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In the Name of Rome: The Men Who Won the Roman Empire

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  877 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
The Roman army was one of the most effective fighting forces in history. The legions and their commanders carved out an empire which eventually included the greater part of the known world. This was thanks largely to the generals who led the Roman army to victory after victory, and whose strategic and tactical decisions shaped the course of several centuries of warfare.

Paperback, 480 pages
Published August 2004 by Phoenix (first published 2003)
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Jun 24, 2008 Spqr rated it it was amazing
Goldsworthy successfully draws a picture of how Roman generals actually commanded their armies. This book is in similar style to Goldworthy's first book "The Roman Army at War", which covers how the Roman Army actually fought its battles.

Besides the story of individual generals, this book also traces the development of the Roman style of command as it evolved along with changing Roman society. The story starts with Fabius Maximus and Claudius Marcellus who are elected leaders of citizen soldiers
Jeremy Perron
Jun 19, 2012 Jeremy Perron rated it it was amazing
Adrian Goldsworthy, one of the world's foremost experts on the ancient Roman Empire, wrote this book about the great generals of that civilization. Although the author himself points out that this book is primarily about generals and statesmen and not a complete picture of what Rome was like, he still successfully fills in the gaps as he jumps from one generation of Romans to the next. In effect the reader goes on a journey though the ancient Roman civilization from the Punic Wars to the era of ...more
May 10, 2016 Fraser rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic read. Well informed, and interesting throughout, this examination of the Roman military machine as seen through the lives of its most famous generals is well worthy of further examination.

Highly recommended.
Evelyn Wood
Dec 29, 2015 Evelyn Wood rated it it was amazing

This is a fascinating book taking us from 275 BC to 530 AD and looking at Rome through it’s military. Goldsworthy has an engaging style, concise, informative and never boring. Even early in their history the Romans had a deeply ingrained sense of entitlement a belief that it was their destiny to rule the world. As a society they embraced Greece – art, literature, language and philosophy and people from every colour, race and creed provided they signed up to the Imperial Roman idea.

Goldsworthy h
Sep 19, 2016 Darren rated it really liked it
A thorough account of Rome's major and some lesser known Generals. If you are looking for military history, this is a good choice. Goldsworthy skims the wider picture of the time for each of these Generals, so if you don't have any prior knowledge regarding the political history of the time, you may not like the thin details there. Having a deeper knowledge of Rome may improve your reading experience. However, if you are just interested in the Generals and battles, this is perfect.
Nov 05, 2007 bkwurm rated it really liked it
Focusing on the outstanding generals of Rome, each chapter in this book provides a brief bio of the general and some background to put him in context before going into the campaigns that made that general famous.

The usual suspects are all present : - Fabius Maximus, Scipio
Africanus, Scipio Aemilianus, Gaius Marius, Gnaeus Pompey, Julius Caesar, Trajan, Belisarius.

Oddly missing is Lucius Cornelia Sulla but the author does include the little known Quintus Sertorius. Strangely Julian is included w
Lauren Albert
Sep 20, 2010 Lauren Albert rated it liked it
Shelves: history-ancient
I have definitively concluded that "true" military history is just not for me. By that I mean the kind of history that focuses on battle strategy, armaments, etc. I do find interesting the kind of history that focuses on the psychological and the sociological aspects of war. Why did the Romans fight like the Romans did? Why did certain leaders behave in ways that were detrimental to their causes? Goldsworthy does have some of the latter in this book but it had too much of the nitty gritty to be ...more
Tom Marshall
Jul 19, 2016 Tom Marshall rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Goldsworthy is always worth reading, but he is also always "just a touch" - just a touch more verbose than he needs to be, and his prose just a touch too dense to allow his sentences to disappear so that his readers can be swept up in his narrative flow.

"Late Goldsworthy" is a more purely enjoyable read than "Early Goldsworthy," as his later works suffer less from this than their predecessors. This is an early work - recently republished - yet still worth reading as an enjoyable look into the po
Milo García Molinero
Genial análisis de los generales más relevantes del Imperio Romano así como tácticas empleadas, sitios, descripciones de famosas batallas y un breve pero no menos exhaustivo recorrido por la evolución del ejército romano ligado a la mentalidad que influyó en su desarollo dependiendo de la época, desde las milicias republicanas, pasando por la profesionalización de las legiones durante los primeros pasos del imperio y los mercenarios bárbaros de los últimos tiempos. Muy centrado también en la per ...more
Alexandre Baptista
May 21, 2013 Alexandre Baptista rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 24, 2016 Brentman99 rated it liked it
As a guy with a history degree and almost a minor in Roman history, I liked the book. However, there are times where the writing was more pedantic than I would normally read outside of school, so that meant it took a bit longer than normal to read. However, if you suffer through the slow parts, there is some good information.

Overall, worth the read if you have an interest in Roman history.
Sep 04, 2015 Mike rated it really liked it
This was an outstanding book covering the military history of Ancient Rome through its greatest figures. I do not have a deep historical knowledge of this time period, but am slowly starting to fill in the gaps. This book was outstanding in the sense that it acted as a military (and in many ways political) survey of Roman history. I particularly enjoyed the chapters dealing with Pompey and Caesar, but also Scipio Africanus and his dealings with Hannibal of Carthage. It seems that I should know m ...more
Glyn Longden
Jul 25, 2011 Glyn Longden rated it liked it
Rating: 7.5/10. A surprisingly well-written account on 15 different Roman generals and how their military and political ambitions affected the development of the Roman state. Most books such as this are written by scholars and tend to plod along slowly but Goldsworthy has an easy style which enables the reader to cover scores of pages at one sitting. The time frame covers from the Punic Wars where Scipio Africanus finally defeats Hannibal all the way to Belisarius who retook the Western Roman Em ...more
Apr 27, 2015 Joshua rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
This is a perfect introductory work for those who are new to Roman history, as it covers several centuries in episodic form, using "The Men Who Won the Roman Empire" to illustrate the conflicts and tensions of different decades or centuries without getting too bogged down in any one era.

