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Roman Legionary Fortresses 27 BC-AD 378 (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 25. April 2006


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The concept of a legionary fortress as a permanent structure dates from the reign of Augustus (27 BC-AD 14). It is only from that time that we find a standing army distributed around the empire, and their permanent fortresses developed from the temporary field fortifications of the legions on campaign. This book describes the development, design and construction of these fortresses throughout the length and breadth of the Empire. It also deals extensively with the experience of life within a typical fortress and covers the operational history of these fortifications, including the famous siege of Vetera in AD 69.

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Dr Duncan B Campbell is a specialist in ancient Greek and Roman warfare. He published his first paper in 1984, as an undergraduate at Glasgow University, and produced a complete re-assessment of Roman siegecraft for his Ph.D. Over the years, his work has appeared in several international journals. He lives near the Antonine Wall in Scotland with his wife and son.

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16 von 16 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Roman Fortresses, a worthy addition to your Roman military library 14. Mai 2006
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Roman Legionary Fortresses 27 BC-AD 378, by Duncan B Campbell, Illustrated by Brian Delf is recently published by the folks at 'Osprey' as a part of their "Fortress" series. ISBN 1-84176-895-2. There are 27 B&W photos, 16 color photos, 14 line drawings and 6 color plates and 2 color maps, not including the covers.

This is a good starter for people wanting to know about the Roman fortresses of the legions. Not only are there many different locations, with some nice photos, but there is a wealth of information about different positions, time periods, and legion deployments contained in this work. I enjoy the idea that it is not Anglo-centric, and covers Roman Fortresses from Scotland to Egypt, with a good deal of mention being given to the forces and forts in the Danube region.

I didn't see anything outstandingly controversial, or even 'jump in your face' new, but the work brings together a lot of different material from various sources in a concise and well written primer on Roman Fortresses. Unlike many of the modern speculative works so popular in recent publications, we have facts and a brief bibliography, and actual references are given in the body of the work.

Even though this is published by 'Osprey' it weighs in as a must add to my collection, and is informative and enjoyable to the serious student of the topic, as well as the dilettante.
7 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Excellent Source 6. Dezember 2007
Von K. Murphy - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
This title in the Osprey fortress series examines the fortified camps of the Roman legionaries, many of which gradually evolved into complete townships. It covers the Roman era from the foundation of the Empire to the Battle of Adrianople (378), but it suffers the typical tendency of overlooking the 3rd and 4th Centuries, focusing largely on the era between Augustus and Domitian.

Like all titles in this series, this book is very powerful visually. In addition to 7 fine color plates by Brian Delf, it also contains several maps and numerous photographs, some of which, unusually for Osprey, are actually in color.

The book is opened with a useful chronology of the Roman Legions from the Augustan era to the beginning of the 3rd Century. The next section is 'The deisgn and development of legionary fortresses', which examines what the forts under individual emperors 27 BC-AD 217 were like in layout. After this is 'The elements of a legionary fortress', which, discussing the various buildings within the fortress, may well be the most useful and interesting section of the book. The last major section, 'living in a legionary fortress' is similar. The book is closed with a brief, 5-page summary of the forts of the last two centuries of this era.

Overall it is a solid resource on the forts of Rome's elite soldiers, and a useful addition to one's Roman military library.
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
More barracks than fortresses... 3. Januar 2010
Von Anibal Madeira - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Great work from Duncan Campbell that provides an huge amount of data in only 64 pages. It focuses mainly on fortifications from the 1st and 2nd centuries, but also gives some information about the location and layout of 4th century fortresses like the one in Bethorus.

The author locates the strategic deployment of Roman Legions and their fortresses from the time of Augustus till the Severan period with some detail. The similarities between the marching camps and the permanent fortresses layout, the question of the double strenght first cohort (arqueology can't answer that question yet) and the several buildings that constitute those fortresses, including the principia (HQ), fabricae (factories/workshops), valetudinarium (Hospital), horrea (granaries), thermae (baths)and the living quarters of officers and legionaries are also described.

Roman fortresses weren't castles; the objective of their existence was quartering one or two legions on a permanent or semi-permanent base. They were huge barracks, almost cities (some cities actually evolved from roman fortresses!). So the physical defenses of those fortresses weren't very impressive, but they didn't need to be; for the romans of the first and second centuries the strongest defense was their legionaries. Most adversaries would be faced outside the fortress not behind walls.

Good maps and photographs, excellent paintings by Brian Delf. Recommended.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Very good and well-structured introduction 2. Juni 2013
Von JPS - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
As other reviewers have already mentioned on both the US and the UK site, this is a very good introduction to Roman legionary fortresses. It is also well-structured and covers a lot of ground (three centuries and a half) without seeming superficial. I may have wished to have a bit more on the fourth century fortresses although, to some extent, this is quibbling and a bit unfair because of the plates is a (rather superb) reconstruction of a fourth century fort on the eastern frontier. Brian Delf also does a good job in illustrating a legionary fortress under attack and the main types of buildings to be found within such a camp (headquarters, barracks and bath complex, in particular, with each example taken from a different fortress).

Having mentioned this, I believe this booklet combines four elements which make it outstanding when compared with a number of other volumes in the same collection. One is that there are few, if any, works with such a wide scope that bring together all legionary fortresses. Most of the scholarly literature on the subject tends to focus on individual fortresses, on certain regions or looks at fortresses only as part for a wider discussion of the Roman legions.

A second and very interesting element is the care taken in showing how and when legions got cross-posted from one place to another, sometimes destroyed and sometimes replaced or supplemented by newly raised legions when a major campaign was planned. The author's ability identify where each legion was stationed or moved to another location is underpinned by a huge amount of research since knowledge of which legion occupied which site partly depends upon the archaeological finds at each site.

The third element, and another of the main point that the author makes rather well, is to show the link and evolution from the original marching camps, to the static fortress offensive and defensive bases, mostly built along rivers for supply purposes, to the stone fortresses. Related to this, there also seems to have been a trend towards more and more elaborate defences, with at least some fortresses becoming the nucleus of towns and cities that still exist today (whether Cologne or Strasburg on the Rhine or Vienna or Belgrade on the Danube, although there are a number of other cases as well).

The two sections I preferred and found the most instructive, however, were the "Elements of a legionary fortress and the section on living conditions within such a fortress. Both show that these fortresses developed into real military towns, including workshops and granaries and more generally everything that was necessary to make them as self-supporting as possible. Also fascinating was the degree in sophistication involved in the construction of these permanent bases and fortresses, with baths, but also a complex system of drainage and of water gathering, including by aqueducts in some cases.

Finally, and despite having outlined these common traits, the author is careful to insist on what we still do not know (quite a lot in fact) and to point at what are at best assumptions. He also makes the point that no two fortresses were identical as each and every one was adapted to its environment. If anything, this rather excellent introduction demonstrates, if need be, the Roman talent for engineering. Five stars.
4 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A funny thing happened to me at the Praetorium. 12. Januar 2007
Von Leo Guabello Jr. - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
I read this wonderful book! A fine addition to the others they publish. Well written and accurate in art, a must for the serious reader and for young adults. The entire collection of Osprey Publishing is worth having for the entire family. Such colorful illustrations, with the original and restored pieces, are additions to our scope of the past.
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