Nero's Killing Machine: The True Story of Rome's Remarkable 14th Legion

Dando-Collins, Stephen

Published by Wiley, 2004
ISBN 10: 0471675016 / ISBN 13: 9780471675013
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Audie Award Finalist, History, 2014

The 14th Gemina Martia Victrix Legion was the most celebrated unit of the early Roman Empire—a force that had been wiped out under Julius Caesar, reformed, and almost wiped out again. After participating in the a.d. 43 invasion of Britain, the 14th Legion achieved its greatest glory when it put down the famous rebellion of the Britons under Boudicca. Numbering less than 10,000 men, the disciplined Roman killing machine defeated 230,000 rampaging rebels, slaughtering 80,000 with only 400 Roman losses—an accomplishment that led the emperor Nero to honor the legion with the title "Conqueror of Britain."

In this gripping book, second in the author’s definitive histories of the legions of ancient Rome, Stephen Dando-Collins brings the 14th Legion to life, offering military history aficionados a unique soldier’s-eye view of their tactics, campaigns, and battles.

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The 14th Gemina Martia Victrix Legion was the most celebrated military unit of the early Roman Empire. After participating in the A.D. 43 invasion of Britain, the legion achieved its greatest glory when it put down the famous rebellion led by Britain's Queen Boudicca. Numbering less than 10,000 men, the disciplined Roman soldiers defeated 230,000 rampaging British rebels, slaughtering 80,000 while incurring only 400 losses—an accomplishment that led the emperor Nero to honor the legion with the title "Conqueror of Britain."

In this gripping book, second in the author's definitive histories of the legions of ancient Rome, Stephen Dando-Collins brings the 14th Legion to life, offering a unique soldier's-eye view of their tactics, campaigns, and battles and exploring the gruesome realities of war in the Classical Age. Based on his thirty-two years of painstaking research into the Roman military, Nero's Killing Machine paints a striking portrait of daily life in the legion as it traces its storied history—beginning with the disastrous day in 54 B.C. when, led into a trap while serving under Julius Caesar, the legion was wiped from the face of the earth.

You'll see how, for decades, the legion struggled to regain its lost status, treading a blood-soaked path and slowly climbing back to glory by fighting first under Germanicus Caesar against Hermann the German, then under Gaius Suetonius Paulinus against Queen Boudicca—vastly outnumbered but determined to preserve honor if not life as it went down fighting. You'll also gain new insights into the lives of the legionnaires—men who, hardened by years of rigorous training and rigid Roman military discipline enforced by often brutal centurions, merged into a close-knit, chillingly efficient killing machine.

Filled with previously unknown details about Roman military practices, Nero's Killing Machine is a riveting, eye-opening history of the men who made Rome great.

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Title: Nero's Killing Machine: The True Story of ...
Publisher: Wiley
Publication Date: 2004
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Used: Good

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