Monday, 14 June 2010

Legionary: The Roman Soldier's (Unofficial) Manual

What a cracking book, this is the kind of book I would like  one day to write. I am not trying to be lazy here, but I have copied the following from the back of the book as it does exactly what it says. 

Your Emperor Needs You! Rome stands supreme  from the desert sands of Mesopotamia to the highlands of Caledonia. The empire rests completely on the sturdy shoulders of the legionaries who hold back the barbarian hordes and continue to expand the frontiers. Join them and conquer the world! 

This book provices all the essential information needed to get in and get on in the Roman army. Learn....

How to be accepted into theLegions and which Legion is for you 
What to wear - And what not to wear whilst on campaign
Who's who in the Roman army, and now to tell a Berber from a Pict
How to Wield a Gladius and fire a catapult 
How to storm a city and survive
How to act while Rome is Honouring your Legion with a Triumph

This book is extremely well written and laid out. The author Phillip Matyszak has done a tremendous job of getting the balance right  between historical facts and an entertaining read. I particular enjoyed all the  Know your enemy type bits and that this book pulls from several sources and packages them into one easy to reach reference.

It is also well bound and feels like a book that is going to last. The illustrations and photographs are superb and their is a good, nice and short glossary in the back.

If you are looking for an introductory read on the Roman army then this is the must read * or if you are like me and have several books on the Roman army and looking for a consolidated reference. Then again, this is a must have.

I really can't stress enough how well this is written. More books like this please.

Legionary: The Roman Soldier's (Unofficial) Manual (Amazon Link)

*The book covers the Romany army circa 100AD 

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