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Legionary: The Roman Soldier's [Unofficial]…

Legionary: The Roman Soldier's [Unofficial] Manual (2009)

by Philip Matyszak

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203790,970 (4.16)3
The year is AD100 and Rome stands supreme and unconquerable, from the desert sands of Mesopotamia to the misty highlands of Caledonia. But the might of Rome rests entirely on the shoulders of the legionaries, who stand strong against the barbarian hordes, pushing back the frontiers of the empire. This book tells you how to get in and get on in the legions, the best places to serve, life in camp, on campaign and in battle, and such things as how to stop your armour going rusty and how to storm a city. It will have immense appeal to all those who enjoy ancient history, but who want to be entertained at the same time.… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
A breezy manual dedicated to the new recruit, to help him into his twenty year enlistment with minimal fuss. A lot of information derived from archaeology and literary research, and well worth the effort, if you wish to sympathize with the other ranks of the fearsome military assemblage. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Feb 2, 2016 |
Accessible, informative, and amusing. This was a good read.
  GYKM | Aug 20, 2014 |
A very readable look at the life of the Roman soldier, from enlistment to retirement, training to battle, and all the little details in between. My knowledge of Roman history is spotty, but the author provides enough context that I'm not lost. (And many of the quotations suggest that soldiers are the same, whatever the era....) ( )
  castiron | Nov 6, 2012 |
Matyszak hits the nail on the head again. I haven't read one of his books that I didn't like. This one is, like the others, well-researched, packed with facts, funny and fun to read -- a good book for trying to get people to like history. I do believe he has become one of my favorite nonfiction writers. ( )
  meggyweg | May 4, 2010 |
This is an excellent book.

It is written like a handbook, or users guide, for a potential recruit who would be interested in joining a Roman Legion. It's slightly reminiscent of the "Dummies" or "Complete Idiots Guide" type of books, and it really works well here.

The layout of the book was nicely thought out. It has many excellent illustrations of the activities being described, statues, battle formations, etc.
It is also written in a well encapsulated way. There is a fine touch of humor to the proceedings.

I found the subject matter endlessly fascinating. Here are a few quotes taken from the book:

"Join the legions, see the world, travel to foreign parts, meet interesting and exotic people, and disembowel them."

"A set of male genitalia required:
Some will be pleased to know that Trajan recently decreed that those who have lost but a single testicle can still serve. "

Description of a statue:
"Centurion proudly displaying the distinctive transverse crest on his helmet.....and in one hand he carries the vitis, his vine-stick for whacking legionaries"

One chapter is titled "People who will want to kill you".

Highly recommended for a fun romp through some ancient history. ( )
2 vote NightHawk777 | Oct 18, 2009 |
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