FAQs

How much has it changed?
Have you included x, y, or z (if not, why not)?
Is it smaller, the same size, or bigger than edition 1?
Have you got rid of the drawings and used photographs instead?
Is there any colour?
What market is the book aimed at?
When will it be available?
How will I be able to get a copy?
Will this be the best book ever written on Roman military equipment?
I own the first edition, so is it worth buying the next one?
Finally, what about the Oxford Comma?

How much has it changed?

The text of the original has had bits taken out and new bits put in. This can range from the correction of single words up to complete paragraphs. A few bits have stayed the same but been slightly rewritten for the sake of clarity. Corrections that have been incorporated have been the result of published reviews, suggestions that have been made to the authors, and their own observations. Additions and revisions are the result of ten years of Roman military equipment scholarship around the world, which have reviewed and assessed to see if inclusion was merited. All of the drawings have been redrawn in some way. For some this has just meant digitising them and enhancing them to bring them into line with our artist’s current favoured style. With many others, there has been the deletion of some objects and their replacement with other, more appropriate, examples; some figures have been expanded to allow the addition of new examples; and occasionally completely new figures have been inserted where they were thought necessary (which means the figure numbering system, like the pagination, is different between editions 1 and 2). Finally, it has a new, much nicer, cover.

Have you included x, y, or z (if not, why not)?

This is not a book on algebra so there is no reason for us to do so. We have, however, been careful in our selection of new material for this edition. There is obviously no room to include every new find, so only those that make a new point, or better illustrate an old one, will be found within the pages of B&C2.

Is it smaller, the same size, or bigger than edition 1?

Physically (in terms of page dimensions), the book will be slightly smaller (174mm by 243mm) than edition 1 (which was crown quarto for the technically-minded, 190mm by 250mm for the numerically-minded, 7½in by 9¾in for those who have difficulty and/or issues with book trade or SI units). In terms of content, there are more words, illustrations, notes, places mentioned, and bibliography entries than edition 1.

Have you got rid of the drawings and used photographs instead?

No. Photographs suffer from a number of drawbacks in depicting military equipment. They vary in scale, clarity, quality, lighting, but most of all they are are far too expensive for our modest means. Drawings have clear advantages: they can have a consistency of style and scale that allows comparison between different objects and can be compiled from more than one reference illustration (using published scale illustrations and both published and unpublished photographic reference material).

Is there any colour?

Yes. There is a colour plate section similar to that in edition 1.

What market is the book aimed at?

People who can read (the authors are unconvinced by many publishers’ overly simplistic distinctions between ‘popular’, ‘academic’, and ‘text’ books). If you are interested in some aspect of the study of the Roman army (whether as an archaeologist, ancient historian, military historian, re-enactor, modeller, wargamer, or just a generally informed and inquisitive individual), you should find this book accessible and useful. There aren’t many laughs, but there will be an awful lot of facts contained within this volume and facts and theories in the text are fully documented in the endnotes. However, those involved in providing costume for the motion picture industry should under no circumstances read this book as it might prove injurious to their sanity (don’t worry – there is not much evidence that any of them bothered looking at the first edition, so that should not be too much of a problem).

When will it be available?

It is available now for your delectation and delight.

How will I be able to get a copy?

From all major online book retailers and even the occasional bricks-and-mortar outlet has been known to stock it. Not, please note, from general hardware stores, car showrooms, or either of the authors (who have other things to worry about).

Will this be the best book ever written on Roman military equipment?

No, because (according to one publisher’s blurb) that has already been produced (and it wasn’t B&C1). However, B&C2 will definitely be the second best (and will have friendlier lettering on the cover than the other one).

I own the first edition, so is it worth buying the next one?

Definitely ‘Yes’. We have all been stung by buying ‘new’ editions which are essentially the same book we already possess but in a different dust-jacket! This is decidedly not the case here. From editions 1 to 2 the number of pages increased from 256 to 321, more categories of equipment were included (e.g. military standards), all but two of the illustrations were redrawn (many with additions), and the number of entries in the bibliography rose from 703 to 1,239 (a useful research resource in its own right, even if nothing else in the book is worth reading!).

Finally, what about the Oxford Comma?

The authors continue to disagree over this, but (as with B&C1) a suitable compromise was reached after much sobbing, heart-searching, drumming in the forest, and sitting in the sweat lodges of Fife sipping Irn Bru through a curly straw.