The Roman Army: A Social and Institutional History
Written by a leading authority on Roman military history, this fascinating volume spans over a thousand years as it offers a memorable picture of one of the world's most noted fighting forces, paying special attention to the life of the common soldier.
Southern here illuminates the Roman army's history, culture, and organization, providing fascinating details on topics such as military music, holidays, strategy, the construction of Roman fortresses and forts, the most common battle formations, and the many tools of war, from spears, bows and arrows, swords, and slingshots, to the large catapulta (which fired giant arrows and bolts) and the ballista (which hurled huge stones). Perhaps most interesting are the details Southern provides about everyday life in the Roman army, everything from the soldiers pay (they were paid three times per year, but money was deducted for such items as food, clothing, weapons, the burial club, the pension scheme, and so on) to their often brutal life--if whole units turned and ran, about one-tenth of the men concerned were chosen by lot and clubbed to death and the rest were put on barley rations instead of wheat. Moreover, soldiers who lost weapons or their shields would fight savagely to get them back or would die in the process, rather than suffer the shame that attached to throwing weapons away or running from the battle.
Attractively illustrated, this book offers a fascinating look at the life of the Roman soldier, drawing on everything from Rome's rich historical and archaeological record to soldier's personal correspondence to depictions of military subjects in literature and art.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - gmicksmith - LibraryThing
This is a sober overview of the Roman army insofar as it can be reconstructed. Southern is skeptical that the story of the army can be known in all respects but she outlines what can be realized. The ... Read full review
Other editions - View all
Agricola allies Antony appointed archaeological armor artillery attack attested Augustus auxiliary units battle bc–ad Bohec Britain camp campaign career cavalry centurion century bc civil civilian cohorts command consuls consulship Corbulo Coulston Dacian Danube denarii Diocletian diplomas Domitian early eastern Egypt emperor enemy equestrian fight fortresses forts fought frontiers Gaius Gallic Gallic War Gaul Germanicus Germany Goldsworthy Greek guard Hadrian Imperial infantry inscriptions Italy Julius Caesar known land late later legates legionary legions London Marcus Aurelius Marius Mark Antony modern Octavian officers Parthians perhaps political Polybius Pompey Pompey’s Praetorian Praetorian Guard prefect primus pilus probably provinces provincial governor rank records recruits reign Republic Republican Rhine Roman army Roman citizens Roman Empire Roman Military Rome Rome’s second century Senate served Severus siege soldiers sources Spain supply Tacitus territory third century Tiberius tion Trajan Trajan’s Column tribes tribesmen tribunes troops usually Vegetius veterans wars