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Thread: - The Library -

  1. #1

    Default - The Library -


    I am sure all of us have at one time or another experienced the frustration of attempting to find information and books that cover our particular ancient armies and nations of interest.
    To this end I thought I would share the book list I have compiled from my own collection that covers a wide range of topic concerning the Later Roman Empire.
    Please note that the comments made about the books are purely mine and your own thoughts and comments may differ.


    THE LATE ROMAN ARMY

    Martijn Nicasie (1998)- ‘Twilight of Empire: The Roman army from the reign of Diocletian until the battle of Adrianople’-
    Hugh Elton (2004)- ‘Warfare in Roman Europe, AD 350-425’
    Richard Cromwell (1998)- ‘The Rise and Decline of the Late Roman Field Army’
    Phil Barker (1981)- ‘The Armies and Enemies of Imperial Rome’
    John Peddie (1997)- ‘The Roman War Machine’
    Pat Southern & Karen R. Dixon (2000)- ‘The Late Roman Army’
    Benjamin Isaac (2004)- 'The Limits of Empire- The Roman Army in the East'
    A. D. Lee (2007) 'War in Late Antiquity: A Social History'
    M. C. Bishop & J. C. N. Coulston (2006) 'Roman Military Equipment From the Punic Wars to the Fall of Rome'
    Adrian Goldsworthy (2004) 'The Complete Roman Army'
    Adrian Goldsworthy (2007) 'Roman Warfare'


    Of the above books ‘Twilight of Empire’ and ‘Warfare in Roman Europe’ are absolute essentials. To be honest if you buy ‘Twilight of Empire’ then there is no need to waste your money on Cromwell’s over-priced and under researched book. Crowell’s only saving grace in my eyes is that he agreed that the Roman cavalry during this period were prone to brittleness. If you have more money than sense, or can find a cheap copy as I did, then by all means purchase Cromwell’s book, otherwise just stick with 'Twilight of Empire'. A word of caution here about Southern & Dixon's ‘The Late Roman Army’. Whilst it contains much that is of interest, it also contains a number of errors and mistakes, some of them quite glaring. Take a look near the beginning under the table of Emperor’s for example. Valens is quoted as dying from a natural death. I don’t know about you, but I thought that being shot by an arrow then being burned alive does not equate to a natural death! The table is also wrong as he was Emperor of the East, therefore both he and Valentinian should appear under the table of the Divided Empire. Peddies book is a good source book on all aspects of a Roman army, from supplies, baggage, to building field and permanent fortifications. Phil Barker’s book is essential for history buffs and wargamer’s alike. Full of illustrations, will keep figure painters amused for hours! Goldsworthy's books are a bit 'thin' when it comes to the Later Roman Empire and what he says is not always correct. Bishop & Coulston are to be recommended for an very good insight into the equipment used.


    THE LATER ROMAN EMPIRE AND IT’S ENEMIES

    Herwig Wolfram (1990)- ‘The History of the Goths’
    Peter Heather (2007)- ‘The Goths (The Peoples of Europe)
    Peter Heather (1991)- ‘Goths and Romans, 332-489’
    Michael Kulikowski (2007)- ‘Rome’s Gothic Wars: From the Third Century to Alaric’
    Thomas S. Burns (1995)- ‘Barbarians within the Gates of Rome: Study of Roman Military Policy and the Barbarians, 375-425 AD’
    Alessandro Barbero (2007)- ‘The Day of the Barbarians: The Battle that led to the fall of the Roman Empire’
    John F. Drinkwater (2007)- ‘The Alamanni and Rome 213-496 (Caracalla to Clovis)’
    Beate Dignas & Englebert Winter (2007)- ‘Rome and Persia in Late Antiquity: Neighbours and Rivals’
    Michael H. Dodgeon & Samuel N.C. Lieu (2003)- ‘The Roman Eastern Frontier and the Persian Wars (AD 226-363)’
    Geoffrey Greatrex & Samuel N.C. Lieu (2002)- ‘The Roman Eastern Frontier and the Persian Wars (AD 363-628)’
    Dr Kaveh Farrokh (2007) 'Shadows in the Desert: Ancient Persia at War'
    David S. Potter (2007) 'The Roman Empire at Bay AD 180 - 395'
    Herwig Wolfram (1997) 'The Roman Empire and its Germanic Peoples'


