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This fantastic and detailed study reveals the origins of ancient Rome’s most iconic weapon: the gladius. Based on first-class research, this is a story of historical evolution—not only of a weapon, but of tactics, armor and indeed of Roman civilization.

Although we are all familiar with the Roman Empire ruled by powerful Caesars, the authors have chosen to take us much farther back in time to what might be called the infancy of Rome’s armies.

This debut volume focuses on the ancient monarchial and consular periods of Rome, painting a clear picture of how Roman armies developed into mighty fighting forces. Among the many fascinating topics discussed are types of insignia, how weapons were worn, and archaic fighting techniques in duels as well as in pitched battles.

The authors delve into ancient sources and archaeological artifacts to bring history to life. Many clear and detailed diagrams make the material both visually interesting and richer in an educational sense.

This book is highly recommended to anyone wishing to get a firmer grasp on the history of ancient Rome or the classical world.

The Roman Gladius and the Ancient Fighting Techniques

Volume I – Monarchy and Consular Age
by Fabrizio Casprini & Marco Saliola, Frontline Books, 2023

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