As a result of both internal and external pressures on the Empire, the third century was a period of transition and transformation for the Roman army. It saw changes in its role, organization and equipment. Having looked briefly at the role and the tactical organisation of the army, I.P. Stephenson deals systematically with defensive equipment such as helmets, body armor, and shields, and offensive equipment such as spears, swords, javelins, and slings. He also considers how each piece of equipment was used--not just how it looked.