The Ravens Warband


The following books have written by members of the group:

jacket illustration

Anglo-Saxon Weapons and Warfare

Richard Underwood

In this much needed and magnificently illustrated survey, Richard Underwood describes the weapons and equipment of the Anglo-Saxon warrior during the three-and-a-half centuries from the end of Roman Britain to the arrival of the Vikings (AD 450-800).

To a wide range of archaeological, literary and historical evidence, he adds his own experience of making and using Anglo-Saxon equipment as an active member of re-enactment and living history societies. Individual chapters cover the construction and use of hand to hand combat weapons (spear, sword, seax, axe), missile weapons (bow, javelin, fransisca) and protective equipment (shield, helmet, mail).

The book concludes with an analysis of the nature of warfare in the period, the reasons men fought and the tactics they used.

The text is illustrated throughout with colour and black and white photographs and original drawings by Karen R. Dixon.

Pub: Tempus. ISBN 0 7524 1412 7

The Anglo-Saxon Shield

I.P. Stephenson

To the Anglo-Saxons, the shield more than any other component of arms and armour was the mark of the warrior. By using this most symbolic of defences as a mirror of heroic society, this book provides both a new interpretation of the evidence, and a vital insight into the art of war in the Early Anglo-Saxon period.

Accessible to both the academic and the general reader, the constuction of the shield is discussed in full, providing a basis for a through examination of how the Anglo-Saxons actually fought, at the level of both the individual and the unit.

Drawing on sources ranging from Beowulf to the archaeological finds at Sutton Hoo and the Bayeux tapestry, the shield is then placed in context by a comprehensive assessment of the weapons from which it offered protection. Finally, the study considers the wider social impact of shield ownership in the period.

Pub: Tempus. ISBN 0 7524 2529 3

jacket illustration
jacket illustration

Roman Infantry Equipment - The Later Empire

I.P. Stephenson

As a result of both internal and external pressures on the Empire, the third century was a period of transition and transformation for the Roman army. It saw changes in its role, organisation and equipment. The third-century infantryman looked fundamentally different from his early Empire counterpart - and in the following centuries the physical image of the army was to change yet again.

Having looked briefly at the role and tactical organisation of the army, Ian Stephenson deals systematically with defensive equipment (helmet, body armour, shields, greaves etc); offensive equipment, whether for close combat (spear, sword, pugio) or long-range missiles (javelin, pila, bow, sling); and other military equipment (tunic, trousers, belts, shoes, tools). Throughout he also considers how each piece of equipment was used - not just how it looked.

With numerous illustrations and full-colour reconstructions, many of them specially prepared for this work, this is the ideal handbook for all those interested in the Imperial Roman Army - whether historians, military enthusiasts, wargamers or re-enactors.

Pub: Tempus. ISBN 0 7524 1410 0

The Late Roman Army

Pat Southern and Karen R Dixon

From the reign of Septimius Severus at the end of the second century A.D., the Roman Empire was continuously beset by internal unrest, revolts, usurpations, civil wars and attacks along its far flung frontiers. Scarcely a part of the empire was unaffected, and some areas were forced to deal with several serious problems at the same time. This book is the first comprehensive discussion of the Roman army during this period, and it shows how the army adapted itself to meet these growing threats and how effective it was in combating them.

Using a full range of original literary sources, modern Continental scholarship and current archaeological research, Pat Southern and Karen Dixon provide a stimulating overview of the historical period, the critical changes in the army, and the way these changes affected the morale of the soldiers, the physical conditions under which they served, the equipment they used, the fortifications they built, and the siege warfare they waged. They also describe the reforms of Diocletian and Constantine - particularly the creation of the field army and the frontier army - that shaped the final version of the late Roman army up to the beginning of the sixth century.

UK - Batsford. ISBN 0 7134 7047 X
US - Yale. ISBN 0 300 06843 3

jacket illustration
jacket illustration

The Roman Cavalry

Karen R. Dixon and Pat Southern

The cavalry was a vital part of the army of Rome and it played a significant role in the expansion and success of the Roman Empire. Karen R. Dixon and Pat Southern describe the origins of the mounted units of the Roman Army and trace their development from temporary allied troops to the regular alae and cohorts. They have drawn together evidence from a wide variety of sources: archaeological, epigraphic and literary, as well as comparing ancient testimony with more recent experience of the use of cavalry.

The book covers the subject from the perspective of both the men and the horses. How were the horses selected and disposed of; how were they trained, stabled and fed? How were the men recruited, organised and equipped; and what were the conditions of service for the Roman cavalryman? The cavalry had to be employed in peacetime and this is discussed as well as its role in war.

The image of the Roman cavalry is often one of excitement and glory but the authors are aware that a true picture must not overlook the routine and the suffering. This book provides a comprehensive account of the Roman cavalry and the current state of knowledge concerning it. The wide selection of illustrations includes original drawings by Karen R. Dixon.

Hardback - Batsford. ISBN 0 7134 6396 1
Paperback - Routledge. ISBN 0 415 17039 7

Roman Clothing and Fashion

A.T. Croom

There is plenty of information about military dress in Roman Britain, but the evidence for civilian dress has not been comprehensively looked at since the 1930s.

In this richly illustrated survey Alexandra Croom describes the range and style of clothing worn throughout the Western Empire and shows how fashions changed between the first and the sixth centuries. After a short introduction to the evidence(from archaeology, art and literature), and to the manufacture of clothing and its use in status display, she systematically treats male and female dress, looking at the tunic, toga (for men), mantle (for women) and cloaks; underwear, footwear and specialist wear; hats, hairstyles and jewellery. The book concentrates on the clothing worn in Italy and the Mediterranean region but includes a section on provincial fashions.

A fine and varied corpus of illustrations (including 25 colour plates) helps to bring the everyday world of the Roman Empire to life.

Pub: Tempus. ISBN 0 7524 1469 0

jacket illustration

Pioneer Helmet Back to the main page.