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Old November 23rd, 2012, 08:25 AM   #21
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Hmmm, I feel that the first book is interesting, it goes back from 1000-264BC.

I was just about to comment that the book isn't for me, as it doesn't mention Romulus and Remus, Cicero, Caesar xD

But does it mention the current consuls and any wars/campaigns that took place throughout this time period, and the political structure, and major consul decisions and how they effected Rome domestically and internationally?

I was either looking for 1 big book, going from 800BC-500AD (a little before and after the existence and empire) or a series of 3-4 books which might do 800-300, 300 - 300, 300 - 500 or something along those lines, covering Rome militarily(wars, battles etc), politically (politicians decisions that influenced military/domestic action etc), emporer-irically(yes I made that word up - a look at an emporer's life in depth, and not just emperors, people like Caesar, Pompey etc! - I don't want these people missed out!) and the lifestyle of the citizens and the change in all of these factors as the time progressed
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Old November 23rd, 2012, 08:29 AM   #22

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Did you say you wanted books about Roman lifestyle too? Try Mary Beard's Pompeii. I got my copy about a month ago and am desperate to read it but I've been working on my ancient Egyptian piece.
The book is meant to accompany her series with the BBC about the city of Pompeii and if the documentary is anything to go by the book should be worth a read.
It's 9.99 in the book stores and unfortunately I could only get it for about 6 on Amazon, but a saving is a saving!
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Old November 23rd, 2012, 08:30 AM   #23
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But Pen, I am slightly concerned that it's only 100 pages xD

Additionally, will it have the same depth as the other books (the last 3 do) on roman military strategy... because those have more pages and it's just focused on tactics and strategies, comparatively, Vege's is only 100 pages long, and he fits weapons, tactics, equiptment etc in there!
yes, but this is a primary source. It's not the same as a work of history written by a modern historian. Vegetius wrote this for an emperor (I think), trying to get him to bring back the old discipline of the ultra-successful army of a few centuries earlier. It is concise. It doesn't include all of the context stuff that modern works have. If you read this first, the modern stuff will make much more sense to you (and vice versa, I suppose, hehe).

There are two roman military handbooks that are must-reads for anyone interested in the subject: Vegetius's De Re Militari, and Maurice's Strategikon (and Leo's Taktika, but that's mostly a copy of Maurice). If you read these 2 works, then supplement them with a good modern history of roman strategy, tactics, composition, etc, you will be able to talk anyone's ear off about the subject.
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Old November 23rd, 2012, 09:39 AM   #24

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yes, but this is a primary source. It's not the same as a work of history written by a modern historian. Vegetius wrote this for an emperor (I think), trying to get him to bring back the old discipline of the ultra-successful army of a few centuries earlier. It is concise. It doesn't include all of the context stuff that modern works have. If you read this first, the modern stuff will make much more sense to you (and vice versa, I suppose, hehe).

There are two roman military handbooks that are must-reads for anyone interested in the subject: Vegetius's De Re Militari, and Maurice's Strategikon (and Leo's Taktika, but that's mostly a copy of Maurice). If you read these 2 works, then supplement them with a good modern history of roman strategy, tactics, composition, etc, you will be able to talk anyone's ear off about the subject.
We don't really have a good tactical manual for the classical Roman army, or even the imperial army, though. Honestly, skip Vegetius at this point. It's a very hard work to make use of, and scholars really can't make up their mind on what parts of it are real and what parts are ideal. If you're going to delve into it, be sure to look up some academic articles on what scholars have to say because it's a problematic text. Maurikios' Strategikon is probably a little chronologically outside what you want, as it dates from the end of the sixth century when the empire in the west hadn't existed for over a century. Leo's Taktika is much more than a copy of Maurkios; it's a complete overhaul and update for a period in which the Empire's main enemies were Muslims, and includes stuff on naval warfare as well. We have a lot of Byzantine military manuals, but most of them are ca. 10th c. and not quite what it sounds like you're looking for. Your best bet is to see the Roman army in action as described by the ancient writers. Read Cicero, Josephus, and Ammianus, for starters.
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Old November 23rd, 2012, 09:40 AM   #25

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Originally Posted by JediArron View Post
Hmmm, I feel that the first book is interesting, it goes back from 1000-264BC.

I was just about to comment that the book isn't for me, as it doesn't mention Romulus and Remus, Cicero, Caesar xD

But does it mention the current consuls and any wars/campaigns that took place throughout this time period, and the political structure, and major consul decisions and how they effected Rome domestically and internationally?
No idea. As I mentioned above, it's the one of the four I recommended that I haven't actually read.
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Old November 23rd, 2012, 12:34 PM   #26
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We don't really have a good tactical manual for the classical Roman army, or even the imperial army, though. Honestly, skip Vegetius at this point. It's a very hard work to make use of, and scholars really can't make up their mind on what parts of it are real and what parts are ideal. If you're going to delve into it, be sure to look up some academic articles on what scholars have to say because it's a problematic text. Maurikios' Strategikon is probably a little chronologically outside what you want, as it dates from the end of the sixth century when the empire in the west hadn't existed for over a century. Leo's Taktika is much more than a copy of Maurkios; it's a complete overhaul and update for a period in which the Empire's main enemies were Muslims, and includes stuff on naval warfare as well. We have a lot of Byzantine military manuals, but most of them are ca. 10th c. and not quite what it sounds like you're looking for. Your best bet is to see the Roman army in action as described by the ancient writers. Read Cicero, Josephus, and Ammianus, for starters.
scholars can't make their minds up about which parts of it are real and which parts are ideal for the same reason they can't do so for any of the other writers you mentioned. Almost all of the material Vegetius had access to is now gone. Go back and look at jedi's first post. What he's looking for is Vegetius. You do him a disservice by trying to steer him away from the text.
Am I allowed to post the table of contents for it?

