Roman Guardsman, 62 BC-AD 324

Roman Guardsman, 62 BC-AD 324

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By (author) Ross Cowan, Illustrated by Sean O'Brogain

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  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing
  • Format: Paperback | 64 pages
  • Dimensions: 180mm x 244mm x 8mm | 220g
  • Publication date: 21 January 2014
  • Publication City/Country: Osprey
  • ISBN 10: 1782009256
  • ISBN 13: 9781782009252
  • Illustrations note: 20 MONO; 35 COL
  • Sales rank: 230,360

Product description

From the civil wars of the Late Republic to Constantine's bloody reunification of the Empire, elite corps of guardsmen were at the heart of every Roman army. Whether as bodyguards or as shock troops in battle, the fighting skills of praetorians, speculatores, singulares and protectores determined the course of Roman history. Modern scholars tend to present the praetorians as pampered, disloyal and battle-shy, but the Romans knew them as valiant warriors, men who strove to live up to their honorific title pia vindex - loyal and avenging. Closely associated with the Republican praetorian cohorts, and gradually assimilated into the Imperial Praetorian Guard, were the speculatores. A cohort was established by Marc Antony in the 30s BC for the purposes of reconnaissance and intelligence gathering, but soon the speculatores were acting as close bodyguards - a role they maintained until the end of the first century AD. This title will detail the changing nature of these units, their organization and operational successes and failures from their origins in the late Republic through to their unsuccessful struggle against Constantine the Great.

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Author information

Ross Cowan went to the University of Glasgow with the intention of studying Medieval history but was waylaid by Classics, and eventually emerged with a Ph.D. for research on the Praetorian Guard and Second Parthian Legion. Now a freelance writer and historian, Dr Cowan has published five books and numerous articles on all aspects of warfare in the Roman World. Sean O'Brogain lives and works in Donegal, Ireland. He has a BA (Hons) in scientific and natural history illustration from Blackpool and Fylde College (Lancaster University).

Review quote

"Excellent artwork by Sean o Brogain enlivens author Ross Cowan's informative narrative in "Roman Guardsman 62 BC-AD 324". Cowan chronicles how the fighting abilities of praetorians, speculatores, singulares and protectores serving as shock troops or bodyguards influenced the course of Roman history. The author outlines the nature of these troops and how they changed. Also examined are their organization, varied appearance, weapons and equipment. In addition, Cowan concisely covers guardsmen's operational successes and failures, from their beginnings in the Late Republic to their climactic losing battle against Constantine the Great." "--Toy Soldier and Model Figure magazine"

Table of contents

Introduction /Chronology /Conscription and Enlistment /Training /Appearance /Weapons and Equipment /Belief and Belonging /Conditions of Service /On Campaign /The Aftermath of Battle /Collections and Museums