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Full Version: Enemies of Rome...suggestions?
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Anonymous

Avete -<br>
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I have been considering getting the series of "Enemies Of Rome" books by Osprey, I'd like to get a reference background to help enhance my programs, try to know as much as my brain will allow regarding the enemies of Rome, I've gotten a good few questions that had me stumped only cause I really didn't have any prior knowledge..<br>
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So anyway, is there good books anyone can suggest for learning more about 'the' enemies? (cause isn't it supposed to be Know Your Enemy? ) Is the Osprey series good? ones I ought to avoid over others? Other books recommended?<br>
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I think there was a post or two about this, but I can't seem to find any specific previous threat on it.<br>
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thanks as always<br>
<p>-ANDY aka "Roman Dude" Svaviter in Modo, Fortiter in Re<br>
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www.higgins.org </p><i></i>

Anonymous

You'll have to do a section on the Romans who attacked their own city, I should think. Marius, Cornelius Sulla, Julius Caesar and so on. Good company and should make an interesting chapter.<br>
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Conn <p></p><i></i>

Anonymous

Oh, I'd love to, but I only get 30 minutes, and that's just the bare-essentials development, requirements, and arms and armor, and just a snippet on encamping! And at that I'm almost always going to 45 minutes. *sigh*<br>
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When we have special events, any time leftover is taken with a buddy of mine who'll don "Gaulic/Celtic" kit and we'll go at it, explaining advantages/disadvantages on either weapons, et cetera. Good fun!<br>
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I'm fantasizing the idea of a Republican era Legionary in the far future, either during Marius' reforms or before/afterwards, just to show the complete change in armor and tactics....But, time and money? wazzat? <p>-ANDY aka "Roman Dude" Svaviter in Modo, Fortiter in Re<br>
<br>
www.higgins.org </p><i></i>
Quote:</em></strong><hr>Is the Osprey series good?<hr><br>
Well, like all or most of the Ospreys, they're mostly summaries, and that's a problem. But like most other books written with a lot of archaeological content, by now most are outdated. But do buy them for very good color plates, especially the ones by Angus McBride. If to avoid one, I think the one about the Germanics and dacians is by far the worst.<br>
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Valete,<br>
Valerius/Robert <p></p><i></i>

Anonymous

Interesting... could you be a little more specific on where the Germanics/ Dacians volume goes wrong? (Or if there's already a thread on it, you could just point it out to avoid repeating yourself.)<br>
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Along the same lines, what did you think about the more recent Simon McDowall Warrior Series title on the subject? (I guess it's targeted at a later time period than the other one, but then I would guess that, if anything, that makes it closer to your area of expertise.)<br>
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Aaron <p></p><i></i>
Hi Aaron,<br>
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Well, it's more a general comment than a specific one. The first edition (Peter Wilcox, drawings by Gerry Embleton) is from 1982, my reprint from 1986 - the volume (first in the series) is in need of a serious update, with new plates. I mean, Osprey did so with Simkins 'The Roman Army', why not this series as well?<br>
To start with the colour plates, these keep showing 'fur shirts' and ill-understood tunics. I'm not an expert of the whole period, but I know the ideas about the Late Roman period are way off sometimes. I found many of the b&w pictures crude, mostly later periods mixed in with earlier times. the maps were badly drawn and often wrong.<br>
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Specific? Quotes like "From then on a kind of <em>blitzkrieg</em>, launched by a barbarian conspiracy, sucked in ever-increasing numbers of barbarians (etc.)" or "The Germans, by contrast, were organising themselves into supertribes."<br>
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These and similar simplistic words litter the text. Of course, part of this is caused by the Osprey-approach: cram as many centuries into one volume. I mean, even now volumes appear with titles such as 'The Sarmatians, 300 BC-AD 450 or similar wordings. Too much time into a too small booklet.<br>
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Simon MacDowall's Late Roman Infantryman 236-565AD, while a good start into the subject, has also been superseded I'm afraid. While superior to the volume mentioned above, it still contains too many factual errors to be <strong><em>the</em></strong> volume to read for Late Roman re-enactors. For instance, the unit names based on the Notitia Dignitatum are sometimes dead wrong (Joumiani for Joviani, Ocianani for Octaviani, Batani for Batavi, etc.), the author showing no knowledge of the subject To be specific, <em>senio</em> or <em>senior</em> was not recognised as a shortened form of <em>seniores</em>, and sometimes you see groups using these names wrong as a consequence.<br>
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I'd recommend Ross Cowans books and hope Osprey will commishion him to do another one!<br>
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Valete,<br>
Valerius/Robert <p></p><i></i>

Anonymous

It's helpful to have access to your expertise, Robert!<br>
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Yes, it certainly important to note such errors. On one level, I can sympathize with the poor authors/ publishers, since, being an author/ publisher myself, I know it's hard... and I mean HARD to produce a work that is error-free. What annoys me is when they KNOW that an error is made and don't take the effort to correct it at the next practicable opportunity. My company has been using the latest print-on-demand technology so that we could do frequent revisions if we needed to... (and yes, we've needed to...) But I just can't understand it when a publisher won't fix errors once they know about them. (Incidently, one of the main reasons why I got into the business in the first place was because the publisher of my school's Latin program didn't seem to be making any effort to improve or upgrade their products.)<br>
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Well, anyway, I'm getting off-topic, here. Back to the MacDowall books, are you familiar with his one on the Germanic Warrior and the one on the late Roman cavalryman? What critiques do you have of them?<br>
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Aaron <p></p><i></i>

Anonymous

Hmmm... I do wonder how much the editors know about the subject they're editing. A recent Osprey purchase - on Napoleonic Naval Artillery - had utterly messed up the photo captions. So either someone wasn't concentrating, or they genuinely didn't know, say, the difference between an early pattern carronade and an 18-pounder Blomefield gun (the difference is very very obvious, for those of you not up to scratch on your naval artillery). <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p200.ezboard.com/[email protected]talk>Carus Andiumae</A> at: 6/21/04 1:13 pm<br></i>

Anonymous

Yes, that's certainly an issue: a professional proofreader/ editor will catch spelling, punctuation and capitalization issues, but will they know about the finer points of the subject? In our case, the issue is, will the professional editor know enough Latin to, say, catch that a word is in the wrong declension or a macron is missing. We've had the best success by enlisting the help of Latin teachers who are helping to pilot the course, find errors for us that we've missed. My co-author and I proof each other's work, of course, but we get so used to each other's work that we miss important errors, sometimes. But I'm getting off-topic...<br>
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I concur, by the way, given my own experience in publishing, with Dr. Bishop that 1 euro is very cheap for a book, especially a hard-back with color. We could maybe do that with our books, but they're well under 300 pages (I think the shortest is about 120), spiral-bound and have no color except on the cover... and we could only get a price like this if we printed them by the thousand, rather than by the dozen like we do now.<br>
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Aaron <p></p><i></i>
Quote:</em></strong><hr>Back to the MacDowall books, are you familiar with his one on the Germanic Warrior and the one on the late Roman cavalryman? What critiques do you have of them?<hr><br>
I liked them better, anyway. I guess the subject was more limeted and of course the volume about "Germanic Warrior" has been published very recently. But even if I would recommend all three of these volumes, I would have to say that I would not if the reader means to stop there and read no further. They're a good basic introduction.<br>
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Valete,<br>
Valerius/Robert <p></p><i></i>