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Everything posted by Legio17

  1. Superb review written with an in-depth knowledge of the times and subject matter. Thank you for taking the time and making the effort to tell us about this wonderful book.
  2. The reviewers enthusiasm and able description is what I look for in a book review. Great job.
  3. Legio17

    Failure of Empire by Noel Emmanuel Lenski

    Excellent review. A must have book. New concepts, old ones overturned. Maybe a better picture of the battle near Adrianople and the role of cavalry.
  4. That was truly one of the most fascinating interviews I've read. This was an entirely new research area for me and drove me to look up several terms used in the interview that were unfamiliar. The individual conducting the interview and the book's two authors did an outstanding job.
  5. Sometimes, as we all know, we have to suffer through a not "edge of my seat" read, but this book sounds like it may shed some light on a very tumultuous period in Roman history. Having read the historical fiction novel Galba's Men by L.J. Trafford and thus received an introduction to the year of the Four Emperors, it would be interesting to compare the two books. My compliments to the reviewer for an honest and detailed review.
  6. I thought the review was exceptionally well written and leaves no doubt as to the content and scholarship of the book. I hope it has maps and illustrations to help the reader with the geography of the vast area covered by the book. Am puzzled as to why he is not funded by a University.
  7. I am equally impressed with the review as with the book itself. Dr. Mates write that the book is "an extraordinary erudite book." I would add that the review falls in the same category. Congratulations for a job well done!
  8. Legio17

    Release Your Inner Roman by Jerry Toner

    The book sounds absolutely fascinating and the reviewer did an outstanding job!
  9. I'm happy to announce that I just published book #4 in the Legio XVII series on Amazon and Smashwords. I think it's the best one yet! Lots of action! Here's the book's description: Following Hannibal’s defeat by Publius Cornelius Scipio at the Battle of Zama in 202 BC, Rome dramatically reduces the size of its Army and withdraws her Legions from Northern Italy. Carthaginian General Hamilcar though had remained in Northern Italy after Mago’s defeat in 203 BC to stir the Gauls to rebellion against Rome, leading to the sacking of the Roman colony at Placentia and the siege of the colony at Cremona. Rome responds to the threat by sending three Legions to the area who come face to face with 35,000 Gauls in the Battle of Cremona. Shortly after the battle, Legio XVII is forced to take refuge on a hill and fortify it against repeated attacks by 13,000 Apuani warriors who arrive too late to fight at Cremona but still aim to do their part to destroy Rome. This story follows Titus, son of retired Praetor Manius Tullus of Legio XVII, from the time he marries the daughter of the Cenomani Chief in 205 BC, through his military training, to his participation in the Battle of Cremona in 200 BC and its exciting aftermath. Here's the Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Legio-XVII-Strikes-Thomas-Timmes-ebook/dp/B01I8HH38S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1468247842&sr=8-1&keywords=Legio+XVII%3A++The+Eagle+Strikes
  10. Legio17

    New History Books (September 2015)

    At the moment, I would be most interested in the third book on the list, "Republican Roman Warships 509-27 BC." According to the book description, the author dwells on the Roman navy during the Punic Wars, which has been my focus of study for the last five years.
  11. Legio17

    WIN!!! Legio XVII: Battle of Zama

    Good call Viggen. Too bad about the server problem. I remember Mr. Walsh's question, so it's not lost. This post addresses the missing question from the South African Armor officer. First accept my congratulations for a long and distinguished career in the SANDF. In the picture you posted, it appeared you were atop an Oliphant Mark Two tank? You asked an interesting question, which as I recall, addressed Roman Officer training vis a vis the use of mercenaries by the Carthaginians as a possible reason for Roman victories in Spain and at Zama. I scanned Vegetius and read several articles that discussed Roman Officer training. Best I can determine is that there was no formal Roman Officer training and education programs like those that exist in most modern armies today. There was no Roman equivalent of West Point, Officer Basic and Advance Courses, Command and General Staff College or Senior Service Colleges not to mention the innumerable shorter courses most Officers are required to attend. It appears that Roman leaders learned their skills via on-the-job training. Fathers took their Roman sons on campaigns to begin the process and individuals were appointed to leadership positions to observe and learn. Despite this lack of formal training and education, the Roman Officer corps performed admirably. I attribute this to the corps of professional officers in lower, but highly influential, leadership positions such as the Centurions. A few intangible factors also contributed to Roman Army success. The men were similarly trained and equipped. They were disciplined and physically conditioned. They had esprit de corps, knew the man on their left and right, fought for one another, trusted their leadership, and were subsequently honored for their service. Use of mercenaries presents a whole host of problems including language incompatibility, differing tactics and weapons, questionable loyalty and physical stamina, and lack of common command and control techniques, to name a few. For these reasons, I agree with your hypothesis that a homogenous army has the advantage over an army comprised mostly of mercenaries from several different cultures.
  12. Legio17