    All of the above books I would consider worthy of being in the library of anyone interested in the Late Roman Empire and those who it fought against. Barbero’s book is good for references, but he relies too much on the Osprey ‘Adrianople’ book for information about that battle and falls into the trap of supporting the author of the above books belief that the Goths had wagon barricades, purely because that author does not believe that the wagon laager could be circular due to the number of wagon’s he surmises must have been present. These barricades are not mentioned by any ancient author. Farrokh has been critised for making too many assumptions, but due to the lack of material on the Sasanid Empires armies I have included it for completness.


    THE LATER ROMAN EMPIRE

    A.H.M. Jones (1973 1st reprint)- ‘The Later Roman Empire 284-602: A Social, Economic and Administrative Survey’
    Averil Cameron (1993)-‘The Later Roman Empire'
    John Mathews (2008)- ‘The Roman Empire of Ammianus’
    R. Malcolm Errington (2006)- 'Roman Imperial Policy from Julian to Theodosius'
    R. C. Blockley 'East Roman Foreign Policy: Formation and Conduct from Diocletian to Anastasius'
    Stephen Mitchell (2007) 'A History of the Later Roman Empire AD 284-641'
    Ranuccio Bianchi Bandinelli-'Rome, the late Empire;: Roman art, A.D. 200-400 (Arts of mankind series)'



    There are a vast number of books out there dealing with the Later Roman Empire. I chose these in particular as they cover all the bases as far as I am concerned. Jones work is still widely available in a 1986 reprint. Matthews has been slated for his books over-indulgence. However, the man’s passion for Ammianus and the age he lived in is totally forgivable in my opinion. 'Rome- The Late Empire' is an absolute treasure and should be sought out at all costs!

    THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE

    Peter Heather (2006)- ‘The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History’
    Arthur Ferrill (1990)- ‘The Fall of the Roman Empire: The Military Explanation’
    Michael Grant (2003)- ‘The Fall of the Roman Empire’
    Bryan Ward-Perkins (2005)- ‘The Fall of Rome: And the End of Civilization’

    Again, there are a vast amount of books that deal with the fall of the Roman Empire. The ones above are thought to be essential reading.
    Heather, Ferrill and Ward-Perkins all argue that it was the ‘barbarians’ who led to the direct downfall of the Roman Empire. Grant takes a different view, believing that social factors led to the fall.

    ANCIENT AUTHORS WHO COVER THE LATER ROMAN EMPIRE

    Ammianus Marcellinus- ‘Res Gestae’ (Various translations are widely available, also online for free)
    Anonymous- ‘De Rebus Bellicis’ (Translated by E. A. Thompson 1952)
    Anonymous- 'Chronicon Paschale 284-628D' (Translated by Whitby & Whitby)
    Aurelius Victor- 'De Caesaribus' (Translated by H.W. Bird)
    Claudian (Various translations available, also online for free)
    Eutropius (Various translations available, also online for free)
    Eunapius, Olympiodorus, Priscus and Malchus in 'The Fragmentary Classicising Historians of the Later Roman Empire' (Translated by R. C. Blockley)
    Festus- Brevarium (online for free)
    Jordanes – ‘The Origin and Deeds of the Goths’ (Translated by Charles C. Mierow (1908)
    Julian- ‘The Works of Julian the Emperor’ (Various translations, some of which can be found online for free)
    Libanius- ‘Oratations’ ‘Letters’ etc (Various translations are available, some of which are online for free)
    Paulus Orosius- ‘The Seven Books of History Against the Pagans’ (Translated by Roy J.Deferrai)
    Sozomon (Various translations available, also online for free)
    Themistius Select Oratations etc (Various translations are available)
    Various- 'In Praise of Later Roman Emperors: The Panegyrici Latini' by C.F.V Nixon and Barbara Saylor Rodgers.
    Vegetius- ‘The military institutions of the Romans’ (Various translations, can be found online for free)
    Zosimos ‘Historia Nova’ (Various translations, can be found online for free)

    All of these translations are essential for those who want to read the history directly from those who were there to either witness it, or were living contemporary with the age they are describing.

