Thursday, March 12, 2009

Cool Little Book: Roman Legions in Color Photos

On an impulse, I picked up this title from Amazon.  I'm glad I did.  I paid $16.47 and got a book much better than any Osprey.

Front Cover

The book contains 96 pages of glossy, full color photographs of Roman reenactors with commentary on the legionary's various pieces of kit.  Although the main focus is on the early empire, there are a few pages on the Roman army of the Punic Wars, and a few more covering the armies from the later empire.

Now I know very well that reenactors' uniforms are not gospel.  They can get things wrong, sometimes very wrong.  I've been to enough American Civil War reenactments to have quite a realistic attitude about reenactors' historical fidelity.  But for the classical world, where we have so few sources for soldiers' appearance, a reenactor's interpretation seems a decent source for miniatures painting.

Roman Daggers

And really, this book includes all the details that I wish Osprey could put in their books.  Here's an example, just one page from the book showing Roman daggers.  It gives me some ideas beyond just drybrushing the things silver, in any case.  One interesting thing about this picture is that the Roman tunic appears in three different shades of red, all plausible enough.

I would like to put up a few more pages to show just what a great resource this book is, but I don't want to infringe upon copyright.  If you're interested in the Roman army, it's worth picking up from Amazon.  In fact I enjoyed it so much that I bought a few more in the series, mostly on Napoleonic armies.

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