Название: The Legionary
Автор: Peter Connolly
Серия: The Roman World
Издательство: Oxford University Press
In the centre of Rome there is a huge column erected by the emperor Trajan. It is decorated with a great spiral sculpture telling the story of his victory over the Dacians who lived beyond the river Danube in Romania. The column has been standing there for nearly 1,900 years, a silent epitaph to one of the greatest armies in history. Looking at Trajan's column is like watching television with the sound turned down. We can see things in great detail but we can hear very little, for the history of the Dacian wars has been lost. We can see soldiers camping, cavalry dashing through the trees, towns being burned but we don't know who or what. We know little more than that Trajan and his predecessor, Domiiian, fought wars against the Dacians, and thai in the end the Dacian leader, Decebalus, killed himself. The Romans themselves would have known what these pictures represented. But 1,900 years later, little can be identified with certainty. Wc can recognise Trajan; his face is well known. He appears many times. We can see the bridge he built across the Danube and at the top of the column wc can sec Decebalus killing himself as a Roman horseman dashes forward trying to stop him. We can even see the emblem on the horseman's shield, but wc could never guess his unit let alone his name - or could we? In 1965 a tombstone was discovered in northern Greece. Its inscription proudly shouts across the centuries. '1 am Tiberius Claudius Maximus of the Second Pannonian Cavalry. I captured Decebalus.' This is not all that the tombstone tells us, for it gives an account of Maximus' whole career. Using this and other evidence Maximus' life has been reconstructed into two books. This book tells the story of Tiberius Claudius Maximus the Legionary.
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