Unofficial Warrior Manuals
Publisher Thames & Hudson's [Unofficial] Manual series covers all the greatest warriors in history, from samurais to to medieval knights, vikings to gladiators. Each of the part-entertainment, part-for-real books has a different author, one who is an expert on the periods and warriors the how-tos discuss. I'm talking PhDs, university professors, and professional historians, impressive cats.
Though I doubt any of them could suit up and go all-out Miyamoto Musashi or Ragnar Lothbrok on the street.
Maybe you'll have better luck becoming an [Unofficial] Warrior reading their manuals.
Samurai: The Japanese Warrior's [Unofficial] Manual
In Samurai: The Japanese Warrior's [Unofficial] Manual Japanese military history writer and historian Stephen Turnbull consolidates and concentrates the research on medieval Japan into 200 pages of training to help you make your bushi officer debut.
To become a member of this fighting class, you'll need to maintain the honor of the samurai, and learn his skills both in and out of battle. The samurai manual covers mastery of: the Way of the Warrior; determining who to kill, and what to do with the heads when they're severed; storming a castle; conducting a tea ceremony; and preparing for entry into the White Jade Pavilion after your death.
Viking: The Norse Warrior's [Unofficial] Manual
Brilliant discoveries and deep research meet tongue-in-cheek training and historical humor in John Haywood's Viking: The Norse Warrior's [Unofficial] Manual. To become a lord of the northern seas, you'll need some know-how and some how-to, both of which you'll find in the manual's fun narrative and 135 illustrations. Come away prepared to:
- Join a Viking war band
- Pick out a Viking leader
- Behave appropriately at a feast
- Choose the right weapons and armor
- Plunder a monastery and ransom a monk
- Navigate at sea
Knight: The Medieval Warrior's [Unofficial] Manual
Knight: The Medieval Warrior's [Unofficial] Manual author Michael Prestwich is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Durham. Here he shares his expertise to assist in your Sunday Funday of learning to wield a sword, join a Crusade, make a fortune, and bask in glory.
With honor and chivalry, of course.
Gladiator: The Roman Fighter's [Unofficial] Manual
Author and Roman history PhD Philip Matyszak picks up where Russell Crowe left off in his teachings. Gladiator: The Roman Fighter's [Unofficial] Manual uncovers how to become the most brutal and ruthless fighter in the empire.
Subtopics include: how to join the gladiator ranks; who will try to kill you, and with what; which arena of the empire best matches your personality; when and how often you'll go into mortal combat; and what happens before, during, and after a duel.
Legionary: The Roman Soldier's [Unofficial] Manual
Another Philip Matyszak how-to, Legionary: The Roman Soldier's [Unofficial] Manual takes you back to the year 100 AD, when everyone thought Rome was un-fallible. You as legionary are part of a machine that keeps it that way through the brute force of pushing back barbarian hordes, and pushing forward the Roman Empire's property lines.
In the Legionary manual Matyszak covers the ins and outs of army life, from drill to diet, and choosing the best wardrobe to dodging enemy spears.