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A Companion to the Roman Army Paperback – December 3, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-1444339215 ISBN-10: 1444339214 Edition: 1st

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A Companion to the Roman Army + A Companion to the Roman Republic
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 600 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (December 3, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444339214
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444339215
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1.3 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,861,036 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"It is an excellent academic reference book and should prove a valuable resource for anyone interested in the development of the Roman Army as well as its interactions over a thousand years with the Empire it both served and influenced". (UNRV History, 1 April 2011)


"This book is a valuable work for the reference shelf and a bible for military buffs." (Greece & Rome, 2008)

“This volume is another in the growing range of period- or topic-focused Companions to the Ancient World published by Blackwell. The Roman army, as a central institution and influence in so many aspects of Roman imperial history, is an obvious subject for such a volume. Like other volumes in the series, this one boasts an impressive range of international authors, and the scholarship is of a very high order.” (New England Classical Journal, February 2009)

“It is no easy task to commission and co-ordinate 29 separate contributions, and the editor's energy in doing so should be recognized. The volume will happily sit on an academic bookshelf … as a handy compendium of the views of the individual authors.” (Bryn Mawr Classical Review, October 2008)

“The most extensive and likely best researched overview on the Roman army that is currently available.”(Ancient Warfare)

"Highly readable, informative, and up-to-date survey…The book constitutes an outstanding resource for many topics concerning the Roman army…there is much to interest laymen…and scholars alike.”

"It is particularly valuable in providing up-to-date accounts of the army's manifold aspect and the bibliographies to support them." (Scholia Reviews)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By P. L. Powell on November 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Once in a while a book is published that becomes a standard reference work for students for its day. Edited by Paul Erdkamp, research fellow in ancient history at Leiden University is 'A Companion to the Roman Army' (Blackwell Press, Oxford, 2007) which promises to be such a book for the noughties. This is a collection of twenty-nine papers by distinguished international scholars, amongst whom contributors include Anthony Birley, Hugh Elton, Oliver Stoll and Michael Whitby. The papers are arranged in four sections: Early Rome, Mid- and Late Republic, The Empire (Actium to Adrianople) and The Late Roman Empire (to Justinian). As the sleeve copy states:

"The expert contributors to this volume delve into this culture, offering an extensive account of the Roman army, from its beginnings to its transformation in the later Roman Empire. Taking account of the latest scholarly and archaeological research, they examine the recruitment, training, organization, tactics, and weaponry that contributed to Rome's effectiveness as a fighting machine."

Precisely because the book is made of papers narrowly focused on particular subjects by specialists in those areas, this is a veritable treasury of material. Beyond the organisational and arms and armour aspects typically discussed in books on the Roman army, the contributors "explore the ecological, economic, social and political factors that help to explain the characteristic features of the army and its development over time". Indeed, the development of arms and armour receives only relatively cursory examination within the individual papers ('body armour' is discussed on as many pages as, for example, 'Arabia' according to the index).
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