roman fighting

Irish and European fighting styles and techniques, and the required Arms & Armour

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roman fighting

Postby gaius marius on Thu Oct 30, 2008 11:22 pm

just asking dose anyone know if their is a book on roman fighting around
"The Kaiser knows the Munsters,
by the Shamrock on their caps,
And the famous Bengal Tiger, ever ready for a scrap,
And all his big battalions, Prussian Guards and grenadiers,
Fear to face the flashing bayonets of the Munster Fusiliers."

Go bua
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Re: roman fighting

Postby Malo on Fri Oct 31, 2008 12:17 pm

Hi,

Here are links that might be of interest to you:

http://www.ospreypublishing.com/store/R ... tics-109BC–AD313_9781846031847

http://www.ospreypublishing.com/store/L ... man-AD-236–5�978�5324190
Vive La Nation!!!
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Re: roman fighting

Postby the_power on Fri Oct 31, 2008 1:49 pm

I get the impression that he's more looking for combat-training manuals. I was asking a famous military historian (John France) about this last week; it seems that most soldiers were illiterate, and it was only the most scholarly and well financed folk who wrote & passed books around before printing was common. So, it's unlikely any were written, and if they were they didn't get a large circulation. If you had enough money to buy a hand-written manuscript, you likely weren't interested in the fine details of army combat.

As a side note, said historian also said we can't use the excuse "I got it on the crusades" when using exotic material at gigs. It seems the Crusaders brought back very very little miltary hardware from their travels. Most of what they had had to remain at the front, and there was very little technology transfer between the two cultures. Which is annoying, considering I was told when I started reenactment that padded armour was "brought back from the third crusade". I believed it too, despite seeing the Bayeux tapestry..

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Re: roman fighting

Postby squamatus on Thu Dec 11, 2008 4:58 pm

It's a good idea to rot your brain with Vegetius Epitome of Military Science for starters. Even if you don't stumble across something useful, you'll feel stressed enough afterwards to want to damn authenticity and go for it...

There are numerous references to combat sprinkled amongs most ancient writers' work, for example:

"However, according to the Roman methods of fighting each man makes his movements individually: not only does he defend his body with his long shield, constantly moving it to meet a threatened blow, but he uses his sword for both cutting and for thrusting. Obviously, these tactics require a more open order and an interval between the men, and in practice each soldier needs to be at least three feet from those in the same rank and from those in front of and behind him if he is to perfom his function efficiently."
[Polybius XVIII]

The trouble is, wading through all the guff takes a long time, and you also need to consider the value of the partiucular writer's opinion / experience. Unfortunately it is the fine detail which is often missing, and which is what we as reenactors are after. We can worry about how to position our Manipules later, when we have even one, let alone more than one to play with!

I have started to get back into fighting again recently by joining in with some tame(ish) Vikings locally. Using a short sword in combat training provides a lot of answers, and is contributing a lot towards the enhancement of my kit to proper 'combat readiness'.
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Re: roman fighting

Postby the_power on Thu Dec 11, 2008 7:40 pm

Wow, that sounds cool. I'd love to try the classical fighting, actually, even if it was just a curiousity thing. It would be cool to run a big mixed training weekend where it's half medieval, half classical. I'd love to learn about maniples & phalanx. I'd always imagined that roman formations were much closer; was that just Marian ones ?

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