A Military Biography
Caracalla has one of the worst reputations of any Roman Emperor. Many ancient historians were very hostile and Edward Gibbon later dubbed him the common enemy of mankind. Yet his reign was considered by at least one Roman author to be the apogee of the Roman Empire. Guilty of many murders and massacres (including his own brother, ex-wife and daughter) he was, however, popular with the army, improving their pay and cultivating the image of sharing their hardships. Surprisingly this is the first full-length biography of this colourful character in English.
Ilkka Syvanne explains how the biased ancient sources in combination with the stern looking statues of the emperor have created a distorted image of the man and then reconstructs the actual events, particularly his military campaigns and reforms, to offer a balanced view of his reign. The biography offers the first complete overview of the policies, events and military campaigns of the reign and explains how and why these contributed to the military crisis of the third century.
As featured inVaeVictis
Featured in 'Reading List' part of Kill Them All! articleWargames Illustrated, August 2019
The author provides a wealth of detail about every aspect of the Roman military: building camps; where legions and fleets were raised or posted; arms; equipment; tactics; ranks etc...Miniature Wargames, April 2018 – reviewed by William De Pretre
The author leaves no stone uncovered when establishing the background for Caracalla's reign and - to top it off - all of it is lavishly illustrated by the author himself.
As featured 'on the shelf' with Neil SmithWargames Illustrated, June 2017