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Roman Legionary 58 BC-AD 69 Paperback – June 20, 2003


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Roman Legionary 58 BC-AD 69 + Roman Legionary AD 69-161 (Warrior) + Roman Republican Legionary 298-105 BC (Warrior)
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Product Details

  • Series: Warrior (Book 71)
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (June 20, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841766003
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841766003
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 7.2 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #901,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Insights into the real lives of history's fighting men, packed with full colour illustrations, highly detailed cutaways, exploded artwork of weaponry and armour, and action-packed battle scenes.

About the Author

Ross Cowan studied at the University of Glasgow where he was awarded a PhD for a thesis on the Roman army entitled 'Aspects of the Severan Field Army AD 193-238'. The major themes of the thesis are the organization of the Prateorian Guard and Legio II Parthica, their recruitment, numbers and equipment. Ross also completed his first degree at Glasgow. In 1999 he was elected a fellow of the Society of the Antiquaries of Scotland.

More About the Author

Ross Cowan went to the University of Glasgow with the intention of studying medieval history but was waylaid by Classics, and eventually emerged with a Ph.D. for research on the Praetorian Guard and Second Parthian Legion. Now an independent scholar, Dr Cowan has published on all aspects of warfare in the Roman World.

Customer Reviews

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The book had great illustrations and was very informative on legion tactics and weapons.
Dennis Latham
In other terms, this was too much or too little, especially since this rather controversial view flies in the face of the mainstream view and the written sources.
JPS
As an introductionary material, this book does an excellent job of a quick read and understanding.
lordhoot

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 56 people found the following review helpful By R. A Forczyk VINE VOICE on August 19, 2003
Format: Paperback
Scottish academic Dr. Ross Cowan has put together an impressive summary of the Augustan-era legionary in Osprey's Warrior #71, entitled Roman Legionary 58BC - AD 69. Unlike previous Osprey titles on the Roman Army that tend to recycle old information, Dr. Cowan has been able to benefit from the recent discovery of the site of the Teutoberg Forest battlefield in Germany and subsequent archeological discoveries. Furthermore, while Cowan relies heavily on the standard literary sources - Caesar, Tacitus, Polybius and Josephus - he is able to incorporate some less-used sources as well (e.g. Velleius Paterculus). Overall, this is a fine summary for a young scholar and one that is able to add value to existing collections on the Roman military.
Roman Legionary 58BC - AD 69 consists of a short introduction/chronology, a detailed chart of the 28 Augustan legions, and short sections on the organization/size/command of the legion; enlistment; training; length of service; pay; leadership and morale; belief and belonging; decorations and punishments; dress and appearance; equipment; and daily life on campaign. The section on battle is 12-pages long and discusses more tactical issues. The author also includes a list of relevant websites (thank you!), a glossary of Roman terms (some of which are rather uncommon) and a bibliography. The eight color plates by Angus McBride are excellent and depict: a veteran legionary of Legio XII in 32 BC; a Roman press-gang in Ostia; a Roman squad on the march; four legionary fighting techniques; camp construction; the Battle of Teutoburg Forest in AD 9; a century in battle order; and a legionary in AD 43. The text is also supported by a number of photographs of Roman military artifacts recently excavated in Germany since 1999.
Dr.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By lordhoot on January 21, 2007
Format: Paperback
This Osprey book on the Roman legions proves to be a well written introduction to the subject matter. Written primary for beginners, any beginning reader can get a pretty clear understanding of how the Roman legion works, operates and function as a military unit. The author describes the tactics, weaponary, armor and other elements of the legion clearly and without blogging down the reader with too much details. The author also get on the personal level as he describes the recuitment, training, pay and other individual elements of being a legionaire. All that information for 63 pages. As an introductionary material, this book does an excellent job of a quick read and understanding.

I do agreed with one previous reviewer that there's a singular flaw in this book where the author claims that the century was the primary tactical unit of the legion. I too, totally disagreed with that assertion. That reviewer made an excellent case for why a century wasn't the primary tactical unit so I won't be redundant here.

But overall, the author provided a well researched book that should encouraged most beginning reader on the subject to read more and deeper.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Aaron Thompson on July 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
Great book. Plenty of facts that I was unaware of before. E.g. gladius doesn't actually mean short sword; most legionaries were conscripts rather than volunteers; all three legionary eagles captured in the Teutoburg Forest in AD 9 were eventually recovered. The Battle section is excellent - really makes you understand what happened in an ancient battle. And the plates are good too.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By K. Murphy on March 28, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent introduction the experiences, weaponry, and tactics of the Roman soldiery of the late Republic and early Empire, from the beginning of Julius Caesar's Gallic War to the death of Galba and Otho in 69. For a more experienced student of the Roman Army, it contains basic information but includes some new material-like the little known fact that many legionaries were forced into service-and makes some argumentable claims, like that the cohort did not have a commander. For anyone, this book is a worthy visual source; as with most Osprey books, the color plates by Angus McBride have only one problem-you only get eight of them!
This title would be best read with the other two Osprey titles by Cowan, Imperial Roman Legionary AD 161-284, and Roman Battle Tactics 101 BC-AD 313.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Latham on November 22, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Bad Season Michael In Hell

I bought the book to use as research for a novel I'm writing. The book had great illustrations and was very informative on legion tactics and weapons. I was also amazed by how many times the legions fought each other and how the weapons and uniforms changed over the years. I really enjoyed this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Faulkner on November 1, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Whether you're a hobbyist (like myself), a college student writing a research paper, or just plain interested in military literature, you really can't go wrong with Osprey. I have ten of their books now, and I will continue to collect them as long as I can find them. The illustrations are top notch and the research is excellent. I know this sounds like an advertisement, but in all honesty, as far as historical research goes, Osprey is a great place to start. My only complaint is the price. A bit high, in my opinion, but not to the point of irrationality.

Cheers
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By N. Trachta on March 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
I've recently become interested in the Roman Army of the early Imperial era; it probably has something to do with my picking up some figures and wanting to have more information on the Romans of that era and how to paint them properly. In this regard, Osprey's books have always been good for giving a thumb nail sketch of things with some excellent drawings to support gamers and modelers. With this in mind, Roman Legionary fully meets the requirements, almost like a centurion would; up front and directly. Here one can get good background on what it was like as a legionnaire; what legions were like, the training, the punishment, their equipment, and how they fought and lived. Supporting the quick descriptions are pictures of different legionnaire artifacts and eight color prints showing legionnaires performing different functions.

Rating wise this ones simple, a solid 4 stars. There's good information for gamers and modelers and it's quick and simple. I'd love to have had a little more information or definition on the different legions, but that wasn't the focus of the book (there is a nice table though that tells you the legions that were active for Augustus Caesar).
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