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Anonymous

Could someone recommend a book good for a beginner on the Roman Army? I'm not new to books on war though. I have read over 40 books on the War of Northern Aggression(aka. American Civil War). <br>
Thanks, <br>
3rdARboy <p></p><i></i>
I would suggest getting a copy of "Vegetius: Epitome of Military Science" translated by N.P. Milner, Liverpool University Press, ISBN 0-85323-910-X. Very readable, easy to follow translation of Vegetius.<br>
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"Ancient Synopsis: The First book discusses the selection of recruits, from what localities, what sort of men should be approved as soldiers, and in what military exercises they should be trained. The Second book comprises the organization of the ancient army, in accordance with which an infantry army may be instituted. The Third book illustrates all kinds of strategic skills which seem necessary to land warfare. The Fourth book lists all the machines used to attack and defend cities; precepts of naval warfare also are appended."<br>
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Wendy<br>
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Another good book is "Warfare in the ancient world" by John Warry. With lots of great pictures. Got me interested in the Romans in the first place. <p></p><i></i>
Vegetius should be read with caution, in fact I'd not recommend him to a beginner. Vegetius probably wrote in the 4th century or even later, but he is looking back to the good old days of the 1st and 2nd centuries.<br>
Trouble is, he seems to have known sources about the military practise of those early days, sources we have not and which is why such a late author is used as a source anyway. But, since we can't check his claims, he could have made it all up!<br>
Common agreement has it (what a lovely way of discussing a book) that he was not a military man but a civil servant, writing a treatise to improve the military of his day. And exaggerating a bit about the good old days in the process.<br>
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Warry is a good book, but discussed more about greek wars than Roman ones.<br>
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Why not the Men-at-Arms series? There have been a good number published now, very well suited for a beginner.<br>
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Valete,<br>
Valerius/Robert <p></p><i></i>
Sorry Robert, but I have to disagree with you. Sure, read Vegetius with caution, but I think it's much more interesting to read something closer to the source than some of the modern stuff, which is still mostly speculation, after all. That's like saying a beginner shouldn't read Julius Caesar's Gallic Wars because Caesar had political motives and was just trying to impress people. So what? It's still material from an ancient source (though translated for most of us) and still a great read. Not everyone is looking for the same thing when they read this stuff so it really depends what our young friend is after. If he wants immediately to focus on equipment etc. then maybe Vegetius isn't for him, but when I started out learning about Rome, I was much more interested in reading books by ancient Romans or people who had a nodding aquaintance with them than books by people who wrote 2000 years later.<br>
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Wendy <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://pub45.ezboard.com/bromanarmytalk.showUserPublicProfile?gid=rekirts>rekirts</A> at: 7/5/03 3:17 am<br></i>
Heh heh, Wendy- that reminds me of one of my old Latin professors back at UCLA, having us as beginners read Pliny and Tacitus!<br>
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Seriously though, I would recommend just about anything from Michael Grant, <em>The Army of the Caesars</em>, for example. His stuff is pretty simple. Le Bohec's <em>L'Armee Romaine, sous le Haut-Empire</em> also- and it's available in an English translation too- a bit out of date, but still useful for the beginnner.<br>
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Hmmm, I'm not sure I like being compared to an old Latin professor.<br>
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Wendy <p></p><i></i>

Anonymous

Peter Connolly. Greece and Rome at War. <p></p><i></i>
Bingo. He mentions or summarizes many relevant bits from Vegetius and other sources, throws in pictoral sources and artifacts, and brings it all to life with his own illustrations.<br>
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Hit the Legio XX Bibliography page for full information on this and many other good books:<br>
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www.larp.com/legioxx/bibliog.html <p></p><i></i>
Vegetius??? Woo, wouldn't be my first choice. I'd have said no thanks to the Roman army if I had started there.<br>
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If you're going to read the sources, start with the Penguin Classics on Rome, at least. Try Julius Caesar's commentaries. Written like a soldier, brief and concise.<br>
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You can't go wrong with any of the Connolly books.<br>
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I cut my teeth on Graham Webster's <em>The Roman Imperial Army</em>; I believe it's up to the 3rd edition by now.<br>
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I also recommend:<br>
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Watson, <em>The Roman Soldier</em><br>
Keppie, <em>The Making of the Roman Army</em><br>
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Good pictures can be found in our member Dan Peterson's book, <em>The Roman Legions, Recreated in Colour Photographs</em>. That'll give a new re-enactor a visual standard to aim for.<br>
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Cheers<br>
Jenny <p></p><i></i>

Anonymous

Training the Roman Cavalry by Ann Hyland - based on the cavalry section of Arrian's Ars Tactica. (A comprehensive military manual commisioned by Emperor Hadrian AD 117-3<br>
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Chapters on training, equipment, weaponry, the Charge from Concealment, the Testudo and Petrinos movements, The Cantabrian gallop, Individual and group spear chucking, missile types and close fighting.<br>
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Pretty interesting record of the time, especially as most films seem to forget the Romans knew which end of a horse was which.<br>
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Conn<br>
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Another good book is "Service in the Roman Army" by Roy Davies isbn 085224 495 9<br>
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Los <p></p><i></i>
Salvete,<br>
I would add "The Roman Army at War: 100 Bc-Ad 200" by Adrian K. Goldsworthy. A real classic, a brilliant analysis that helps to better understand the organization, the life and even the psycology inside a roman legion.<br>
Valete. <p>Flavius<br>
Legio XXX Ulpia Traiana Victrix<br>
Roma</p><i></i>
I agree with Flavius.<br>
In my opinion Goldsworthy's Roman Army at War:100BC-200AD is a very stimulating book because it gives the reader the feeling for the "problem": i.e. how to understand how the roman army worked. Unlike most books the novice is unfortunately exposed to, that present things flatly, Goldsworthy tries to justify his reconstructions and this allows the reader to become involved by agreeing or not. It encourages an active approach: not everything is water-tight but that is really where all the fun is. <p></p><i></i>

Anonymous

I am reading "The Complete Idiots Guide: The Roman Empire". Its quite interesting and fun to read. Its not just about the army however. Idiots Guide books are really good. I read the World War II one. <p><img src="http://www.wcnet.org/~mjmarsh/IHSVEZsig.gif" style="border:0;"/> In Hoc Signo Vinces <img src="http://www.wcnet.org/~mjmarsh/IHSVEZsig.gif" style="border:0;"/></p><i></i>