As always with Goldsworthy's books, there are a decent amount of maps to help readers conceptualize everything that's going on.
May 11, 2016 Abhijeet rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biographies, history
Having no doubt makes one strong. Till the "Men Who Won the Roman Empire" never doubted in the eventual victory of Rome, things went splendidly. It was only when they lost this conviction that the empire began to crumble.
The Men include Fabius Maximus, Scipio Africanus, Marius, Pompey, Caesar, Germanicus, Trajan, Belisarius, and others.
Andrew Ashling
Apr 06, 2011 Andrew Ashling rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As I suspected from the beginning: a nice overview. Actually it's a collection of mini-biographies of famous Roman generals. As such they are not very deep or thorough. What the book does offer is a nice overview of how the Roman army changed from the mid-republic, over the later empire to early Byzantine times. It also offers some reflections on the style of leadership of the Romans and how it influenced later generals.
A good primer, but every time I thought something was fascinating the author
Kingsley Layton
Aug 19, 2015 Kingsley Layton rated it it was amazing
Very helpful and resourceful.
-¿Están todos los que son? ¿Son todos los que están?.-

Género. Historia.

Lo que nos cuenta. Repaso de las acciones de algunos (quince en concreto, aunque se hable de otros en algún momento) de los líderes romanos más exitosos, centrado en qué hicieron, cómo lo hicieron, por qué y para qué, con leves pinceladas de sus biografías y caracteres.

¿Quiere saber más de este libro, sin spoilers? Visite:
Jan 03, 2013 Paul rated it really liked it
I wish I could write like Goldsworthy... Found several unnerving mistakes, though. Scipio Aemilianus: lixae are not slaves. See inscriptions, esp. one from Nijmegen, where the lixa mentioned has tria nomina, like his father and uncle (in the same inscription), an origus in a Spanish town... Caesar's campaigns in Gaul: the map with the Netherlands occupying a large part of the North Sea...
Yet I can recommend it, he has a great overview, and as said, the gift of the pen.
Hugo De oliveira
Excelent book about the generals that build the roman empire, and some of the most important batles of the roman empire, with wide cover of the battles and the story of the roman generals.
It is a good book to understand how the roman empire was built, and the amazing war machine that was the roman army trough centuries. Compulsory reading for all the ones that want to know more about the roman period.
Grindy Stone
Jan 22, 2014 Grindy Stone rated it liked it
Tough slog. Recommended for the most hardcore of Roman military buffs only.
Jun 06, 2012 Darren rated it did not like it
I didn't finish this book. It was truly amazing to me that the author could distill so many tense, exciting, complicated situations into dry boring step by step reads. I do not know if it was the tense usage or the structure but an exciting book was unfortunately very bland. I also don't understand why the author chose not to put Aurelian, but that is a topic for another day.
Dec 02, 2014 Joe rated it really liked it
It was kind of depressing reading about how the citizen legions of the Republic and their inexorable march towards glory, the mighty imperial Principate forging Pax Romana, all slowly devolve into the petty Emperors raised and tossed aside at the whim of their "loyal" soldiers. Perfect reading for armchair generals and history buffs.
Shawn White
Oct 28, 2013 Shawn White rated it liked it
After reading many historical novels of figures like Caesar and Pompey, I chose this book for a less embellished version of events. It did not disappoint, I would recommend it to anyone looking for a description of events born only from the actual records that survive.
Apr 22, 2016 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A cool review of the campaigns of the most successful Ancient Roman generals. Although the phrase "military history" makes even my eyes begin to glaze over, I found In the Name of Rome to be a highly readable and compelling book. A pleasure to read.
A fairly basic, popularizing account of the generals who brought Rome victory over many centuries. Not a bad book, but not a great or essential one either. Good as an introduction to Roman military history.
Jul 26, 2016 Danne rated it it was amazing
The most underrated, and forgotten, general of all times has a whole chapter here, ie Sertorius, that alone makes this a must-have book.
Andrew Price
Aug 31, 2016 Andrew Price rated it really liked it
Great look at the generals of Rome. I especially liked the focus on the change of leadership from the Republic to the Empire.
Jan 23, 2014 Shannon rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best history books I've ever read: Well-written, well-cited, readable, and informative.
Brent Venton
Sep 20, 2012 Brent Venton rated it really liked it
Very interesting comparison of the campaigns, tactics, personalities and innovations of Rome's most noted generals.
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Goodreads Librari...: Wrong page count 2 153 Dec 14, 2013 09:00AM  
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Adrian Goldsworthy was born in 1969 in Cardiff. He was educated in Penarth and then read Ancient and Modern History at St. John's College, Oxford, where he subsequently completed his doctorate in ancient history. His D.Phil. Thesis was the basis for his first book, The Roman Army At War 100 BC - AD 200, which looked at how the Roman army actually operated on campaign and in battle.

For several yea
More about Adrian Goldsworthy...

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