    Well there you have it, your be broke buying all that lot, but your have some of the best books on the Later Roman Empire to show for it!

    Here are some articles that may be worth reading:
    Last edited by Joar; February 10, 2015 at 05:45 AM. Reason: Image added by Joar and title changed.

  2. #2
    Joar's Avatar - Now You Know -
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    Default Re: Late Roman Book List

    A very good list.

    There's a book I'm constantly reading over and over again, and it's The Roman Emperors by Michael Grant. Very useful and well written.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Late Roman Book List

    Quote Originally Posted by Joar View Post
    A very good list.

    There's a book I'm constantly reading over and over again, and it's The Roman Emperors by Michael Grant. Very useful and well written.
    I don't tend to read books about Emperors earlier than Constantius II or later than Theodosius I, I used to do but if I carried on in that vein my library would be HUGE! (I've got over 3000 books as it is, my wife will divorce me if I increase it any more!)

  4. #4
    julianus heraclius's Avatar The Philosopher King
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    Default Re: Late Roman Book List

    Great List. I love Hugh Elton's and Benjamin Issac's books, but I will certainly get "Twilight of Empire".

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  5. #5

    Default Re: Late Roman Book List

    Thanks for the list.

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    legio_XX's Avatar Ordinarius
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    Default Re: Late Roman Book List

    PLUS REP MAN THANKS!!
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Late Roman Book List

    I've not added any journal or magazine articles in the above list as there are so many to chose from that it would be rather overwhelming. However, it might be worth you seeking out Peter Connelly's fairly recent article on the Battle of Adrianopolis as this gives a much better overlook of the events than many books on the subject.

  8. #8
    SeniorBatavianHorse's Avatar Tribunus Vacans
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    Default Re: Late Roman Book List

    Excellent list - if you don't mind, I would add

    - Generalissimos of the Western Roman Empire, John Michael O'Flynn, Univisersity of Alberta Press, '83
    - War In Late Antiquity, A D Lee, Blackwell, '07
    - The Fall of the Roman Empire - The Military Explanation, Arthur Ferrill, Thames and Hudson, '86

    (The last because it is often cited in online articles such as wikipedia as THE reason for the fall of the Roman Empire in the West despite some very dubious conclusions relying on very little evidence and much conjecture.)

    and finally

    - Claudian, Alan Cameron, Oxford, '70 - for a very good insightful reading of Claudian's panegyrics as shedding light on Stilicho's real motives. Fascinating reading.
    Last edited by SeniorBatavianHorse; February 11, 2009 at 09:17 AM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Late Roman Book List

    Quote Originally Posted by SeniorBatavianHorse View Post
    Excellent list - if you don't mind, I would add

    - Generalissimos of the Western Roman Empire, John Michael O'Flynn, Univisersity of Alberta Press, '83
    - War In Late Antiquity, A D Lee, Blackwell, '07
    - The Fall of the Roman Empire - The Military Explanation, Arthur Ferrill, Thames and Hudson, '86

    (The last because it is often cited in online articles such as wikipedia as THE reason for the fall of the Roman Empire in the West despite some very dubious conclusions relying on very little evidence and much conjecture.)

    and finally

    - Claudian, Alan Cameron, Oxford, '70 - for a very good insightful reading of Claudian's panegyrics as shedding light on Stilicho's real motives. Fascinating reading.
    I already included Lee, Ferrill and Claudian in my list!
    It's a large list so its probably easy to miss out a few I put in.

