Primary and Secondary Sources on Roman Warfare

#1
Hello,

Can anyone share any recommendations for primary and secondary sources on Imperial Roman Warfare? I have Caesars Commentaries but curious what else is out there. Also, what resources do you think Roman generals used when training in how to lead their armies? Do you think they used the work of Caesar? I’m most interested in learning about the warfare tactics of the first and second centuries AD and how it evolved during that time. Any sources on Roman Republic warfare may also provide some insight. Any help is greatly appreciated!


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Apr 2017
138
Bayreuth
#2
I do not recommend secondary sources in general, but if you are into the topic, it is piece of cake to find all kinds of military stuff. So many are they not.
The only question I can answer you that it is very likely that DBG was far known, because we have a lot of copies, what speaks for - that it was a wide spread book.
 
Feb 2011
6,459
#5
A lot of Roman primary sources about battles and wars wouldn't be completely about battles and wars. A lot you can simply read off the internet, so no need to buy them. Unfortunately some others only survive in fragments.

Anon., De Rebus Bellicis (4th-5th century AD)
Ammianus Marcellinus, Res Gestae (~390 AD)
Arrian, Ektaxis kata Alanon (135 AD)
Caesar, Commentary on the Gallic War (~50 BC)
Caesar, Commentary on the Civil War (~40 BC)
Cassius Dio, Roman Histories (~230 AD)
Frontinus, Stratagema (~70 AD)
Hyginus, De muntionibus castrorum (~200 AD)
Josephus, The Jewish Wars (75 AD)
Livy, History of Rome (9 BC)
Maurice, Strategikon (~600 AD)
Onasander, Strategikos (~50 AD)
Polybius, The Histories (~120 BC)
Sallust, Bellum Jugurthinum (~40 BC)
Vegetius, De Rei Militari (~390 AD)

I realize some of these works are outside the time period you are looking for, so I gave dates for you to pick through them. They're still there is you want them.
 
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#6
Thank you guys! That list is wonderful. That should keep me busy for some time.

Do you think the Roman elite would’ve read DBG and Polybius and used it as a foundation for their military knowledge?




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#7
Frontinus' Stratagema is from your period, is a fun read and was intended to be read by generals. It is basically a list of anecdotes about generals and their tactics/strategies ordered according to themes of warfare.
As for modern scholarship on warfare in the first and second centuries, the osprey books on Roman legionaries from different periods could be worth your time. Just look up osprey and Roman legionary on book depository. The Blackwell Companion to Roman Warfare is great but expensive.