• Print this page
Book cover for 'Roman Siege Warfare'
Google Preview

Roman Siege Warfare

Josh Levithan

Description

Roman siege warfare had its own structure and customs, and expectations both by the besieged and by the attacking army. Sieges are typically sorted by the techniques and technologies that attackers used, but the more fruitful approach offered in Roman Siege Warfare examines the way a siege follows or diverges from typical narrative and operational plotlines. Author Josh Levithan emphasizes the human elements—morale and motivation—rather than the engineering, and he recaptures the sense of a siege as an event in progress that offers numerous attitudes, methods, and outcomes. Sieges involved a concentration of violent effort in space and the practical challenge posed by a high wall: unlike field battles they were sharply defined in time, in space, and in operational terms.

Chapters examine motivation and behavior during a siege and focus on examples from both the Roman Republic and the Empire: Polybius, Livy, Julius Caesar, Flavius Josephus, and Ammianus Marcellinus. Levithan examines the “gadgetary turn,” during which writers began to lavish attention on artillery and wall-damaging techniques, fetishizing technology and obscuring the centrality of the assault and of human behavior.

This volume speaks to classicists and historians of all stripes. All passages are translated, and references are accessible to nonspecialists. Military historians will also find much of interest in the volume, in its treatment both of Roman military conduct and of wider military practice.

Photo: Anger, Neg. D-DAI-ROM-89.655. Rom, Foro Traiano, Trajanssäule Szene 113: Auszug des Heeres aus einem römischenLager; Erstürmung einer. Courtesy of the Deutsches Archäologisches Institute – Rom.

Josh Levithan is a writer and former Associate Professor of Humanities at Kenyon College.

Praise / Awards

  • "Levithan’s work is a very welcome addition to the study of Roman warfare. He makes his argument in a clear and engaging fashion and deftly handles a disparate array of ancient literary evidence. The importance of this work goes beyond the relatively narrow world of the Roman siege and will appeal to anyone (specialists and non specialists alike) interested in ancient warfare and the psychological and moral experiences of the inhabitants of the ancient world."
    Bryn Mawr Classical Review
  • "[Roman Siege Warfare] is extremely well written. The discussion is clear and the author's style is straightforward and entertaining. This study will be the standard for Roman siege warfare and should stimulate much new work."
    --Lee L. Brice, CJ-Online

Look Inside

Product Details

  • 264 pages.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Ebook
  • 2013
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-02949-5


  • PDF: Adobe Digital Editions e-book (DRM Protected)

Add to Cart
  • $59.95 U.S.

  • Kindle

Add to Cart
  •  

Choosing any of the above format options will take you to the appropriate e-retailer to complete your purchase. Pricing may vary by individual e-retailer. Please see e-retailer site for purchasing information.

For more information about our Digital Products, including reading systems and accessible formats, visit our Digital Products page.



Related Products


Add to Cart
  • $75.00 U.S.

nothing

Keywords

  • Rome, Roman, Caesar, warfare, combat motivation, siege, "Face of the Battle" school/method, miliatary history, assault, sack, morale

nothing
nothing

Stay connected