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Augustus at War (Hardback)

The Struggle for the Pax Augusta

Ancient History Rome

By Lindsay Powell
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781783831845
Published: 30th June 2018


£20.00 Introductory Offer

Print price £25.00

Peer Reviews

'A superb analysis of the military power that underpinned Augustus’ rise to power, his conquests, and his ability to sustain his rule. Powell’s achievement is to demonstrate just how much Augustus deserved his name of ‘Imperator’.' 

Tom Holland, presenter of BBC Radio 4 Making History. Author of Dynasty: The Rise and Fall of the House of Caesar.


'In this book, Powell meticulously details and analyzes the composition, deployment, and actions of this army and provides a much needed resource of information that has no parallel in astute comprehensiveness. His superb treatment shows Imperator Caesar Augustus in action and helps us understand the military Augustus and his times more clearly.'

Karl Galinsky, Floyd A. Cailloux Centennial Professor of Classics, University of Texas at Austin. Author of Augustus: Introduction to the Life of an Emperor.


'Lindsay Powell provides us with valuable insights into an under-appreciated aspect of Augustus' reign, and does so in his usual highly competent and readable style.'

Philip Matyszak Author of The Sons of Caesar: Imperial Rome's First Dynasty.


'Concise yet insightful, well-written and page-turning, this is a 'must buy' for every fan of ancient history. Powell is rapidly establishing himself as one of the leading authors of Roman nonfiction.' 

- Ben Kane Author of Eagles in the Storm (Eagles of Rome series).

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A new and penetrating assessment of Augustus as ancient Rome's military commander-in-chief by an author rapidly establishing himself as one of the leading historians of the period.

The words Pax Augusta – or Pax Romana – evoke a period of uninterrupted peace across the vast Roman Empire. Lindsay Powell exposes this as a fallacy. Almost every year between 31 BC and AD 14 the Roman Army was in action somewhere, either fighting enemies beyond the frontier in punitive raids or for outright conquest; or suppressing banditry or rebellions within the borders.

Remarkably over the same period Augustus succeeded in nearly doubling the size of the Empire. How did this second-rate field commander, known to become physically ill before and during battle, achieve such extraordinary success? Did he, in fact, have a grand strategy?

Powell reveals Augustus as a brilliant strategist and manager of war. As commander-in-chief (imperator) he made changes to the political and military institutions to keep the empire together, and to hold on to power himself. His genius was to build a team of loyal but semi-autonomous deputies (legati) to ensure internal security and to fight his wars for him, while claiming their achievements as his own. The book profiles more than 90 of these men as well as the military units under their command, and the campaigns they fought.

The book is lavishly illustrated with 23 maps, 42 colour plates, 13 black and white figures and 5 order of battle schematics. With a forward by Karl Galinsky, this book breaks new ground in explaining the extraordinary achievement of Caesar Augustus.

Listen to the new podcast, Army for an Empire: Augustus’ new Roman army, online here!

The History Network.org (History Podcast Specialists)

Author article: 'AN ARMY FIT FOR AN EMPIRE as featured in

Ancient Warfare magazine, volume XII, issue 1
 Lindsay Powell

About Lindsay Powell

LINDSAY POWELL writes for Ancient Warfare magazine and his articles have also appeared in Military Heritage and Strategy and Tactics. He is author of the highly acclaimed Marcus Agrippa: Right-Hand Man of Caesar Augustus, Germanicus: The Magnificent Life and Mysterious Death of Rome's Most Popular General and Eager for Glory: The Untold Story of Drusus the Elder, Conqueror of Germania, all published by Pen & Sword Books. His appearances include BBC Radio, British Forces Broadcasting Service and History Channel.
He divides his time between Austin, Texas and Wokingham, England.

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