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Viriathus (Hardback)

And the Lusitanian Resistance to Rome 155-139 BC

Ancient History Military

By Luis Silva
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 326
ISBN: 9781781591284
Published: 21st August 2013



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In the middle years of the second century BC, Rome was engaged in the conquest and pacification of what is now Spain and Portugal. They met with determined resistance from several tribes but nobody defied them with more determination and skill than Viriathus. Apparently of humble birth, he emerged as a leader after the treacherous massacre of the existing tribal chieftains and soon proved himself a gifted and audacious commander.

Relying on hit and run guerrilla tactics, he inflicted repeated humiliating reverses upon the theoretically superior Roman forces, uniting a number of tribes in resistance to the invader and stalling their efforts at conquest and pacification for eight years. Still unbeaten in the field, he was only overcome when the Romans resorted to bribing some of his own men to assassinate him (though they reneged on the agreed payment, claiming they did not reward traitors!).

Though renowned in his day Viriathus has been neglected by modern historians, a travesty that Luis Silva puts right in this thoroughly researched and accessible account. Portuguese by birth, the author draws on Portuguese research and perspectives that will be refreshing to English-language scholars and his own military experience also informs his analysis of events. What emerges is a stirring account of defiance, heroic resistance against the odds and, ultimately, treachery and tragedy.

Silva weaves into his account of the many campaigns and battles a great deal of information on the political, cultural and military side of Lusitanian society, helping throw fresh light not only on Rome's most well-liked enemy, but also one of the Republic's toughest wars.
An excellent work, reading this will prove rewarding for anyone interested in Roman history.

New York Military Affairs Symposium

Luis Silva takes on the challenge of telling the story of an ancient hero in english for the first time. Well though out and easy read.

Robert Roma

About Luis Silva

Luis Silva was born in Portugal and served in the Portuguese Army and then the French Foreign Legion before moving to the USA in 2000. He is now serving in the US Army. He has a broad interest in military history and particularly of the ancient period. Although this will be his first book, he has previously penned a number of magazine articles on military history subjects.

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