Summary and Info
The men that served in the roman fleets (classis) are described with great assertivity by the author, Raffaele D'Amato, in this great introduction to this long overlooked subject that curiously reflects the prejudices that the romans had against naval service.
I must remind the reader that this book is about the Roman imperial naval forces; after de battle of Actium, not the Roman republican navy. You won't find information about the sea battles of the punic wars and the introduction of the corvus or the perfect campaign of Pompeus against the pirates.
Most of this work centers in the early imperial period, but there are interesting snippets of information about the entire imperial period.
Very good photographs of the usual sculptural evidence but also of some rare finds like a muscled cuirass found in a shipwreck dated Ist to IIIrd Century AD.
The original art was painted by Graham Sumner...competently drawn, respecting archeological, sculptural or epigraphic evidence.
Almost every aspect of the imperial naval forces are summarized including the way they were viewed, recruitment, the legions adiutrices, duties and daily life, clothing and their favorite colour (the blue), armour and weapons (both personal arms and the ships weaponry like the beak/rostrum, the turrets/pyrgoi or the artillery), etc.
Also detailed are the organization of the fleets, localization of military ports, a chronology of the main naval engagements and a description of the several types of sailers, marines and officers.
For a 48 page book its difficult to ask for more.
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