The period from the accession of Diocletian to the Islamic conquest was a tumultuous one: a period of catastrophic defeat (Adrianople and the fall of the Empire in the West), as well as a brilliant success (the Justinian reconquest and the final defeat of Sassanid Persia). The period is well studied in political and historian terms; however, the Imperial Roman Army, particularly its appearance and equipment, remains a neglected topic. As a result a number of misconceptions have arisen. This authoritative follow-up to the author's successful "Roman Infantry Equipment: The Later Empire" not only corrects these misconceptions, it also provides a comprehensive survey of the military material of the period. The equipment, both offensive and defensive, is considered not simply as artefacts in isolation, but rather as pieces of a whole. Form is considered in conjunction with the reasons being the development and adoption, as well as the usage, of the equipment. Finally, the book addresses the vexed question of what exactly was a shieldwall and how did it function, particularly in relation to enemy cavalry.
Ian Stephenson has an M Litt in archaeology from the University of Newcastle and is widely published on the subject of Roman and Early Medieval warfare.
Awarded his PhD at the University of Reading, Ian Stephenson is one of Britain's leading experts on Roman and early medieval weaponry, and the first port of call for re-enactors. In addition to Roman Infantry Equipment he has published the definitive work on the Anglo-Saxon shield. He is currently working on The Late Anglo-Saxon Army.