I have been reading the books detailing the histories of various Roman Legions by Stephen Dando-Collins. The first book
is a history of the Legio X, the famous Tenth Legion. I just finished Nero's Killing Machine
, which is a history of the 14th Gemina Martia Victrix Legion, Legio XIIII. I am now reading his history of the Third Gallica Legion
, Legio III. This is his most political book yet. I did not know that Marcus Antonius (Marc Antony) appointed Herod the Great as ruler of Judea, or that the Romans also appointed the Jewish High Priest to his position. This explains why Jesus Christ was turned over to the Romans since they were the true civil authorities of Judea. His books are lively reading and include a cast of very real and interesting people. They also illustrate why military forces should be apolitical. Some of those Legions survived 500-600 years, but they fought against one another more than once in Roman Civil Wars. Indeed, before Gaius Julius Caesar came to power, Quintus Sertorius
nearly succeeded in creating an independent Roman state in Spain. He was undefeated in battle against even Roman armies, but treachery at a banquet ended his life and success.
Labels: ancient warfare