Armies of the Germanic Peoples, 200 BC to AD 500 (Hardback)
History, Organization and Equipment
Gabriele Esposito presents an overview of the military history of the Germanic peoples of this period and describes in detail the weapons and tactics they employed on the battlefield. He starts by showing how, from very early on, the Germanic communities were heavily influenced by Celtic culture. He then moves on to describe the major military events, starting with the first major encounter between the Germanic tribes and the Romans: the invasion by the Cimbri and Teutones. Julius Caesar's campaigns against German groups seeking to enter Gaul are described in detail as is the pivotal Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, which effectively halted Roman expansion into Germany and for centuries fixed the Rhine as the border between the Roman and Germanic civilizations. Escalating pressure of Germanic raids and invasions was a major factor in the collapse of the Western Roman Empire.
The author's analysis explains how Germanic warriors were able to crush the Roman military forces on several occasions, gradually transformed the Roman Army itself from the inside and, after the fall of the Empire, created new Romano-Germanic Kingdoms across Europe. The evolution of Germanic weapons, equipment and tactics is examined and brought to life through dozens of colour photos of replica equipment in use.
This guide to the Late Roman Army focusses on the dramatic and crucial period that started with the accession of Diocletian and ended with the definitive fall of the Western Roman Empire. This was a turbulent period during which the Roman state and its armed forces changed. Gabriele Esposito challenges many stereotypes and misconceptions regarding the Late Roman Army; for example, he argues that the Roman military machine remained a reliable and efficient one until the very last decades of the Western Empire. The author describes the organization, structure, equipment, weapons, combat history…By Gabriele Esposito
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