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.
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.
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.
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.
The Roman Empire was the greatest the world has ever seen, and its legendary military might was the foundation of this success. This compact volume tells the fascinating story of the major conflicts that shaped the empire, from Julius Caesar's bloody Gallic Wars and the Civil War against Pompey that left the victorious Caesar Dictator of Rome, through the wars of expansion to its decline and fragmentation. Beautiful full colour artwork of the soldiers and battles bring the Roman world to life, along with images and colour maps.
A deeply researched and page-turning history of armored cavalry in the ancient world from the Eurasian steppe tribes to the late Byzantine Empire. Cataphracts were the most heavily armored form of cavalry in the ancient civilizations of the East, with riders and horses both clad in heavy armor. Originating among the wealthiest nobles of various central Asian steppe tribes such as the Massagetae and Scythians, the traditions and strategies of these proud warriors were adopted and adapted by several major empires—the Achaemenid Persians, Seleucids, Sassanians, and eventually the Romans and their Byzantine successors—from c. 4000 BCE to 1200 CE. Usually armed with long lances, the cataphracts harnessed the mobility and sheer mass of their horses to the durability and solid fighting power of the spear-armed phalanx. Although very expensive to equip and maintain, they were a powerful force in battle and remained in use for many centuries. In this compelling historical survey, Erich B. Anderson assesses the development, equipment, tactics, and combat record of cataphracts and the similar clibinarii, showing also how enemies sought to counter them. This is a valuable study of one of the most interesting weapon systems of the ancient world. “A valuable study of one of the most interesting troop types of the ancient world.” —The Armourer “The first comprehensive survey of heavy armored cavalry . . . that played a particularly important role in the military history of Late Antiquity . . . This is a good survey of the history of heavy cavalry in the ancient world, covering arms, equipment, organization, tactics, and battles.” —The NYMAS Review
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.
Roman and Hunnic fighting men are assessed and compared in this fully illustrated study of Attila's bid to conquer Europe in the 5th century AD. The Huns burst on to the page of western European history in the 4th century AD. Fighting mostly on horseback, the Huns employed sophisticated tactics that harnessed the formidable power of their bows; they also gained a reputation for their fighting prowess at close quarters. Facing the Huns, the Roman Army fielded a variety of cavalry types, from heavily armed and armoured clibanarii and cataphractii to horse archers and missile cavalry. Many of these troops were recruited from client peoples or cultures, including the Huns themselves. After carving out a polyglot empire in eastern and central Europe, the Huns repeatedly invaded Roman territory, besieging the city of Naissus in 443. With Constantinople itself threatened, the Romans agreed to pay a huge indemnity. In 447, Attila re-entered Roman territory, confronting the Romans at the battle of the Utus in Bulgaria. The Huns besieged Constantinople, but were unable to take the city. In 451, after Hunnic forces invaded the Western Roman Empire, an army led by the Roman general Aetius pursed the invaders, bringing the Huns to battle at the Catalaunian Plains. Featuring specially commissioned artwork and maps, this study examines the origins, fighting methods and reputation of the two sides' cavalry forces, with particular reference to the siege of Naissus, the battle of the Utus and the climactic encounter at the Catalaunian Plains.
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.
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.
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.