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Romans at War

by Simon Elliott

Books of the Month History

LoveReading View on Romans at War

Setting out to show “how the Roman military changed from one always on the front foot, driving the borders of the Republic and early Empire ever forward … to one acting as the bulwark on the Roman limes as offence turned to defence”, Dr Simon Elliott’s Romans at War draws on the huge canon of existing literature on the Roman military, while also being informed by the author’s pioneering primary research.

Elliott’s scholarly lucidity is shot-through with an engaging, entertaining style, which means the keen layperson will find his exhaustive assessment of the Roman military’s key chronological phases (the Republic, the Principate Empire and the Dominate Empire) eminently accessible. Readers already familiar with literature on this subject will be especially interested in the author’s assertion that late Roman military leaders were effectively independent warlords. Elliott also shares new research into the Severan campaign in 3rd century Scotland, and offers a fresh evaluation of late Roman troops.

Accompanied by a wealth of colour photography, and supported by a detailed timeline, thorough glossary and maps, this is a mightily impressive - and edifying - feat. 

Joanne Owen

Romans at War Synopsis

In Romans at War ground-breaking research is presented in an accessible, entertaining, and sumptuously illustrated format, including:

  • A new consideration of the nature of late Roman military leaders; the author argues they were effectively independent warlords.
  • Cutting edge research regarding the Severan campaigns to conquer Scotland in the early 3rd century AD.
  • A new analysis of the nature of late Roman troops, both mounted and foot.

The Roman military machine was the pre-eminent in the ancient world, projecting power across the known world over a vast chronology, and an increasing huge and diverse geography. One of the most powerful instruments of war in the history of conflict, it proved uniquely adept at learning from setbacks, always coming back the stronger for it. In so doing it displayed two of the most important traits associated with the world of Rome. Firstly grit, that key ability to remain steadfast and to overcome adversity, even in the most challenging of circumstances, as faced for example by the Republic in the Second Punic War against Hannibal. Secondly, the ability to copy the successful technical and tactical innovations of their enemies, enabling the Roman military to always stay one step ahead of its opponents on campaign and in battle.

In this grand tour covering every aspect of the Roman military, leading expert Dr Simon Elliott first provides a detailed background to the Roman Republic and Empire to provide context for all that follows. He then looks specifically at the Roman military in its three key chronological phases: the Republic, the Principate Empire and the Dominate Empire. Next he forensically examines specific examples of the Roman military on campaign and in battle, and of its engineering prowess. Finally, he examines the many enemies faced by the Roman Republic and Empire. This all provides a firm structure to enable the reader to come to grips with this incredible military machine, one whose exploits still resonate in the world to this very day.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781612008851
Publication date: 28/10/2020
Publisher: Casemate Publishers
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781612008851
Publication date: 28th October 2020
Author: Simon Elliott
Publisher: Casemate Publishers
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 304 pages
Genres: Books of the Month, History,
Categories: Military history, European history,

About Simon Elliott

Dr Simon Elliott is an award winning and best selling historian, archaeologist and broadcaster. He is best known as an expert on Roman Britain and the Roman military, with his eight published books to date covering subjects including the Classis Britannica Roman navy in Britain, Roman legionaries, Roman military construction techniques, Roman Britain and Roman London, Julius Caesar, and the emperors Septimius Severus and Pertinax. He is also an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Kent, a Trustee of the Council for British Archaeology, an Ambassador for Museum of London Archaeology and a Guide Lecturer for Andante Travels.

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