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Early Roman Warfare: From the Regal Period to the First Punic War by Jeremy Armstrong
Did somebody read this book? 
What do you think about the theory that until 390 BC there was no roman citizen army, but that the warfare was dominated and conducted by warlords and their clans?  The imperium is explained as a sort of contract of protection between a warlord and the urban community. 
Part of this theory is also that Romans never fought in hoplite formations.

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He is partially right. You'd expect warfare in this region to be the same as warfare further south where the Greek tyrants ruled. That involved warlords and clans but it also involved hoplites. Romans fought as hoplites just like most other peoples in Italy during that time. Even the Gallic mercenaries from further north likely fought as hoplites when they served in those armies.

FWIW nobody has successfully explained the difference between a hoplite in a phalanx formation and a spearman who served in shield walls everywhere else for four thousand years.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen & Sword Books
I've recently read it and found it a fascinating book. My review is here.

Jasper Oorthuys
Webmaster & Editor, Ancient Warfare magazine

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