Having owned a box of Warlord Romans since the week they were released, I've finally decided to get some paint on them and put together a small Hail Caesar army.
I come from a fantasy wargaming background (pretty much 100% GW), and shamefully I know almost nothing about the Roman army (except what I got from watching Gladiator and The Life of Brian ).
So I have a myriad of questions, although I'll try not to bore you with them all right away.
Firstly is there a 'must read' book on the subject? Basically I'm looking for info on the organisation of the army, equipment, colours etc.
Secondly, I'm just painting my first test legionnaire (pics soon) and I think I've pretty much got it sorted, the only question I have is about sword scabbards. What were they generally made of? I have assumed leather and painted it the same brown as the leather straps and sandals, but just wanted to check that I've got that right.
Finally (for now), do people generally pick a real legion to base their army on, or just paint a generic Roman army?
I also have had Romans since the beginning, I have assembled but yet to paint mine too!
Ok to answer your first question, there are a couple of 'must reads', depending on how in-depth you want to go. Are you looking for a quick guide or something more academic.
One of the best books out there is Adrian Goldsworthy's The Roman Army at War 100BC-200AD. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Roman-Army-War- ... 0198150903 This is a very good study of the Roman army with, most importantly, reference to, and critical analysis of, primary source material.
For more basic, but useful works, try any of the Osprey Publishing series, such as Roman Legionary or Roman Battle Tactics.
Regarding sword scabbard, yes I do believe they were leather, but someone may be able to confirm?
Thirdly, most people do pick a real legion as it makes collecting it that more interesting. I picked Legio XX, as I have a Roman expedition to Hibernia theme to my army and the XXth were stationed up near west coast of Britain at the time. Perhaps, if you live within the confines of the old empire, there was a Roman camp/battle nearby?
Hi MonkeyBoy...welcome....have to agree with what everyone else is saying so far.....Peter Conolly books like "Greece and rome at war" are also very good...ospreys great for pictures.
i also recommend you spend some time going through the Roman section of the forum and checking out all the pictures in there...it should give you some ideas.
As for swords /scabbards...they are a wooden frame covered in leather with some silver metal work....although Mainz Gladius scabbards are some times fully covered in silver metal. Pompeii Gladius Scabbards are often depicted as red leather...but blue, black, green are all equally as likely....i use Red and Blue on mine.
My Legion is based on (in part) 4th Flavia Felix from Gladiator movie!!! it is also a fantasy/hollywood outfit rather than historical...it allows me more scope to be creative....especially in the choice of colours.
Good luck with your painting and look forward to seeing pictures of your painted Legionaries
Welcome aboard Monkeyboy! Also look on show us yours section for painting ideas. Peter Conolly was my Christmas present book over 30 years ago. It was a special moment, so I'd fully recommend him on nostalgia My army has developed in a haphazard way. Started with an impulse buy of legionary veterans...which led to another purchase, by a so called friend, of celts. An escalation of purchases followed! I 'pretend' mine are stationed locally at Ribchester and are the XX. One word of advice. Leave the shields plain for now until you have a plan for the whole outfit...which may end up being the regular transfers or something more personalised. Make sure you have tufts as well to liberally sprinkle on the bases it seems to be very popular here unless you are called Invisible Like BD said...looking forward to the pictures Enjoy!
Welcome Monkeyboy....(you know, that's the pet name given to our master & commander, by some, on this side of the pond ).
I have a few titles I can throw your way. I'll dig them out for you tomorrow.
“conscribe te militem in legionibus. pervagare orbem terrarium. inveni terras externas. cognosce miros peregrines. eviscera eos” ̴ “Join the legions, see the world, travel to foreign parts, meet interesting and exotic people, and disembowel them.”
Appian (Mithridatic War), Roman History II, tr. H White, London 1912.
Appian (Civil Wars), Roman History III, tr. H White, London 1913.
Caesar, The Gallic War, translated by Carolyn Hammond, Oxford, 1996. An essential source for late Republican warfare including battlefield strategy and tactics, sieges, campaigns and the importance of good command. Its role as a work of propaganda for Caesar himself should not be ignored however.
Frontinus, The Stratagems and The Aqueducts of Rome, translated by Charles E. Bennett (London, 1925).
Livy, History of Rome I: Books I-II, tr. B. O. Foster, London 1919.
Plutarch, The Fall of the Roman Republic, tr. R. Warner, London 1958.
Polybius, The Rise of the Roman Empire, translated by Ian Scott-Kilvert, London, 1979. (Important primary source for the Punic and Macedonian Wars, including detailed description of army organisation, equipment, tactics and camps).
Sallust, Catiline’s War, The Jugurtine War, Histories, tr. A. J. Woodman, London 2007.
Secondary source material
Erdkamp, Paul (ed.), A Companion to the Roman Army, Oxford, 2007. • Detailed chapters on varied topics relating to the Roman army, including chapters on the late Republican/early Imperial army.
Keppie, L. J. F., The making of the Roman army : from republic to empire, London, 1984. • An essential text for the study of the changes in the Roman army, it deals with the armies of the Republic and how the change in tactics, manpower, and foreign policy all contributed to the formation of the powerful Imperial army
Lendon, J.,E., Soldiers and Ghosts: A History of Battle in Classical Antiquity, London and New Haven, 2005. • An interesting take on the history of ancient warfare, focusing on the personal aspect of it. Covers both Greek and Roman warfare with detailed chapers on the developments in Roman warfare around the fall of the Republic, including the cohortal formation.
Sabin, P., van Wees, H., Whitby, M. (eds.), The Cambridge History of Greek and Roman Warfare Vol. II, Cambridge, 2007. • A good reference work with various chapters on the different aspects of warfare in the Roman Republic and Empire (Early and Late).
Southern, P., The Roman Army, A Social and Institutional History, New York, 2006. • A comprehensive history of the Roman army with a systematic analysis of organisation, culture, tactics, tools, soldiers and generals. Also of interest is the closing chapter on current research in the field and further directions of research.
Two I can recommend which might be lighter reading and give you a good grounding are these:
Imperial Rome at War. Snaffled my copy cheap on eBay. Loads of great illustrations and bite size pieces of info that gives you a flavour and lots of details on the Legions and other elements of the Roman fighting machine.
For inspiration look no further than Simon Scarrow's Macro & Cato books - think Sharpe in sandals with the outlook of a British squaddy. Brilliant stuff. Hmmm, trying to think who I lent my lot to now!
Feel free to pop over to Warlord HQ to have a look at them if you want...