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About Lindsay Powell
LINDSAY POWELL is a historian and writer. He tells the stories of the important but under-reported personalities and events of history to complete our knowledge and understanding of the past. Lindsay has a particular passion for the military history of the Roman Empire. He scours ancient documents, inscriptions, coins and museums for stories, as well as archaeological, engineering, medical and scientific reports to reveal deeper truths.
He regularly contributes to Ancient Warfare and Ancient History magazines. His articles have also appeared in Military Heritage, Desperta Ferro and Strategy & Tactics, as well as on UNRV.com. His books have been published by Pen and Sword and Osprey Publishing. He is a member of the Classical Association and the Historical Writers' Association, as well as a Friend of The Vindolanda Trust. Lindsay's appearances include BBC Radio, British Forces Broadcasting Service, HistoryHit.TV and History Channel.
His latest book is AUGUSTUS AT WAR. It is a new and penetrating assessment of Caesar Augustus as ancient Rome's military commander-in-chief. With a foreword specially written by Karl Galinsky, it is published by Pen and Sword Books (13 August 2018). "Historians have underestimated Augustus as a military man and in this book I try to set the record of his achievement straight," says Lindsay.
His previous books include BAR KOKHBA WAR for Osprey Publishing, the extraordinary story of the rebel who established an independent Jewish state within the Roman empire and fought Emperor Hadrian between the years AD 132-136. It was an Amazon UK bestseller (July 2017) in three categories: History of Israel; History of Palestine; and Revolutions and Coups.
MARCUS AGRIPPA: RIGHT-HAND MAN OF CAESAR AUGUSTUS is the first book in English since 1937 to describe the life and achievements of this crucially important figure in Roman history. "The contribution of Marcus Agrippa to Augustus' success cannot be understated. In many ways he is the unsung hero," says Lindsay, "but it was clear from my research that he intended it to be that way". Why is the great mystery explored in the book.
He began writing EAGER FOR GLORY when researching the Battle of Teutoburg, AD 9, and learned of the critical role Nero Claudius Drusus (Drusus the Elder) played in establishing the Romans' presence in Germania Magna. He was astonished to find there was no book about him. EAGER FOR GLORY: The Untold Story of Drusus the Elder, Conqueror or Germania is the book he had hoped to find. "I think readers will be very surprised," he says, "at how important this relative of Augustus was in the formation of the early Roman Empire. He was a successful military commander, a gifted governor, a daring explorer, and a monumental builder. He was a loving husband and father, and a man admired by friend and foe alike. In this book I hope to have restored him to his rightful place in the eventful story of Ancient Rome".
The life of Drusus the Elder's son is the subject of Lindsay's latest book GERMANICUS. "Germanicus Caesar was Rome's most popular general who expunged the shame of the 'Varian Disaster' at Teutoburg in AD 9," says Lindsay. The book tells the story of how he was suddenly thrust into prominence, put down a mutiny of the Rhine legions, led military campaigns in Illyricum and Germania Magna, and earned a reputation as a formidable court advocate. Lindsay examines the possible causes of his mysterious death in Syria and follows the tragic fate of his wife and children. "GERMANICUS tells a compelling tale which inspired generations of painters and playwrights down the centuries and is told for the first time in this new biography," says Lindsay.
Writing COMBAT: ROMAN SOLDIER VERSUS GERMANIC WARRIOR, 1st CENTURY AD enabled Lindsay to dive deeper into the German Wars he described in EAGER FOR GLORY and GERMANICUS. Working with acclaimed illustrator Peter Dennis, the author/artist team have produced a dramatic and visually exciting account of the battles at Teutoburg (AD 9), Idistaviso (AD 16) and Angrivarian Wall (AD 16), seen from the perspective of soldiers on both sides of the battlefields.
Connections between the present and the past also fascinate him. Combining a researcher's skill at finding unexpected connections in everyday events and a historian's knowledge of source material, in ALL THINGS UNDER THE SUN: How Modern Ideas are Really Ancient, Lindsay takes a clear eyed and often witty look at modern times through the longer perspective of ancient history and reveals that, as the old adage goes, 'all things under the Sun, there's nothing new'. "Human societies have faced many of the same problems before," says Lindsay, "and if we're smart, we'll learn from the Past and pick the solutions that worked - and avoid those that didn't."
