Learning about how the Legions were actually constituted and how they functioned. Just fascinating.
The Teaching Company has several series on Ancient History and most of them are excellent descriptions of daily lives of soldiers during this same period. These series compare favorably with Caesar's Legion. These materials complement one another nicely.
I was struck by how severe Caesar could be when disciplining his troops: Literally killing one in ten of the ranks???? Now that is severe discipline.
Not possible. Too long. Too much to absorb between listening sessions.
An excellent selection.
This isn't just the story of the 10th Legion. It's also the story of Julius Caesar, Pompey, Marc Antony, Rome's civil wars, and so much more. It's told in an interesting manner, never dry or boring despite its richness of proper sourcing and crediting. I wish more history was told so entertainingly and accurately.
There's not anything new here, but Dando-Collins brings together all the classic authors (Suetonius, Tacitus, Julius Caesar himself, etc.) and re-images the characters and setting based on this amalgamation of sources. We get an excellent storyteller's survey of the rise of Julius Caesar and the creation of the 10th Legion ("Caesar's Legion" of the title) in Spain. The book loses steam a bit after the 10th drops from Caesar's favor after Pharsala (the battle that won the Roman Civil War for Caesar), yet remains interesting enough through the death of Pompey in Egypt. Then there's a dry stretch for a couple hundred years until we get to the Romans in 2nd century Israel, and a rousing finale with the fall of Jerusalem, the destruction of the temple by the Legions, and the scattering of the Jews. It's all great stuff, and will provide a excellent backgrounder for those who want to go on and read or listen to the classic era historians.
This is the authors conglomeration of the history of Rome following Ceasar through to emperor Vespasian with some emphasis on the legions, almost as an afterthought to bake the book unique but without significant material that it deserves to be considered the topic of this work.
Interesting perspective on standard history with a focus on several legions and commanders. If you're well versed in Roman history you'll still learn a few new things!
Text Book Worm
This book was well written, well researched, and well narrated but it runs the risk of fictionalizing history for some purists. The author does a masterful job of placing evidence from various primary sources into a well-designed chronological story but it is hard to tell when he is quoting and when he is imagining how history might have happened. For the scholar, be wary of any dialogue that seem to come too easy but it is still very much worthwhile. For the casual historian, this is the way to read Caesar!