""For who is so worthless or indolent as not to wish to know by what means and under what system of polity the Romans... succeeded in subjecting nearly the whole inhabited world to their sole government'a thing unique in history?""'Polybius
The year 146 BC marked the brutal end to the Roman Republic's 118-year struggle for the western Mediterranean. Breaching the walls of their great enemy, Carthage, Roman troops slaughtered countless citizens, enslaved those who survived, and leveled the 700-year-old city. That same year in the east, Rome destroyed Corinth and subdued Greece. Over little more than a century, Rome's triumphant armies of citizen-soldiers had shocked the world by conquering all of its neighbors.
How did armies made up of citizen-soldiers manage to pull off such a major triumph? And what made the republic so powerful? In Killing for the Republic, Steele Brand explains how Rome transformed average farmers into ambitious killers capable of conquering the entire Mediterranean. Rome instilled something violent and vicious in its soldiers, making them more effective than other empire builders. Unlike the Assyrians, Persians, or Macedonians, it fought with part-timers. Examining the relationship between the republican spirit and the citizen-soldier, Brand argues that Roman republican values and institutions prepared common men for the rigors and horrors of war.
Brand reconstructs five separate battles'representative moments in Rome's constitutional and cultural evolution that saw its citizen-soldiers encounter the best warriors of the day, from marauding Gauls and the Alps-crossing Hannibal to the heirs of Alexander the Great. A sweeping political and cultural history, Killing for the Republic closes with a compelling argument in favor of resurrecting the citizen-soldier ideal in modern America.
Table Of Contents
Preface. Why Care about Long-Dead Fighting Farmers?
Prologue. The Roman and American Republics
Part 1. Farmers, Citizens, and Soldiers
Chapter 1. The Soldier's Farm
Chapter 2. The Citizen's Republic
Part 2. The Making of Rome's Citizen-Soldiers
Chapter 3. Origins: Kingly Armies of the Roman Hills
Chapter 4. Proving Ground: Surviving in Central Italy
Part 3. The Triumph of Rome's Citizen-Soldiers
Chapter 5. Breakout: Competition and Discipline at Sentinum
Chapter 6. The Greatest Trial: Beating Your Betters at New Carthage
Chapter 7. Triumph: Phalanx Killers at Pydna
Part 4. The Death of Rome's Citizen-Soldiers
Chapter 8. Questionable Legitimacy: The Ideal Statesman's Battle at Mutina
Chapter 9. Suicidal Finish: Last Stand of the Citizen-Soldier at Philippi
Epilogue. War Stories for the Emperor
"With elegance, insight, and wit, Steele Brand has composed a compelling inquiry into citizenship, service, soldiering, and republicanism. In the process, he offers a refreshing new interpretation of Republican Rome and reintroduces to our modern era the singular character that so captivated America's founding generation: the farmer-citizen-soldier." William Inboden, Clements Center for National Security, University of Texas at Austin
"A lively appreciation of the efficacy of citizen-soldiers both on and off the battlefield. Steele Brand offers a scholarly and empathetic appraisal of why Roman Republican legionaries were such lethal fighters but also of why these mostly agrarian foot soldiers became reflections of the enduring values of consensual governments for the next two millennia." Victor Davis Hanson, Hoover Institution, Stanford University, author of Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise to Western Power
"This book is a gemeasy to read, entertaining, and most important, instructive." Paul A. Rahe, Hillsdale College, author of The Spartan Regime: Its Character, Origins, and Grand Strategy
"A truly unique and compelling fusion of ancient and modern history. Brand's military experience and his deep knowledge of both American and classical Roman and Greek history informs the material throughout this book, allowing him to present his vision as few others could do. Highly recommended!" Eric H. Cline, George Washington University, author of The Trojan War: A Very Short Introduction
"One of the best recent surveys of the idea of the citizen-soldier and its influence on the American republic. Brand writes with the professional's knowledge of primary and secondary sources, but in an accessible style replete with sharp-eyed analyses and page-turning descriptions of ancient Roman warfare. Part political philosophy and part military history, Killing for the Republic is a comprehensive, reader-friendly introduction to some of the most salient issues in understanding not just Rome's history but our own, and the relevance of both to our times." Bruce S. Thornton, Hoover Institution, Stanford University, author of Democracy's Dangers and Discontents: The Tyranny of the Majority from the Greeks to Obama
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