A nicely presented review of Roman attempts to expand across the Danube. The soundly researched text is supported by clear maps and a very interesting photo-plate section – Highly Recommended.
NAME: Roman Conquests, The Danube Frontier FILE: R2956 AUTHOR: Michael Schmitz PUBLISHER: Pen and Sword BINDING: hard back PRICE: £19.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: Roman Legions, cavalry, bridging equipment, fixed fortification, weapons, armour, tactics, strategy, Pannonia, Moesia, Thrace, Dacians, Danube, natural barriers
IMAGE: B2956.jpg BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/y23r2gcr LINKS: DESCRIPTION: A nicely presented review of Roman attempts to expand across the Danube. The soundly researched text is supported by clear maps and a very interesting photo-plate section – Highly Recommended. The author presents an account with review of strategy and tactics. It fits very neatly into other books from the same publisher covering events before and after the period covered in this new book. There will always be debate about how far the Roman expansion was deliberate, based on a carefully prepared strategic plan, and how far it was reactive to opponents outside the borders of the Roman Empire. All empires flourish as they expand but, once they stop expanding, it is not long before they start to collapse. Neighbouring enemies learn of the Empire's vulnerabilities and the administration of the Empire will eventually outrun its ability to communicate and enforce. In the early years of the Second Century, the Roman Legions were still winning battles but experiencing great difficulty in expanding north of the Danube and Macedonia and failing to overcome continued Germanic resistance, with raids into Roman held territory becoming more numerous and successful. Even in Britain raids from across the North Sea were increasing. Between then and the late 4th Century, when Western Rome fell and the Empire survived only in the Eastern Empire based on Constantinople, the Roman military steadily lost the initiative. During the period they tried emulating their enemies and their equipment as they were forced to rethink tactics. The days of set piece battles against opponents who used similar weapons and tactics were being replaced by mobile warfare with cavalry and mounted infantry making raids on Roman positions and formations. This book is specially interesting because in the process of reviewing the events along the Danube, it shows how the Romans were trying to adapt to new foes in unfamiliar climate and terrain as the number of victories began to reduce and the fortunes of Rome moved into the period of contraction.