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Part two of a great study on Roman Centurions
on June 2, 2012
In this book we leave behind the Republic. The centurions of the classical and late empire, although sharing many military roles with Republican centurions, developed into something more: A possibility of social ascension, a cadre of tough and obedient public administrators, political police officers and even enforcers for Emperors and senior politicians.
The Imperial period Centurions and Centenarius (in the late empire) are now disclosed in this small but marvelous book by one of the greatest investigators specialized in ancient Rome. With academic rigor and intelligent reasoning, Prof D'Amato guides the reader through the careers, lives, equipment, clothing and social status of those officers that were the true anima of the Roman Army. As always, he "discloses" great pictures of rarely published artifacts and sculptures, like the one probably representing a centurion wearing a lorica Segmentata (MOST probably; the sword in the left hip is quite a giveaway for the period in question; also the staff in his right hand and the richly embossed attic helmet wouldn't be usual in a legionary), from the Templum Gentis Flaviae; or the leather and linen greaves (or lining of the greaves) in the Vindonissa Museum! Other artifacts are given new and logical interpretations or possibilities, like the tombstone of T. Calidius.
The art from Giuseppe Rava details with unparalleled detail the equipment, creating magnificent aids to better visualize the explanations of Prof. D'Amato. The plates include Centurions from the following periods:
- Augustan-Tiberian Period (1st Cent BC - 1st Cent AD)
- The Julio-Claudian dynasty
- The investiture of a centurion in the Flavian dynasty
- A head presentation to Emperor Trajan during the first Dacian Campaign
- Centurions from the Antonine and Severan periods
- The anarchy of the 3rd Century AD
- Parley during the battle for Italy, early 4th Century AD
- Officers from Western and Eastern Rome during the 4th and 5th Centuries AD
This is a must buy for anyone interested in Roman warfare. If you havent bought the first part of this study, the title is "Roman Centurions 753 - 31 BC, The Kingdom and the age of Consuls". Buy it, you won't regret it.