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The Rise of Imperial Rome AD 14-193, Duncan B. Campbell

The Rise of Imperial Rome AD 14-193, Duncan B. Campbell


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The Rise of Imperial Rome AD 14-193, Duncan B. Campbell

The Rise of Imperial Rome AD 14-193, Duncan B. Campbell

Essential Histories 76

The period after the death of Augustus is often seen as the period of the 'Pax Romana', a relatively peaceful time in which the Empire didn't expand in any significant way. This book helps to remind us that the 'peace' only really applied to Rome itself, and even then outside the periods of civil war. Warfare was actually the normal state of affairs on the borders. The two maps of the Empire included clearly show this, with conquests in Britain, the Middle East, Anatolia, North-west Africa, central Europe and the Balkans in the period between 27 BC and c.200 AD. This was the period of the Jewish Wars, the Dacian Wars, the conquest of Britain, the largely defensive wars of Marcus Aurelius and a series of wars with Parthia (along with several periods of civil war and a number of internal revolts).

As well as charging the progress of Rome's wars and expansions in this period, Campbell examines the reasons behind them. These range fro the need of new Emperors to gain a military reputation, changes in allied kingdoms, and even on occasions areas conquered to defend against aggressive neighbours.

One slight oddity is that the book keeps the standard chapter headings for this series, which are really designed for single specific wars (background, outbreak, fighting, end of the war), when what we have here is a long series of separate wars. Fortunately this doesn't affect the text in this case. The title is also a little misleading - Rome had already 'risen' by the start of this period, but the 'Gradual Expansion of the Roman Empire' perhaps wouldn't have made such a good title (I wonder if a ;Fall of Imperial Rome is due to follow?)

About half of the book covers the actual fighting during this period. Here we see the main weakness of the Imperial succession - even moderately able Emperors could be dangerous if they felt the need to gain a military reputation, with some of the less military of them collecting a vast array of acclamations as 'Imperator'. Worse was the danger of the Imperial succession, where a disputed succession could lead to civil war, and even a disinterested Emperor could cause a series of crises on the borders.

This is a good account of a period that saw near-constant warfare somewhere on the massive borders of the Roman Empire.

Chapters
Chronology
Background to War: The Roman Empire in AD 14
Warring sides: Rome and her enemies
Outbreak: An uneasy peace
The fighting: Extending the Empire
Portrait of a soldier: Gaius Velius Rufus
The world around war: Travels in an unarmed province
Portrait of a civilian: Dio Cocceianus 'Chrysostom'
How the war ended: Neglecting the empire
Conclusions and consequences: A Changing Empire

Author: Duncan B Campbell
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 96
Publisher: Osprey
Year: 2013



The Rise of Imperial Rome AD 14-193, Duncan B. Campbell - History

Apparently the best-selling Essential Histories volume of 2013 (http://www.ospreypublishing.com/b. more Apparently the best-selling Essential Histories volume of 2013 (http://www.ospreypublishing.com/blog/looking_back_at_2013_highs_and_surprises2/).

Blurb: "Under its first emperor, Augustus, Rome emerged from the chaos of Caesar's civil war. In the two centuries that followed, Rome's expansion reached its peak. Between AD 14 and 193, successive emperors fought to secure their frontiers and expand the empire, conquering Britain and Dacia, campaigning on the Rhine and Danube, and fighting the Jewish and Parthian Wars. In doing so, the legions overcame some of their most formidable enemies.

"Illustrated throughout with photographs and detailed colour maps, this volume explains the policies of the emperors and charts the legions' progress in conquering and holding Rome's territory, and explores how the world's greatest empire reached its zenith."

Osprey have provided a general index (with rather too many silly errors). Interested readers may benefit from my downloadable Persons Index.

Apparently, the "best-selling Warrior title of 2012" (http://www.ospreypublishing.com/blog/lookin. more Apparently, the "best-selling Warrior title of 2012" (http://www.ospreypublishing.com/blog/looking_at_2012_bestsellers_highlights_regrets/).

In response to the Amazon reviewer who claims that my views on the Spartan army are summaries of Lazenby's book, I would refer the reader to my 2012 Ancient Warfare article, which discusses the army in more detail.

