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Roman Legion Essentials

PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 10:27 pm
by Tiberius Dionysius Draco
Salvete omnes,

I've been given a question by my History professor that needs answering. I know SVR isn't going to "do my homework" but that's not what I'm about to ask.

Each student in our group has been assigned a question varying from roman customs, treatment of the slaves to writing a short biography on the life of Julius Caesar.

The question I've been given is the following one:
"What do you need to know about the Roman legion and a legionair?"

I've already read and made some notes of Marius' Life with the Legions essay but I'm looking for more.

Could anyone direct me to some good, informational sites pertaining the Romand legion and its legionairs?

Many thanks in advance

Valete bene!

PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 10:54 am
by Publius Nonius Severus
Mi Draco-

There are my favorite Roman military sites that range from the most basic info and detailed minutia:

and of course our own Marius' site:


PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 4:16 pm
by Cleopatra Aelia
And here are some book recommendations:

Adrian Goldsworthy, The Complete Roman Army, Thames & Hudson Ltd, London, 2003

Kate Gilliver, The Roman Art of War, Tempus Publishing Ltd., Stroud, 1999

Yann Le Bohec, L'Armée Romaine, sous le Haut-Empire, 1989

Lawrence Keppie, The Making of the Roman Army - From Republic to Empire, Batsford Ltd., London, 1984

Marcus Junkelmann, Die Legionen des Augustus, Philipp von Zabern, Mainz, 1986

More Legion sources

PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 7:11 pm
by Aldus Marius
Salve, mi Draco! (You were just waiting for me to rise to the bait, weren't you?) >({|;-)

A seminal work: The Roman Legions by H.M.D. Parker (1928, rev 1957). It's a little like Mommsen's history: an oldie but goodie; research has come a long way forward on some things, but I regard this book as the basis for understanding the whole field of study...and he's still got things in there that haven't been touched by anybody else.

My main source for "Life with the Legions": Graham Webster, The Roman Imperial Army of the First and Second Centuries AD (1969, rev 1979). This is the period portrayed by most reenactor units, and the book was written after they'd finally figured out how the lorica segmentata went together. Has descriptions of training exercises, plans of actual camps and fortresses, ever'thin'!

And bringing it down to the individual level is G.R. Watson's classic, The Roman Soldier (Aspects of Greek and Roman Life series; 1969). This one even has recruiting procedures and the Military Oath.

For my actual reconstructions I have relied heavily on The Roman Army by Peter Connolly. This is extensively illustrated, so sometimes gets mistaken for a children's's not. The author is a Roman military archaeologist; the book has pics of things, such as crest-holders and an exploded-parts diagram of the lorica segmentata, that are not illustrated anywhere else.

Enough to cut your teeth on, amice? Or shall I invite you over to the castra for baked-beans-in-a-helmet? >({|;-) again!

PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 1:24 pm
by Tiberius Dionysius Draco
Salvete omnes,

Thanks a lot for all the responses everyone, I'm sure I'll be able to fill more than the obligatory 4 pages with all that info :) .

Valete bene!


PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 7:35 pm
by Aldus Marius
** stands on the ramp at his nearest US Air Force installation **

** signalling with a brightly-colored wand in each hand, marshalls a C-5 transport jet into its parking spot **

** gets the rear cargo door down **

More paper, mi Tiberi...? <g>