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An Encyclopedia of the Uniforms of the Roman World

An Encyclopedia of the Uniforms of the Roman World

Kevin F. Kiley & Jeremy Black MBE
ARRSE Rating
5 Mushroom Heads
Kevin F. Kiley is a retired USMC Artillery Officer, a graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point, and a veteran of the First Gulf War. He has a Masters Degree in military history from Norwich University and is the author of two books on the Napoleonic Wars, as well as a contributing author to three other works on military history. Kevin Kiley has had an interest in the Romans, in particular the Eastern Empire, for over 40 years and is an enthusiastic uniformologist.

Jeremy Black MBE is Established Chair of History at Exeter University in the UK; with numerous external appointments and extensive lecturing commitments in Europe and the USA. He is senior fellow at the Centre for the Study of America and the West at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia. His impressive catalogue of over 150 published works adds up to the most sustained presentation of British history in recent decades.

The power of Rome was built on a foundation of military expertise, originally through early tribal conflicts and later honed to a level of excellence that allowed the Romanisation of great swathes of the known world. It's collapse in the West in the 5th century, was apocalyptic but not conclusive, and from the new city of Constantinople, the Eastern Romans continued to dominate the region for another 1000 years. Throughout the two millennia of empire, the Roman Army adapted and evolved to circumstances, changing it's uniform, weaponry and tactics when required and absorbing, exploiting, and utilising it's enemies.

This book details the Uniforms of the Roman Army and it's enemies, from the first decades of inter-tribal warfare in Italy, through the Republican and Imperial periods, up to the end of the Eastern or Byzantine Empire. It covers the wars fought by Rome, the Army's impressive engineering feats and ability to mobilize, the tactical brilliance (or failure) of it's generals, the discipline of the legions, the ignominy of their defeats and the relentless expansion and contraction of the lands it conquered.

The book includes information on the other warrior societies of the time: the Carthaginians, the Persians, the Guns and the Turks; and details on the dress and weapons of Etruscans, Samnites, Volsci, Macedonians,Goths, Vandals, Parthians, Sarmations, Lakhmids, Picts, Bulgarians, Celts, British and many more. There is also a fascinating history of the Roman's artillery, siege engines and fortifications, as well as a special section on the founding and expansion of it's naval power.The

The many fine art paintings belie the might, power, majesty and terror of Rome, while more than 600 illustrations, specially commissioned, offer an unprecedented insight into the fighting men of the era; from the gladius and the caliga, to the cataphract and the dromon. This rich, extensively researched book offers a comprehensive and accessible study of the Roman Army and it's enemies. From a Modeller's point of view, this book is excellent; giving details of uniforms and where and when they were used. It gives excellent topographical information, perfect for the diorama builder and variations of uniforms to add a different perspective. From a historians point of view the book has everything that may be required for a research program.
Overall, a first class work dispelling many myths and adding many more. A real work of art that is of benefit to all.

Highly recommended.

Rating: There is only one rating I can give this, 5 out of 5


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