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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Finalist, History, 2014

The 14th Gemina Martia Victrix Legion was the most celebrated unit of the early Roman Empire - a force that had been wiped out under Julius Caesar, reformed, and almost wiped out again. After participating in the a.d. 43 invasion of Britain, the 14th Legion achieved its greatest glory when it put down the famous rebellion of the Britons under Boudicca. Numbering less than 10,000 men, the disciplined Roman killing machine defeated 230,000 rampaging rebels, slaughtering 80,000 with only 400 Roman losses - an accomplishment that led the emperor Nero to honor the legion with the title "Conqueror of Britain."

In this gripping book, second in the author’s definitive histories of the legions of ancient Rome, Stephen Dando-Collins brings the 14th Legion to life, offering military history aficionados a unique soldier’s-eye view of their tactics, campaigns, and battles.

©2005 Stephen Dando-Collins (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Nero's Killing Machine

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top notch book

great addition to any Roman history fan. covers many of the battles in great detail. did find it sometimes gets bogged down with alot of name and minor events and can sometimes cause you to zone out. all in all an exellent read

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Profile Image for Norbert S. Matson
  • Norbert S. Matson
  • 20-05-2017

Read anything by this author.

Any additional comments?

Read anything by this author. His books are excellent and full of detail.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Johnny Ortiz
  • 25-03-2022

Excellent

I’ve seen complaints about the book making assumptions and the title being misleading which I find comical. I’m not sure how the title could be any more accurate without sounding encyclopedic. As for the assumptions made, it adds excellent drama to the gripping stories and the author does well to point out when he is making assumptions instead of historical accounts passed down to us.

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  • Andy Capo
  • 28-09-2021

Researches, then blends in his brand of fiction.

Dando-Collins researches his subject well, prepares to write a great biography, then craps on it by musing about this or that, or pretending about the other. I can understand wanting to theorize about certain gaps in the record, but unlike most I've read, D-C tries to fill those gaps like he was there.

Performance was fine, no complaints.

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  • jbyron77
  • 11-01-2021

Very entertaining

This book will easily keep your attention throughout. I cannot recommend this strongly enough.

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  • Victor L. Vescovo
  • 09-07-2019

A great read for Roman history buffs

Really well done. Great content, well read and presented. A great read for military historians.

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  • kfalk
  • 21-05-2019

Was looking for something about Nero.

Misleading title. Not about Nero. But a very good discussion of history of one legion.

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Profile Image for Carol Wooden
  • Carol Wooden
  • 28-02-2013

Textbook

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No, unless you want to hear an entire textbook devoted to the ancient Romans. If only I had looked closer and noticed that it was non-fiction. The author kept repeating over and over things he had already covered. It was difficult to follow this book because the author would go on wild tangents on the way to explaining the subject. By the time he did finally get there I had forgotten so much that it was not fun anymore.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Queen Boudica. She lead an army and they accepted her even though she was a woman leader which was frowned upon at that time.

Have you listened to any of Robert Fass’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I don't think so but he is a very good narrator and I wouldn't mind listening to him again.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Maybe. Hollywood would have to dress it up a bit and not try to cover so much history as was the case with this book. I loved HBO's Rome and Gladiator so I would welcome any movie featuring Roman soldiers with their little skirts and red capes.

Any additional comments?

No!

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  • Mr. A. P. T. Day
  • 30-04-2015

Great story with a few flaws

Really interesting story following the 14th Legion throughout it's life. I had some issues with the fact the author kept using modern military ranks for the Roman commanders when really all he needed to do was explain once. Small point but takes away from what is a good listen.

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  • J. Wexler
  • 04-05-2019

Continued performance by Dando-Collins

Solid history following the path of a single Legion. Well worth a listen. This Legion was at so many critical junctures in history.

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Profile Image for John M. Howitt
  • John M. Howitt
  • 06-07-2017

Not sure why Nero was in the title

If you could sum up Nero's Killing Machine in three words, what would they be?

Veni Vedi Vici

Who was your favorite character and why?

Caligula

What about Robert Fass’s performance did you like?

Excellent reading, voice quality, speed and tempo, pronunciation .

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

I think Romes Killing Machine is accurate enough.

Any additional comments?

The 14th functioned through a series of emperors , in fact all of them so not sure why Nero was chosen. But the story does give a very good account of the daily life and the organisation of the legions and of Rome. Well worth the listen.

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