    WIN!!! Legio XVII: Battle of Zama

    Thank you for asking an excellent question. I addressed this question in the Preface to my first book, Legio XVII: Roman Legion at War, but upon reflection, I realized that a complete answer goes much deeper. Your question really got me thinking because, I believe, it speaks to the much broader issue of what drives our interests, hobbies, and, perhaps, even our choice of employment. I'm not sure how widely this may apply, but for me, Personality is behind so much of what motivates me to do what I do. I like order, neatness, logical rules, an orderly progression of events, simplicity and justice, which is pretty hard to find in our world. I found the order I was seeking by joining the Army. We were a good match! As I read about ancient Rome, I admired the Republican period as an era that shared my views. To this day, I have little desire to read about the Imperial period or of Rome in decline. I can't identify with it, too messy, whereas I feel comfortable with Rome in the 300-100 BC time period. So, the short answer is that I'm more at home with Rome during the Punic and Gallic wars, than Rome of a later period. Thanks for a thoughtful question!
  13. I'm very pleased to announced publication of my latest book. The Legio XVII series, Roman Legion at War, Battle of the Danube, and just published Battle of Zama are historical fiction novels that take place during Rome’s Second Punic War with Carthage (218 - 202 BC). The fictional exploits of Legio XVII are impacted by the Punic War and its military operations are conducted in support of the overall war effort, but do not intrude into or alter actual historical events. Together, the three books present a complete summary of that ancient War. It’s available at Amazon, B&N, Apple, Smashwords, etc. Here’s the link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Legio-XVII-Battle-Thomas-Timmes-ebook/dp/B00ZDZONZ0/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1434061497&sr=1-1&keywords=legio+XVII%3A+Battle+of+Zama Hope you enjoy it as much as I did writing it! Legio XVII: Battle of Zama - by Thomas A. Timmes
  14. Legio17

    Author's Question

    Hi, I am the author of Legion XVII: Roman Legion at War and Legion XVII: Battle of the Danube. I just received a 1-star rating for Battle of the Danube because the reader was turned off that I put the metric equivalent in parentheses following a notation of yards or miles. He stated that it was like watching TV and continually being interrupted by commercials. He said it hurt the flow of the book for him. Here's what it looks like in the book: ...17 miles (23 km)... I did not use this technique in my first book. I used it in the 2nd because I read a book from the UK that only used metrics and I had to constantly convert distances and weights. That made for a difficult read. I'm mid way into my 3rd book and I've been putting the metric equivalent in parentheses like I did in Battle of the Danube. No other readers have posted a similar comment, so I'm unsure how big a problem it really is. I would appreciate reading your thoughts on this.
  15. Legio17

    Author's Question

    Thank you Caldrail. Sound practical advice.
  16. Onasander, Wow! I hardly know how to respond to such a stunning display of knowledge! I had to "goggle-search" my way through your review to try to keep up with you. You've written a master piece of analysis. Calling it a "Book Review" doesn't do it justice. It's a stand-alone history lesson that challenges the reader's curiosity. Congratulation! Exceedingly well done.
  17. Legio17

    Author's Question

    Aaha! Wasn't sure where you were going with this until I goggled "William Bell Scott." Excellent research! You not only identified the Centurion avatar for GhostOfClayton, but made an educated and interesting comment on the wall itself. Kudos! You've earned the mystery prize!
  18. Legio17

    Author's Question

    Indianasmith, Thanks for posting a response. I looked at your book reviews on Amazon. Should make you feel good that so many readers are enjoying it. Great ratings! I also read the one 1-star review. Strange how so many find the book extremely well written and interesting and yet one individual calls it terrible. Your statement, "You're just never going to please everybody!" is the only reasonable explanation. Regards
  19. Legio17

    Author's Question

    GhostOfClayton, Thank you for a very practical solution: "a days' march." Would solve most of the problems. I'll begin to use it although I'm addicted to stating precise distances, other measurements, and time of day. It's probably very unRoman, but it's the way I think and without that information, the story seems incomplete. I read several of your blog entries to become more familiar with you. They are very entertaining and informative. I promise I will never again recline my airlines' seat without first looking to see who's back there. If it's a tall guy with an English accent, the seat will remain upright! Your avatar has to do with Rosemary Sutcliff's Eagle of the Ninth and your guide duties at Hadrian's Wall. Naxos Audio Books cover art. Thanks for your comment. Regards
  20. Legio17

