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Between the Punic Wars and the rise of Caesar the Roman Republic faced a series of often-forgotten crises, facing wars in Gaul, Macedonia and North Africa, each of which saw Roman armies saw serious defeats. The credit for saving the Republic was won by Marius, the first of the series of soldier-statesmen that ended with Caesar and the death of the Republic.
Sampson has produced a well argued narrative of these wars, admitting when speculation is needed because of the limits of our sources. In these cases he often includes sizable quotes from the conflicting sources, allowing us to decide if we agree with his conclusions. This was a period of serious but over obscure crises, some of which have left virtually no trace in the records other than a single mention of a defeat or a battle.
Marius is the central figure for most of this period, eventually winning both the Jugurthine and Northern Wars. He is also generally credited with having reformed the Roman army, although Sampson does a very good job of dismantling this idea, making good use of the sources to do so.
This is an interesting account of an obscure but critically important period in the history of the Roman Republic, making good use of the admittedly limited sources to produce a clear picture of a series of wars that genuinely threatened the existence of the young empire.
Rome in Crisis?
1 - Rome in Crisis? (146-120 BC)
2 - The Rise of Numidia (206-112 BC)
3 - The Northern Wars - The Threat from the North (120-111 BC)
War on Two Fronts (111-105 BC)
4 - The Jugurthine War - The Early Campaign (111-110 BC)
5 - The Jugurthine War - The Metellan Campaigns (109-108 BC)
6 - The Northern Wars - Victory in Thrace, Defeat in Gaul (111-107 BC)
7 - The Jugurthine War - The Marian Campaigns (107-105 BC)
8 - The Northern Wars - Disaster at Arausio (105 BC)
The Age of Marius (104-100 BC)
9 - The Northern Wars - The War in Spain and the Battle of Aquae Sextiae
10 - The Northern Wars - The Battle of Raudian Plain (Vercellae)
11 - A New Roman Army? Marius and the Military Reforms
I - A Bloody Roman Peace - Marius & Rome in 100 BC
II - The Other Wars of the Period 104-100 BC
III - The Roman Manpower Question
IV - The Metellan Dominance (123-98 BC)
V - Sources for the Period
VI - African King Lists
Author: Gareth C. Sampson
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military
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