*Includes pictures *Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading The Roman army is one of the most famous fighting forces in history. Through its power and prowess, a once obscure Italian city forged an empire that encircled the Mediterranean and covered half of Europe. The physical remains of its presence can be traced from the mountainous borders of Scotland to the arid deserts of Egypt, but its legacy is far greater and more enduring, as Rome's influence continues to shape the political, legal, and cultural landscape of Europe to this very day. While the Roman army is rightly famed as an institution, the image of the individual legionary is also an iconic one. The uniformed, disciplined soldier of the late Republic and early Empire is one of the first things many people imagine when they think of Rome. They are the ultimate image of the ancient soldier, their arms and armor instantly recognizable. Their abilities, not only as warriors but also as engineers and administrators, have made them role models for other soldiers through the centuries. In the same vein, their commanders are still celebrated and studied, and generals the world over have tried to emulate the likes of Julius Caesar. Of course, recruiting and equipping the Roman army were hardly easy tasks. Gathering new recruits wasn't difficult since service in the military was a requirement for social advancement, but new soldiers had to be trained to fight as heavy infantry and work together. For these men to be trained properly, however, they needed to have equipment, including swords, shields, javelins, helmets, and assorted armor. In addition to this, the new recruits had to be clothed, fed and paid, while commanders had to be found. Moreover, one of the key ingredients to Rome's success was the military's complete willingness to incorporate discovered technologies. If a different weapon, type of armor, or basic equipment or artillery worked better than what they were using, the Romans were not afraid to adopt that piece of military hardware for their own uses. Thus, the Romans were almost always using the finest military equipment in the world, all of which had long since proven effective on the field of battle. The Roman Army: The History and Legacy of the Military that Revolutionized Ancient Warfare and Made Rome a Global Empire examines the history of one of the most famous fighting forces in the world. Along with pictures depicting important people, places, and events, you will learn about the Roman army like never before.
No book on Roman history has attempted to do what Stephen Dando-Collins does in Legions of Rome: to provide a complete history of every Imperial Roman legion and what it achieved as a fighting force. The author has spent the last thirty years collecting every scrap of available evidence from numerous sources: stone and bronze inscriptions, coins, papyrus and literary accounts in a remarkable feat of historical detective work. The book is divided into three parts: Part 1 provides a detailed account of what the legionaries wore and ate, what camp life was like, what they were paid and how they were motivated and punished. The section also contains numerous personal histories of individual soldiers. Part 2 offers brief unit histories of all the legions that served Rome for 300 years from 30BC. Part 3 is a sweeping chronological survey of the campaigns in which the armies were involved, told from the point of view of particular legions. Lavish, authoritative and beautifully produced, Legions of Rome will appeal to ancient history enthusiasts and military history buffs alike.
A newly updated edition of this classic, hugely influential account of how the Romans defended their vast empire. At the height of its power, the Roman Empire encompassed the entire Mediterranean basin, extending much beyond it from Britain to Mesopotamia, from the Rhine to the Black Sea. Rome prospered for centuries while successfully resisting attack, fending off everything from overnight robbery raids to full-scale invasion attempts by entire nations on the move. How were troops able to defend the Empire’s vast territories from constant attacks? And how did they do so at such moderate cost that their treasury could pay for an immensity of highways, aqueducts, amphitheaters, city baths, and magnificent temples? In The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire, seasoned defense analyst Edward N. Luttwak reveals how the Romans were able to combine military strength, diplomacy, and fortifications to effectively respond to changing threats. Rome’s secret was not ceaseless fighting, but comprehensive strategies that unified force, diplomacy, and an immense infrastructure of roads, forts, walls, and barriers. Initially relying on client states to buffer attacks, Rome moved to a permanent frontier defense around 117 CE. Finally, as barbarians began to penetrate the empire, Rome filed large armies in a strategy of “defense-in-depth,” allowing invaders to pierce Rome’s borders. This updated edition has been extensively revised to incorporate recent scholarship and archeological findings. A new preface explores Roman imperial statecraft. This illuminating book remains essential to both ancient historians and students of modern strategy.
This paper examines the battle of Teutoburg (9 A.D.), its consequences on the Roman world, and the role cultural misunderstanding played on the tactical, operational, and strategic levels. The Roman commander’s cultural misunderstanding of his enemy caused mistakes at the operational and tactical levels, while the Roman Emperor’s cultural misunderstanding brought about mistakes at the strategic level and created poor policy decisions following the battle, which affected Rome like no other battle in its history. Chapter 2 examines the consequences of other Roman loses (with much higher casualties) to show how none of them carried the same impact as the Teutoburg loss. They were but temporary “setbacks”, while Teutoburg was Rome’s first military “defeat” in its history. The Roman direction of conquest into Germania and the image of the pre-Teutoburg Germanic barbarian (an image which changes greatly into an elevated status following the massacre) are also examined. Chapter 3 examines the commanders of both sides and the battle itself. Chapter 4 looks at the significance of this loss. This battle caused Rome to adopt its first permanent defensive boundary and set the first limit of the Roman Empire.