    Author's Question

    Onasander, Nice to hear from you again. One of your sentences caused me to pause and highlights your philosophical bent: "It's hard to untangle the product of our work with our sense of self, but we don't have to let others determine the latter..." I had to goggle "Talifan." I've read some of their comments regarding other books, but haven't yet had to face their wrath. Good advice. I'm grateful that you took the time to reply. Regards
  21. Legio17

    Author's Question

    Sonic, I am truly pleased to receive a response from a noted author, historian, and gentleman. I've read the link in your comment, your book reviews at UNRV, and your "About Me" at your websites. Sorry to say I have yet to read your books, but will. They look fascinating. I appreciate your practical, common sense response. Your last line was particularly helpful: "Don't worry, after a while the criticisms begin to bite less deeply and you can focus on writing rather than worrying!" My two books are selling very well, thanks to UNRV. The negative comment that I mentioned is the only one to highlight my use of standard U.S. distances and the equivalent metric distance. I will assume that most readers do not have a similar problem until I hear otherwise. Viggen's response mirrored my own. I'm mulling over his suggestion to publish two books: one for those who think in metrics and a second for all others. Doing that may confuse readers. At this point, I'll just carry on with writing and less with worrying! Thank you for taking the time to pen a very helpful comment.
  22. Legio17

    A Day At The Theatre - Post your Roman fiction here

    Wow! That was fantastic! Couldn't stop reading. Thanks for posting such a stirring piece.
  23. Legio17

    WIN!!! Legio17: Roman Legion at War

    Onasander, a few more thoughts, if I may. History is replete with commanders who continue to repeat the same failed tactics. Yes, the barbarian hordes, you mentioned, foolishly repeated the same mistakes and hoped for different results. Cold Harbor in the Civil War. At Kennesaw Mountain in Georgia, Sherman threw his troops against fortified confederate positions and failed. In WWI, the Allies continued frontal assaults against the Germans and suffered horribly at the other end of machine gun barrels. Sometime, we are slow to adapt. Hannibal was famous for his surprises. He employed "new" tactics during his first three engagements with the Romans: Trebia, Lake Trasimene, and Cannae, and was successful. Eventually, the Romans adapted, borrowed Hannibal's concept of including a surprise, but mostly kept to the basics. In my book, the basics are the main stay, but there are always a few Hannibalic surprises. My book deals a lot with the mundane, but extremely important elements of logistics, troop morale and welfare, medical support, food and shelter, and training. History tells us who fought, where (sometimes), and who won, but we rarely, if ever, listen in on the planning that takes place prior to the engagement. That's the part I was going after. How would a reasonable commander fight a particular battle.
  24. UPDATE by UNRV.com: Win a free download of Legio XVII: Roman Legion at War, comment or asks the author a question below and stand a chance to download it for free Legio XVII: Roman Legion at War ############################################################## The purpose of this post is to tell you about an historical fiction ebook I just published, "LegioXVII: Roman Legion at War" and why I think you may be interested in reading it. First, I want to mention that this is my first post here, but I have been a fan of UNRV for the last four years. I used it extensively during my research. Why the book? I wanted to create an image of Leg XVII beside that of Teutoburg Forest! I first heard about 9 AD way back in 1960 and found it unsettling. How did this disaster happen? Fifty years later, I think we all pretty well know how it happened: poor Roman leadership and a very clever adversary. Leg XVII only existed for 50 years. It was never reconstituted after 9 AD. My book gives the Legion a history that takes place during the 2nd Punic War, but is not involved with Hannibal. Another reason I wrote the book is because I felt I had something unique to add. Now I love ancient battles as much as anyone, but, in addition to battle scenes, I wanted to describe the intense planning that underlies a successful outcome. To do this, I drew on my 28 year active duty career in the U.S. Army where I served at the platoon, company, battalion, and brigade level. I was also in the Pentagon for 24 years as a staff officer and civilian on the Army Staff, the Joint Staff, and Office of the Secretary of Defense. Operational and tactical level planning has been my life. In the book, I tried to be historically accurate concerning the 2nd Punic war and with my characters. Any errors are unintentional. Let me know what you think! I'd appreciate your perspective.
  25. Legio17

    WIN!!! Legio17: Roman Legion at War

    Onasander, some pretty deep thinking! I researched Apraxia. Glad you are able to refer to it in the past tense. Sure hasn't affected your ability to think and analyze. I can understand what you said about getting a concept about a particular topic reasoned out in your thinking and concern that a false or untested related concept will undo everything. That concern can apply to most topics: religion, geometry, strategy, tactics. In the military, the maxim is two up and one back (reserve force). Scipio introduced something new in Africa, which must have really upset the traditionalists. He used the Triarii within the Triplex Acies as a separate maneuver element. Your observations about persisting on with a losing strategy despite serious set backs is interesting and so human. No more space!