No other special force in history has a mystique equal to that
of ancient Rome's thoroughbred protection and counter-insurgency
squadron--the renowned Praetorian Guard. Originally conceived as a
personal army for the emperor, the Guard assumed a much greater
role than simple bodyguard, taking over a wide range of powers in
the city and operating for more than 300 years. Inseparable from
the machinery of the Roman state, the Praetorians had the power to
make or break individual emperors.In The Praetorian Guard, Sandra
Bingham offers a comprehensive and timely history of this elite
military unit, from its foundation by Augustus in 27 BCE to its
disbandment by Constantine in 312 CE. Exploring the multifaceted
nature of the Guard, she discusses and describes its arms and
insignia, size and recruitment tactics, and command structure and
individual duties, as well as Guard members' family and religious
lives. Bingham provides readers with a unique view of how others in
antiquity portrayed these special forces and includes detailed
illustrations, maps, and plans to paint a clear picture of this
politically mighty military institution.
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