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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:44 pm 
Just wondering if you more knowledgable folks could recomend any titles/books that cover historical military life .

preferably less on over all tactics (a fascinating topic of course) and more on specific details of there day to day individual existance ?

what was it like to be an average soldier in the legions etc ?


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 Post subject: Sure
PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 12:18 am 
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Glad to give you the name of what I have or recommend:

1. Imperial Governor-George Shipway, a novel of the Legions in Britain at the time of Boudicca's rebellion
2. Late Roman Infantryman-(www.ospreypublications.com) Hereinafter Osprey
3. Roman Legionary-Osprey
4.Warriors of Rome-MIchael Simkins (good luck re; that one)
5. "The Roman Way of War"-in "The Great Battles of Antiquity" (expsensive)
6. The Roman Imperial Army of the first and Second Centuries AD
7 Republican Roman Army-Osprey
8. Roman Battle Tactics 109BC AD313

Generally a legionary in the Late Republic to mid imperial time signed up for twenty years. The basic unit was sometimes called the "Conturbiam" after the 7 man leather tent they used. Usually in these times prior to the reorganization of the Army By Constantine and subsequent to the Marian reforms each Legione could be considered to be made up of several layers of twenty year men recruited from an assigned recruiting area.
some were near the end ie: in the last 1/4 of their enlistment and then there were the new men just starting their 20 year terms.

Severus (I think) or Germanicus rduced the minimum time to 16 years, but the reform was Quietly forgottlen.

For later Empire Army Life :

Gods and Legions-Pressfield
Julian-Gore Vidal

Kind of General-"Roman Warfare" Adrian Goldsworth.

Osprey has many many books that will catch your eye.

The series of books introduceced to me Hugh written by Dando Stevens, now covering the Xth Legio Fretensis (Caesar's Legions), 6th Gallica, XIV Gemina (Nero's Killing Machine) (there are at least two others) are very much fun.

The Antagonists by Enrest K. Gann Re: Masada is great, as is its sequel "the Triumph" but they will be hard to find.

should keep you busy.

Best

John

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 Post subject: A Few More
PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 1:15 am 
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For Spartan Military Life at the time of Themopylae one cannot beat "The Pillars Of Fire" by Pressfield, should be on amazon as is a semi sequel "The Tides of War" about Albcibiades.

Also The Centurions by Damion Hunter and its sequel are good.

The Eagle of the Ninth by Duggan (real old)
And "Three's Company" by Duggan, a novel of the second triumvirate.


John

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 4:22 am 
Thanks a lot John look forward to checking some of them out !! :D


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 Post subject: Trust Me
PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 12:13 pm 
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Trust me when I say that it is a pleasure to help!!!!!

You would probably find it easiset to start with "Gates of Fire".

The 300 it ain't.

John

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 Post subject: PS
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 3:18 am 
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Many of the bools of the lives of the Soldiers in the Field that I have read are lost.

But, If you want specific recommendations on other times, for example, 14th Warfare: "The Bruce Trilogy" Nigel Trantor. Again, Braveheart is isnt', The Bruce was the MAN who acheeived Scottish Independence, albeit temporarily.

So just ask, and I am sure Hugh or I can come up with titles for other timeframes.

One of my Favorites: "Until The Sun Falls" about the Mongol expansions, just as another example.

This is all gonna hurt, becasue when I remember a book that I have read that I may have lost to the flood or such, I may want to go out and try to find a used copy.

A most Famous Set of Books, Illustrated ny NC Wyeth, including "Scottish Chiefs", "Treasure Island", "The Black Arrow" and the Series of great novels by Collen McCullogh about Rome which start with "The First Man in Rome".

Hers are down and dirty novel covering Marius, the Infamous Cornelius Sulla, J. Caesar and their lives in all their campaigns. Many of the sketches of unrecorded family members have been reconstructed by her based on Thr Tombstones of near relatives combined with written physical descriptions.

I think your inquiry is Going to cost me a LOT of Money rebuilding my lost library.


Thanks.

J

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 6:27 pm 
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For a fictionalized view of life as a Roman legionary at the time of the invasion of Britain in 43 CE, try Simon Scarrow's novels such as Under The Eagle and The Eagle's Conquest, the first two of the series and they'll get you well started. For a look at Roman life with a visit to the military during the reign of my favorite emperor, Vespasian, try Lindsey Davis' Marcus Didus Falco mysteries, especially The Iron Hand of Mars, where he goes to the Legionary fortress of Vetera after the Civilis Rebellion during the Year of the Four Emperors, and The Jupiter Myth, where he must deal with the Londinium garrison about 10 years after the Boudiccan Rebellion when the city had been burnt to the ground and everyone in it massacred by the locals.

