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Early Roman Warrior 753-321 BC Paperback – July 19, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: Warrior (Book 156)
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (July 19, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849084998
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849084994
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.2 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,654 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"I wholeheartedly recommend this title as indispensable to all Ancient wargamers" -- Miniature Wargames

About the Author

Dr Nic Fields started his career as a biochemist before joining the Royal Marines. Having left the military, he went back to University and completed a BA and PhD in Ancient History at the University of Newcastle. He was Assistant Director at the British School at Athens, Greece, and then a lecturer in Ancient History at the University of Edinburgh. Nic is now a freelance author and researcher based in south-west France.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Anibal Madeira on November 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
When we read this book we must realize that most records were written some hundreds of years later and usually with some political agenda. Obviously archeology can fill many blanks, but even so there are many things we just don't know...and the author realizes it. Even the way he writes this book is more introspective, even more poetic, then all of his works previously published.

Fields makes a great short introduction of all peoples that allied, fought against or influenced Rome in those primordial times, including Etruscans, Latins, Sabines, Oscans (including Samnites, Lucanians and Bruttii) and even makes a small reference to the pre-roman Villanovan culture.

The analysis of warfare throughout this period is interesting; he had already summarized it in his previous book "Roman Battle Tactics 390 BC-110BC" but in the present work it's even more relevant chronologically. Fields explains how was the evolution from the individualist clan chieftain and their raids centered in the warrior ethos and display of conspicuous bravery and swordsmanship to the citizen soldier, member of a hoplite phalanx bearing his spear and protecting the comrade at his side with the Aspis.

The evolution of the arms and armor throughout the period is also detailed, including magnificent photographs of helmets, swords (including a bronze antennae sword with curved tip!) and armor.

The illustrations by Seán Ó'Brógáin are less comic book style then previous works. He is a very talented artist but I believe the editor gives him tough deadlines...some paintings are extraordinary (e.g. "Clan Chieftain")...others look they missed final art (e.g. "Surrender, the Caudine Forks").

This is a very good work by one hell of a good roman military historian that devotes himself to publishing works for the general public. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
I have had this Osprey title for a while, having bought it shortly after it was published in 2011. However, I have not up to now, reviewed it simply because I had trouble making up my mind and coming up with a well-balanced assessment. This is what my review’s title is supposed to reflect and it is also what the somewhat contrasting reviews of other reviewers reflect to some extent.

To be fair, this Osprey Warrior title was not an easy one to come up with. As others have mentioned, the scope (over four centuries) could in itself be an issue, especially when this has to be summarised in the usual sixty four pages format.

There is worse, however: all the sources are debatable, when they are not lacking. The written sources, Livy in particular, but also Polybius to some extent, are questionable and have been questioned. This was largely because they wrote centuries after the time and events that they described. It is also because what they contain is in part drawn from older lost sources, which we do not know and whose worth we cannot assess. This is, to quote T.J. Cornell, the issue about “the sources of the sources”.

A second and related set of issues is that archaeology and its findings may help, but only up to a point, and it can also contribute in some cases to further “muddying the waters”. A case in point is the discussions about Early Roman shields, where the Scutum is assumed to be derived from a Gallic prototype, which is very plausible. However, the shape, dimensions and construction of early Scutum shields are assumed to be similar to the unique exemplar preserved and found in Egypt and which dates, at best, from the second century BC.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was the second book I bought to read on my Kindle and I enjoyed the concise nature of the book. This is a good example of a book digitally made for the Kindle. The book is not an indepth discussion on early roman warriors, but a concise and brief outline of the formation of warriors and their equipment. It also discusses briefly the formation of Rome and how soldiers were used to form the greatest empire in the world. This would be a great book for any student of history, and could be used effectively for writing research papers.
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By m ziemann on April 8, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
another fact filled book about a period in Roman history that you realize you did not know enough about. Well written and illistrated. Recommended reading.
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By Ron on April 2, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very helpful, beautifully illustrated book.
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Early Roman Warrior 753-321 BC
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