ROTH, J. P.,
The Logistics of The Roman Army at War (264 B.C. - A.D. 235).
Brill, Leiden (...), 1999. XXI,399p. Original blue gilt titled cloth with dust wrps. Dust wrps partly discoloured. Initials stamp, date and personal library mark on free endpaper. ‘The Roman soldier of the late Republic and early Empire marched along roads of his own construction, carrying his own rations and equipment, and supported by supply lines which conveyed food and material by water, wherever possible, or by waggon- and mule-train. At the end of a day’s march, he might be billeted on civilians, particularly in winter, but more usually joined his fellow-soldiers in constructing a camp, where they would be accommodated in tents. Under the Republic, the Senate authorised the equipping of the army from year to year, obtaining grain from the provinces by requisition, taxation, and forced purchase. From the time of Augustus, when the establishment of the ‘aerarium military’ took financial control away from the Senate, the emperor exercised complete control through his legates. Supply in the individual provinces was the responsibility of the governor, while at unit level, the legionary ‘prefectus castrorum’ played a key role. Several new officials, like the ‘praepositus annonae’ came to light, particularly during campaigning, and it is likely that they commissioned civilian contractors to deliver supplies to the periphery of any war zone. This is Roth’s thesis, in a nutshell. He presents seven chapters, covering supply needs and rations; packs, trains, and servants; forage, requisition, and pillage; supply lines; sources of supply; the administration of logistics; and logistics in Roman warfare. Much of the detail comes from the Republican armies of Livy, Polybius, and Caesar, with the Empire largely represented by Josephus. (…) As the first accessible account of this fascinating subject in English, R.’s book is guaranteed a place on every Roman military book shelf.’ (DUNCAN B. CAMPBELL in The Journal of Roman Studies, 2000, p. 224).