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Roman Conquests: The Danube Frontier (Hardback)

Ancient History Rome Colour Books Military

By Dr Michael Schmitz
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Roman Conquests
Pages: 176
ISBN: 9781848848245
Published: 30th May 2019

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The Roman conquests of Macedonia in the 2nd century BC led directly to the extension of their authority over the troublesome tribes of Thrace to the south of the Danube. But their new neighbour on the other side of the mighty river, the kingdom of the Dacians, was to pose an increasing threat to the Roman empire. Inevitably this eventually provoked Roman attempts at invasion and conquest. It is a measure of Dacian prowess and resilience that several tough campaigns were required over more than a century before their kingdom was added to the Roman Empire. It was one of the Empire's last major acquisitions (and a short-lived one at that).

Dr Michael Schmitz traces Roman involvement in the Danube region from first contact with the Thracians after the Third Macedonian War in the 2nd century BC to the ultimate conquest of Dacia by Trajan in the early years of the 2nd Century AD. Like the other volumes in this series, this book gives a clear narrative of the course of these wars, explaining how the Roman war machine coped with formidable new foes and the challenges of unfamiliar terrain and climate. Specially-commissioned colour plates bring the main troop types vividly to life in meticulously-researched detail.

I enjoyed the read and it has certainly given me much food for thought on how I can look to differentiate further my Dacians from a typical 'vanilla warband' army into a force that could pose more problems for a Roman foe, giving as it does a very good read, providing a very clear narrative of the wars in the area together with an account of how the Romans coped with the foes and terrain they encountered.

Read the full review here

JJ's Wargames

This is a really interesting and detailed look and the region and conflicts within it. I can see this being useful for wargammers and historians like. From a military history point of view I would love to get my hands on a falx to see how effect it was against a Roman shield.

All in all a great book which will be a good addition to anyone’s bookshelf.

Read the full review here

Medieval Sword School, Jason Hulott

A very useful and readable narrative of the Dacian Wars including the considerable strategic manoeuvring by the Romans over considerable time to effectively engage the Dacians across the Danube and for a time deal with a major threat. This also underlines the ongoing difficulties faced by the Romans in having to also deal with the other tribes in the ‘Balkan’ area as without doing so the Dacians could not be confronted. It emphasises the demands of supply and logistics in pacifying the tribes South of the Danube and Sava rivers. Good photographs and maps. Recommended.

Michael McCarthy. Battlefield Guide

Michael McCarthy

About Dr Michael Schmitz

Dr Michael Schmitz is a lecturer in Classics and Ancient History at the University of New England, New South Wales, Australia. He is the author of Roman Annexation: Costs and Benefits of Trajan's Dacian Conquests (2010) and The Dacian Threat 101 106 AD (2005).

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