From the moment its last king was expelled (traditionally in 753) the Roman republic had to fight for its very survival. Centuries of almost continuous warfare saw Romes armies evolve in response to a wide variety of threats which were met with mixed fortunes though always with ultimate success. As defence of the homeland turned to territorial expansion, Roman forces also had to adapt to sustained campaigns in varied terrain and climates, not to mention the changes in the Roman republic itself. Michael Sage traces the development of the republics army from its foundation (having first set the context of their regal antecedents), down to the time of its most famous leader, Julius Caesar. The transition from clan-based forces, through the Servian levy and the development of the manipular and cohortal legion is examined along with the associated weapons, tactics and operational capabilities. We see how the legions shaped up against the challenges of successive enemies from the Celts and Samnites, the Carthaginians and the hitherto-dominant Hellenistic armies based on the Macedonian-style pike phalanx.
This companion provides an extensive account of the Roman army, exploring its role in Roman politics and society as well as the reasons for its effectiveness as a fighting force. An extensive account of the Roman army, from its beginnings to its transformation in the later Roman Empire Examines the army as a military machine – its recruitment, training, organization, tactics and weaponry Explores the relationship of the army to Roman politics, economics and society more broadly Considers the geography and climate of the lands in which the Romans fought Each chapter is written by a leading expert in a particular subfield and takes account of the latest scholarly and archaeological research in that area
Chronicles the defeat of the Roman army by German barbarian forces, citing the contributions of a Roman traitor that led to the brutal deaths of three Roman legions during the Battle of Teutoburg Forest and caused the Roman empire to cease its expansion.
"Go tell the Romans that it is the will of heaven that my Rome should be the head of all the world. Let them henceforth cultivate the arts of war, and let them know assuredly, and hand down the knowledge to posterity, that no human might can withstand the arms of Rome." -Romulus, (Livy, History of Rome) This book is intended to give a generic picture of the military organization, armor, weaponry, etc. of the legions with emphasis on the late Republican (Civil War) and Early Empire period. This study also inevitably leads directly to the conflict between Republican and Imperial concepts of government. The reader will find that neither form of government was without its hubris, violence, bloodshed, and injustices. The one consistent factor working in the background that gave rise to this transformation was the legion. The legions had slowly passed from the defense of the Republic to a force that threatened it from within, its soldiers being more loyal to its generals than to its form of government. Warfare has been conducted from before the beginnings of recorded history. The difference between prehistoric and ancient warfare is less one of technology than of organization. This warfare was up close and bloody. Panic was the great threat on the ancient battlefield, and maintaining the right form of war was very important. Cassius Dio reports that ancient warfare took many forms: "Skirmisher contended with skirmisher, heavy infantry fought similarly armed opponents, while cavalry clashed with cavalry. Another contest put the Roman archers against the barbarian chariots. The barbarians would launch their chariots at the Romans, throwing them into disorder only themselves to be forced back by arrows, since the charioteers generally fought without armor. Here a horseman cut down foot soldiers, there a troop of foot soldiers hauled down a rider. Some Romans would advance against the chariots in close formation, and others would be scattered by them; sometimes the [enemy] would close with the archers and rout them, while others skipped aside from the arrows at a distance." In all cases it was essential that the army keep its momentum and its order, aided by the cavalry who charged to break the enemy where the resistance appeared stiffest. No ancient army, even that of Rome was effective in retreat. Augustus Caesar ruled Rome as sole emperor for 41 years (27 BC-14 AD), and is reputed to have said on his deathbed: "I found Rome made of brick and I leave it in marble." Yet this was not achieved without much patience and effort. With Rome's schedule of republican civil wars at an end, Augustus was able to create a standing army for the Empire, fixed at 28 legions of about 170,000 soldiers, supported by numerous auxiliary units recruited from conquered areas of the world. When August died, there were a mere handful of persons throughout the empire who had known any other ruler, any other form of government, or any other military force. The Republic was a vague memory, the Kingdom a decrepit myth, and the Empire a shining city at the center of the world.
