For the Glory of Rome: A History of Warriors and Warfare by Ross Cowan
English | June 1, 2007 | ISBN: 1853677337, 1473898765 | True EPUB/PDF | 272 pages | 6.8/66.5 MB
Ancient Rome was uniquely bellicose. Her legions marched out to war every year and the fury of legionaries in combat was terrible. Officers and common soldiers gloried in single combat, taking heads and despoiling their enemies. Long before the Vikings emerged, Roman warriors were discarding their armor to fight berserk and bare-chested in battle, going so far as to maul opponents with their bare teeth and sometimes even drinking their blood. Generals would occasionally perform the act of devotio – sacrificing themselves to the gods of the Underworld – to secure victory. Yet these same warriors read philosophy, wrote history and recited poetry. Singing, too, was popular – in battle as much as elsewhere. At Pharsalus in 48 BC, where Julius Caesar routed his rival Pompey the Great, his more psychotic legionaries sang gleefully as they killed. Regimental anthems were popular, but at Pharsalus lyrical pronouncements on the parentage of your opponent, virtue of his mother, and reputation of his city were most prominent.