Rome's Third Samnite War, 298–290 BC (Hardback)
The Last Stand of the Linen Legion
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The Third Samnite War (298-290 BC) was a crucial episode in the early history of Rome. Upon its outcome rested mastery of central Italy, and the independent survival of both Rome and the Samnites. Determined to resist aggressive Roman expansion, the Samnites forged a powerful alliance with the Senones (a tribe of Italian Gauls), Etruscans and Umbrians. The result was eight years of hard campaigning, brutal sieges and bitter battles that stretched Rome to the limit. The desperate nature of the struggle is illustrated by the ritual self-sacrifice (devotio) by the Roman consul Publius Decimus Mus at the Battle of Sentinum (295 BC), which restored the resolve of the wavering Roman troops, and by the Samnite Linen Legion at the Battle of Aquilonia (393 BC), each man of which was bound by a sacred oath to conquer or die on the battlefield.
Mike Roberts, who has travelled the Italian landscape upon which these events played out, mines the sources (which are more reliable, he argues, than for Rome’s previous wars) to produce a compelling narrative of this momentous conflict.
Review by Jason HubbardIrregular magazine, issue 14 Volume 2/Winter 2020
This was an excellent account of a period I knew very little about, it was a fascinating read that I found to be very enjoyable, and promoted me to think about building an early Roman army and re-playing out this campaign.
This is one of those books that is an ideal read for anyone studying ancient history, but it’s also a great resource for a wargamer considering this particular period in Ancient Roman history.
The author has meticulously analysed the events of this war weaving together the political and military details to build an informative and valuable account of the conflict.
'Black Country author's book on ancient Rome'Black Country Bugle, 9th September 2020
Article: ‘Author tells story of epic conflict that shaped Italy’ as featured byShropshire Star and Express and Star, 7th September 2020
This book describes a period of early Roman history - long before the expansion of the empire into northern and western Europe - that I knew nothing about. Fascinating insights into the development of one of the most powerful empires the world has ever seen.Books Monthly
The war isn’t well documented, and Roberts has done a good job of piecing together the limited sources to give a coherent account of events, while also acknowledging the limits to our knowledge and alternative versions of events.History of War
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Dense, dense, dense but essential for history buffs who are fascinated with ancient Rome. Having Samnite heritage I couldn't resist it. I also couldn't possibly get it all read in one sitting. It's loaded with people and facts and it's not for late night reading just before bed. You have to pay attention and maybe even take notes.NetGalley, Cecilia Vettraino Brown
All in all, a great load of information if you find the subject attractive. I did!
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Nicole Bannister
I Enjoyed everything about this book there was nothing I didn't like about the book. I like the setting,the writing style,the plot,the plot twists and the characters in the book were amazing.I would gladly reread it again.