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Osprey Men-at-Arms 291 : Republican Roman Army 200-104 BC

The principal source of information on both the equipment and the organisation of the Roman Republican Army is the sixth book of the Histories of the Greek historian Polybius, written a little before 150BC. Polybius was born about 200 BC, served as hipparchos of the Achaen League in 170/69, and wrote a book On Tactics. After Pydna, Polybius was among the 1,000 prominent Achaens who were deported to Rome. There he became friends with Scipio Aemilianus, and accompanied him on his various travels, witnessing, among other things, the destruction of Carthage in 146. Polybius was, then, uniquely qualified to write on the subject of the Roman Army, and his description of Roman military equipment is probably based on his own experience and observation. Nick Sekunda draws heavily on this vital source to outline the equipment and organisation of the Roman Republican Army from 200-104 BC - a time when Rome was growing from a regional to a world power. With plenty of photographs and illustrations, including eight full page colour plates by Angus McBride, this book examines such topics as the Roman shield, helmets, the cuirass, greaves, the pilum, legion organisation, the principals and tactics.

    Contents
  • Introduction
  • Infantry Equipment
  • Organization of the Legions
  • Tactics
  • Other Arms
  • The Roman Legion in Battle
  • Bibliography
  • The Plates

 

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