the 3rd and 6th centuries AD the traditional legions of heavy infantry were whittled away and eventually replaced by a force of various arms and nationalities dominated by cavalry and supported by missile troops. However, in spite of this trend towards cavalry, the pedes remained the backbone of the Roman army until well into the 5th century. This book details a warrior who was very different from the legionary who preceded him; perhaps he was not as well disciplined, but in many ways he was more flexible – ready for deployment to trouble spots, and for fighting both as a skirmisher and a heavy infantryman.
This guide to the Late Roman Army focusses on the dramatic and crucial period that started with the accession of Diocletian and ended with the definitive fall of the Western Roman Empire. This was a turbulent period during which the Roman state and its armed forces changed.Gabriele Esposito challenges many stereotypes and misconceptions regarding the Late Roman Army; for example, he argues that the Roman military machine remained a reliable and efficient one until the very last decades of the Western Empire. The author describes the organization, structure, equipment, weapons, combat history and tactics of Late Roman military forces. The comitatenses (field armies), limitanei (frontier units), foederati (allied soldiers), bucellarii (mercenaries), scholae palatinae (mounted bodyguards), protectores (personal guards) and many other kinds of troops are covered.The book is lavishly illustrated in color, including the shield devices from the Notitia Dignitatum. The origins and causes for the final military fall of the Empire are discussed in detail, as well as the influence of the barbarian peoples on the Roman Army.
Ravaged by civil war and pressure from the Huns to the east, in late summer AD 376 the Gothic tribe of the Theruingi – up to 200,000 people under their leader Fritigern – gathered on the northern bank of the River Danube and asked the Eastern Roman emperor, Valens, for asylum within the empire. After agreeing to convert to Arian Christianity and enrol in the Roman Army, the Goths were allowed to cross the Danube and settle in the province of Thrace. Far more people crossed the Danube than the Romans expected, however, and with winter approaching, the local Roman commander, Lupicinus, lacked the resources to feed the newcomers and did not possess sufficient troops to control them. Treated poorly and running out of food, the Goths very quickly lost faith in the Roman promises. Meanwhile, other Gothic tribes also sought permission to cross the Danube. The Greuthungi were refused permission, but soon learned that local Roman garrisons had been depleted to supervise the march of the Theruingi to the town of Marcianopolis, close to the eastern shore of the Black Sea. Taking advantage of this, the Greuthungi also entered Roman territory. Camping outside Marcianopolis, Lupicinus denied the Goths access to the town's food stores, provoking the Theruingi to begin skirmishing with the Roman troops. Fritigern convinced Lupicinus to let the Gothic leaders go and calm their people, but they did nothing to quell the warlike temper of his warriors. Lupicinus summoned troops to him, but in late 376 these Roman forces were defeated – the first of several defeats for the Romans that would culminate in the fateful battle of Adrianople in August 378, at which Roman forces led by the emperor himself confronted the Gothic host. The aftermath and repercussions of Adrianople have been much debated, but historians agree that it marks a decisive moment in the history of the Roman world. This fully illustrated book investigates the fighting men of both sides who clashed at the battles of Marcianopolis, Ad Salices and Adrianople, as the fate of the Western Roman Empire hung in the balance.
Gabriele Esposito presents an overview of the military history of the Germanic peoples of this period and describes in detail the weapons and tactics they employed on the battlefield. He starts by showing how, from very early on, the Germanic communities were heavily influenced by Celtic culture. He then moves on to describe the major military events, starting with the first major encounter between the Germanic tribes and the Romans: the invasion by the Cimbri and Teutones. Julius Caesar's campaigns against German groups seeking to enter Gaul are described in detail as is the pivotal Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, which effectively halted Roman expansion into Germany and for centuries fixed the Rhine as the border between the Roman and Germanic civilizations. Escalating pressure of Germanic raids and invasions was a major factor in the collapse of the Western Roman Empire. The author's analysis explains how Germanic warriors were able to crush the Roman military forces on several occasions, gradually transformed the Roman Army itself from the inside and, after the fall of the Empire, created new Romano-Germanic Kingdoms across Europe. The evolution of Germanic weapons, equipment and tactics is examined and brought to life through dozens of color photos of replica equipment in use.
From the Latin warriors on the Palatine Hill in the age of Romulus, to the last defenders of Constantinople in 1453 AD, the weaponry of the Roman Army was constantly evolving. Through glory and defeat, the Roman warrior adapted to the changing face of warfare. Due to the immense size of the Roman Empire, which reached fromthe British Isles to the Arabian Gulf, the equipment of the Roman soldier varied greatly from region to region.Through the use of materials such as leather, linen and felt, the army was able to adjust its equipment to these varied climates. Arms and Armour of the Imperial Roman Soldier sheds new light on the many different types of armour used by the Roman soldier, and combines written and artistic sources with the analysis of old and new archaeological finds. With a huge wealth of plates and illustrations, which include ancient paintings, mosaics, sculptures and coin depictions, this book gives the reader an unparalleled visual record of this fascinating period of military history.This book, the first of three volumes, examines the period from Marius to Commodus. Volume II covers the period from Commodus to Justinian, and Volume III will look at the period from Romulus to Marius.
