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What disappointed you about In the Name of Rome?
The author starts the book with a lengthy disclaimer describing the scarcity of sources and reliable information for the individuals and periods he discusses and his reluctance to make assumptions or put weight on modern analysis of them. I would describe my knowledge of Roman history as a little more in-depth than the average random person, by no means an expert.
My chief complaint about this book is that it offered no analysis or new thought about these individuals or events. It felt like a rote recital of basic information that is covered in many other books. With only a little bit of exaggeration, I would describe his coverage of the events as more a summary of the facts. Given the lack of new thought or perspective on the subject, I am unsure what the author's goal was in writing this book.
I fully acknowledge that he states very clearly at the beginning of the book that sources and reliable information are scarce and notes that he will not wander off into questionable analysis. But I was still expecting to learn something new and interesting, or at least get the author's viewpoint on these events.
Has In the Name of Rome turned you off from other books in this genre?
No, I read and enjoyed Goldsworthy's books on Caesar, Augustus, and Cicero. Based on my experience reading these three books, I would definitely try another book from him.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
I found this to be very well narrated, informative and very entertaining. Goldsworthy builds a picture of how generalship, command, the army itself, and the relationships between commanders, subordinates, soldiers and ultimate civil authorities evolved from the republic through the imperial period. Inevitably, because of the paucity of sources there are large gaps but he paints as fair and balanced picture of each commander as is possible. This is definitely a recommended book if you are interested in learning more about the essential elements of the Roman philosophy of command.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful