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Old November 21st, 2012, 03:32 PM   #1
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Need Help Deciding/Finding Books


So looking at the military (weapons, armour, strategies/tactics, artillery) for Rome + Greece, but don't know what to choose...

Here's the list:

Roman military equipment: from the Punic Wars to the fall of Rome - M. C. Bishop, J. C. Coulston - Google Books

Roman cavalry equipment - Ian P. Stephenson, Karen R. Dixon - Google Books

Roman Infantry Equipment: The Later Empire - Ian P. Stephenson - Google Books

Weapons of the Romans - Michel Feugère - Google Books

Roman Battle Tactics 109BC-AD313 - Ross Cowan - Google Books

Roman Battle Tactics 390-110 BC - Nic Fields - Google Books

Greek and Roman warfare: battle, tactics and trickery - John Drogo Montagu - Google Books

P.S - What else I'm looking for:

So basically, I want to find a book on the whole of the Roman Empire, the whole 600 year period, a huge book. This would be my first non-school book in ... years and years, I haven't started reading before this, but I went to the library the other day, and I felt the books were very entertaining, and I was superised that I was totally reading the book and tunnel-visioned on it, blocking out the outside!

So I want a book OR a series of books (that individually) that focuses on the whole 600 year period, if this isn't possible, then maybe ALL of the emperors in a book OR a series of books. The reason I am asking for assistance is because I have tried looking myself, but the result was unfavorable, I have never looked for a book before XD

I also want to find books on:
- Roman Types of Units (in the army) - their names and uses (maybe it's in the strategy books above)
- Political aspects (Roman politicians, their decisions and how they effected events, domestically and internationally)
- Cultural lifestyle (for a range of people, soldiers, politicians, slaves, ordinary citizens etc.)
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Old November 21st, 2012, 04:07 PM   #2
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I don't know which of those secondary sources you should pick, but I suggest you start with Vegetius: de rei militari (on military matters, or epitome of military science, depending on the translation of the title). It is a primary source, a military handbook, written during the later roman empire. Sometimes primary sources can be tedious to read, and it can be easier to read a secondary source, but this is not such a case. You should definitely read this before any of those other ones. You'll see what I mean once you get into it. Also, the other great one is maurice's strategikon. that one is from a few hundred years later, after the collapse of the western roman government, but it's still damn good

Also, when looking for secondary sources, I would suggest getting the most recent books you can, because so much of the material from 30 years ago, even, is crap. History has been 'changing' so much even over the last two decades that much of what was written beyond that span is practically moot. Not in every case, of course, but much of it is.
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Old November 21st, 2012, 04:26 PM   #3

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Out of those listed sources, the bottom two are worth reading, imo.
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Old November 21st, 2012, 05:58 PM   #4
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War and Society in Imperial Rome, 31 BC-AD 284

that's one you might like
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Old November 21st, 2012, 07:00 PM   #5

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The Fall of the West by Adrian Goldsworthy does a thorough job of covering the period from Marcus Aurelius (180 AD) onward.
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Old November 21st, 2012, 07:51 PM   #6

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Judging from what you have up there, it seems like you're quite interested in the Roman army. A quick and humourous introduction is this one. It's written by a notable scholar and quite amusing, perhaps even more so once you've read the sources and can see how he's using them:

Amazon.com: Legionary: The Roman Soldier's (Unofficial) Manual (Unofficial Manuals) (9780500251515): Philip Matyszak: Books
Amazon.com: Legionary: The Roman Soldier's (Unofficial) Manual (Unofficial Manuals) (9780500251515): Philip Matyszak: Books


I would really highly recommend taking a look at what the Romans themselves had to say on warfare. A number of major sources focus exclusively on it. Caesar's de Bello Gallico is a good place to start. It's very easy reading and a lot of action. Ammianus is IMHO, one of the best of the Roman military historians simply because he manages to make his narratives so exciting. If you're interested in the 4th c. Romans fighting off Franks and Alamanni and then making a big attack on Persia, this is the book the read. Ammianus was present at much of what he describes, so it's first-rate stuff. For older material you can look at Polybius and Livy, both of which are important. I don't work in the Republican period so I can't say I find them thrilling, but then again if I did I probably would work in that era. You can find some stuff in Tacitus, although a lot of that is political wrangling more than warfare. Josephus may have some of the best material on the Roman army in action in the first century. Do not skip The Jewish War. Procopius is also top-notch and describes campaigning in Persia, Italy, the Caucasus, Sicily, and Africa, but again is very late. Goldsworthy's intro to the army is useful and accessible. Not all of these editions are ideal, but they're all cheap and easy to get your hands on. Procopius is not, however, with the Wars being only available in five volumes. The Ammianus edition is not very good, but nor is the Loeb, which runs to over $75 for all three volumes. The Penguin Polybius is abridged; fortunately a Landmark Polybius is in the works.