You recommended he look at what the romans themselves said about the subject, then you recommended he start with caesar, whose Bello Gallico was intended as propaganda. Then you say one the the most purely academic works on the subject is idealized. Is that what you're saying?

Last edited by the mighty pen; November 23rd, 2012 at 12:50 PM.
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Old November 23rd, 2012, 01:23 PM   #27
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yes, but this is a primary source. It's not the same as a work of history written by a modern historian. Vegetius wrote this for an emperor (I think), trying to get him to bring back the old discipline of the ultra-successful army of a few centuries earlier. It is concise. It doesn't include all of the context stuff that modern works have. If you read this first, the modern stuff will make much more sense to you (and vice versa, I suppose, hehe).

There are two roman military handbooks that are must-reads for anyone interested in the subject: Vegetius's De Re Militari, and Maurice's Strategikon (and Leo's Taktika, but that's mostly a copy of Maurice). If you read these 2 works, then supplement them with a good modern history of roman strategy, tactics, composition, etc, you will be able to talk anyone's ear off about the subject.
'supplement them with a good modern history of roman strategy, tactics, composition, etc,'

Which books would give this?

Also, don't Vegetius and Maurice's books talk about tactics, strategy and compostion?
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Old November 23rd, 2012, 01:35 PM   #28
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scholars can't make their minds up about which parts of it are real and which parts are ideal for the same reason they can't do so for any of the other writers you mentioned. Almost all of the material Vegetius had access to is now gone. Go back and look at jedi's first post. What he's looking for is Vegetius. You do him a disservice by trying to steer him away from the text.
Am I allowed to post the table of contents for it?

You recommended he look at what the romans themselves said about the subject, then you recommended he start with caesar, whose Bello Gallico was intended as propaganda. Then you say one the the most purely academic works on the subject is idealized. Is that what you're saying?
NO please.. anything but indoctrinate me with propaganda O_O

Pen, may I ask if you have Skype?
I would love to talk to you, I am a novice, who literally within the last hour understood that people like Scipio, Pompey, Cicero etc was Consuls, republicans and not emperors, for that was Augustus onwards... hehe

I am really looking for a second hand Historian's (I think it's called that) book on the early republic right through to the mid-late empire.

My university teacher who went to Cambridge reccomended that Suetonius' 'The Twelve Caesars' was the best book for the 200 year time period, but it's first hand:
I think I like the idea of a Historian contextualising, making opinions, evaluating/judging in hindsight aswell, especially for such a huge time period. I have still yet to find a series that can satisfy my desires for this huge time period. It will also help me develop my skills as a young aspiring historian, and it feels more comfortable.. hehe

Also, I'm always open for politics (in the republic, as I understand that the senate were undermined during the empire, due to the degree of imperium the emporer had) and lifestyle (for various: slaves, citizens, soldiers, politicians, merchants, 'dodgy' - pirates? '

*Edit - I understand that there is less context etc in Vegetius' book, but in modern books there's 300 pages, 3 times the amoung of Vegitius', I fail to understand (maybe due to my ignorance, as this book experience, along with the ancient world in detail is new to me) how there is 200 pages on context, and maybe opinions - but I might be, and probably am wrong, I'm sure the extra 200 pages comes from something else right? Surely it can't be more in depth than Vegetius' work, as historians just use Vegetius' work to write THEIR OWN work and thus it's just a regurgitation.

Last edited by JediArron; November 23rd, 2012 at 01:40 PM.
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Old November 23rd, 2012, 02:25 PM   #29
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'supplement them with a good modern history of roman strategy, tactics, composition, etc,'

Which books would give this?

Also, don't Vegetius and Maurice's books talk about tactics, strategy and compostion?
Yes, they do, but certainly you should also read some current stuff. As far as which modern stuff to read, I think much of what has been suggested is just fine. As a rule, though, much of what was supposed before the 1970's is outdated. History has gone through some huge changes in the last few decades.

The Dark Ages are a thing of the past.

It might be hard to find that one book that covers all of rome, and such a book might be lacking simply because it would have to be an overview. I would tackle Rome by period. It was always changing, but there were some blocks of relative continuity.
Here are some basic time periods you might want to isolate:
the beginning up to the punic wars.
the punic wars up through Sulla, Caesar, and maybe Augustus.
Caesar and Augustus through Marcus Aurelius, or maybe just a bit later.
Aurelius through Diocletian and Constantine.
Diocletian to about 400 A.D.
Then the west and east really started to diverge.
If you keep with the Roman 'state', you'll follow it into byzantium. If you stay with the west, you'll watch the 'barbarians' blend into the institutions of rome, which is also very fascinating. By then, though, I think you'll have a better idea of how to continue.
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Old November 23rd, 2012, 02:50 PM   #30

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This might be worth a try:

[ame="http://www.amazon.co.uk/History-Rome-Down-Age-Constantine/dp/0333278305/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top"]A History of Rome: Down to the Age of Constantine: Amazon.co.uk: M. Cary, H. H. Scullard: Books@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61L7lnGNyKL.@@AMEPARAM@@61L7lnGNyKL[/ame]
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