This issue of Ancient Warfare magazine focuses on the career of Gaius Marius, one of the most significant military and political figures of the late Republic. Marius's greatest achievement was the defeat of a massive force of Germans that had defeated a series of Roman armies while migrating across the northern fringes of the Empire. Later in life Marius became involved in a poisonous dispute with his former subordinate Sulla. This led to the first of the wave of civil wars that eventually destroyed the Republic, and in the last year of his life Marius was responsible for a wave of murders that swept Rome.
Here we are given an overview of his career, a look at the reforms he is said to have implements in his legions, the battle of Vercellae, the war with Jugurtha in North Africa and the possible changes made to the pilum during this period. One of the ongoing debates in Roman military history focuses on the amount of credit Marius should get for the innovations traditionally credited to him, and in some cases if they happened at all! The consensus here is that the changes to the pilum didn't happen at all, but that Marius was involved in changing the way in which the Roman army moved, transferring much of the burden from the baggage train to the soldiers, who became known as 'Marius' Mules' because of the weight they carried. This change made the legions much more mobile, and played a part in many later victories.
There are also articles on professionalism in the armies of Alexander the Great, and the impact that the high quality of his armies had, and on the role of the chariot on the battlefield.
This is a nicely balanced issue of the magazine, with enough material on Marius to give the reader a good idea of the importance of the man, and two interesting articles on different topics for a bit of variety.
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The Find: Mercenary's Helmet
The Source: Theatre of War, the Hellenistic mercenary in contemporary drama
General-for-hire: Condottieri of the Ancient World
Soldiers of Ta-Sety: Nubian archers of the pharaohs
Putting the invaders to use: Mercenary tribes in Anatolia
The Emperor as Paymaster: Mercenaries and the Imperial Roman Army
Be a General: Vegetius's scholarship
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