Lindsay divides his time between Austin, Texas and Wokingham, England.
Visit him at http://www.Lindsay-Powell.com/
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Marcus Agrippa personified the term 'right-hand man'. As Emperor Augustus' deputy, he waged wars, pacified provinces, beautified Rome, and played a crucial role in laying the foundations of the Pax Romana for the next two hundred years - but he served always in the knowledge he would never rule in his own name. Why he did so, and never grasped power exclusively for himself, has perplexed historians for centuries.
In his teens he formed a lifelong friendship with Julius Caesar's great nephew, Caius Octavius, which would change world history. Following Caesar's assassination on the Ides of March 44 BC, Agrippa was instrumental in asserting his friend's rights as the dictator's heir. He established a reputation as a bold admiral, defeating Sextus Pompeius at Mylae and Naulochus (36 BC), culminating in the epoch-making Battle of Actium (31 BC), which eliminated Marcus Antonius and Queen Cleopatra as rivals. He proved his genius for military command on land by ending bloody rebellions in the Cimmerian Bosporus, Gaul, Hispania and Illyricum.
In Gaul Agrippa established the vital road network that helped turn Julius Caesar's conquests into viable provinces. As a diplomat, he befriended Herod the Great of Judaea and stabilized the East. As minister of works he overhauled Rome's drains and aqueducts, transformed public bathing in the city, created public parks with great artworks and built the original Pantheon.
Agrippa became co-ruler of the Roman Empire with Augustus and married his daughter Julia. His three sons were adopted by his friend as potential heirs to the throne. Agrippa's unexpected death in 12 BC left Augustus bereft, but his bloodline lived on in the imperial family, through Agrippina the Elder to his grandson Caligula and great grandson Nero.
MARCUS AGRIPPA is lucidly written by the author of the acclaimed biographies Eager for Glory and Germanicus. Illustrated with color plates, figures and high quality maps, Lindsay Powell presents a penetrating new assessment of the life and achievements of the multifaceted man who put service to friend and country before himself.
One was Hadrian, the cosmopolitan ruler of the vast Roman Empire, then at its zenith, who some regarded as divine; the other was Shim'on, a Jewish military leader in a district of a minor province, who some believed to be the 'King Messiah'. It is also the tale of the clash of two ancient cultures. One was the conqueror, seeking to maintain control of its hard-won dominion; the other was the conquered, seeking to break free and establish a new nation: Israel.
During the ensuing conflict - the 'Second Jewish War' - the highly motivated Jewish militia sorely tested the highly trained professional Roman army. The rebels withstood the Roman onslaught for three-and-a-half years (AD 132 - 136). They established an independent nation with its own administration, headed by Shim'on as its president. The outcome of that David and Goliath contest was of great consequence, both for the people of Judaea and for Judaism itself.
So, who was this insurgent Shim'on known today as 'Bar Kokhba'? How did Hadrian, the Roman emperor who built the famous Wall in northern Britain, respond to the challenger? And how, in later ages, did this rebel with a cause become a hero for the Jews in the Diaspora longing for the foundation of a new Israel in modern times? This book describes the author's personal journey across three continents to establish the facts.
BAR KOKHBA is lucidly written by the author of the mould-breaking Augustus at War and the acclaimed biographies Germanicus and Marcus Agrippa. Drawing on archaeology, art, coins, inscriptions, militaria, as well as secular and religious documents, Lindsay Powell presents a fascinating account of the people and events at a crucial time in world history.
With a foreword specially written by bestselling archaeologist Eric H. Cline, Lindsay Powell tells the compelling story of the rebel whose legend helped found a nation: Israel.
The words Pax Augusta—or Pax Romana—evoke a period of uninterrupted peace across the vast Roman Empire. Lindsay Powell exposes this as a fallacy. Almost every year between 31 BC and AD 14 the Roman Army was in action somewhere, either fighting enemies beyond the frontier in punitive raids or for outright conquest; or suppressing banditry or rebellions within the borders.
Remarkably, over the same period, Augustus succeeded in nearly doubling the size of the Empire. How did this second-rate field commander, known to become physically ill before and during battle, achieve such extraordinary success? Did he, in fact, have a grand strategy?
