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The Roman Cavalry by Karen R. Dixon
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The Roman Cavalry (1992)

by Karen R. Dixon, Pat Southern (Author)

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The author uses information from classical sources combined with archaeological findings and data from 19th and early 20th century European records to give a fairly detailed picture of the Roman cavalry over a period of several centuries. We learn about the recruitment, training, and equipment of both men and horses and their shared life together. Although I would have liked to see a little more detail in certain sections, this is a good overview. I notice that Dixon has also co-authored a study of Roman cavalry equipment, which may have the color plates this volume lacks.

Contents: Sources; Origins, unit strength, organization and titulature; Equipment and unit armament styles; Recruitment; Conditions of service; Training; The hippika gymnasia; The employment of cavalry in peacetime and wartime; Military records and the supply of horses; Roman cavalry mounts; Stables and grooming; Water and food supply; Welfare; Baggage animals. Well illustrated with line drawings and black and white photographs. ( )
  gwernin | Mar 7, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Karen R. Dixonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Southern, PatAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0415170397, Paperback)

The cavalry was a vital part of the army of Rome and it played a significant role in the expansion and success of the Roman Empire. Karen R. Dixon and Pat Southern describe the origins of the mounted units of the Roman army and trace their development from temporary allied troops to the regular alae and cohorts. They have drawn together evidence from a wide variety of sources: archaeological, epigraphic and literary, as well as comparing ancient testimony with more recent experience of the use of cavalry.
The book covers the subject from the perspective of both the men and the horses. How were the horses selected and disposed of; how were they trained, stabled and fed? How were the men recruited, organized and equipped; and what were the conditions of service for a Roman cavalryman? The cavalry had to be employed in peacetime and this is discussed as well as its role in war.
The image of the Roman cavalry is often one of excitement and glory but the authors are aware that a true picture must not overlook the routine and the suffering. This book provides a comprehensive account of the Roman cavalry and the current state of knowledge concerning it. The wide selection of illustrations includes original drawings by Karen R. Dixon.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:36:34 -0400)

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