This book covers a vast period of time - from the rise of the Greek city states between 800 and 360 BC to the late Roman Empire of 200-450 AD, a span of some 1,250 years.
Connolly uses a very wide range of sources. Ancient documentary sources, archaeology and artwork play a major part in the work, but these are supplemented by extensive visits to the ancient battlefields and by the author's own reconstructions of ancient military equipment using surviving fragments as the basis for his work.
For most of the book the main focus is on equipment and organisation, with comparatively brief accounts of the fighting, but for a few key battles Connolly has produced detailed analysis of the campaigns, the sources and the battlefields, based on his extensive visits to the battlefields, reconstructions of the ancient terrain and a detailed knowledge of the ancient sources. This is particularly true of Hannibal's campaigns in Italy, where both Hannibal's route to Italy and the key battles are reconstructed in very convincing detail.
The evolution of military equipment is illustrated with some useful illustrations, especially for the various types of helmets. Again the author's experience of building reconstructions of the various types of arms and armour is invaluable.
This is a splendid study of the ancient Greek and Roman war machines, looking at how they were organised, how they fought and how they were armed and equipped in a readable but still detailed manner. Connolly's work is a classic of military history and should be in the library of anyone interested in ancient warfare.
Greece and Macedonia
1 - The City States 800-360 BC
2 - Macedon 360-140 BC
Italy and the Western Mediterranean
1 - The Rise of Rome 800-275
2 - Rome 275-140 BC
The Roman Empire
1 - The Empire 140 BC - AD 200
2 - The Later Empire AD 200-450
1 - War at Sea
2 - Fortifications and Siege Warfare
3 - Roman Military Costume
Author: Peter Connollu
Year: 2012 edition of 1981 original