Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Roman Army: The Legendary Soldiers Who Created an Empire

The Roman Army: The Legendary Soldiers Who Created an Empire

Dyan Blacklock
Illustrator:  David Kennett 
For ages 10 to 14
Walker Books for Young Readers, 2004   ISBN: 0802788963

The Roman Empire was one of the largest empires every created, lasting many hundreds of years. As it encompassed the lands of various different peoples many of whom were not happy to have Rome for a master, it was necessary for the Romans to have an army to keep the people under control. It had to be an army unlike any other and this is what Rome built, a fighting force which worked like a machine, which was powerful, often deadly, and which could be controlled from the city of Rome.

All around the empire forts were built where groups of soldiers were based. From the forts the soldiers controlled all the local trade and the comings and goings of the people who lived in the region. Long well built roads connected the forts and incursions into new lands were supported by the cavalry and the powerful Roman Navy where possible. For most of the peoples it encountered, the army was unstoppable and though there was resistance, most towns, villages and cities did not last long under the onslaught of the Roman fighting machine.

All the major aspects of what made the Roman army so successful are described in this book, from what the soldiers wore in battle, to how rivers were crossed, to how battles were conducted. Atmospheric artwork brings the power, discipline, and formidable force of the army to life.