Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Ancient Sharpe?


Fire in the east. Warrior of Rome series, part 1.

Michael Joseph. 2008.

ISBN 978-0-718-15329-8

By chance I came across this title and on impulse decided to read it. The warrior in question is a barbarian called Ballista, who hails from the lands beyond the Rhine. As the book opens he has been chosen to lead an expedition to defend a city on the Euphrates against an attacking Sassanid army. Most of the action revolves around the siege, with forays and general assaults. The author should know what he is writing about as he is a lecturer in Ancient History at Lincoln College, Oxford who has written academic articles on ancient warfare. This is pehaps why the book contains a bbliography and glossary in addition to the normal list of characters.

I don't know enough about the period to comment on the accuracy of the storyline or action portrayed, but it is a 'page turner'. Perhaps one for making a note of and getting a copy for reading on holiday?
No photos of ancient troops, so apropos of nothing a view of the slow-growing 15mm SYW forces
Here we have a brigade of British foot, with some jaeger in the ruins on their flank.

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