|The Encircling Sea released|
|Late posting, but the sequel to Vindolanda was released in hardback and on kindle at the start of the month. More historical background about the story to come over the next weeks.|
|Lectures on youtube|
|I have just noticed that film of my lectures at the Rancho Mirage Writers Festival back in January are now up on youtube. Links are below, as well as one to the channel for this and past festivals. There is a lot of good stuff on this, and I'll certainly catch up with many of the talks I was not able to see at the time.|
Pax Romana 1
Pax Romana 2
Rancho Mirage Writers Festival
|Vindolanda out in paperback|
|Vindolanda is now on sale in paperback. Included this time is a map of Northern Britain in the period which somehow got missed out of the hardback. Also a short sample of the sequel, The Encircling Sea due for release at the end of May 2018|
|Vindolanda on sale now|
|The first novel in my Roman series, Vindolanda is released today. |
There is already a fair bit of supporting material on the website. More to follow soon.
|Twenty years on|
|My first book, The Roman army at war, 100 BC to AD 200 is now twenty years old. It was based on my doctoral thesis, tidied up and with a few extra bits added because it was no longer limited to the thesis word count of 100,000. If memory serves the first print run was just 300 copies, but later there were some fifteen hundred hardbacks published and the still available paperback edition has sold well over nine thousand copies. That's small fry by commercial standards, but not bad for a book aimed primarily at other academics. |
Few writers can resist tinkering with their work if they are given a chance, and I'm sure that if I wrote the book now that the style would be different and it would certainly be longer. When I started my doctorate I had wanted to look at sieges as well as open battle, but there simply was not room to do it properly. After two more decades of studying and thinking about the Roman army and ancient warfare, I still do not think that I would change any of the main arguments - and very few of the minor details. There probably ought to have been more discussion of the debate over S.L.A. Marshall's ideas about natural fighters and low participation in fire-fights in the Second World War and Korea by US soldiers and those of other armies. It's a complicated field, and maybe someday I'll write again about these issues in detail, but I still believe that whatever you think of Marshall and some of his claims, that it is true that in battle most of the effective fighting is done by a minority, whether we are talking about the age of Homer or the modern day.
Not everyone agrees with my interpretation of how the Roman army functioned on campaign and how battles were fought. So far I have not been convinced to change my mind by anyone who has challenged my views, but a fair few have come up with ideas that to my fit very well in the same broader picture. Sadly studying warfare remains deeply unfashionable among scholars working on the Roman world. That does not show any sign of changing in the near future.
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