Ancient Warfare Vol VII, Issue 3: Conquerors of Italy: The Early Roman Republic.

Ancient Warfare Vol VII, Issue 3: Conquerors of Italy: The Early Roman Republic.

Ancient Warfare Vol VII, Issue 3: Conquerors of Italy: The Early Roman Republic.

This issue of Ancient Warfare magazine focuses on the wars of the early Roman Republic, from the early defensive battles against the deposed final king of Rome, through the series of wars that saw the Republic expand to be the only power left in Italy. The introduction is a good brief account of Rome's conquest of Apennine History, from the time of the kings to the first overseas expeditions. Next is an interesting look at the historical Livy, with useful material on his sources, his probable methods of working, his reliability and the impressive speed with which he worked.

Third is an fascinating article on a topic I knew nothing about - the priesthood of the fetiales, the priests who acted as early Rome's diplomatic service and performed the rituals for declaring war. The examination of the battle of Lake Regillus looks at a crucial incident in the very early history of the Republic, were the last attempt of the last king of Rome to regain his crown was thwarted. Next is a look at the organisation of the population into centuries and the political power of the army.

Two articles deal with the First Samnite War - one looking at the sometimes rather confused course of the war itself and the second at the Roman defeat at the Caudine Forks and Livy's account of the battle and its aftermath, an early example of Rome's ability to bounce back from major defeats. Finally comes a look at the mysterious Gaesates, part of the Celtic army defeated at Telamon during Rome's wars in the Po valley.

This issue is very tightly focused. Of the ten articles eight are linked to the Roman conquest of Italy, one looks at Fabius during the Second Punic War and only the last, on the diversity often found in ancient armies, isn't related to early Roman history. The article on Fabius looks at his attempts to put Hannibal off balance in the period of his greatest military victories. The article on the mixed nature of many Ancient armies is the only one to move away from Rome, and is an interesting overview of the multi-national armies that were typical of Persia, the Hellenistic kingdoms, Carthage and many other ancient powers.

The Early Roman Republic: Historical Introduction
The fast-working historian: Livy and his sources
Fetiales and the Law of Nations: How the Romans justified their wars
Rome confirms the Republic: The Battle of Lake Regillus
Populus: Military and political organisation
Rome's rise to dominance: The First Samnite War
The Roman army defeated: Livy and the Caudine Forks
Fabius and phobos: A strategy using fear
Of tribes and nations: Diversity in ancient armies
The Gaesates: 'Wild young lycanthropic warriors?'
On the cover: Warriors of the Samnite Wars

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