Sunday, September 19, 2010

Nero's Killing Machine

I have just finished reading Nero's Killing Machine: The True Story of Rome's Remarkable Fourteenth Legion, by Stephen Dando-Collins.

This is a great book. It's meticulously researched and, unlike a lot of military history that tends to be dry and written for those who are already experts, this is a very enjoyable read. You don't have to know too much about ancient Rome to get a lot back from this book. And in case you're wondering, the 14th Legion are the ones who took out Boudicca, aka Boadicea, after she'd taken out Colchester, London and Saint Albans.

I really admire this book, mainly because I spent a while researching an ancient Roman legion myself, and it’s difficult to pin down where they were in one particular decade, let alone anything more specific. The author has done a fantastic job here, and, despite what I imagine must be a niche audience, the book is never too academic. That is, it fulfils all the requirements of an academic book without every being what many academic books are – boring as all hell.

Other books in the series include:

Caesar’s Legion: The Epic Saga of Julius Caesar’s Elite Tenth Lengion and the Armies of Rome.
Cleopatra’s Kidnappers: How Caesar’s Sixth Legion Gave Egypt to Rome and Rome to Caesar; and
Mark Antony’s Heroes: How the Third Gallica Legion Saved an Apostle and Created an Emperor.

And I am so saving up for Blood of the Caesars: How the Murder of Germanicus Led to the Fall of Rome. 

Buy Nero's Killing Machine here at Amazon.

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