Powell reveals Augustus as a brilliant strategist and manager of war. As commander-in-chief (imperator) he made changes to the political and military institutions to keep the empire together, and to hold on to power himself. His genius was to build a team of loyal but semi-autonomous deputies (legati) to ensure internal security and to fight his wars for him, while claiming their achievements as his own. The book profiles more than 90 of these men, as well as the military units under their command, and the campaigns they fought.
The book is lavishly illustrated with 23 maps, 42 color plates, 13 black-and-white figures and five order of battle schematics. With a foreword by Karl Galinsky, this book breaks new ground in explaining the extraordinary achievement of Caesar Augustus.
Germanicus was regarded by many Romans as a hero in the mold of Alexander the Great. His untimely death, in suspicious circumstances, ended the possibility of a return to a more open republic. This, the first modern biography of Germanicus, is in parts a growing-up story, a history of war, a tale of political intrigue, and a murder mystery.
In this highly readable, fast paced account, historical detective Lindsay Powell details Germanicus’s campaigns and battles in Illyricum and Germania; tracks him on his epic tour of the Eastern Mediterranean to Armenia and down the Nile; evaluates the possible causes of his death; and reports on the cruel fate his wife, Agrippina, and their children suffered at the hands of Praetorian Guard commander, and Tiberius’s infamous deputy, Aelius Sejanus.
The reigns of Augustus and his successor Tiberius saw an epic struggle between the Romans and local peoples for the territory between the Rhine and Elbe rivers in what is now Germany. Following two decades of Roman occupation, Germania Magna erupted into revolt in AD 9 following the loss of the three legions commanded by Publius Quinctilius Varus to the Cheruscan nobleman Arminius and an alliance of Germanic nations in the dense forests of the Teutoburger Wald. The Romans' initial panic subsided as it became clear that Arminius and his allies could not continue the war into Germania Inferior on the western bank of the Rhine, and Imperial troops poured into the region as the Romans decided how best to resolve the situation.
Featuring full-colour artwork, specially drawn maps and an array of revealing illustrations depicting weapons, equipment, key locations and personalities, this study offers key insights into the tactics, leadership, combat performance and subsequent reputations of the Roman soldiers and their Germanic opponents pitched into a series of pivotal actions on the Imperial frontier that would influence Roman/German relations for decades to come.
Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus (Drusus the Elder) was the first conqueror of Germania (the Netherlands and Germany) and one of ancient Rome’s most beloved military heroes. Yet there has never been a full volume dedicated to his remarkable story, achievements, and legacy. Eager for Glory brings this heroic figure back to life for a modern audience.
Drusus was a stepson of Augustus through his marriage to Livia. As a military commander he led daring campaigns by sea and land that pushed the northern frontiers of Rome’s empire to the Elbe River. He oversaw one of the largest developments of military infrastructure of the age. He married Marc Antony’s daughter, Antonia, and fathered Germanicus, Rome’s most popular general, and the future emperor Claudius. He was grandfather of Caligula. He died when he was only twenty-nine and was revered in death.
Drawing on ancient texts, evidence from inscriptions and coins, the latest findings in archaeology, as well as astronomy and medical science, Lindsay Powell has produced a long overdue and definitive account of this great Roman.
During the ensuing 'Bar Kokhba War' (AKA the Second Jewish War), the insurgents held their own against the crack Roman troops sent by Emperor Hadrian for three-and-a-half years. The cost of this rebellion was catastrophic: hundreds of thousands of casualties, the destruction and enslavement of Jewish communities and a ban on Jews entering Jerusalem. Bar Kokhba remains important in Israel today because he was the last leader of a Jewish state before the rise of Zionism in modern times.
This fully illustrated volume explores the gripping story of the uprising, profiling its rebel leader Bar Kokhba as well as the Emperor Hadrian and his generals, and assesses the impact that this violent rebellion had on the region and those that were displaced.
Natural disasters, financial problems, political corruption, the Middle East... The issues that make the headlines today are also the things people worried about 2,000 and more years ago. Learning how the people of the past dealt with them can prepare us to face the issues affecting us today.
The past is a virtual laboratory in which we can study how cause and effect plays out in different circumstances. Combining a researcher's skill at finding unexpected connections in everyday events and a historian's knowledge of source material, in ALL THINGS UNDER THE SUN: How Modern Ideas are Really Ancient Lindsay Powell takes a clear eyed and often witty look at modern times through the longer perspective of ancient history and reveals that, as the old adage goes, 'all things under the Sun, there's nothing new'.