Civil war in the Western Roman Empire between AD 350–53 had left the frontiers weakly defended, and the major German confederations along the Rhine – the Franks and Alemanni – took advantage of the situation to cross the river, destroy the Roman fortifications along it and occupy parts of Roman Gaul. In 355, the Emperor Constantius appointed his 23-year-old cousin Julian as his Caesar in the provinces of Gaul with command of all troops in the region. Having recaptured the city of Cologne, Julian planned to trap the Alemanni in a pincer movement, but when the larger half of his army was forced into retreat, he was left facing a much larger German force outside the walls of the city of Strasbourg. This new study relates the events of this epic battle as the experience and training of the Roman forces prevailed in the face of overwhelming German numbers.
The Dark Age of Britain, from the middle of the 4th century to the end of the 8th, was a time of violence and warfare, when charismatic warlords such as the fabled King Arthur could gather together armies and carve out their own kingdoms. With this new set of wargames rules, players can take on the role of these warlords and command their own armies on the tabletop. Written by the author of the popular Glutter of Ravens rules set, Dux Bellorum is an element-based system, where each base of figures represents 50 fighting men. Each player has a specific number of points with which to construct his force and can choose a Late Roman, Romano-British, Welsh, Saxon, Pictish, Irish, or Sea Raider army, amongst others. The game is then played out following a set of simple, fast-paced rules. A completely self-contained gaming system, Dux Bellorum is perfect for gamers who are looking for a way into fighting Dark Age battles without investing a lot of time or money in larger rulesets.
From the time of the Bronze Age, the warriors of all tribes and nations sought to emblazon their arms and armour with items and images to impress upon the enemy the wealth and power of the wearer. Magnificently decorated shields were as much a defensive necessity as a symbol of social status. Equally, decorative symbols on shields and armour defined the collective ideals and the self-conceived important of the village or city-state its warriors represented.Such items were therefore of great significance to the wearers, and the authors of this astounding detailed and extensively research book, have brought together years of research and the latest archaeological discoveries, to produce a work of undeniable importance.Shining Under the Eagles is richly decorated throughout, and as well as battlefield armour, details the tournament and parade armour from Rome's the earliest days.Dr Andrey Negin is candidate of historical sciences (Russian PhD), member of the department of history of the Ancient World and Classical Languages of Nizhny Novgorod State University named after N.I. Lobachevsky (Russian Federation). He has carried out fieldwork on ancient Roman armour and has published books and numerous articles on Roman military equipment.Dr Raffaele D'Amato is an experienced Turin-based researcher of the ancient and medieval military worlds. After achieving his first PhD in Romano-Byzantine Law, and having collaborated with the University of Athens, he gained a second doctorate in Roman military archaeology. He spent the last year in Turkey as visiting professor at the Fatih University of Istanbul, teaching there and working on a project about the army of Byzantium. He currently work as part-time researcher at the Laboratory of the Danubian Provinces at the University of Ferrara, under Professor Livio Zerbini.
Did King Arthur really exist? The Reign of Arthur takes a fresh look at the early sources describing Arthur's career and compares them to the reality of Britain in the fifth and sixth centuries. It presents, for the first time, both the most up to date scholarship and a convincing case for the existence of a real sixth-century British general called Arthur. Where others speculate wildly or else avoid the issue, Gidlow, remaining faithful to the sources, deals directly with the central issue of interest to the general reader: does the Arthur that we read of in the ninth-century sources have any link to a real leader of the fifth or sixth century? Was Arthur a powerful king or a Dark Age general co-cordinating the British resistance to Saxon invaders? Detailed analysis of the key Arthurian sources, contemporary testimony and archaeology reveals the reality of fragmented British kingdoms uniting under a single military command to defeat the Saxons. There is plausible and convincing evidence for the existence of their war-leader, and, in this challenging and provocative work, Gidlow concludes that the Dark Age hypothesis of Arthur, War-leader of the Kings of the Britons, not only fits the facts, it is the only way of making sense of them.
A military history of the campaigns of Belisarius, the greatest general of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Emperor Justinian. He twice defeated the Persians and reconquered North Africa from the Vandals in a single year at the age of 29, before going on to regain Spain and Italy, including Rome (briefly), from the barbarians. It discusses the evolution from classical Roman to Byzantine armies and systems of warfare, as well as those of their chief enemies, the Persians, Goths and Vandals. It reassesses Belisarius' generalship and compares him with the likes of Caesar, Alexander and Hannibal. It is illustrated with line drawings and battle plans as well as photographs.
The battle of the Catalaunian Fields saw two massive, powerful empires square up in a conflict that was to shape the course of Eurasian history forever. For despite the Roman victory, the Roman Empire would not survive for more than 15 years following the battle, whilst the Huns, shattered and demoralized, would meet their downfall against a coalition of German tribes soon after. This book, using revealing bird's-eye-views of the plains of Champagne and detailed illustrations of the opposing warriors in the midst of desperate combat, describes the fighting at the Catalaunian Fields and reveals the broader campaign of Hunnic incursion that led up to it. Drawing on the latest research, Simon MacDowall reveals the shocking intensity and appalling casualties of the battle, whilst assessing the wider significance and consequences of the campaign.