The Complete Roman Army (The Complete Series): Adrian Goldsworthy: 9780500288993: Amazon.com: Books
The Complete Roman Army (The Complete Series): Adrian Goldsworthy: 9780500288993: Amazon.com: Books


The Gallic War: Seven Commentaries on The Gallic War with an Eighth Commentary by Aulus Hirtius (Oxford World's Classics): Julius Caesar, Carolyn Hammond: 9780199540266: Amazon.com: Books
The Gallic War: Seven Commentaries on The Gallic War with an Eighth Commentary by Aulus Hirtius (Oxford World's Classics): Julius Caesar, Carolyn Hammond: 9780199540266: Amazon.com: Books


The War with Hannibal: The History of Rome from Its Foundation, Books XXI-XXX (Penguin Classics) (Bks. 21-30): Titus Livius Livy, Aubrey De Selincourt: 9780140441451: Amazon.com: Books
The War with Hannibal: The History of Rome from Its Foundation, Books XXI-XXX (Penguin Classics) (Bks. 21-30): Titus Livius Livy, Aubrey De Selincourt: 9780140441451: Amazon.com: Books


The Histories (Oxford World's Classics): Polybius, Robin Waterfield, Brian McGing: 9780199534708: Amazon.com: Books
The Histories (Oxford World's Classics): Polybius, Robin Waterfield, Brian McGing: 9780199534708: Amazon.com: Books


The Histories (Penguin Classics): Tacitus, Rhiannon Ash, Kenneth Wellesley: 9780140449648: Amazon.com: Books
The Histories (Penguin Classics): Tacitus, Rhiannon Ash, Kenneth Wellesley: 9780140449648: Amazon.com: Books


The Annals of Imperial Rome (Penguin Classics): Tacitus, Michael Grant: 9780140440607: Amazon.com: Books
The Annals of Imperial Rome (Penguin Classics): Tacitus, Michael Grant: 9780140440607: Amazon.com: Books


The Jewish War: Revised Edition (Penguin Classics): Flavius Josephus, Betty Radice: 9780140444209: Amazon.com: Books
The Jewish War: Revised Edition (Penguin Classics): Flavius Josephus, Betty Radice: 9780140444209: Amazon.com: Books


The Later Roman Empire: A.D. 354-378 (Penguin Classics): Ammianus Marcellinus, Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, Walter Hamilton: 9780140444063: Amazon.com: Books
The Later Roman Empire: A.D. 354-378 (Penguin Classics): Ammianus Marcellinus, Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, Walter Hamilton: 9780140444063: Amazon.com: Books


Procopius: History of the Wars, Vol. 1, Books 1-2: The Persian War (Loeb Classical Library) (English and Greek Edition): Procopius, H. B. Dewing: 9780674990548: Amazon.com: Books
Procopius: History of the Wars, Vol. 1, Books 1-2: The Persian War (Loeb Classical Library) (English and Greek Edition): Procopius, H. B. Dewing: 9780674990548: Amazon.com: Books

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Old November 21st, 2012, 07:52 PM   #7

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Deleted. I checked to make sure this wouldn't post twice, but it did anyway.
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Old November 21st, 2012, 11:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JediArron View Post
So looking at the military (weapons, armour, strategies/tactics, artillery) for Rome + Greece, but don't know what to choose...

Here's the list:

Roman military equipment: from the Punic Wars to the fall of Rome - M. C. Bishop, J. C. Coulston - Google Books

Roman cavalry equipment - Ian P. Stephenson, Karen R. Dixon - Google Books

Roman Infantry Equipment: The Later Empire - Ian P. Stephenson - Google Books

Weapons of the Romans - Michel Feugère - Google Books

Roman Battle Tactics 109BC-AD313 - Ross Cowan - Google Books

Roman Battle Tactics 390-110 BC - Nic Fields - Google Books

Greek and Roman warfare: battle, tactics and trickery - John Drogo Montagu - Google Books

Added recently: Arms and Armour of the Imperial Roman Soldier: From Marius to Commodus, 112 ... - Raffaele D'Amato, Graham Sumner - Google Books


Added recently: Roman Imperial Armour: The Production of Early Imperial Military Armour - David Sim, Jaime Kaminski - Google Books


P.S - What else I'm looking for:

So basically, I want to find a book on the whole of the Roman Empire, the whole 600 year period, a huge book. This would be my first non-school book in ... years and years, I haven't started reading before this, but I went to the library the other day, and I felt the books were very entertaining, and I was superised that I was totally reading the book and tunnel-visioned on it, blocking out the outside!