Reviewed here: http://www.deremilitari.org/REVIEWS/Campbell_MonsGraupiusAD83.htm I mentioned t. more Reviewed here: http://www.deremilitari.org/REVIEWS/Campbell_MonsGraupiusAD83.htm

I mentioned the work of Stan Wolfson, which the reviewer would like to see more formally referenced. It can be found in BAR British Series 459 (Tacitus, Thule and Caledonia: The achievements of Agricola's navy in their true perspective), which only came to my attention after Mons Graupius had gone to press.

The reviewer also complains that, when I mentioned Martin Henig's views on p.87, "the only information supplied is the journal, volume year, and publication date". He wishes that I had "quoted from Henig’s work so that the reader could consider the argument in a greater context". The context can be found here: http://www.archaeologyuk.org/ba/ba37/ba37feat.html (last accessed in 2009 see cache at: http://web.archive.org/web/20160403143300/http://archaeologyuk.org/ba/ba37/ba37feat.html )

Aren't Amazon reviews wonderful? In amongst sensible opinion and objective critique, there are often some crackpot comments that raise a laugh.

A couple of reviewers comment on my "unquestioning acceptance" of Bennachie as the site of the battle. The Osprey Campaign format requires the author to decide upon a location, in order to draw up the Bird's-Eye View panoramas the identification of a likely battlefield also allows the site to be depicted in the three colour paintings.

There is no real problem here, as "scholarly opinion has in recent decades favoured a location for the battle in Aberdeenshire (Mount Bennachie near Inverurie has been a firm favourite)" -- I quote the words of Professor Lawrence Keppie, a veteran scholar of Roman Scotland (in the peer-reviewed journal War In History, vol 14, 2007).

Nevertheless, I laid my cards fairly openly on the table (p. 91) when I emphasized that there have been other candidates, and even explained the criteria upon which Bennachie has been assessed as the most likely location.

It seems that you simply cannot please all of the people even some of the time.

One reviewer complained that "He also doesn't even reference James Fraser's extensive recent book about Mons Graupius in the bibliography, perhaps because it presents a contrary view about the location", but this is not the reason. The real reason can be found in Classical Quarterly Vol. 65.1 (2015), pp. 407-410, where I have comprehensively dismantled Fraser's case.


The Rise of Imperial Rome AD 14–193

The first emperor

When Augustus (r. 27 BC–AD 14) came to the throne as the first emperor of Rome, he began to bring order to the chaos that 20 years of civil war had wrought. The old Republican system of rule by the senate, with its two annually elected consuls, still functioned, but had proved vulnerable to manipulation by powerful individuals. During the mid-1st century BC, Julius Caesar in particular had subverted the senate by carefully amassing personal power, at first through the agency of a triumvirate (‘rule by three men’, which he came to dominate), and then by becoming dictator perpetuo (‘dictator for life’) in 44 BC. Consequently, the Roman populace had become used to autocratic rule.

Caesar’s example was followed by his adopted son and heir, Augustus, who – initially going by the name Caesar, in the aftermath of the dictator’s assassination in 44 BC – swore ‘to attain his father’s honours’ (Cicero, Letters to Atticus 16.15.3). Although no less ambitious, the new Caesar was perhaps more savvy. He moved from being a member of a triumvirate – whose supreme authority was carefully disguised in its remit ‘to restore the Republic’ – to being the saviour of Italy from the clutches of an orientalized Mark Antony (whom he defeated at the naval battle of Actium in 31 BC). But he always downplayed the extent of his power. ‘After I extinguished the fires of civil war’, he later wrote, ‘having taken control of affairs in accordance with the wishes of my fellow citizens, I transferred the Republic from my own power into the arbitration of the senate and people of Rome’ (The Achievements of the Divine Augustus 34.1).

As an ‘ordinary citizen’ – he referred to himself only as princeps (‘the first citizen’), from which this period of history has become known as the Principate – the new Caesar made sure to remain in the public eye, first by monopolizing the annual consulship (but only until 23 BC), and secondly by staging three ostentatious triumphal processions, reminding everyone of his victories in Illyricum in 34–33 BC and at Actium in 31 BC, and of his subsequent capture of Egypt from Cleopatra, last of the Ptolemies. Then, having been voted the name Augustus (‘sacred one’) in 27 BC, he began (cunningly but tactfully) to accumulate a range of traditional Republican offices, which would (legally but unobtrusively) guarantee the continuation of his authority at Rome.

