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Armies of the Thracians and Dacians, 500 BC to AD 150 (ePub)

History, Organization and Equipment

Ancient History Military

By Gabriele Esposito
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
File Size: 70.0 MB (.epub)
ISBN: 9781526772756
Published: 17th May 2021


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The Thracians are mentioned as early as in the epic poems by Homer and were fundamental in the evolution of the Greek military systems across the ages. They fought in the Persian Wars, were part of Alexander the Great's army, were used as mercenaries in many Hellenistic armies and resisted Roman conquest for a long time. In addition, they used some iconic weapons and had a distincitve panoply.

The Dacians were a mix of different cultures and were extremely influenced by some steppe peoples like the Sarmatians. They had a lot in common with the Thracians but had a different history. They formed one of the largest and most powerful kingdoms of Antiquity, a sort of super-power that dominated over the Balkans. Their wars against Trajan and the Roman Army were absolutely epic, the last campaigns of conquest in the history of the Western Roman Empire.

The book contains a rich collection of photos specifically made for it by some excellent groups of reenactors.

Overall, Armies of the Thracians and Dacians is a thorough and detailed exploration of these two ancient peoples and their impact on military history.

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Medieval Sword School

Review as featured in


An extraordinarily informative and impressively detailed history the is remarkable enhanced throughout with full color illustrations and photography, "Armies of the Thracians and Dacians, 500 BC to AD 150: History, Organization and Equipment" is an essential, core addition to community, college, and university library Military History collections in general, and Thracian/Dacian supplemental curriculums in particular.

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Midwest Book Review

Another colourful and informative addition to the series that follows the same format as the others providing an overview of the history, organisation and equipment of these peoples. It is sumptuously illustrated with many full-page photographs of re-enactors and their equipment which brings the text to life and makes this ideal for anyone wanting to gain an understanding of these people and their time. Re-enactors and wargamers will find this of particular use in visualising the warriors.

Ashley Holt, The Hoplite Association

The real strength of this book is the numerous (about one-third of the content) colour plates of reenactors in Thracian and Dacian costumes and equipment. These come from the Ancient Thrace and Historia Renascita groups, who have clearly put in a huge amount of effort. I would recommend their Facebook groups.

This book is worth the price for these colour plates alone.

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Balkan Wargamer

I think this book can be very interesting for people who would like to understand about these peoples with whom the Romans fought for centuries. It brushes on the topic of guerrilla warfare and differences between them on topics such as agriculture and keeping livestock. Of course, the focus of the book is on the military aspect. It’s well worth the read and the pictures are a must see, very realistic and interesting.

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Coffee and Books

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. Most of his recent studies have been dedicated to the reconstruction of the organization, functioning and tactics of the armies across history; in each of his publications there is always some relevant space dedicated to the 'material culture'of the various armies taken into account and - more in particular - to the empirical science known as 'uniformology'. Gabriele 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 Armies of Early Colonial North America 1607-1713Armies of the Late Roman Empire 284-476Armies of the Hellenistic States 323 BC to AD30Armies of Celtic Europe 700 BC-AD 106Armies of Ancient Greece, circa 500 BC to 338 BC; and The Macedonian Army of Philip II and Alexander the Great 359-323 BC, all published by Pen & Sword since 2018. He lives in southern Italy, near the ancient battlefield of Beneventum.

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