So I want a book OR a series of books (that individually) that focuses on the whole 600 year period, if this isn't possible, then maybe ALL of the emperors in a book OR a series of books. The reason I am asking for assistance is because I have tried looking myself, but the result was unfavorable, I have never looked for a book before XD

I also want to find books on:
- Roman Types of Units (in the army) - their names and uses (maybe it's in the strategy books above)
- Political aspects (Roman politicians, their decisions and how they effected events, domestically and internationally)
- Cultural lifestyle (for a range of people, soldiers, politicians, slaves, ordinary citizens etc.)
2 more armour books added!
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Old November 21st, 2012, 11:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirialax View Post
Judging from what you have up there, it seems like you're quite interested in the Roman army. A quick and humourous introduction is this one. It's written by a notable scholar and quite amusing, perhaps even more so once you've read the sources and can see how he's using them: Amazon.com: Legionary: The Roman Soldier's (Unofficial) Manual (Unofficial Manuals) (9780500251515): Philip Matyszak: Books

I would really highly recommend taking a look at what the Romans themselves had to say on warfare. A number of major sources focus exclusively on it. Caesar's de Bello Gallico is a good place to start. It's very easy reading and a lot of action. Ammianus is IMHO, one of the best of the Roman military historians simply because he manages to make his narratives so exciting. If you're interested in the 4th c. Romans fighting off Franks and Alamanni and then making a big attack on Persia, this is the book the read. Ammianus was present at much of what he describes, so it's first-rate stuff. For older material you can look at Polybius and Livy, both of which are important. I don't work in the Republican period so I can't say I find them thrilling, but then again if I did I probably would work in that era. You can find some stuff in Tacitus, although a lot of that is political wrangling more than warfare. Josephus may have some of the best material on the Roman army in action in the first century. Do not skip The Jewish War. Procopius is also top-notch and describes campaigning in Persia, Italy, the Caucasus, Sicily, and Africa, but again is very late. Goldsworthy's intro to the army is useful and accessible. Not all of these editions are ideal, but they're all cheap and easy to get your hands on. Procopius is not, however, with the Wars being only available in five volumes. The Ammianus edition is not very good, but nor is the Loeb, which runs to over $75 for all three volumes. The Penguin Polybius is abridged; fortunately a Landmark Polybius is in the works.

The Complete Roman Army (The Complete Series): Adrian Goldsworthy: 9780500288993: Amazon.com: Books

The Gallic War: Seven Commentaries on The Gallic War with an Eighth Commentary by Aulus Hirtius (Oxford World's Classics): Julius Caesar, Carolyn Hammond: 9780199540266: Amazon.com: Books

The War with Hannibal: The History of Rome from Its Foundation, Books XXI-XXX (Penguin Classics) (Bks. 21-30): Titus Livius Livy, Aubrey De Selincourt: 9780140441451: Amazon.com: Books

The Histories (Oxford World's Classics): Polybius, Robin Waterfield, Brian McGing: 9780199534708: Amazon.com: Books

The Histories (Penguin Classics): Tacitus, Rhiannon Ash, Kenneth Wellesley: 9780140449648: Amazon.com: Books

The Annals of Imperial Rome (Penguin Classics): Tacitus, Michael Grant: 9780140440607: Amazon.com: Books

The Jewish War: Revised Edition (Penguin Classics): Flavius Josephus, Betty Radice: 9780140444209: Amazon.com: Books

The Later Roman Empire: A.D. 354-378 (Penguin Classics): Ammianus Marcellinus, Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, Walter Hamilton: 9780140444063: Amazon.com: Books

Procopius: History of the Wars, Vol. 1, Books 1-2: The Persian War (Loeb Classical Library) (English and Greek Edition): Procopius, H. B. Dewing: 9780674990548: Amazon.com: Books
Thank you very much, I like the look of The Roman Soldier's Unofficial Guide! XD

I might buy that first, to understand the general overview of the Roman Armies' lives, then focus into specifics, weapons, artillery, units, strategies!
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Old November 22nd, 2012, 04:12 AM   #10
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For now I have purchased:

Weapons of the Romans - Michel Feugère - Google Books

and

Amazon.com: Legionary: The Roman Soldier's (Unofficial) Manual (Unofficial Manuals) (9780500251515): Philip Matyszak: Books
Amazon.com: Legionary: The Roman Soldier's (Unofficial) Manual (Unofficial Manuals) (9780500251515): Philip Matyszak: Books


Hopefully the Weapons of the Romans book was the best of the 3 or 4 I could have chose from above.

I later intend to buy the bottom 3
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