Rome & The Sword: How Warriors & Weapons Shaped Roman History

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9780500251829: Rome & The Sword: How Warriors & Weapons Shaped Roman History

The rise of Rome depended on fearsome military prowess, backed up by an unprecedented willingness to accept conquered enemies into society as Romans. This combination of the sword and the open hand built one of the world's greatest empires. Yet under the emperors the Roman army was far from the monolithic military machine that is generally assumed. The armies (plural) were multi-ethnic, often based far from Italy, and they established a military identity that quickly diverged from that of the civil centre. The soldiers could form well-disciplined fighting units, bearing murderously efficient weapons, but they were also habitually unruly, and could be as dangerous to their own citizens, to their emperors, or to each other, as to their enemies. Simon James brings thirty years study of Roman history and ancient military technology, and a vivid storytelling style, to this groundbreaking new account of how warriors and weapons both forged the Roman Empire and sowed the seeds of its destruction.

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Recensione:

[The author is] at his best when he discusses weapons of various types and their development over the long span of Rome's rise to dominance in the Mediterranean and Europe. --.

Written with elegance and economical precision ... highly readable ... excellent and plentiful illustrations ... All in all, this book is an excellent new history of the military rise and fall of Rome, combining both width and depth with accuracy while being pleasant to read and never boring ... highly recommended --Ancient Warfare

An important new study ... a first-hand picture, often fairly gruesome, of army life ... gives readers a new angle on Roman History --Contemporary Review

Carefully researched and persuasive ... Utere felix (use with good fortune) - this motto, found on Roman military decorations, will be one easily applied to Rome and the Sword --Times Literary Supplement

James's careful study makes refreshing use of evidence to tell his story ... this is not a dry history of swords and spears, for James has managed to create a social history of Rome's soldiery --Good Book Guide

A startlingly innovative treatment of Roman military history... This is one of the best books on Roman military history published in recent years. James excels at combining historical and archaeological evidence. No one should read this book without being prepared to change radically their view of the Roman army. --Military History Monthly

If Geoffrey le Baker s chronicle gives the impression that it was every man for himself in medieval Europe, Fellow Simon James s book, Rome and the Sword (ISBN 9780500251829; Thames & Hudson), begins by giving the impression that strict discipline underpinned the rise of Rome as a military power. The Roman army's perceived competence in all the so-called arts of war has inspired generations of military historians and yet much of it turns out to be post-event propaganda; surviving accounts of Roman victories belong to a genre of literary writing that Simon calls 'the battle piece', with its own conventions, in which! the central theme is Roman skill and superiority, not least in virtue and manliness (which, of course, ensures the favour of the gods).

The reality, Simon demonstrates, is that Rome s success was built on extreme brutality and rapacity, opportunism and guile and a measure of good luck (which you might call the favour of the gods). This was an approach to conquest and empire building that could never last, because no matter how shocked Rome's enemies might have been at the slaughter, sacking and despoliation visited upon them, they soon learned to be just as good (or should that be bad) in war, to be equally callous and merciless, to copy weapons and tactics. In a sense, then, the end of Rome, to paraphrase T S Eliot, was in its beginning, and as the pages of Simon's book roll on with their detailed analyses of battles and campaigns, weapons and armour, battle scenes on Trajan's Column, tombstone carvings and inscriptions, fortifications and militarised landscapes, there is a certain inevitability to the ending of the story as Rome is encircled by resentful and aggressive enemies.

Rome's ability to keep its enemies quiescent for so long through diplomacy and alliances and the pax Romana is just one of the many sub-themes of Simon's book, in effect a complete history of the Roman Empire written from the perspective of the sword-wielding Roman soldier. The book ends by asking whether there are any positive aspects to Roman imperialism to set against the atrocities, the war crimes and the rivers of blood. How would you answer the (anonymous) 'leading British Iron Age archaeologist' who Simon quotes as saying 'I hate the Romans'? One conventional response is to say that Roman economic expansion was to everyone's benefit: Simon doubts that this is an adequate answer because these trends were already under way; far from being the results of conquest, they might have been the pre-condition that permitted the creation of the empire: Iron Age Britain was already part of that economic network long before it was conquered.

The answer that Simon teases out is that Rome was the biggest shark in a sea full of sharks and shares many characteristics with the worst totalitarian regimes of recent history; unthinking admiration for all things Roman is at best naive and at worst based on wilful ignorance. But because Rome remains a central phenomenon of western history , one that shaped the destinies of people from Arabia to Ireland, from Morocco to Scandinavia, it therefore demands the sort of objective critical analysis that Simon has provided in this wide-ranging book, vividly written and compellingly argued book. --SALON - the Society of Antiquaries of London Online Newsletter

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Descrizione libro Thames Hudson Ltd, United Kingdom, 2011. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. 236 x 162 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. The rise of Rome depended on fearsome military prowess, backed up by an unprecedented willingness to accept conquered enemies into society as Romans. This combination of the sword and the open hand built one of the world s greatest empires. Yet under the emperors the Roman army was far from the monolithic military machine that is generally assumed. The armies (plural) were multi-ethnic, often based far from Italy, and they established a military identity that quickly diverged from that of the civil centre. The soldiers could form well-disciplined fighting units, bearing murderously efficient weapons, but they were also habitually unruly, and could be as dangerous to their own citizens, to their emperors, or to each other, as to their enemies. Simon James brings thirty years study of Roman history and ancient military technology, and a vivid storytelling style, to this groundbreaking new account of how warriors and weapons both forged the Roman Empire and sowed the seeds of its destruction. Codice libro della libreria AA29780500251829

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Descrizione libro Thames Hudson Ltd, United Kingdom, 2011. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. 236 x 162 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. The rise of Rome depended on fearsome military prowess, backed up by an unprecedented willingness to accept conquered enemies into society as Romans. This combination of the sword and the open hand built one of the world s greatest empires. Yet under the emperors the Roman army was far from the monolithic military machine that is generally assumed. The armies (plural) were multi-ethnic, often based far from Italy, and they established a military identity that quickly diverged from that of the civil centre. The soldiers could form well-disciplined fighting units, bearing murderously efficient weapons, but they were also habitually unruly, and could be as dangerous to their own citizens, to their emperors, or to each other, as to their enemies. Simon James brings thirty years study of Roman history and ancient military technology, and a vivid storytelling style, to this groundbreaking new account of how warriors and weapons both forged the Roman Empire and sowed the seeds of its destruction. Codice libro della libreria AA29780500251829

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Descrizione libro Thames & Hudson. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. 0500251827 *BRAND NEW* Ships Same Day or Next!. Codice libro della libreria SWATI2122243499

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Descrizione libro Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Not Signed; The rise of Rome depended on fearsome military prowess, backed up by an unprecedented willingness to accept conquered enemies into society as Romans. This combination of the sword and the open hand built one of the world's greatest empires. Yet under the emperors the Roman army was far from the mono. book. Codice libro della libreria ria9780500251829_rkm

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Descrizione libro Thames & Hudson Ltd 2011-09-19, London, 2011. hardback. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria 9780500251829

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Descrizione libro Thames and Hudson Ltd, 2011. HRD. Condizione libro: New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Codice libro della libreria IB-9780500251829

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