Before becoming the masters of the Mediterranean world, the Romans had first to conquer the Italian peninsula in a series of harsh conflicts against its other varied and warlike residents. The outcome was no foregone conclusion and it took the Romans half a millennium to secure the whole of Italy. Gabriele Esposito presents the armies that fought these wars, in which the Roman military spirit and their famous legions were forged. He not only follows the evolution of the Roman forces from the Regal Period to the outbreak of the Second Punic War but also the forces of their neighbors, rivals and enemies. The most notable of these, the Etruscans, Samnites and the Italian Greeks are given particular attention but others, such as the Celts and Ligures of the North and the warriors of Sicily and Sardinia, are also considered. Details of the organization, weapons, equipment and tactics of each army are described, while dozens of beautiful color photos of reenactors show how these warriors looked in the field.