The complete and definitive history of how Roman generals carved out the greatest and longest-lasting empire the world has ever seen.
The Roman army was one of the most effective fighting forces in history. The legions and their commanders carved out an empire which eventually included the greater part of the known world. This was thanks largely to the generals who led the Roman army to victory after victory, and whose strategic and tactical decisions shaped the course of several centuries of warfare.
This book, by the author of THE PUNIC WARS, concentrates on those Roman generals who displayed exceptional gifts of leadership and who won the greatest victories. With 26 chapters covering the entire span of the Roman Empire, it is a complete history of Roman warfare.
About the Author
Adrian Goldsworthy has a doctorate from Oxford University. His first book, THE ROMAN ARMY AT WAR was recognised by John Keegan as an exceptionally impressive work, original in treatment and impressive in style. He has gone on to write several other books, including THE FALL OF THE WEST, CAESAR, IN THE NAME OF ROME, CANNAE and ROMAN WARFARE, which have sold more than a quarter of a million copies and been translated into more than a dozen languages. A full-time author, he regularly contributes to TV documentaries on Roman themes.
Visit www.adriangoldsworthy.com for more information.
Table of Contents
List of maps and diagrams 1
Preface to the Yale University Press Edition 3
1 'The Shield and Sword of Rome': Fabius and Marcellus 32
2 A Roman Hannibal: Scipio Africamis 50
3 The Conqueror of Macedonia: Aemilius Paullus 79
4 'Small Wars': Scipio Aemilianus and the fall of Numantia 109
5 A person devoted to war': Caius Marius 127
6 General in exile: Sertorius and the Civil War 154
7 A Roman Alexander: Pompey the Great 171
8 Caesar in Gaul 203
9 Caesar against Pompey 240
10 An Imperial 'Prince': Germanicus beyond the Rhine 267
11 Imperial Legate: Corbulo and Armenia 297
12 A Young Caesar: Titus and the Siege of Jerusalem, AD 70 328
13 The last great conqueror: Trajan and the Dacian Wars 357
14 A Caesar on campaign: Julian in Gaul, AD 356-60 379
15 One of the last: Belisarius and the Persians 406
16 Later years: The legacy of Roman generals 425
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
An interesting selection of military figures. Each biography is situated with in the changes that defined the Roman military. For example the chapter on the Emperor Julian also describes the declining importance of Rome as a political centre as the making and unmaking of emperors shifts to the army. This makes the process of obtaining the purple much easier, but as a consequence harder to retain as military units tended to back claimants that they felt would reward them.Absolutely absorbing.
Goldsworthy's book is informative, entertaining, comprehensive and thoroughly researched - it's a shame I can't think of many people who would enjoy it.In 16 chapters he covers Roman Generals from Fabius to the fall of Rome in the east, and finds plenty of space to outline the major political and social changes, as well as detailed descriptions of the major battles and campaigns, all referenced with discussions of the various sources, where appropriate. It's a concise summary of what I imagine must represent years of scholarship.The middle chapters, probably the most familiar to the general audience (and the reason I bought the book) cover Marius, Pompey and Caesar, but I was particularly taken with one of the later chapters covering Trajan's conquest of Dacia, which used descriptions of the inscriptions on Trajan's column in Rome. Goldsworthy does a great job of piecing together a readable narrative from what we can reconstruct, whilst at the same time maintaining an academic tone and not degenerating into speculative storytelling.The breadth of material covered means the reader sometimes has to work a little hard to keep up. New names of legions, notable figures, and places were introduced often enough that I found myself keeping google open while I read. Goldworthy's determination to cover all relevant material 30 page chapters makes me wonder whether someone new to the subject matter would enjoy reading it, or whether too much information is presented, too quickly. Goldsworthy makes clear in the introduction that he didn't intend a general recipe book for military success, even less so a guide for those seeking a Roman road to leadership quality. It's a little too broad in approach to appeal to those seeking academic insights. For people like me, who have a rusty memory of a university course taken years ago, it's perfect. I just hope there are enough people who fit into this category to make sure Goldsworthy's books continue to be a commercial success.
I loved this book! I ended up buying more of his books because of it. The Romans are fascinating from a military standpoint. This book did not bore me like Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" did. This is my favorite book on the Romans without a doubt.
I have now read four of Goldsworthy's books but I found this absolutely fantastic. I thought it provided great insight into great roman generals and how they waged war in the ancient world. I particularly enjoyed his coverage of the war with Carthage and Hannibal the Great. Well written by a top notch scholar! Only criticism was that the print was very small.
This book was a gift to my husband. He has really enjoyed this history of the ancient soldiers, his favorite time to study.
This book was well written and well researched. It reads like a novel and I never thought that I was being overwhelmed with details. I am curious as to how the author choose which Roman leaders to include. His selection was excellent although I wondered where the likes of Aetius and Silva fit into the narrative and how they would compare. Overall, certainly an absorbing work that led me to a far grearter understanding of the Roman miltary machine and its leadership. This historian is one to watch.