The story of an ancient ambush that devastated Rome—and the modern-day hunt that finally revealed its location and its archaeological treasures. In 9 A.D., the seventeenth, eighteenth, & nineteenth Roman legions and their auxiliary troops under the command of Publius Quinctilius Varus vanished in the boggy wilds of Germania. They died singly and by the hundreds over several days in a carefully planned ambush led by Arminius—a Roman-trained German warrior adopted and subsequently knighted by the Romans, but determined to stop Rome’s advance east beyond the Rhine River. By the time it was over, some 25,000 men, women, and children were dead and the course of European history had been forever altered. “Quinctilius Varus, give me back my legions!” Emperor Augustus agonized aloud when he learned of the devastating loss. As decades passed, the location of the Varus defeat, one of the Western world’s most important battlefields, was lost to history. It remained so for two millennia. Fueled by an unshakable curiosity and burning interest in the story, a British Major named J. A. S. (Tony) Clunn delved into the nooks and crannies of times past. By sheer persistence and good luck, he turned the foundation of German national history on its ear. Convinced the running battle took place north of Osnabruck, Germany, Clunn set out to prove his point. His discovery of large numbers of Roman coins in the late 1980s, followed by a flood of thousands of other artifacts (including weapons and human remains), ended the mystery once and for all. Archaeologists and historians across the world agreed. Today, a state-of-the-art museum houses and interprets these priceless historical treasures on the very site Varus’s legions were lost. The Quest for the Lost Roman Legions is a masterful retelling of Clunn’s search to discover the Varus battlefield. His well-paced and vivid writing style makes for a compelling read as he alternates between his incredible modern quest and the ancient tale of the Roman occupation of Germany—based upon actual finds from the battlefield—that ultimately ended so tragically in the peat bogs of Kalkriese.
*Includes pictures *Includes ancient accounts of the battle *Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading *Includes a table of contents "Few battles of ancient times are more marked by ability...than the battle of Cannae. The position was such as to place every advantage on Hannibal's side. The manner in which the far from perfect Hispanic and Gallic foot was advanced in a wedge in echelon...was first held there and then withdrawn step by step, until it had reached the converse position...is a simple masterpiece of battle tactics. The advance at the proper moment of the African infantry, and its wheel right and left upon the flanks of the disordered and crowded Roman legionaries, is far beyond praise. The whole battle, from the Carthaginian standpoint, is a consummate piece of art, having no superior, few equal, examples in the history of war." - Theodore Dodge, military historian Although the Romans gained the upper hand over Carthage in the wake of the First Punic War, the legendary Carthaginian general Hannibal brought the Romans to their knees for over a decade during the Second Punic War. While military historians are still amazed that he was able to maintain his army in Italy near Rome for nearly 15 years, scholars are still puzzled over some of his decisions, including why he never attempted to march on Rome in the first place. Regardless, Hannibal was such a threat that the Romans responded in an unprecedented nature when the Carthaginians resumed the campaigning season in the spring of 216 BCE by capturing the city of Cannae, a crucial supply hub, and placing themselves along the line that convoys from the ports and warehouses of the south needed to travel to reach Rome. This was something the Romans could not and did not take lying down; Rome raised the largest army in their city's history, a force of between 80,000 and 100,000 men, and marched south with Consuls Varro and Paullus at the head of the army. This military behemoth disregarded the delaying tactics that Maximus had favored, fully determined to destroy Hannibal once and for all as quickly as possible. Despite the massive horde headed his way, Hannibal was ready for them. He encamped his army near the Aufidus, a river not far from Cannae, and waited. His intelligence told him that Consul Varro, the more influential of the two Roman generals, was a firebrand, talented in attack but with a tendency to overreach himself, and Hannibal resolved to use this flaw to his advantage. Hannibal arrayed his army in the open, sure that Varro would be unable to resist the temptation to offer battle, and then deliberately placed his weakest infantry in the center of his battle-line. Varro led the Roman legions straight at the centre of Hannibal's formation, proceeding in characteristic bull-headed fashion and spearheading the assault himself. Hannibal's troops in the center yielded before the legions, as Hannibal had anticipated, sucking the bulk of the Roman force deep into the centre of Hannibal's formation. Meanwhile, the wings of Hannibal's infantry automatically swung against the flanks of the Roman force while Hannibal's cavalry, led by his celebrated general Maharbal, crushed the Roman cavalry and light infantry deployed to protect the formation's flanks and rear and, in so doing, succeeded in encircling it completely. The Roman force now found itself unable to run or maneuver, completely surrounded by Hannibal's forces. It was one of the earliest examples of the pincer movement in the history of warfare. The result was a massacre, one of the most vicious battles in the history of the world. Around 75% of the Roman army was cut down in the ensuing melee, which would be in the vicinity of between 50,000-80,000 soldiers depending on which initial estimates are considered to be accurate. Among the casualties was the luckless Consul Paullus."