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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Pen and Sword (October 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848841388
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848841383
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 7.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,188,624 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


The author of this impressive book, Dr Mike Bishop, is a respected freelance archaeologist, writer and publisher specialising in Roman militaria. The Handbook is a reference guide to 103 legionary fortresses scattered around the frontiers of the Roman Empire, 11 of them in Britain. The bulk of this minutely researched volume consists of detailed plans, measurements and geographical data of each fortress with literary references. A number of large colour photographs, mostly taken by the author and his collaborator Jonathon Coulston, complement the descriptions. There are informative appendices including a timeline of legionary movements, and an exhaustive bibliography, and the book is linked to a website containing further detailed information and maps. The Handbook would be an asset to any serious library of Roman studies. - The Friends of Fishbourne Roman Palace This is a reference guide to Roman legionary fortresses throughout the Roman Empire, of which approximately eighty-five have been located and identified. Some have been explored in great detail, others are barely known, but this book brings together for the first time the legionary fortresses of the whole empire. www.academia.edu

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By jeff mcculloch on March 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The title of this review is a bit tongue in cheek. I like this book, but it is probably not for the general reader. There is a huge mass of detail provided in its pages which is more than challenging to anyone other than true aficionados of Roman fortifications. The heart of this book is what I would term a gazetteer of almost all known legionary fortresses of the Roman Empire, approximately 85 locations. Outline drawings of the plans are provided, as well as details such as regions, provinces, proportions and area, compass orientation, dating, literary references, garrison units, modern references, and geographic coordinates. Color photographs of many of the fortress features are provided and text in the front portion of the book provides some description of the functions of the various features of the fortifications. The book is well organized and has features which are unique if not stunning. This is a wealth of detail. Nothing in the book ties the fortresses to strategic analysis, the reason for the fortress being located and constructed as it was, the populations or cities they were attempting to protect, or the enemies they were trying to counter. Could some of these constructs been make work projects to keep the soldiers occupied? Were they the Roman version of stimulus spending? If they were bases and depots to counter various threats, what campaigns did they support? The grand strategy of the empire has many questions and unknown factors, but the book would have been more satisfactory by attempting to answer some of them. Within its limits this is an excellent and exhaustive work. It should be read in conjunction with The Frontiers of Imperial Rome by David J. Breeze or The Reach of Empire by Derek Williams to answer some of the more strategic questions. The Osprey Fortress series contains some excellent information of interest to the generalist.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By RS on May 31, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A great deal of work obviously involved but with very little historical context to go with the notes and site maps. I also bought "Reach of Rome" which is much more what I was looking for.
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