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The hundred-year period ending in 1025, from the reign of the Emperor Constantine VII to that of Basil II 'the Bulgar-Slayer', encompassed the last great era of Byzantine aggression and dominance in the Near East and Balkans. During that time, a succession of soldier-emperors challenged and defeated an array of opponents on land and at sea and reconquered vast swathes of territory. At the heart of the Emperors' forces were the professional, highly mobile Tagmata or Imperial Guard regiments, originally formed to guard the Emperor¹s person in the capital but invariably deployed as elite combat troops. Joining these heavy cavalry units, were a variety of exotic mercenary units recruited from foreigners, notably the legendary Varangians. Featuring specially commissioned full-colour artwork, this lively study sheds new light on the colourful regiments of the Byzantine Imperial Guard, the formidable warriors who provided the Byzantine emperors with an insurance policy in the capital, and the elite of their field armies when on campaign.
The civilisations of the Greece in the Ancient World have inspired and fascinated throughout European history. The stories of Homer, later reinforced by the pioneering archaeological work carried out by men such as Heinrich Schliemann at Mycenae and Sir Arthur Evans at Knossos, have enabled modern researchers and historians to piece together a rich material culture and reconstruct the mysteries of the Ancient World.The mainland and islands of Greece were extensively settled by peoples moving from Asia Minor in c.5000 BC, while a further wave in c.5000 BC introduced bronze-working to the region. It is form this point on that it is possible to discern a distinct Cycladic or Aegean civilisation, developing at roughly the same time as the Egyptian and Persian civilisations. Further to the south, the Minoan civilisation based on Crete held sway, and this power - along with the Helladic Achaeans to the north gradually swamped the Cycladic civilisation in between.In common with most Bronze Age societies, the culture of the Aegean world was dominated by warfare, with the inhabitants living in organized settlements and small citadels with fortification walls and bulwarks, towers and gates to provide protection against invaders from the sea or internecine conflicts. Using the latest archaeological evidence, this title recreates the world of these peoples through a detailed examination of their material culture.
The Roman Empire was not only built by the strength of the legions but also by a Navy that was the most powerful maritime force ever to have existed. It was only the existence of the fleet that secured the trade routes and maintained the communications within the huge Empire. At the height of its power the Roman Navy employed tens of thousands of sailors, marines and craftsmen, coming from every corner of the three continents under the rule of the Caesars. This book reveals the design and development history of Rome's naval force at the height of its Imperial Power. As well as examining its warships, it reveals the basic navy structure and the tactics that were developed to make the most of Rome's naval design superiority.
The birth of the mighty Roman Navy was anchored in the Romans' extraordinary ability to absorb and perfect the technology of other states and empires. Indeed, during the clash of the great Mediterranean powers in the Punic Wars of the 3rd century, Rome had little or no naval force to speak of, just a humble fleet of the tiny Etruscan Aphraktoi, and it was the Carthaginians who reigned supreme at sea. Yet in a remarkably short space of time, the Romans at first copied, and then surpassed the superior Carthaginian maritime technology, incorporating designs such as the corvus (boarding bridge). Before long, the Cartaginians had been decisively smashed, paving the way for Rome to become the dominant naval power in the Mediterranean for the next seven centuries. This is the story of the design, development and operation of the Republican Roman warship in the age of the conquest of the Mediterranean, from the first Roman naval adventure of 394 BC and the Punic Wars, to Pompey's operations against the Cilician Pirates and Caesar's victorious naval campaigns in Armorica, concluding with the consolidation of the Mediterranean Sea as Mare Nostrum with the battle of Actium in 31 BC. Archaeological photography, including those of exciting new finds, such as the Roman warship rostra (rams) found in the Aegates Islands, accompany lavish artistic reconstructions in illustrating the ships of the first Roman navy.
In the years between 31 BC and AD 500 the Romans carved out a mighty empire stretching from Britain to the deserts of North Africa. The men who spearheaded this expansion were the centurions, the tough, professional warriors who led from the front, exerted savage discipline and provided a role model for the legionaries under their command.This book, the second volume of a two-part study, reveals the appearance, weaponry, role and impact of these legendary soldiers during the five centuries that saw the Roman Empire reach its greatest geographical extent under Trajan and Hadrian, only to experience a long decline in the West in the face of sustained pressure from its 'barbarian' neighbours. Featuring spectacular full-colour artwork, written by an authority on the army of the Caesars and informed by a wide range of sculptural, written and pictorial evidence from right across the Roman world, this book overturns established wisdom and sheds new light on Rome's most famous soldiers during the best-known era in its history.
A detailed glimpse into the weapons, equipment and uniforms worn by Roman Centurions from the Roman Kingdom right through to the height of the Republic. Including new research, photographs of artefacts and the signature Men-at-Arms artwork, this is an essential addition to the series and includes several artwork reconstructions of actual named individuals and two lavish scenes depicting combat between Centurions and a Triumphal procession.
Sea Peoples of the Bronze Age and Mediterranean features the latest historical and archaeological research into the mysterious and powerful confederations of raiders who troubled the Eastern Mediterranean in the last half of the Bronze Age. Research into the origins of the so-called Shardana, Shekelesh, Danuna, Lukka, Peleset and other peoples is a detective 'work in progress'. However, it is known that they both provided the Egyptian pharaohs with mercenaries, and were listed among Egypt's enemies and invaders. They contributed to the collapse of several civilizations through their dreaded piracy and raids, and their waves of attacks were followed by major migrations that changed the face of this region, from modern Libya and Cyprus to the Aegean, mainland Greece, Lebanon and Anatolian Turkey. Drawing on carved inscriptions and papyrus documents - mainly from Egypt - dating from the 15th-11th centuries BC, as well as carved reliefs of Medinet Habu, this title reconstructs the formidable appearance and even the tactics of the famous 'Sea Peoples'.