Like the magistrates of old, he was granted a provincia (‘sphere of authority’, usually implying the temporary governorship of a geographical territory), except that Augustus’ province extended across Spain and Gaul in the west, and Syria and Egypt in the east, encompassing all the armies that were located there, and, although technically temporary, gradually became permanent. He arranged this ‘on the pretext that the senate might enjoy the best parts of the empire without anxiety, while he himself took on the hardships and hazards’, as the historian Cassius Dio explained, ‘but the real object of this arrangement was that the senators should be unarmed and unequipped for battle, while he alone possessed arms and maintained soldiers’ (Roman History 53.12.3). This ulterior motive is compelling, for, by this stage, only one Roman legion lay outside the emperor’s domain and took its orders from the annually elected proconsul of Africa.

Of course, the government of Rome was still the preserve of the senatorial class, the landed aristocracy of which Augustus and his successors were all members. But the new emperor began to involve their equestrian counterparts – those families who either could not afford to join the senatorial order (there was a property qualification of one million sesterces, whereas an equestrian required only a net worth of 400,000 sesterces, at a time when the common man might earn 500 sesterces a year) or chose not to. This move was ostensibly to widen the pool of available army officers, but fortuitously served as a surreptitious foil to the senatorial monopoly on power. The important governorship of Egypt, with its agrarian wealth (on one estimate, as much as one-third of Rome’s grain came from Egypt), was entrusted to an equestrian praefectus (‘prefect’), rather than a senatorial proconsul or a legatus (‘legate’), even though special provision had to be made to bring his powers into line with his senatorial counterparts.

In 23 BC, although Augustus now stepped down from the consulship, he took the tribunicia potestas (‘power of a tribune’), referring to the tribune of the plebs, an annually renewed office that had symbolic overtones of ‘the people’s champion’ more importantly, besides conferring sacrosanctitas (‘immunity from prosecution’), it granted Augustus the practical privilege of vetoing any proposals in the senate. Each of his successors made sure that they acquired this power and, more importantly, that they renewed it every year.

All of the titles, honours and functions taken by Augustus formed the basis of the legal authority that successive Roman emperors would wield. Their power, though absolute, was firmly based in Republican tradition. The long reign of Augustus, which lasted over 40 years, gave the new regime time to become embedded in the Roman consciousness. Furthermore, Augustus’ decision to implement a dynastic succession by adopting his stepson Tiberius as his chosen heir, and bestowing the tribunicia potestas upon him, influenced the future direction of the Roman Principate. It would be many years before the arcanus imperii (‘secret of empire’) was divulged: namely, as Tacitus put it, that ‘an emperor could be made elsewhere than at Rome’ (Histories 1.4).

A military regime

Augustus himself emphasized that ‘I excelled everyone in auctoritas [‘influence’], although I possessed no more official power than others who were my colleagues’ (The Achievements of the Divine Augustus 34.3). Indeed, his senatorial colleagues continued to play their traditional role in government, though Augustus, by force of his auctoritas, was able to influence their decisions. Senators continued to occupy the main military and civil offices, such as legionary commands and provincial governorships, but most of these now operated within the emperor’s provincia, and thus fell under his overall control. To be sure, the emperor could (and often did) summon a consilium (‘council’) of advisors, but was under no obligation to do so.

Patronage had always played a major part in Roman society. Every senator had his clients, who paid their respects in return for favours and benefits. Under the Principate, the emperor became a super-patron with the power to make or break men’s careers. A young man’s entry to the senatorial career itself was in the gift of the emperor. His provincial governors were styled ‘friends’ (amici), though the friendship was sometimes false: the 1st-century philosopher Epictetus observed that ‘No one loves Caesar himself, unless he is particularly worthy, but we love wealth and tribunates, praetorships, consulships’ (Discourses 4.1.60), referring to the various favours that the emperor might bestow. There was a kind of trickle-down effect, whereby those favoured by the emperor could, in turn, favour others. Thus, for example, the well-connected senator might petition the emperor for lucrative posts on behalf of friends and relatives, and the governor of a military province appears to have had a free hand in appointing his officers (though probably only below the rank of legionary commander).

