The Complete Roman Legions, Nigel Pollard & Joanne Berry, Thames & Hudson, 2012


The legions of Rome are the archetypal elite fighting force of antiquity. For almost half a millenium they secured the known world under the power of the Caesars. Yet until now there has been no authoritative account for the general reader, student and scholar alike of the origins and history of each and every legion of the imperial age. The Complete Roman Legions fills that gap.

Part I examines the legions of the Republic – forces of a citizen army – from Rome’s foundation to Caesar’s legions and those of Octavian and Mark Antony in the civil wars.

Part II, the core of the volume, provides ‘biographies’ of all 45 legions established as a standing army from 31BC to the 3rd century AD.

Part III discusses the legions of Late Antiquity, as they expanded and adapted to face new enemies.

From the mountains of Armenia to the wilds of northern Britain, we follow individual legions as they fought to secure the frontiers or raise rival generals to the imperial purple. Some took part in great victories, but others were disastrously defeated, such as three legions wiped out in the Teutoburg Forest in AD 9.

Full accounts are given of Roman army reforms, legionary equipment, battle tactics and the legionaries as builders and engineers. Individual legions are examined in the territories they garrisoned and defended across the empire. Data files on each legion and detailed box features on major sites and events add depth to the main discussion.

Written by leading authorities drawing on an up-to-date study of inscriptions and archaeological evidence, and packed with appealing and informative illustrations, from ancient depictions of legionaries and real armour to reconstruction paintings and modern re-enactment groups, The Complete Roman Legions will quickly establish itself as the standard work on the subject.




Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s