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Roman Military Dress Paperback – July 1, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0752445762 ISBN-10: 0752445766

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (July 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752445766
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752445762
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.4 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #330,853 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By K. Murphy on September 24, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are one of the rare individuals who has a particular interest in the clothing of Rome's soldiers, this book is going to be your Bible. And really, anyone with a particular interest in Roman military history in general - especially those reenactors who strive for great accuracy - need to buy this book.

To a point this is a much longer and more thorough version of the three volumes that Graham Sumner published for Osprey's men-at-arms series several years ago. But here in this much larger book he has room to give lengthier discussion and present very nearly all the evidence we have, literary and archaeological, for fabrics, colors, etc.

Even on a visual level this book is a gem - in addition to numerous photographs and line drawings the author presents us with sixteen paintings he has done of Roman soldiers, ranging from the days of the Samnite wars all the way down to the era of Justinian, and these are a beauty to look at besides adding clarity to the actual appearance of Rome's fighting men through the centuries.

This title does much to destroy the overdone stereotype of all Roman legionaries being clad in loricas and red tunics and cloaks - it reveals the diversity of style, fabric, and color that existed in the Roman Army, and the influence other cultures had on Roman dress. I imagine this title would be especially valuable for an artist, reenactor or wargamer needing to get their depictions of Roman clothing as accuracy as possible.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By R. N. Sulentic on February 19, 2010
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This is a wonderful work on Roman military clothing. Sumner breaks the subject down into basically six chapters:
1. Tunics
2. Cloaks
3. The Clothing industry (clothing industry and cost)
4. The Clothing indsutry (dyeing industry)
5. Evidence for the color of military clothing
6. Other garments

Sumner ranges from the Republic to the Late Empire, and illustrates the volume copiously with examples of sculpture, painting, artifacts, drawings of artifacts and some reconstructions in color plates.

I expect this will become the reference volume on the subject.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Henry S. Plouse on February 8, 2014
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As the author duly notes, in his forward, there are lots and lots of books out there on Roman arms and armor but, when it comes to what the Roman soldier wore underneath that armor, the information rapidly becomes patchy. This book steps in to remedy the oversight and does so in a generally excellent manner. Indeed, I could hardly read a page without either finding out something I did not know (despite some familiarity with the topic) or finding out that something I thought I knew was wrong. Even where the information offered is not new, often the author provides a new insight into it, which is every bit as eye-opening. In short, it is a book which belongs on the shelf of everyone with a more than passing interest in the Roman military.

Scholarship and accuracy seem to be fairly high and explanations for the most part are clear and accessible, tho' organization of the material seems, at times, to be a bit idiosyncratic, if not actually haphazard, being neither fully chronological nor temporal nor topical and with the author sometimes seeming to swing, willy-nilly, back and forth (e.g., "Now we're talking paenulae? I thought we were on sagums..., no, wait, Iranian horsemen's cloaks? What the..., how'd that get there and when did we start talking about Aurelian instead of Alexander Severus?"). Let me note that there is some internal logic to the manner in which the author handles his discussion and it does not really detract from the work as a "read", however, it makes the book almost impossible to use as a reference work. Want to know what one of Probus' or Carus' soldiers looked like?
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Frequently Bought Together

Roman Military Dress + An Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Uniforms of the Roman World: A detailed study of the armies of Rome and their enemies, including the Etruscans, ... Gauls, Huns, Sassaids, Persians and Turks
Price for both: $48.96

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