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Armies of Ancient Italy 753-218 BC (Hardback)

From the Foundation of Rome to the Start of the Second Punic War

Ancient History Colour Books Military

By Gabriele Esposito
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 192
Illustrations: 80 colour & black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781526751850
Published: 17th November 2020

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Before becoming the masters of the Mediterranean world, the Romans had first to conquer the Italian peninsula in a series of harsh conflicts against its other varied and warlike residents. The outcome was no foregone conclusion and it took the Romans half a millennium to secure the whole of Italy. Gabriele Esposito presents the armies that fought these wars, in which the Roman military spirit and their famous legions were forged. He not only follows the evolution of the Roman forces from the Regal Period to the outbreak of the Second Punic War but also the forces of their neighbours, rivals and enemies. The most notable of these, the Etruscans, Samnites and the Italian Greeks are given particular attention but others, such as the Celts and Ligures of the North and the warriors of Sicily and Sardinia, are also considered. Details of the organization, weapons, equipment and tactics of each army are described, while dozens of beautiful colour photos of reenactors show how these warriors looked in the field.

Review by Jason Hubbard

This book and the series it belongs to are a must read for anyone interested in armies of the ancient world. They are especially good starting points for war gamers looking to build armies and plan campaigns to play set in this era of European and Mediterranean history. The full colour plates are a useful resource when it comes to painting your army, they make very good guides regarding the colours used. They are also an excellent resource for anyone considering sculpting miniatures for this period or making conversions on existing minis.

These books will also appeal to historians, especially those who are interested in military topics rather than social history. This volume is as good as previous volumes we’ve reviewed, and I’d definitely suggest you add this book to your shelves.

Irregular Magazine | Spring Issue 2021

It’s an interesting look at all the people of the Italian era, but what really brings it to life are the countless full colour photographs of re-enactor groups in the correct armour and dress for the various tribes and regions they represent. Excellent production standards and a fascinating look at the history of early Rome.

The Armourer, March 2021

The illustrations of this book are a revelation. Not the usual reproductions of Roman bas-reliefs and statues, but photos of modern re-enactors wearing carefully reconstructed uniforms and armour based on archaeological finds. This is a fun book as well as being very useful and informative.

Read the full review here

Army Rumour Service (ARRSE)

Another beautiful book in the "Armies of the Past" series, to learn about the various Italic cultures that have enriched, in turn, the same Roman culture with a process of assimilation.

Read the full Italian review here

Omne Ignotum Pro Magnifico

This is a great edition to the library and I will be collecting all of these as they are written.

Read the full review here

Medieval Sword School

About Gabriele Esposito

Gabriele Esposito is an Italian researcher and a long-time student of military history, whose interests and expertise range widely over various periods. He is the author of numerous books on armies and uniforms and is a regular contributor to many specialized magazines in Italy, France, Netherlands and UK. His many previous works include the following published by Pen & Sword: Armies of Early Colonial North America 1607-1713 (2018), Armies of the Late Roman Empire AD 284-476 (2018), Armies of the Hellenistic States 323 BC-AD 30 (2019), Armies of Celtic Europe 700 BC to AD 106 (2019); Armies of Ancient Greece circa 500 to 338 BC (2020); and Armies of Ancient Italy 753 to 218 BC (2020).

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