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Posted June 1, 2008
I found the first part of the book well written and seemingly, very informative, but when I read the part about the whole of the Grecian campaign in the civil wars, I was so disappointed I became depressed. I would recommend that others first read Appian 'The Civil Wars', Plutarch 'the Fall of the Roman Republic', Theodore Dodge 'Caesar', and Adrian Goldsworthy 'Caesar'. I would also recommend the website Wikipedia for going to pages like 'Roman Provinces in Greece' and others. With just a little effort, one can follow Caesar's route from his landing at Palaste and the overland march he made to Oricum 'Orikum' and thence to Apollonia. I would remind readers that Caesar had set up his forces to move overland behind Pompey by the Southern extension of the Via Egnatia while Pompay had set up astraddle of the Northern extension. If one reads a combination of the reliable sources, one can go to the Wikipedia website and then to their website for Palaste, Orikum, Appolonia 'present day Vlore' or Vlora' and one can click on different photo points that will actually let one see the coastline Caesar was facing and how difficult it would be to land. One can also see the Ceraunian Promontory which sat at the entrance to the bay at Apollonia. One can go to the website for Appolonia and see just how important Apollonia was as a harbor prior to it silting up in approximately 300 AD. I think the author's handing of all the available information was absolutely pathetic and the first part of the book makes it clear that he is capable of a much better effort.
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Posted October 7, 2003
Many Fabrications, Badly Researched
This is the second review I have done of this book. After studying all the primary sources he lists I find that this author has made up facts to fill in the gaps of the history of the Tenth Legions (there were more than one). For example he claims a Spanish origin for the Tenth and other legions. There is no primary source that states this, nor is there archaeological or epigraphic evidence that supports this claim. He claims that Caesar raised this and other legions in Spain and that these units fought for Caesar there prior to the Gallic Wars, again no evidence, no support for this claim. He claims that the Tenth Legion Fretensis is the same as Caesar's Tenth (where more scholarly works like Keppies' The Making of the Roman Army point out it is more likely the Tenth Legion Equestris that is the direct lineage unit), again no evidence or support, the author merely states it and assumes the reader will accept and believe it. I cannot recommend this book and agree with the reviewer that stated this author would be better at writing historical fiction, making up facts to fit a framework of actual history. He has made a good start with this book.
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