The literature on the Roman army is truly vast, much of it tucked away in academic journals inaccessible to the general reader. The works listed here will allow the interested reader to begin a deeper study into the subject.
Good general works are L. Keppie, The Making of the Roman Army (London, 1984) on the Republican army and G. Webster, The Roman Imperial Army (London, 1985: repr. with updated bibliography Oklahoma, 1998) for the Empire. Also useful are H. Parker, The Roman Legions (Oxford, 1928), Y. Le Bohec, The Imperial Roman Army (New York, 1994), and J. Peddie, The Roman War Machine (Gloucester, 1994), although not all of the latter’s conclusions are widely accepted. A little dated and rather too dogmatic, H. Delbruck, (trans J. Renfroe), History of the Art of War within the framework of Political History, vols 1—2 (Westport, 1975) still contains much of interest. Well illustrated, more general works include General Sir John Hackett (ed.), Warfare in the Ancient World (London, 1989), and J. Warry, Warfare in the Classical World (London, 1980).
A. Goldsworthy, The Roman Army at War, 100 bc-AD 200 (Oxford, 1996) contains a detailed analysis on operational practices and the nature of battle in the Late Republic and Early empire. H. Elton, Warfare in Roman Europe, ad 350—425 (Oxford, 1996) is an excellent and wide ranging study of the Later Roman Army. More specific studies include J. Roth, The Logistics of the Roman Imperial Army at War (264 вс—ad 235) (Leiden, 1999), and N. Austin Sc B. Rankov, Exploratio: Military and Political Intelligence in the Roman World from the Second Punic War to the Battle of Adrianople (London, 1995).
Military equipment is covered only briefly in this work, but there are a number of excellent books on the subject, notably M. Bishop and J. Coulston, Roman Military Equipment (London, 1993), P. Connolly, Greece and Rome at War (London, 1981), and H. Russell Robinson, The Armour of Imperial Rome (London, 1975). Recent research in this field is regularly published in the Journal of Roman Military Equipment Studies.
A good recent survey of Rome’s early history is T. Cornell, The Beginnings of Rome. Italy and Rome from the Bronze Age to the Punic Wars (c. 1000—264 вс), (London, 1995). There are few books dedicated to the military history of this period, but notable articles include E. Rawson, ‘The Literary Sources for the Pre-Marian Roman Army’, Papers of the British School at Rome 39 (1971), 13-31, and L. Rawlings, ‘Condottieri and Clansmen: Early Italian Warfare and the State.’, in K. Hopwood, Organized Crime in the Ancient World (Swansea, 1999).
There are many works on this period and in particular the Punic Wars, of which the best are J. Lazenby, The First Punic War (London, 1996) and Hannibal’s War (Warminster, 1978). Several interesting articles are included in T. Cornell,
B. Rankov, & P. Sabin, The Second Punic War: A Reappraisal (ICS London, 1996). Also notable are F. Adcock, The Roman Art of War under the Republic (Cambridge Mass., 1940), W. Rogers, Greek and Roman Naval Warfare (Annapolis, 1937), J. Thiel, Studies on the History of Roman Sea-Power in Republican Times (Amsterdam, 1946), and B. Bar-Kochva, The Seleucid Army. Organization and Tactics in the Great Campaigns (Cambridge, 1976).
Important contributions on Roman imperialism are to be found in E. Badian, Roman Imperialism in the Late Republic (Oxford, 1968), S. Dyson, The Creation of the Roman Frontier (Princeton, 1985), W. Harris, War and Imperialism in Republican Rome 327—70 вс (Oxford, 1976), M. Hopkins, Conquerors and Slaves (Cambridge, 1978), and J. Rich and G. Shipley (edd.), War and Society in the Roman World (London, 1993). Also of great interest are P. Brunt, Italian Manpower, 225 bc-ad 14 (Oxford, 1971), J. Fuller, Julius Caesar: Man Soldier and Tyrant (London, 1965), E. Gabba Republican Rome, the Army and the Allies (Oxford, 1976), N. Rosenstein Imperatores Victi. Military Defeat and Aristocratic Competition in the Middle and Late Republic (Berkeley, 1990), and F. Smith, Service in the Post-Marian Roman Army (Manchester, 1958).
G. Cheesman, The Auxilia of the Roman Imperial Army (Oxford, 1914),
K. Dixon & P. Southern, The Roman Cavalry (London, 1992), and A. Johnson, Roman Forts (London, 1983) all cover aspects of the army in this period.
J. Campbell, The Emperor and the Roman Army (Oxford, 1984) is good on the political role of the army. Daily life is dealt with in R. Alston, Soldier and Society in Roman Egypt (London, 1995), R. Davies, Service in the Roman Army (Edinburgh, 1989), and G. Watson, The Roman Soldier (London, 1969). J. Mann, Legionary Recruitment and Veteran Settlement during the Principate (London, 1983) remains a fine study of recruitment.
The Empire’s frontiers and the vexed question of Grand Strategy are covered by E. Luttwak, The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire (New York, 1976),
A. Ferrill, Roman Imperial Grand Strategy (New York, 1991), and B. Isaac, The Limits of Empire. The Roman Army in the East (Oxford, 1992). D. Kennedy and D. Riley, Romes Desert Frontier from the Air (London, 1990) offers spectacular pictures of many Roman outposts, whilst a good introduction to the copious literature on Hadrian’s Wall is D. Breeze and B. Dobson, Hadrian’s Wall (London, 1987).
A. H. M. Jones, The Later Roman Empire (Oxford, 1964) still contains a wealth of information concerning Late Antiquity. P. Southern & K. Dixon, The Late Roman Army (London, 1996) is a handy introduction, but not always reliable, whilst A. Ferrill, The Fall of the Roman Empire: The Military Explanation (London,
1986) offers one interpretation of the military problems of Late Antiquity.
T. Coello, Unit Sizes in the Late Roman Army. BAR S645 (Oxford, 1996) presents the meagre evidence for unit size, as does W. Treadgold, Byzantium and its Army, 281-1081 (Stansford, 1995).
On Roman foreign policy see D. Braund, Rome and the Friendly King (London, 1984), T. Burns, Barbarians within the Gates of Rome: A Study of Roman Military Policy and the Barbarians, CA. 375-425 ad (Indiana, 1994),
P. Heather, Goths and Romans, 332-489 (Oxford, 1991), M. Dodgeon & S. Lieu, The Roman Eastern Frontier and the Persian Wars, 226-363 (London, 1991), and A. Lee, Information and Frontiers (Cambridge, 1993).
R. Blockley, East Roman Foreign Policy (Leeds, 1992) is useful. C. Fauber, Narses: Hammer of the Goths (Gloucester, 1990) is an accessible account of this commander’s career. G. Greatrex, Rome and Persia at War, 502—532 (Leeds, 1998) is a first rate study of a single war, also containing much of more general interest.
Roman warfare was characterized by great ferocity and the Roman pursuit of victory was relentless. Tacitus makes a Caledonian war-leader claim that the Romans
'... CREATE A DESOLATION, AND CALL IT PEACE'.