Lucius Verus and the Roman Defence of the East (Kindle)
Lucius Verus is one of the least regarded Roman emperors, despite the fact that he was co-ruler with his adoptive brother Marcus Aurelius for nine years until his untimely death. The later sources were strangely hostile to him and modern writers tend to dismiss him, but contemporary writings shine a more favourable light on his accomplishments. His handling of military affairs, particularly the conflict with Parthia after their invasions of Armenia and Syria, deserves a new consideration in the light of a careful reassessment of all the available source material. This volume looks at the upbringing of the boy who lost two fathers, acquired a brother, had his name changed twice, became a general overnight, and commanded the army that defeated one of Rome’s greatest foes in the 2nd century AD. His rise to power is placed in the context of Rome’s campaigns in the East and the part played by all – from the ordinary soldiers up to the aristocracy who commanded them – in making Lucius Verus’ Parthian Wars a success.
Reviewed by Thomas R. Keith, University of ChicagoBryn Mawr Classical
This is a valuable read for anyone with an interest in Roman history. It not only offers a more nuanced account of the life of Verus and his campaigns, as well as a survey of the history of the defense of the Roman east from the late Republic, but also provides a valuable example of how to make good use of a source as notoriously unreliable as the Historia Augusta.Strategy Page
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An interesting look at a lesser-discussed Roman emperor.The Armourer, September 2018