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Dando-Collins, \'Legions of Rome\'
This photograph of the fragment may help (or not!):
Michael King Macdona

And do as adversaries do in law, -
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
(The Taming of the Shrew: Act 1, Scene 2)
I first encountered this book on my first visit to Powell's City of Books in Portland, OR (that is a place that MUST be experienced) several years ago.  I was instantly taken with the book and decided I must read it but refused to pay $50 for it.  My first thought on flipping to the Scuta plates was, "How can this be!  Where is he drawing his data for the designs and colors?"  A 5-minute search of this forum will show that controversy in detail.

I've been chewing through it for the last 2 weeks and I must say that it has been rather enjoyable and he does present some good arguments and cites his sources frequently, but not always.  In section one he acknowledges the controversies regarding clothing colors used by the roman military and presents an argument that most land forces probably did not use blue.  Notably missing a detailed explanations for his choice of scuta insignia.  In most cases he seems to go off iconography from coinage, which seems logical enough but the assumption should be clearly noted.  6- 1/2 of the emblems (not the scuta, but rather the mascot) he describes as "probably," which I think deserves as must attention as to his reasoning as when he does show images of primary sources.

I do believe that in the reenacting world that certain designs are over represented and some known designs are under represented, particularly ones that deviate from the wings and thunderbolts design in the early Imperial period.

In all I'd say it is a relatively good book, but in no means the definitive work as more about Rome's military is literally discovered daily and there are flaws and assumptions in the work.  That said I have yet to read a book on the Roman military that didn't, to include a translation of the Commentarii De Bello Gallico (it was awesome until the author decided to add an adendum about the roman army that proved that they were excellent Latinists but didn't know the first thing about the army).  The key to success is to highlight your assumptions so that they may be scrutinized.

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