  10. #10
    SeniorBatavianHorse's Avatar Tribunus Vacans
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    Default Re: Late Roman Book List

    Oops! You're right. Although I can't see the Cameron commentary on Claudian which for my money ranks as one of the best expositions of Stilicho's motives I have ever read.

    Alessandro Barbero (2007)- ‘The Day of the Barbarians: The Battle that led to the fall of the Roman Empire’ - I found to be derivative and lax in scholarship. His account of the battle of Waterloo however is outstanding.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Late Roman Book List

    Quote Originally Posted by SeniorBatavianHorse View Post
    Oops! You're right. Although I can't see the Cameron commentary on Claudian which for my money ranks as one of the best expositions of Stilicho's motives I have ever read.

    Alessandro Barbero (2007)- ‘The Day of the Barbarians: The Battle that led to the fall of the Roman Empire’ - I found to be derivative and lax in scholarship. His account of the battle of Waterloo however is outstanding.
    I've got Cameron's book but I think its important to read the original works in translated form, and Claudian can be found on the internet for free, which is a bonus.
    Totally agree with you about Barbero, he should have known better really. I find him useful for the references he gives, rather for what else he wrote in his book.

  12. #12
    SeniorBatavianHorse's Avatar Tribunus Vacans
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    Default Re: Late Roman Book List

    Yes, you're right - if it's one thing that lets the Cameron book down it's the lack of a full translation of Claudian's works alongside his exposition.

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    Default Re: Late Roman Book List

    saw this and must say great job um for the goth one I have had this in my favs for ever and have not read it yet any who for thoughs who want to read it feel free to glance this over if you want to try befor you buy like i did or just well read lol.
    http://www.ucalgary.ca/~vandersp/Cou.../jordgeti.html
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  14. #14

    Default Re: Late Roman Book List

    I have discovered that both 'De Rebus Bellicis' and Festus 'Brevarium' are both on the internet free to download.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Late Roman Book List

    I'm interested in the Sassanids/Persians (whichever is the correct term), and I've only been able to find one affordable book with the others ranging from 30 to 100 euro. Any good sites or other books not listed here that are worth looking for?
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  16. #16

    Default Re: Late Roman Book List

    Quote Originally Posted by Selifator View Post
    I'm interested in the Sassanids/Persians (whichever is the correct term), and I've only been able to find one affordable book with the others ranging from 30 to 100 euro. Any good sites or other books not listed here that are worth looking for?
    I'm afraid that there are few books theat deal with the Sasanids, the Montvert one is supposed to be fairly reasonable.
    A good book on the Sasanids in general is- 'The Sasanian Era: Pt. 3 (Idea of Iran)' By Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis. I've also recently ordered a copy of- 'Persian Art, Parthian and Sassanian Dynasties, 249 B.C.- A.D. 651' By Roman Ghrishman.
    Last edited by Valentinian Victor; April 08, 2009 at 03:26 PM.

  17. #17
    Gäiten's Avatar Protector Domesticus
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    Default Re: Late Roman Book List

    Phil Barker (1981)- ‘The Armies and Enemies of Imperial Rome’
    Because I always search for examples for the Sassanians, can anybody who owns that book put online those pics related to the Sassanians?

    That would be very appreciated.

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    Default Re: Late Roman Book List

    Quote Originally Posted by Gäiten View Post
    Because I always search for examples for the Sassanians, can anybody who owns that book put online those pics related to the Sassanians?

    That would be very appreciated.
    I know Phil Barker and he would be less than keen for any of the artwork in his books to appear without his permission, which he is unlikely to give. This book was on ebay last week, it might still be available if you look.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Late Roman Book List

    the book list here is "so-so"
    Also the last mentioned title "The Armies and Enemies of Imperial Rome" isn't really very good.
    There are only few black/white drawings inside and the descriptions of the late roman army are by far not "up-to-date"

    Strange: I have much older books which are more correct - actually it is because this book was made originally as wargaming-support.

  20. #20
    SeniorBatavianHorse's Avatar Tribunus Vacans
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    Default Re: Late Roman Book List

    Perhaps you'd like to share them with us?

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