The Roman Army reigned supreme for over 1,000 years. From Britain to Syria, and from the Rhine and Danube to North Africa, there is abundant evidence of the activities of its legionaries and auxiliary soldiers. After the defeat of Antony and Cleopatra in 30 BC Augustus turned the troops of the Republic into the world's first major standing army, recruiting soldiers from all over the Roman world. Around a third of a million men policed and protected the Empire, eventually guarding frontiers like Hadrian's Wall. This book covers the complete history of the Roman Army from 753 BC to AD 476, including its successes and failures against Rome's enemies, such as the Gauls, Carthaginians, Goths and Persians.
Life in the Roman Army was not all about fighting battles. Soldiers, centurions and commanding officers left behind a variety of documents, many of which are used in this book to reconstruct their daily lives and their combat experience.
Patricia Southern is an acknowledged expert the history of ancient Rome. Her interest began very early, fostered by books and the wonderful epic films that they don't make any more. This obsession with the Romans has never waned, so whilst working full time as a librarian she studied for a BA degree in Ancient History with the external department of the University of London, and for an MPhil in Roman Frontier Studies at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, where she was Librarian of the Archaeology Department for many years. She has written many books on Roman history and contributed numerous articles on Roman history to the BBC History website and the academic Roman studies journal Britannia.