As to good histories, a basis is John Warry's Warfare in the Classical Age but look for the illustrated version as there is also a non-illustrated that is not so good. it is probably out of print by now, but it shows up ion the remaindered tables at Barnes & Noble for about $9.95 every now and then. It is also a bit dated, but it is a superb basic book. For something a bit more advanced, try Peter Connolly's Greece and Rome at War, a recent update of his classic work and a superb piece. Connolly is one of the best known and most prolific of the archaeologists/historians/artists of the period and just about anything that you find by him is worth buying. He did a series of monographs on the Roman military, The Legionary, The Cavalryman, and The Roman Fort. Pretty much anything by Adrian Goldsworthy is worth reading, but you are best off having read Warry and/or Connolly first as they give you the necessary basis for Goldswothy's writings.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 6:33 pm 
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By the way, the legions of the Punic Wars are as different from the legions of the high Empire, say under Trajan or Marcus Aurelius, as the current US Army is from the US Army of the War Between the States and the Roman Army of the Late Empire is probably more different from the Roman Army of the high Empire than our current US Army is different from the Continental Army of our Revolutionary War, so please do not think of the Roman Army as one continuous and consistent thing. It was not. Nor was it in any way as uniform as our armies are today, even the Romans.

Two corrections:
The Eagle of the Ninth is by Rosemary Sutcliff and the legionary histories are by Stephen Dando-Collins.

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 Post subject: Quite Right
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 7:42 pm 
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Completely and totally right on the last point Hugh. Sorry for the errors :( .

We have raised the point before.

It would be like seeing a Civil War Infantryman in a WWI Epic in some cases.

What is your analysis of the anachhronitic status of the Legion in Gladiator-or-for that matter-anyother movie you might choose.

The best and closest I have seen was in the made for TV Movie Masada.

How close might that Xth Legio Fretensis have been in your thoughts.

Your reading list looked great.

I hope others ask about other periods.

The only nicer thing they could do to/for us would be to mail us money!!!!!


J

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Last edited by JOHN THURSTON on Tue Sep 11, 2007 2:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 11:18 pm 
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They do have libraries that loan these books out free you know! :lol:

Currently reading about King Phillips War. And all the other wars between, Queen Anne's etc.... French and Indian.

Lots of Canada invading us and us invading them.

It shows once enemies can become good friends.

Some tough pioneer women back in those days.

F.

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 Post subject: Libraries
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 1:51 am 
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Fred:

My friend, having a library and, unfortunately, having one available are two different matters.

At one time (I mentioned) i had 4 times the number of the Martial Arts Books thans did the BPL.

Now, if you think Marshfield Library has the budget to pop for the $250 for "The Great Battles of Antiquity" I will rethink.

To be truthful, the Milton Library was excellent-but I don't lieve there anymore.

However "Mayflower" covers King Phillip's war rather well and conteends it resulted in the largest loss of life in any American Wars, the death percentage was some 70% of the Plymouth Colony and "new towns" (like where I live) and of the Native American population.

Ever wonder why a garrison house got the name?

j

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Last edited by JOHN THURSTON on Tue Sep 11, 2007 4:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 2:05 am 
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John,

You can use your card to transfer books from any library in the OCLN group to Marshfield Library.

Martial arts books are a different story as the public library ones are generally poor.

If you travel to the Dyer Library in Abington you will see Civil War Books written in the 1880's you can only dream of.

There are hundreds of them.

You can even take a look at General Benjamin Lincolns desk which is at the library, along with a painting of him receiving the sword from Cornwallis.

Open 1:00 -5/6 Tuesday through Friday.

This is one of my top libraries if not the best for genealogy as well.

Not too far from you. Plan on staying a while.

Fred

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 Post subject: True
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 2:12 am 
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I will try and take your suggestion.

Howvever, sometimes Amazon does give me ideas as to which books to be looking for.

J

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 11:27 am 
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Just go to your libraries website, punch in your account and code and you can review all the ones you want. If they're no good. Bring them back and get another. I think you can order 7-12 books. Or historical DVD's as well.

F.

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 Post subject: Good Advice
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 4:56 pm 
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The only answer I can give, because your advice is so on point and SO good, is that there are just some books that I want to have here.

It's just that simple.

But I will NOT forget your advice.

Please try to make out next joint workout.

John

(PS-to replace my copy of "The Centurions" by Damion Hunter it cost me fifty two cents-plus shipping and handling. Now, Its quite obviously the S&H is more that the original book. I just don't mind.

I WANT the Great Battles of Antiquity here because I am in to that book every day.

But for research matters or just to have a great fun time-your advice on the Library system is invaluable)

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