Augustus had bought the favour of the populace at Rome with the generous provision of ‘bread and games’ (as this form of bribery was later summed up by the poet Juvenal) and grandiose building schemes: not only temples and porticoes, but public baths and an improved water and sewerage system. Meanwhile, the favour of the armies was bought with regular pay and generous pensions both were necessary to compensate the soldiers for long service on far-flung frontiers. In 30 BC after Actium, and again in 14 BC, large numbers of veterans had earned their discharge and expected their loyalty to be rewarded. Consequently, time-served soldiers were each granted a parcel of land on the colonies that Augustus founded up and down Italy. However, later programmes of discharge offered the men a cash gratuity instead, perhaps amounting to ten years’ pay this enormous financial burden was paid out of Augustus’ newly created aerarium militare (‘military treasury’).

It was surely to impress the armies that Augustus, early on, took as his first name the honorific title imperator (‘conquering general’), the term by which a successful commander had traditionally been hailed by his army. (Indeed, this is the word from which ‘emperor’ comes.) At the same time, Augustus took over sole responsibility for issuing state coinage – which was, after all, principally used for paying the armies – and carefully manipulated its physical appearance to promote himself. Coins now bore an ageless likeness of his head – continuing Julius Caesar’s break with Republican practice, which had never permitted the depiction of a living Roman – along with brief legends subtly emphasizing his authority (for example, CAESAR AVGVSTVS, stressing his link with Julius Caesar, or COMM CONS, claiming that he ruled communi consensu, ‘by common consent’).

Augustus continued the Republican tradition of the commander’s bodyguard, surrounding himself and his family with a personal force of Germani corporis custodes (‘Germanic bodyguard’, mostly of Batavian origin) and stationing individual cohorts of praetoriani (‘Praetorian Guard’, alluding to the praetorium or military headquarters of the emperor) in and around Rome. He also instituted two key paramilitary organizations in Rome, the urbaniciani (‘urban cohorts’) and the vigiles (‘night watchmen’), whose roles were, respectively, those of


The Rise of Imperial Rome AD 14–193

The first emperor

When Augustus (r. 27 BC–AD 14) came to the throne as the first emperor of Rome, he began to bring order to the chaos that 20 years of civil war had wrought. The old Republican system of rule by the senate, with its two annually elected consuls, still functioned, but had proved vulnerable to manipulation by powerful individuals. During the mid-1st century BC, Julius Caesar in particular had subverted the senate by carefully amassing personal power, at first through the agency of a triumvirate (‘rule by three men’, which he came to dominate), and then by becoming dictator perpetuo (‘dictator for life’) in 44 BC. Consequently, the Roman populace had become used to autocratic rule.

Caesar’s example was followed by his adopted son and heir, Augustus, who – initially going by the name Caesar, in the aftermath of the dictator’s assassination in 44 BC – swore ‘to attain his father’s honours’ (Cicero, Letters to Atticus 16.15.3). Although no less ambitious, the new Caesar was perhaps more savvy. He moved from being a member of a triumvirate – whose supreme authority was carefully disguised in its remit ‘to restore the Republic’ – to being the saviour of Italy from the clutches of an orientalized Mark Antony (whom he defeated at the naval battle of Actium in 31 BC). But he always downplayed the extent of his power. ‘After I extinguished the fires of civil war’, he later wrote, ‘having taken control of affairs in accordance with the wishes of my fellow citizens, I transferred the Republic from my own power into the arbitration of the senate and people of Rome’ (The Achievements of the Divine Augustus 34.1).

As an ‘ordinary citizen’ – he referred to himself only as princeps (‘the first citizen’), from which this period of history has become known as the Principate – the new Caesar made sure to remain in the public eye, first by monopolizing the annual consulship (but only until 23 BC), and secondly by staging three ostentatious triumphal processions, reminding everyone of his victories in Illyricum in 34–33 BC and at Actium in 31 BC, and of his subsequent capture of Egypt from Cleopatra, last of the Ptolemies. Then, having been voted the name Augustus (‘sacred one’) in 27 BC, he began (cunningly but tactfully) to accumulate a range of traditional Republican offices, which would (legally but unobtrusively) guarantee the continuation of his authority at Rome.

