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Invasion! Rome Against the Cimbri, 113-101 BC (Hardback)

Ancient History > Rome & the Roman Provinces Military

By Dr Philip Matyszak
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 208
Illustrations: 5 maps
ISBN: 9781399097314
Published: 12th December 2022

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Partly as a result of poor commanders and partly because the Romans had an innate and misguided belief in the invincibility of their legions, the first battles against the Cimbri were a series of disasters. These culminated in the Battle of Arausio in 105 BC when two Roman armies were utterly destroyed.

Rome finally realized that their republic faced an existential threat, and made the necessary painful political and military changes that were needed to face that threat. Rome also found a commander who could take on the Cimbri. Caius Marius was a deeply flawed man – scheming, cautious to the point of cowardice, and quick to claim credit for the achievements of others. Nevertheless, he was a massive improvement on the leaders who had preceded him.

The reshaped Roman army eventually worked out how to weather the savage onrush of the initial barbarian assault. Thereafter, the grim discipline of the legions was enough to wear down the opposition. It helped that Marius never fought unless the situation favoured him, and as a result his army gradually became accustomed to victory.

Had the Cimbri overwhelmed Rome, as at one time it seemed inevitable that they would, then European history would have been very different.

As featured in

VaeVictis Magazine, May 2023

A fascinating and informative study, "Invasion! Rome Against the Cimbri, 113-101 BC" by Philip Matyszak is a critically accomplished and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university library Roman History collections in general, and Roman Military Studies supplemental curriculum studies lists in particular.

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Midwest Book Review

4 out of 5

This is a very well written book, much in the style of an historical novel. It gives the reader an excellent description of the enemy and forces at their disposal, conditions in Rome and how greed and avarice were rife among the senators and the consequences that befell them. The author has mastered the technique of enrobing the reader in the trials and tribulations of the Roman soldier to the extent that the reader feels they are a part of the story.

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Army Rumour Service (ARRSE)

About Dr Philip Matyszak

Philip 'Maty' Matyszak holds a doctorate in Ancient History from St John's College, Oxford University, and has been studying, teaching and writing on the subject for over twenty years. The author of over twenty books, he specializes in the history of Classical Greece and of the Late Republic and Early Imperial periods of Rome but has also written two historical novels. Maty saw combat as a conscript in the Rhodesian army and served with the Territorial Army in Britain. These days he splits his time between writing in his home in Canada's Monashee Mountains and providing e-learning courses for Cambridge University's Institute of Continuing Education.

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