The legionary soldier of the early Empire period, with his distinctive segmented armor, is one of the images most closely associated by popular imagination with ancient Rome. Such soldiers conquered most of Britain, suffered and avenged the terrible disaster of the Teutoburg Forest and vanquished the fearsome Dacians across the Danube, a feat immortalized on Trajan’s Column, as well as fighting many other tribes. In the East they overcame the Great Jewish Revolt and repeatedly contended with mixed success against the powerful Parthians. This was the army that enforced the so-called Pax Romana at the point of a gladius and maintained the greatest empire the world had yet seen. Of course, such troops were also employed to bloody effect in the many civil wars such as those of AD69, ‘the Year of the Four of the Emperors’.
Gabriele Esposito describes the tactics, organization and equipment of the Roman army at the height of its powers, considered by many to be the most efficient and powerful fighting force of the ancient world. He gives an overview of the most significant campaigns and considers in detail not only the iconic legionaries but also the various auxiliary units, including cavalry. His clear, accessible text is supported by dozens of color photos of replica weapons, armor and other kit in use.