The famous statue of Augustus, discovered at Livia’s villa at Prima Porta near Rome. The sculpted cuirass depicts the handing over of a Roman battle-standard, thought to represent those lost to the Parthians by Crassus in 53 BC, which were returned to Augustus in 20 BC. (UIG via Getty Images)

Like the magistrates of old, he was granted a provincia (‘sphere of authority’, usually implying the temporary governorship of a geographical territory), except that Augustus’ province extended across Spain and Gaul in the west, and Syria and Egypt in the east, encompassing all the armies that were located there, and, although technically temporary, gradually became permanent. He arranged this ‘on the pretext that the senate might enjoy the best parts of the empire without anxiety, while he himself took on the hardships and hazards’, as the historian Cassius Dio explained, ‘but the real object of this arrangement was that the senators should be unarmed and unequipped for battle, while he alone possessed arms and maintained soldiers’ (Roman History 53.12.3). This ulterior motive is compelling, for, by this stage, only one Roman legion lay outside the emperor’s domain and took its orders from the annually elected proconsul of Africa.

Of course, the government of Rome was still the preserve of the senatorial class, the landed aristocracy of which Augustus and his successors were all members. But the new emperor began to involve their equestrian counterparts – those families who either could not afford to join the senatorial order (there was a property qualification of one million sesterces, whereas an equestrian required only a net worth of 400,000 sesterces, at a time when the common man might earn 500 sesterces a year) or chose not to. This move was ostensibly to widen the pool of available army officers, but fortuitously served as a surreptitious foil to the senatorial monopoly on power. The important governorship of Egypt, with its agrarian wealth (on one estimate, as much as one-third of Rome’s grain came from Egypt), was entrusted to an equestrian praefectus (‘prefect’), rather than a senatorial proconsul or a legatus (‘legate’), even though special provision had to be made to bring his powers into line with his senatorial counterparts.

In 23 BC, although Augustus now stepped down from the consulship, he took the tribunicia potestas (‘power of a tribune’), referring to the tribune of the plebs, an annually renewed office that had symbolic overtones of ‘the people’s champion’ more importantly, besides conferring sacrosanctitas (‘immunity from prosecution’), it granted Augustus the practical privilege of vetoing any proposals in the senate. Each of his successors made sure that they acquired this power and, more importantly, that they renewed it every year.

All of the titles, honours and functions taken by Augustus formed the basis of the legal authority that successive Roman emperors would wield. Their power, though absolute, was firmly based in Republican tradition. The long reign of Augustus, which lasted over 40 years, gave the new regime time to become embedded in the Roman consciousness. Furthermore, Augustus’ decision to implement a dynastic succession by adopting his stepson Tiberius as his chosen heir, and bestowing the tribunicia potestas upon him, influenced the future direction of the Roman Principate. It would be many years before the arcanus imperii (‘secret of empire’) was divulged: namely, as Tacitus put it, that ‘an emperor could be made elsewhere than at Rome’ (Histories 1.4).

A military regime

Augustus himself emphasized that ‘I excelled everyone in auctoritas [‘influence’], although I possessed no more official power than others who were my colleagues’ (The Achievements of the Divine Augustus 34.3). Indeed, his senatorial colleagues continued to play their traditional role in government, though Augustus, by force of his auctoritas, was able to influence their decisions. Senators continued to occupy the main military and civil offices, such as legionary commands and provincial governorships, but most of these now operated within the emperor’s provincia, and thus fell under his overall control. To be sure, the emperor could (and often did) summon a consilium (‘council’) of advisors, but was under no obligation to do so.

Patronage had always played a major part in Roman society. Every senator had his clients, who paid their respects in return for favours and benefits. Under the Principate, the emperor became a super-patron with the power to make or break men’s careers. A young man’s entry to the senatorial career itself was in the gift of the emperor. His provincial governors were styled ‘friends’ (amici), though the friendship was sometimes false: the 1st-century philosopher Epictetus observed that ‘No one loves Caesar himself, unless he is particularly worthy, but we love wealth and tribunates, praetorships, consulships’ (Discourses 4.1.60), referring to the various favours that the emperor might bestow. There was a kind of trickle-down effect, whereby those favoured by the emperor could, in turn, favour others. Thus, for example, the well-connected senator might petition the emperor for lucrative posts on behalf of friends and relatives, and the governor of a military province appears to have had a free hand in appointing his officers (though probably only below the rank of legionary commander).

