The focus of this issue of Ancient Warfare magazine is on early Italy, before the Roman conquest of the peninsula, looking at the many different peoples who inhabited the area. Early Italy was populated by an unusually wide range of peoples, from the Celts of the Po valley to the Greeks of southern Italy and Sicily, each with their own culture, language and way of fighting. Although the rise of Rome is often seen as an inevitable process, in fact the Romans suffered a series of setbacks during the long struggle against their neighbours.
The articles are all of a high standard, supported by a good selection of illustrations, including many photographs of archaeological finds, sculptures and works of art, and between them they create a good picture of non-Roman Italy, and hint at a very different version of Roman history to the one that has (partly) survived, and that would contain many more Roman defeats than the familiar tale of conquest.
Rome itself is the focus of the final article, looking at the question of whether there was a 'grand strategy' for the Roman Empire that was followed by most Emperors. The author has produced an interesting article that looks at the arguments for and against this idea.
This is an interesting edition of the magazine, looking at Rome's rivals in Italy in their own right, rather than as part of the wider story of the rise of Rome.
The Source - A dedication to Mars
Hero to Hoplite - Villanovan and Etruscan warriors
Samnite Warriors - Southern Italian warriors, 500-300 BC
Sparta's Italiote Descendants - Barbarian warriors of the Tarentines
Victory by Divine Intervention - the battles of Bovianum
Agile Status Symbols - Chariots in ancient Italy
Evidence of Trauma - Bioarchaeology and the ancient battlefield, part 1
The Debate - Did Rome have a Grand Strategy
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