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BOOK REVIEW: Battles of the Greek and Roman Worlds

Posted By Russ Lockwood, Monday, January 13, 2020

BOOK REVIEW: Battles of the Greek and Roman Worlds

Subtitled: A Chronological Compendium of 667 Battles to 31 BC, from the Historians of the Ancient World

By John Drogo Montagu

What a magnificent compilation of ancient battles from the dawn of recorded history to 31 BC.

Arranged in chronological order from Ithome (724 BC) to Actium (31 BC), each of the 667 battles gets from a paragraph up to a page describing the action, number of troops, generals involved, and outcome. Since they are in chronological order, you can follow a series of battles in a war. And best of all, at the end of each battle is a notation of the ancient source.

A short introduction discusses the Greek and Roman armies, naval warfare, sources, and "reliability of data." The latter subdivides into a general outlook on separating fact from fiction, a look at numbers, and how dates were obtained. It's quick, to the point, and lets you know that the author struggled with accuracy in interpretations. There's also a glossary of terms.

Fifteen maps and 18 battle maps are included as well, although they are somewhat plain and serve as general guides, not intricate battle studies. For example, the battle maps do not include terrain.

Still, what a remarkable compilation. Ancient buffs need this book--a perfect complement to Loebs and Penguin translations.

Tags:  Ancient 

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