Augustus had bought the favour of the populace at Rome with the generous provision of ‘bread and games’ (as this form of bribery was later summed up by the poet Juvenal) and grandiose building schemes: not only temples and porticoes, but public baths and an improved water and sewerage system. Meanwhile, the favour of the armies was bought with regular pay and generous pensions both were necessary to compensate the soldiers for long service on far-flung frontiers. In 30 BC after Actium, and again in 14 BC, large numbers of veterans had earned their discharge and expected their loyalty to be rewarded. Consequently, time-served soldiers were each granted a parcel of land on the colonies that Augustus founded up and down Italy. However, later programmes of discharge offered the men a cash gratuity instead, perhaps amounting to ten years’ pay this enormous financial burden was paid out of Augustus’ newly created aerarium militare (‘military treasury’).

It was surely to impress the armies that Augustus, early on, took as his first name the honorific title imperator (‘conquering general’), the term by which a successful commander had traditionally been hailed by his army. (Indeed, this is the word from which ‘emperor’ comes.) At the same time, Augustus took over sole responsibility for issuing state coinage – which was, after all, principally used for paying the armies – and carefully manipulated its physical appearance to promote himself. Coins now bore an ageless likeness of his head – continuing Julius Caesar’s break with Republican practice, which had never permitted the depiction of a living Roman – along with brief legends subtly emphasizing his authority (for example, CAESAR AVGVSTVS, stressing his link with Julius Caesar, or COMM CONS, claiming that he ruled communi consensu, ‘by common consent’).

Augustus continued the Republican tradition of the commander’s bodyguard, surrounding himself and his family with a personal force of Germani corporis custodes (‘Germanic bodyguard’, mostly of Batavian origin) and stationing individual cohorts of praetoriani (‘Praetorian Guard’, alluding to the praetorium or military headquarters of the emperor) in and around Rome. He also instituted two key paramilitary organizations in Rome, the urbaniciani (‘urban cohorts’) and the vigiles (‘night watchmen’), whose roles were, respectively, those of a police force and a fire brigade, broadly speaking. The Praetorian Guard was another institution that Augustus was perhaps wary of placing in senatorial hands, for the powerful praefectus praetorio (the Praetorian prefect), effectively the emperor’s right-hand man, was always a senior equestrian. Often, two praefecti were appointed, so that the Guard might be divided (or so that each prefect could watch the other).

The legions – once upon a time mobilized only during times of trouble, their ranks filled by peasant citizens, eager for adventure and booty, and just as eager to return to their Italian farms – had, in many cases, become long-service regiments, whose recruits, drawn from the more Romanized provinces, were loyal to their paymaster. Under Augustus, this ad hoc situation became regularized and incorporated into his vision of


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Any review of this book would have to start out by mentioning the fact that the book is part of the Osprey "Essential History" series and that this series is relatively short in terms of length. Books in this series are only 96 pages in length, about a third of which consists of illustration of one sort or another (i.e., maps, photographs of topology and statues of characters discussed in book, etc.). Thus if one is looking for a lengthy tome on the subject this book is not it. The more relevant question is whether or not the book, despite its short length, provides a good succinct discussion of the time period covered. The answer is an unequivocal yes.

There are a number of reasons for this. First and foremost is the author's very deep and extensive knowledge of the subject. Dr. Campbell has a PhD in the field and has written extensively on the subject and this knowledge really shows through, especially in regard to his ability to cite historians of antiquity. The book is also very well illustrated in terms of maps and photographs pertaining to the specific subject matter discussed. The book concentrates, almost exclusively, on the emperors involved and the military campaigns themselves. Little outside of this is discussed (i.e., economics, social development, etc.). Considering the short length of the book however, this is not unreasonable. The book is also written in a quite dry and academic manner but considering the author is an academic this is not a surprise. The contents of the book more than make up for this very slight negative.

The book, in short, provides a very good overview of the political and military history of the times. Four stars.


The Rise of Imperial Rome AD 14-193, Duncan B. Campbell - History

Apparently the best-selling Essential Histories volume of 2013 (http://www.ospreypublishing.com/b. more Apparently the best-selling Essential Histories volume of 2013 (http://www.ospreypublishing.com/blog/looking_back_at_2013_highs_and_surprises2/).

