Tacfarinas, the Berber Lion of Africa

Tacfarinas, the Berber Lion of Africa

by Ludwig H. Dyck

Military Heritage Magazine July 2014,

“Tacfarinas, a former soldier of Rome’s Numidian cavalry, reined in his steed at the edge of the cliff, with the ease of one born in the saddle. In the prime of his life, the scars of Tacfarinas’ muscled bare limbs and the arms of battle he carried marked him as a man of war. Tacfarinas surveyed the cultivated lands that sprawled from the base of the rocky slope. The winter winds had blown from the Atlantic Ocean, bringing life giving water to north-west Africa. It was the spring of 17 AD, and all along the fertile coastal plains Numidian farmers reaped the harvest.

“Roman rule stimulated the growth of towns, agriculture and trade. Olive, date, palm and grape thrived on Roman suburban estates. Roman Africa, alongside Egypt, replaced Sicily as the empire’s main wheat basket. The Numidians abandoned their traditional nomadic ways and settled down to farm life. Even the roar of the lion became rare, hunted and trapped, alongside other wild beasts, to die in Roman circuses.

“Not everywhere, reflected Tacfarinas proudly, did the will of Rome hold sway. Away from the coastal plains, there rise the Aurès Mountains, the eastern extension of the Atlas. Upon the high plateaus, Tacfarinas’ Musulamii tribe carried on a pastoral life inherited from Eurasian horsemen who settled among older cultures thousands of years ago. “Now, where once grew wild grasses, the Musulamii came across fields of cultivated wheat. Fences, to keep out the nomads’ flocks, cut across the land. Musulamii pleas for land grants that respected their traditional grazing grounds fell on deaf Roman ears. Long ago, the mountain tribes had formed a barrier to the extension of the Carthaginian Empire. Perhaps they could do the same to Rome.

“It was Tacfarinas who, like a fire on the steppes, ignited the Musulamii discontent into a full-fledged uprising”-L.H.Dyck

For eight long years, across the deserts and mountains of North Africa, Tacfarinas defied Roman attempts to decisively defeat him and at times even defeated Rome’s redoubtable legions.

Ludwig H. Dyck’s account of Tacfarinas, the leader of the nomadic North African Berbers in their guerrilla war against Rome, was published in the Soldiers column of Military Heritage Magazine’s July 2014 issue.

Military Heritage July 2014, featuring "Tacfarinas" by L.H.Dyck
Military Heritage July 2014, featuring “Tacfarinas” by L.H.Dyck


The Roman Barbarian Wars, The Era of Roman Conquest

The Roman Barbarian Wars, The Era of Roman Conquest

by Ludwig Heinrich Dyck

Hardcover, Paperback and E-edition

“It is popular history at its best” – Military Heritage Magazine

“As Rome grew from a small city state to the mightiest empire of the west, her dominion was contested not only by the civilizations of the Mediterranean, but also by the “barbarians”-the tribal peoples of Europe. The Celtic, the Spanish-Iberian and the Germanic tribes lacked the pomp and grandeur of Rome, but they were fiercely proud of their freedom and gave birth to some of Rome’s greatest adversaries. Romans and barbarians, iron legions and wild tribesmen, clashed in dramatic battles on whose fate hinged the existence of entire peoples and at times, the future of Rome.”-L.H.Dyck

Far from reducing the legions and tribes to names and numbers, the “Roman Barbarian Wars, the Era of Roman Conquest” reveals how they fought and how they lived and what their world was like. Through his exhaustive research and lively text, Ludwig H. Dyck immerses the reader into the epic world of the Roman barbarian wars.

First published through Trafford Publishing in October 2011, a revised edition of “The Roman Barbarian Wars, The Era of Roman Conquest,” has been re-published in 2015/16 by Pen & Sword Books, one of the U.K. ‘s leading historical publishers.

: “The Roman Barbarian Wars, The Era of Roman Conquest,” Trafford 2011 edition.
The Roman Barbarian Wars, The Era of Roman Conquest. Trafford 2011 edition.


The Roman Barbarian Wars, Pen and Sword Edition


 “Dyck has produced an engaging, well-written book that not only discusses the campaigns and leaders of the period, but also gives a detailed look at tactics, clothing and weapons as well. It is popular history at its best.” – Military Heritage Magazine

“Dyck’s details of ancient battles and the people involved provide as much sword-slashing excitement as any fictional account.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Dyck has provided us with one of the few accounts of this period available to the general reader…the book is well written, researched and organized, and, above all, highly informative.”-Military History Magazine

“…the writing is colorful and the focus is on a brisk narrative of the various campaigns.”- Ancient Warfare Magazine