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The Roman Navy (Hardback)

Ships, Men & Warfare 350BC - AD475

Ancient History Seaforth Colour Books

By Michael Paul Pitassi
Seaforth Publishing
Pages: 184
ISBN: 9781848320901
Published: 5th November 2012

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The Roman Navy was remarkable for its size, reach and longevity. As significant as the Royal Navy was to the British Empire in the nineteenth century, the Roman Navy was crucial to the extraordinary expansion of Imperial power and for its maintenance over a period of more than 800 years. The fabric and organisation of this maritime force is at the core of this new book.

At the height of its power the Roman Navy was, at least in numerical terms, the largest maritime force ever to have existed. It employed tens of thousands of sailors and maintained and fought fleets of ships larger than any forces since. In these pages the author looks at all the aspects of the Navy in turn. Shipbuilding, rigs and fittings, and shipboard weaponry are covered as are all the principal ship from the earliest types to the very last. The command structure is outlined, as are all aspects of the crews' lives, their recruitment, terms of service, training and uniforms. Life onboard, food and drink, discipline, religion and superstition are described, while seamanship and navigation are dealt with along with bases and shore establishments. Operations feature prominently, the allied and enemy navies compared, and specimen battles employed to explain fighting tactics.

All these aspects changed and developed hugely over the great span of the Roman empire but this fascinating book brings this complex story together in one brilliant volume.

While this is not a history of the Roman Navy, which may not be possible given our slender sources, it certainly fills an important need, and is a useful read for anyone interested in Roman history or naval affairs.

The NYMAS Review

A good introduction to a remote but intriguing period.

Warship Annual 2014

Covers every aspect of the Roman Navy’
‘A fantastic book and virtually an encyclopaedia of Roman naval matters’
‘A complete work in every respect. Highly recommended.’

Michael Pitassi

Covers every aspect of the Roman Navy.
A fantastic book and virtually an encyclopaedia of Roman naval matters.
A complete work in every respect. Highly recommended.

Scuttlebutt

This well-illustrated and well-researched volume contains a comprehensive list of primary sources, secondary sources and notes. This book, which is the first to describe and analyse all aspects of the powerful Roman Navy and provides new insights into this impressive naval force, is illustrated with both contemporary and modern images. In my opinion this book makes a significant contribution to the maritime history literature. Highly recommended.

Marine News

Valuable introduction to one of the first navies. Reveals how little we know about Roman vessels

Naval History.net

About Michael Paul Pitassi

MICHAEL PITASSI is a retired lawyer with a lifelong interest in naval warfare and Roman history which has led to a deep and abiding interest in the seagoing activities of the Romans. He has published two previous books related to this subject - a chronological history and a work on Roman warships. As well as writing on the Romans he makes models of their ships.

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