Blurb: "Under its first emperor, Augustus, Rome emerged from the chaos of Caesar's civil war. In the two centuries that followed, Rome's expansion reached its peak. Between AD 14 and 193, successive emperors fought to secure their frontiers and expand the empire, conquering Britain and Dacia, campaigning on the Rhine and Danube, and fighting the Jewish and Parthian Wars. In doing so, the legions overcame some of their most formidable enemies.

"Illustrated throughout with photographs and detailed colour maps, this volume explains the policies of the emperors and charts the legions' progress in conquering and holding Rome's territory, and explores how the world's greatest empire reached its zenith."

Osprey have provided a general index (with rather too many silly errors). Interested readers may benefit from my downloadable Persons Index.

Apparently, the "best-selling Warrior title of 2012" (http://www.ospreypublishing.com/blog/lookin. more Apparently, the "best-selling Warrior title of 2012" (http://www.ospreypublishing.com/blog/looking_at_2012_bestsellers_highlights_regrets/).

In response to the Amazon reviewer who claims that my views on the Spartan army are summaries of Lazenby's book, I would refer the reader to my 2012 Ancient Warfare article, which discusses the army in more detail.

Reviewed here: http://www.deremilitari.org/REVIEWS/Campbell_MonsGraupiusAD83.htm I mentioned t. more Reviewed here: http://www.deremilitari.org/REVIEWS/Campbell_MonsGraupiusAD83.htm

I mentioned the work of Stan Wolfson, which the reviewer would like to see more formally referenced. It can be found in BAR British Series 459 (Tacitus, Thule and Caledonia: The achievements of Agricola's navy in their true perspective), which only came to my attention after Mons Graupius had gone to press.

The reviewer also complains that, when I mentioned Martin Henig's views on p.87, "the only information supplied is the journal, volume year, and publication date". He wishes that I had "quoted from Henig’s work so that the reader could consider the argument in a greater context". The context can be found here: http://www.archaeologyuk.org/ba/ba37/ba37feat.html (last accessed in 2009 see cache at: http://web.archive.org/web/20160403143300/http://archaeologyuk.org/ba/ba37/ba37feat.html )

Aren't Amazon reviews wonderful? In amongst sensible opinion and objective critique, there are often some crackpot comments that raise a laugh.

A couple of reviewers comment on my "unquestioning acceptance" of Bennachie as the site of the battle. The Osprey Campaign format requires the author to decide upon a location, in order to draw up the Bird's-Eye View panoramas the identification of a likely battlefield also allows the site to be depicted in the three colour paintings.

There is no real problem here, as "scholarly opinion has in recent decades favoured a location for the battle in Aberdeenshire (Mount Bennachie near Inverurie has been a firm favourite)" -- I quote the words of Professor Lawrence Keppie, a veteran scholar of Roman Scotland (in the peer-reviewed journal War In History, vol 14, 2007).

Nevertheless, I laid my cards fairly openly on the table (p. 91) when I emphasized that there have been other candidates, and even explained the criteria upon which Bennachie has been assessed as the most likely location.

It seems that you simply cannot please all of the people even some of the time.

One reviewer complained that "He also doesn't even reference James Fraser's extensive recent book about Mons Graupius in the bibliography, perhaps because it presents a contrary view about the location", but this is not the reason. The real reason can be found in Classical Quarterly Vol. 65.1 (2015), pp. 407-410, where I have comprehensively dismantled Fraser's case.


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The Rise of Imperial Rome AD 14–193 (Guide to. ) (English Edition) Kindle Ausgabe

Any review of this book would have to start out by mentioning the fact that the book is part of the Osprey "Essential History" series and that this series is relatively short in terms of length. Books in this series are only 96 pages in length, about a third of which consists of illustration of one sort or another (i.e., maps, photographs of topology and statues of characters discussed in book, etc.). Thus if one is looking for a lengthy tome on the subject this book is not it. The more relevant question is whether or not the book, despite its short length, provides a good succinct discussion of the time period covered. The answer is an unequivocal yes.

There are a number of reasons for this. First and foremost is the author's very deep and extensive knowledge of the subject. Dr. Campbell has a PhD in the field and has written extensively on the subject and this knowledge really shows through, especially in regard to his ability to cite historians of antiquity. The book is also very well illustrated in terms of maps and photographs pertaining to the specific subject matter discussed. The book concentrates, almost exclusively, on the emperors involved and the military campaigns themselves. Little outside of this is discussed (i.e., economics, social development, etc.). Considering the short length of the book however, this is not unreasonable. The book is also written in a quite dry and academic manner but considering the author is an academic this is not a surprise. The contents of the book more than make up for this very slight negative.

