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Book Report: -- "Roman Battle Tactics 390-110 BC"

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  • James Mathews
    ... Tactics 390--110 BC, Elite 172, Osprey Pub. Ltd, London, 2010 Etruscans * Latins * Oscans *
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 4, 2012
      >>>>Nic Fields, Gerry and Sam Embleton  (Illust.) "Roman Battle Tactics 390--110 BC," Elite 172, Osprey Pub. Ltd, London, 2010<<<<

      Book Content;

      --Italy Before Rome >>> Etruscans * Latins * Oscans * Greeks * Celtic Incursions * A Village called Rome;
      --The Age of Kings >>>Clan Warfare * City-State Warfare * The 'Servian' Army;
      --The Age of Conquests >>> Italy * The Western Mediterranean * The Greek World * The 'Livian' legion;
      --The Roman Way of War >>>
      The War Band * The Phalanx;
      Phalanx versus War Band: The Allia, 390 BC * The Caudine Forks, 321 BC;
      The Manipular Legion * The triplex acies * The pilum * The gladius and scutum; 
      Militia versus Mercenary: Cannae, 216 BC * Zama, 202 BC; 
      Legion versus phalanx: Kynoskephalai, 197 BC * Magnesia, 190 BC * Pydna, 168 BC;
      --Select Biography;

      This book is the history of the Roman military forces, those of their enemies, artifacts, personalities which stand out in history because of actual being or of myth, and the techniques of warfare that was used and abandoned.  From the Roman army's origins of simple war bands of farmer-warriors, who were a part of the early raids which were seasonal in accordance with their crops and the requirements to tend the farms which provided the food for the bans, against their equally belligerent neighbors for the purposes of financial and political gain.  The Romans developed a militia that used the tactics and the weapons of the phalanx which had been developed by the Greeks.  Having adopted this set of tactics they then proceeded to conquer their enemies for the power using a Roman innovation of something called the "manipular legion" which proved to be an idea which brought to the Roman forces a battle formation which proved to be much more flexible and versatile on the field of battle.  Rome's willpower and social resilience fueled their tactical organization and made it possible to literally wipe out, first — the empire of Carthage, and then the Greek world which had relied on their Hellenistic style of armies.  

      The book is filled with illustrations of battle plans, color plates of formations and tactical scenarios, as well as explaining the development of the Roman Army through the various stages of improvement and plans that enabled Rome to dominate the whole Mediterranean world.  To that end there is a chronology on the major conflicts that engaged the Romans from 753 BC through 146 BC.  There are detailed explanations of the various colored plates ranging from  the "War Band to Phalanx," to the "Consular Army drawn up for battle."  Also included are the following plates and associated special information:

      Manipulus in Battle Array,   Battle Array With Velites,  Cavalry Turma In Battle Array,  Legio In Battle Array,  Consular Army Entrenching, 

      There are also listed in the back of the book nine Osprey Books related to this publication.  These are:

      >>> Ancient Siege Warfare;
      >>> Siege Warfare in the Roman World;
      >>> Roman Battle Tactics 109 BC -- AD 313;
      >>> The Roman Army of the Punic Wars;
      >>> Canne 216 BC;
      >>> The Punic Wars 264 -- 146 BC;
      >>> Armies of the Carthaginian Wars 265 - 146 BC;
      >>> Republican Roman Army 200 -- 104 BC;
      >>> Greek and Roman Siege Machinery 399 BC --AD 363.

      I found the book both very informative and easy to read.  I am looking forward to collecting the Osprey books in the above listing.

      Respectfully Submitted;

      Marcus Audens

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