Arms and Armour of the Imperial Roman Soldier – From Marius to Commodus, 112 BC-AD 192, Raffaele d’Amato and Graham Sumner

Arms and Armour of the Imperial Roman Soldier – From Marius to Commodus, 112 BC-AD 192, Raffaele d’Amato and Graham Sumner

This book looks at the full range of Roman military equipment during the three centuries which saw the Roman Empire at its most expansive. The book is split into two sections – the first looking at the Late Republic and Augustus, the second at the first two centuries of Imperial rule, when the Empire was still expanding.

The book covers a huge range of topics. As you’d expect we get a detailed look at the weapons and armour of the army – both the Legions and the auxiliaries, but also horse tack, clothing, insignia of rank, awards, medical equipment and musical instruments.

The authors have used an impressive array of sources, from artwork and sculpture to surviving artefacts. The text is supported by an equally impressive array of colour photographs, illustrating just about everything mentioned in the text.

D’Amato takes a different approach to the value of contemporary art and written accounts of the Roman army than is often the case. What you might call the standard view is that the authors and artists weren’t a reliable guide to the army of their own time period, either because of a lack of knowledge or by deliberate choice. In contrast D’Amato’s view is that the Roman artist had plenty of opportunities to see Roman soldiers in the flesh, and would have wanted to produce an accurate reflection of what they saw. He goes on to support this view by comparing the known archealogical remains with the artwork of the same period, and makes a good case. In many cases the logical is impecible anyway – much of the carved evidence comes from official monuments and individual graves, both places where you’d really want to get the details right, and where you’d have access to the plenty of models in the right equipment.

This is a very impressive reference work, (if perhaps not a book to sit and read through, simply because of the amount of detail that the authors go into). This will be of great value to anyone with an interest in the equipment of the Roman Army.

 

I - From Marius to Augustus 112-30 BC

Sources and Historical Outline
Military Organisation
Weaponry
Auxiliary Troop Equipment: Bow and Arrows, Slingers
Special Equipment and Rank Symbols
Cavalry Equipment: The Man
Cavalry Equipment: The Horse
Clothing
Naval Equipment

II – The Roman Empire in the Age of Expansion, 30 BC-AD 192

Sources and Historical Outline
Military Organisation
Weaponry
Auxilia, Numeri and Cohortes Equitatae
Signa Militaria and the Equipment of Standard Bearers
Medical Corps, Special Equipment, Musicians, Rank Symbols and Military Decorations
Special Equipment
Cavalry Equipment: The Man
Cavalry Equipment: The Horse
The Hyppika Gymnasia
The Heavy Cavalry: The First Catafractarii
The Imperial Guard and Urbaniciani and Vigiles
Clothing
Naval Equipment

Author: Raffaele d’Amato and Graham Sumner
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 320
Publisher: Frontline
Year: 2009


Help - F.A.Q. - Contact Us - Search - Recent - About Us -  Subscribe in a reader - Join our Google Group - Cookies