The book, in short, provides a very good overview of the political and military history of the times. Four stars.


  • Éditeur &rlm : &lrm Osprey Publishing (6 juin 2014)
  • Langue &rlm : &lrm Anglais
  • Téléchargement &rlm : &lrm 96 pages
  • ISBN-10 &rlm : &lrm 1472812328
  • ISBN-13 &rlm : &lrm 978-1472812322

Meilleure évaluation de France

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« The Rise of Imperial Rome, AD 146-193 », de Duncan B. Campbell, propose un panorama rapide mais complet du Haut-Empire romain.

Ce titre fait partie de la collection Osprey Essential Histories dont l'approche est de fournir une introduction précise, mais générale, sur un sujet vaste (ici la montée en puissance de l'Empire romain sur deux siècles). Le texte, particulièrement accessible, passe en revue les empereurs de cette époque et aborde de manière synthétique quelques grands thèmes transverses : l'organisation politique de l'empire, les ennemis de Rome, les classes sociales, les provinces ou l'armée.

L’organisation des frontières occupe une place déterminante dans le livre qui est illustré par de nombreuses cartes particulièrement soignés. Les illustrations sont, d'une manière générale, d'une très grande qualité : photos en couleur très bien mises en valeur.

Meilleurs commentaires provenant d’autres pays

Any review of this book would have to start out by mentioning the fact that the book is part of the Osprey "Essential History" series and that this series is relatively short in terms of length. Books in this series are only 96 pages in length, about a third of which consists of illustration of one sort or another (i.e., maps, photographs of topology and statues of characters discussed in book, etc.). Thus if one is looking for a lengthy tome on the subject this book is not it. The more relevant question is whether or not the book, despite its short length, provides a good succinct discussion of the time period covered. The answer is an unequivocal yes.

There are a number of reasons for this. First and foremost is the author's very deep and extensive knowledge of the subject. Dr. Campbell has a PhD in the field and has written extensively on the subject and this knowledge really shows through, especially in regard to his ability to cite historians of antiquity. The book is also very well illustrated in terms of maps and photographs pertaining to the specific subject matter discussed. The book concentrates, almost exclusively, on the emperors involved and the military campaigns themselves. Little outside of this is discussed (i.e., economics, social development, etc.). Considering the short length of the book however, this is not unreasonable. The book is also written in a quite dry and academic manner but considering the author is an academic this is not a surprise. The contents of the book more than make up for this very slight negative.

The book, in short, provides a very good overview of the political and military history of the times. Four stars.


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Any review of this book would have to start out by mentioning the fact that the book is part of the Osprey "Essential History" series and that this series is relatively short in terms of length. Books in this series are only 96 pages in length, about a third of which consists of illustration of one sort or another (i.e., maps, photographs of topology and statues of characters discussed in book, etc.). Thus if one is looking for a lengthy tome on the subject this book is not it. The more relevant question is whether or not the book, despite its short length, provides a good succinct discussion of the time period covered. The answer is an unequivocal yes.

There are a number of reasons for this. First and foremost is the author's very deep and extensive knowledge of the subject. Dr. Campbell has a PhD in the field and has written extensively on the subject and this knowledge really shows through, especially in regard to his ability to cite historians of antiquity. The book is also very well illustrated in terms of maps and photographs pertaining to the specific subject matter discussed. The book concentrates, almost exclusively, on the emperors involved and the military campaigns themselves. Little outside of this is discussed (i.e., economics, social development, etc.). Considering the short length of the book however, this is not unreasonable. The book is also written in a quite dry and academic manner but considering the author is an academic this is not a surprise. The contents of the book more than make up for this very slight negative.

The book, in short, provides a very good overview of the political and military history of the times. Four stars.


Watch the video: The Rise of Imperial Rome AD 14-193 Overview (July 2022).


Comments:

  1. Johann

    at least I liked it.

  2. Julian

    This version has expired

  3. Markey

    Totally agree with her. I think this is a very different concept. Fully agree with her.

  4. Zulkirn

    I apologise, but, in my opinion, you are not right. Let's discuss.

  5. Frisa

    Great, this is a very valuable opinion.



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