A concise and entertaining history of the Roman legionary—from the age of Augustus through the heyday of the Roman Empire.
The might of Rome rested on the back of its legions; the superbly trained and equipped fighting force with which the imperial Roman army conquered, subdued and ruled an empire for centuries. The legionary soldier served for 20 years, was rigorously trained, highly equipped, and motivated by pay, bonuses and a strong sense of identity and camaraderie. Legionaries wore full body-armor and carried a shield, as well as two javelins, a sword, and a dagger. In battle they hurled their javelins and then immediately drew their swords and charged to close combat with the enemy. They were the finest heavy infantrymen of antiquity, and a massed legionary charge was a fearsome sight.
In The Roman Legionaries, Simon Elliott, author of Julius Caesar: Rome’s Greatest Warlord, provides an introduction to these elite soldiers, including their training, tactics, weapons, the men themselves, life on and off the battlefield, as well as significant triumphs and disasters in the great battles of the era.