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The Great Illyrian Revolt (ePub)

Rome's Forgotten War in the Balkans, AD 6–9

Ancient History > Rome & the Roman Provinces Military

By Jason R. Abdale
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
File Size: 2.7 MB (.epub)
Pages: 268
Illustrations: 14
ISBN: 9781526718198
Published: 25th February 2019


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In the year AD 9, three Roman legions were crushed by the German warlord Arminius in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. This event is well-known, but there was another uprising that Rome faced shortly before, which lasted from AD 6 to 9, and was just as intense. This rebellion occurred in the western Balkans (an area roughly corresponding to modern Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Montenegro and parts of Serbia and Albania) and it tested the Roman Empire to its limits. For three years, fifteen legions fought in the narrow valleys and forest-covered crags of the Dinaric Mountains in a ruthless war of attrition against an equally ruthless and determined foe, and yet this conflict is largely unknown today. The Great Illyrian Revolt is believed to be the first book ever devoted to this forgotten war of the Roman Empire. Within its pages, we examine the history and culture of the mysterious Illyrian people, the story of how Rome became involved in this volatile region, and what the Roman army had to face during those harrowing three years in the Balkans.

As Featured In

HiMA, Revue Internationale d'Histoire Militaire Ancienne, n°10-2021

I really enjoyed this book, sort of an everything you wanted to know about the Illyrians but were too afraid to ask. On a personal basis, I am considering the figures needed to build an Illyrian army to face off against my Romans.

As this is probably the only general work that I am aware of dealing exclusively with the Illyrians, and given that it is so well written, clear and easy to understand, I can see this on the bookshelves of anyone interested in the general, political or military history of the period of Augustus Caesar’s reign in particular. Recommended!

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As featured by

The Armourer, October 2019

As featured by

VaeVictis - n° 144 - mars/avril 2019

The author does a commendable job in recreating the time period, tracing the origins of the Illyrians, the outbreak of the revolt, the Roman response and the aftermath of the conflict. A very interesting and informative read.

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Amazon Customer, David Poremba

This is a very welcome book, which opens up an interesting and little explored period of Balkan history.

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Balkan Wargamer

This is a very good read, and covers not only the revolt, but it also covers the history of Roman influence in the region.

If you are interested in the missing Varus legions, then this book might help shed some new light on the events leading up the loss of four legions in the woods of Germany.

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Medieval Sword School, Jason Hulott

This is an interesting look at a relatively unfamiliar war with a big impact... The style of writing during the history of the war is unusual, but still effective, and it helps fill a gap in the military history of this crucial period.

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History of War

This is an exceptionally well researched and constructed work that offers an account of the Illyrian revolt and its wider context. The author succeeds in telling the story of the ongoing wars that led to the final revolt and also the culture that was destroyed by the Romans in subjugating the Illyrians.
A good read for anybody interested in the Roman Empire in general and the Roman Army in particular.

Michael McCarthy. Battlefield Guide

Michael McCarthy
 Jason R. Abdale

About Jason R. Abdale

Jason R. Abdale received his BA cum laude and MA in History at Queen’s College, New York. He is a specialist in tribal history and culture, with an emphasis on ancient European tribes. His previous book, Four Days in September: The Battle of Teutoburg (2nd edition), was published by Pen & Sword in 2016. He lives in New York.

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