The image of a Roman legionary in most minds is in the uniform of the early years of Empire. This beautifully illustrated book depicts the very different arms and armour of the late Roman Empire as Roman soldiers adapted to the challenges of the rising barbarian armies. – Very Highly Recommended
NAME: Armies of the Past Armies of the Late Roman Empire AD 284-476, History, Organization & Equipment FILE: R2817 AUTHOR: Gabriele Esposito PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword BINDING: hard back PAGES: 178 PRICE: £19.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: Roman Legions, auxiliaries, arms, armour, tactics, infantry, cavalry, naval warfare, Late Roman Empire, organization, equipment, Fall of Rome, Fall of the Western Roman Empire, barbarians
IMAGE: B2817.jpg BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/y3a2rrq2 LINKS: DESCRIPTION: The image of a Roman legionary in most minds is in the uniform of the early years of Empire. This beautifully illustrated book depicts the very different arms and armour of the late Roman Empire as Roman soldiers adapted to the challenges of the rising barbarian armies. - Very Highly Recommended The late Roman Empire in the West has received relatively little interest or attention in comparison with the Republic and the early Roman Empire. The result is that there are many misconceptions about the final two centuries and the changes that were necessary to the equipment and tactics of the Roman armies. The author has produced a fascinating history of arms and equipment during this largely unknown period at the end of Empire as the Eastern Empire became the lifeboat for Roman traditions. The standard of illustration, in the form of drawings in full colour and photographs of re-enactment soldiers, also in full colour, is superb. This perfectly compliments the very readable overview of what is a complex subject. In addition to tracing military developments from the earlier traditions, the author has shown how the barbarian influence is reflected in the organization and equipment for Roman soldiers of the period. In the earlier periods of Rome, the Legions were fighting traditional battles on land and at sea against Carthage, and what remained of Greece, and the Middle East, where the enemy was equipped in a similar manner and battles followed set piece engagements and sieges under tight discipline. In the late Roman Empire, the enemy was most frequently a barbarian army that was used in flexible fast moving engagements with equally flexible tactics. Many engagements involved smaller numbers of warriors who could strike and retreat before striking again. They rarely stayed around to give the Romans time to assemble the traditional formal formations. As a result, the typical Roman soldier of the late period was likely to wear a helmet that most readers would associate with Saxon and Viking warriors, with chain mail coats, or scale armour, and circular, or oval, shields. As Roman soldiers began to look more like their enemy, it became necessary to adopt the colourful decoration of shields to stamp and identity rather than a uniform Roman appearance with eagle standards to rally a legion that trained together in formal dispositions. The lavish illustration provides a wealth of information, mainly in full colour but also with some black and white illustration. It shows the range of equipment and weapons that were better suited to the type of combat that soldiers then faced, with speed and movement more important than rigid squares of troops working through a set of standard postures.