Synopses & Reviews
They were the most famous and accomplished military unit of their day, raised personally by Julius Caesar as the first step in his relentless quest for glory and power. Caesars Tenth Legion took the lead role in all of his battles, from their bloody initiation in Spain and Portugal to the conquest of Gaul, the invasion of Britain, and the battles of the civil war. In Caesars Legion, Stephen Dando-Collins provides an extraordinarily detailed history of the Tenth Legionits officers, its men, and its incredible string of victories, which continued even after Caesars death with the Siege of Jerusalem.
Based on the authors thirty years of painstaking research into the Roman military, using sources ranging from classical texts to tombstone inscriptions, this unprecedented regimental history paints an uncommonly vivid portrait of daily life in a Roman legion as it follows Caesar and his men along the blood-soaked fringes of the Empire. It was here that ambitious Romans built reputations through conquest, raw recruits became hardened foot soldiers, and the Tenth Legion became a killing machinemarching, digging, charging, ramming down gates, scaling battlements, storming through towns and villages, and slaughtering anyone who stood in their way.
Throughout this harrowing tale, Dando-Collins reveals previously unknown details about Roman military practices, Caesars conduct as a commander and his relationships with officers and legionaries, and the daily routine and discipline of a Roman legionfrom the legion buddy system to the banks legions operated for their soldiers, from Romes version of the U.S. Pentagon to new information about the legion recruiting system. We learn what a legionary had for breakfast, find out about his training, weapons, clothes, and pastimes, and discover the brutal discipline conscripts endured.
From penetrating insights into the mind of historys greatest general to a grunts-eye view of the gruesome realities of war in the Classical Age, this unique and riveting account sets a new standard of excellence and detail to which all authors of history will now aspire.
A unique and splendidly researched story, following the trials and triumphs of Julius Caesar's Legio X-arguably the most famous legion of its day-from its activation to the slogging battle of Munda and from Thapsus, Caesar's tactical masterpiece, to the grim siege of the Jewish fortress of Masada. More than a mere unit account, it incorporates the history of Rome and the Roman army at the height of their power and gory glory. Many military historians consider Caesar's legions the world's most efficient infantry before the arrival of gunpowder. This book shows why. Written in readable, popular style, Caesar's Legion is a must for military buffs and anyone interested in Roman history at a critical point in European civilization.
—T. R. Fehrenbach, author of This Kind of War, Lone Star, and Comanches
Stephen Dando-Collins paints a vivid and definitive portrait of daily life in the Tenth Legion as he follows Caesar and his men along the blood-soaked fringes of the Empire. This unprecedented regimental history reveals countless previously unknown details about Roman military practices, Caesar's conduct as a commander and his relationships with officers and legionaries, and the daily routine and discipline of the Legion. From penetrating insights into the mind of history's greatest general to a grunt's-eye view of the gruesome realities of war in the Classical Age, this unique and riveting true account sets a new standard of exellence and detail to which all authors of ancient military history will now aspire.
About the Author
STEPHEN DANDO-COLLINS is the author of Neros Killing Machine: The True Story of Romes Remarkable 14th Legion (Wiley). He is an Australian-born researcher, editor, and author who has spent the last three decades identifying and studying the individual legions of the Roman army of the late Republic and the empire of the Caesars.
Table of Contents
I. Staring Defeat in the Face.
II. Impatient for Glory.
III. Savaging the Swiss, Overrunning the Germans.
IV. Conquering Gaul.
V. Invading Britain.
VI. Revolt and Revenge.
VII. Enemy of the State.
VIII. Broken Promises.
IX. The Race for Durrës.
X. A Taste of Defeat.
XI. The Battle of Pharsalus.
XII. The Sour Taste of Victory.
XIII. The Murder of Pompey the Great.
XIV. The Power of a Single Word.
XV. The North African Campaign.
XVI. Caesar's Last Battle.
XVII. Mark Antony's Men.
XVIII. Philippi and Actium.
XIX. In the Name of the Emperor.
XX. Knocked into Shape by Corbulo.
XXI. Orders from the Emperor.
XXII. Objective Jerusalem.
XXIII. The End of the Holy City.
XXV. Last Days.
Appendix A: the Legions of Rome, 30 B.C.-A.D.
Appendix B: The Reenlistment Factor.
Appendix C: The Uniqueness of the Legion Commands in Egypt and Judea.
Appendix D: The Naming and Numbering System of the Roman Legions.
Appendix E: The Title "Fretensis".
Appendix F: Imperial Roman Military Ranks and Their Modern-Day Equivalents.
Appendix G: Sources.