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Rome's Enemies (5): The Desert Frontier (Men-at-Arms) Paperback – March 26, 1991


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Rome's Enemies (5): The Desert Frontier (Men-at-Arms) + Rome's Enemies (4) : Spanish Armies 218-19 BC (Men at Arms Series, 180)
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Product Details

  • Series: Men-at-Arms (Book 243)
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (March 26, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1855321661
  • ISBN-13: 978-1855321663
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 7.1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,306,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Packed with specially commissioned artwork, maps and diagrams, the Men-at-Arms series is an unrivalled illustrated reference on the history, organisation, uniforms and equipment of the world's military forces, past and present.

About the Author

David Nicolle was born in 1944, the son of the illustrator Pat Nicolle. He worked in the BBC Arabic service for a number of years, before going 'back to school', gaining an MA from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, and a doctorate from Edinburgh University. He later taught world and Islamic art and architectural history at Yarmuk University, Jordan. He has written many books and articles on medieval and Islamic warfare, and has been a prolific author of Osprey titles for many years. David lives and works in Leicestershire, UK.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Olivier Clementin on May 30, 2000
Usual Men-At-Arms series quality, lots of pictures, interesting historical background. Covers North Africa (Numidia, Nubia), Syria (Palmyra), Mesopotamia (Hatra), Arabia (Nabateans, Lakhmids and Yemenis) and a good bibliography.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Anibal Madeira on February 26, 2011
Professor David Nicolle made a superb job. In just 40 pages plus 8 competent Angus McBride colored plates; he managed to competently give a broad overview of the main civilizations and tribes that lived in the southern and eastern frontiers of the Roman world.

The title is somewhat misleading, most of the peoples described had excellent diplomatic relations with Rome, even policing the desert and providing auxiliary troops and later serving as foederati; though occasionally there was tension and conflict.

With the colored plates you can see good representations of several of those tribes, and in this book this is quite important so that we can see for example Iranian influences in palmyran dress and weapons or the Egyptian Pharaonic influence in the Meroitic civilization. It includes the following plates: North Africa 2nd - 1st Cent BC; Meroitic Sudan; Nubia 3rd-4th Cent AD; Judaea & Arabia Petraea; Palmyra 3rd Cent AD; Palmyra & Hatra 2nd-3rd Cent AD; Arabia Felix & Aethiopia 4th-6th Cent AD and Iran's Desert Neighbors 3rd-6th Cent AD.

Also very interesting are the black and White photos with pictures of statues of palmyran gods; you will also find excellent archeological drawings of artifacts, fortifications, graffiti and petroglyphs (this is one of Prof Nicolle greatest virtues - he almost always shows his sources to document his claims - the mark of a true scholar).
It's divided by regions so it saves space not describing similar characteristics of different tribes that shared ways of living and fighting. You will find information about Western North Africa (including Berbers and Numids), Nile Valley (including the Noba and Meroe), Southern Arabia (Yemen, Hijaz, Mecca among others), Siria (Nabatea, Idumeans, Palmyra, etc.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By K. Murphy on April 1, 2007
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I could not give this book enough stars. The plates are beautiful and detailed even by Angus McBride's standards, but the text by itself would still be worth every penny. It examines a somewhat overlooked subject and researches it in a detailed and captivating manner. It covers the following peoples/regions:
North Africa
Southern Arabia
Central Arabia
Syria (including Herodian and zealot Jewish armies under Roman rule)
Mesopotamia
The plates are:
A: A Numidian prince and two of his warriors
B: A Meroitic Lady and two of her warriors
C: King Silko, a tribal archer, and a Roman mercenary
D: A Herodian cavalryman and an Arab ally are attacked by a Jewish rebel
E: The beautiful Queen Zenobia of Palmyra with her husband Odenathus and a retainer
F: Palmyran armies
G: Ethiopian Governor or Arabia Felix, with Arab troops
H: Arab auxiliaries in Romano-Byzantine service on the eve of the rise of Islam
Also has a good plate commentary and, even besides the plates is visually exciting. Highly recommended!
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dwight E. Howell on August 17, 2008
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The dealer gave good service.

The connection with Ancient Rome was sometimes a little thin and in some cases it was clear not much was known about some of these people at the time of Ancient Rome. They were guessing based on material from other times.

Considering where some of these people lived that isn't completely surprising.
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3 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 22, 2002
This is the usual Osprey book with the usual text by David Nicolle and the usual artwork by McBride. Definitely not McBride at his best.
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