Nero's Killing Machine: The True Story of Rome's Remarkable 14th Legion

Nero's Killing Machine: The True Story of Rome's Remarkable 14th Legion

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by Stephen Dando-Collins
     
 

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The 14th Gemina Martia Victrix Legion was the most celebrated military unit of the early Roman Empire. After participating in the A.D. 43 invasion of Britain, the legion achieved its greatest glory when it put down the famous rebellion led by Britain's Queen Boudicca. Numbering less than 10,000 men, the disciplined Roman soldiers defeated 230,000 rampaging British…  See more details below

Overview

The 14th Gemina Martia Victrix Legion was the most celebrated military unit of the early Roman Empire. After participating in the A.D. 43 invasion of Britain, the legion achieved its greatest glory when it put down the famous rebellion led by Britain's Queen Boudicca. Numbering less than 10,000 men, the disciplined Roman soldiers defeated 230,000 rampaging British rebels, slaughtering 80,000 while incurring only 400 losses-an accomplishment that led the emperor Nero to honor the legion with the title "Conqueror of Britain." In this gripping book, second in the author's definitive histories of the legions of ancient Rome, Stephen Dando-Collins brings the 14th Legion to life, offering a unique soldier's-eye view of their tactics, campaigns, and battles and exploring the gruesome realities of war in the Classical Age. Based on his thirty-two years of painstaking research into the Roman military, Nero's Killing Machine paints a striking portrait of daily life in the legion as it traces its storied history-beginning with the disastrous day in 54 B.C. when, led into a trap while serving under Julius Caesar, the legion was wiped from the face of the earth. You'll see how, for decades, the legion struggled to regain its lost status, treading a blood-soaked path and slowly climbing back to glory by fighting first under Germanicus Caesar against Hermann the German, then under Gaius Suetonius Paulinus against Queen Boudicca-vastly outnumbered but determined to preserve honor if not life as it went down fighting. You'll also gain new insights into the lives of the legionnaires-men who, hardened by years of rigorous training and rigid Roman military discipline enforced by often brutal centurions, merged into a close-knit, chillingly efficient killing machine. Filled with previously unknown details about Roman military practices, Nero's Killing Machine is a riveting, eye-opening history of the men who made Rome great.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
* "Stephen Dando-Collins tracks the history of the 14th Legion...drawing on 30 years of research for the second of his definitive histories of ancient Roman armies. A fitting chronicle." (Military History)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780471675013
Publisher:
Turner Publishing Company
Publication date:
11/28/2004
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
987,268
Product dimensions:
6.42(w) x 9.54(h) x 1.12(d)

Meet the Author

STEPHEN DANDO-COLLINS is the author of Caesar's Legion: The Epic Saga of Julius Caesar's Elite Tenth Legion and the Armies of Rome, Cleopatra's Kidnappers: How Caesar's Sixth Legion Gave Egypt to Rome and Rome to Caesar, and Mark Antony's Heroes: How the Third Gallica Legion Saved an Apostle and Made an Emperor, all from Wiley. He is an Australian-born researcher, editor, and author who has spent the last three decades identifying and studying the individual legions of the Roman army of the late Republic and the empire of the Caesars.

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Nero's Killing Machine: The True Story of Rome's Remarkable 14th Legion 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Collector More than 1 year ago
This book is beautiful. The words lift from the page directly into your ears and makes the history so easily understood that you might think that you were taken back in time to the Roman Empire. All of Stephen Dando Collins's books are written in the same format and describe different parts of the legions history. you could go to the Siege of Jerusalem or find out how Caesar brought Gaul to its knees. this book is wonderful and a must have in any persons collection.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought that the author told a historically accurate account of some of the greatest roman victories and defeats. His writing style is creative in the sense that it creates an interesting history of Rome. Once I started the book I must say that I looked forward to picking it up again. The story of Queen Boudicca is a story that is very relavent today.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The author is to be commended for bringing a great deal of information together. The premise of his book has great potential using the history of the Roman 14th legion to tell the story of Roman history in parallel. It is the author's writing style that is painful: 'Determined to teach the German tribes a lesson about the foolishness of messing with Rome...', 'While these two legions put their feet up, Caesar led the 7th, ...', 'Here was an opportunity for the youngsters of the 14th to give Caesar reason to consider them more than just a B-grade legion.', 'The 14th ... returned from the operation without a scratch, and with a king, a prince, and the wife of Rome's public enemy number one. Not a bad week's work.' The author is trying to make his book more 'broadly accessible' but he has dumbed it down too much.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As someone whose knowledge of Roman military history is largely derived from Shakespeare and the Asterix comics, I can't claim to be the ideal reader about the story of Rome's 'remarkable' 14th Legion. It's a tribute to Stephen Dando-Collins' narrative powers that he won over such a battle-wary reader as myself. No doubt it helped that the fight at the heart of this story involved a woman wronged: the wild Queen Boudicca of Britain who, after her husband's death, was denied her rightful inheritance by the Roman governor of Britain Gaius Paulinus. After she was beaten and her daughters raped, she swore revenge and led an uprising against the Romans. Dando-Collins opens the book with the final battle where it looks like the 14th legion are about to be slaughtered. Leaving the reader hanging, he flashes back to critical moments in its chequered past. Cleverly structered and well-paced, Nero's Killing Machine is written with a filmic sense of the physicality of battle and the fine line between triumph and disaster. FIONA CAPP, Book reviewer, 'The Age', Melbourne, Australia
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Looks around her room, colors only of black and red with a tint of silver. "I aint no little cutesy girl" she huffed sassily. Throws herself onto her bed and starts texting her bf
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She kicks a tote bag under a recently made bed, along with pushing a backpack and suitcase under beside it, before brushing some dust from her jeans, walking from the cabin.