Roman Legionary 109-58 BC

Published: December 21st, 2017     
Product Image
Book cover
Author: Ross Cowan
Reviewed by: 
Robert Head, IPMS# 48922
Company: Osprey Publishing
ISBN #: 978-1-4728-2519-3
Other Publication Information: Illustrator: Sean O Brogain, paperback, 64 pages
Price: $19.00
Product / Stock #: Warrior# 182

Osprey is a publishing house in the United Kingdom that should be a household name to the swarms of us. Osprey continues to expand their Warrior series with the 182nd book in this installment. The warrior series examines specific units and armies of a particular nation. In this installment the Legionnaires of Marius, Sulla and Pompey the Great are discussed.

For the Warrior series, the chapters are organized as follows:

  • Introduction
  • Chronology
  • Recruitment and Terms of Service
  • The Military Oath
  • Belief and Belonging
  • Training
  • Equipment
  • Organization
  • Campaign and Battle
  • After the Battle
  • Reference
  • Glossary
  • Abbreviations
  • Index

The Roman centurion, holding the legionaries steady before the barbarian horde and then leading them forward to victory, was the heroic exemplar of the Roman world. This was thanks to the Marian reforms, which saw the centurion, although inferior in military rank and social class, superseding the tribune as the legion's most important officer. This period of reform in the Roman Army is often overlooked, but the invincible armies that Julius Caesar led into Gaul were the refined products of 50 years of military reforms.

The book is illustrated with very colorful and plentiful descriptive paintings and maps of the individual areas and reported battles that are listed in the book. I really enjoyed the knowledge and hearing about the various backgrounds that this elite unit came from, the hierarchy of politics involved in soldiering, and the equipment used.

In my personal opinion I feel any book Osprey publishes about the Roman military or political system is a book worthy of every modelers collection. For those who are not historically inclined the Romans conquered a good portion of the world, they also created and patented inventions, infrastructure, cultural heritage, and many other things that have survived to this day and are still being used in one way or another.

My thanks to IPMS, and Osprey Publishing for giving me the opportunity to review this book. I love learning and this book provided me insight to a unit I never even heard of.

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