2 Mar De Re Militavi, f86, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge) .. xxxiii () ; id. , “The influence of Vegetius’ De re militari”, Milituty Afluirs. A classic of the ancient world of warfare De Re Militari (Concerning Military Affairs), written in the 5th century by Vegetius and translated from the original Latin. Professor Everett L. Wheeler, review of The De Re Militari of Vegetius: The Reception, Transmission and Legacy of a Roman Text in the Middle Ages, ( review no.

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Those who fought in the first line of their respective legions were called principes, in the second hastati, and in third triarii. We were always inferior to the Africans in wealth and unequal to them in deception and stratagem.

The Beneficiarii are so named from their owing their promotion to the benefit or interest of the Vegetisu.

They had also Centurions df to each century, now called Centenarii and Decani, who commanded ten men, now called dr of messes. But they are of little service to us in this respect, as they only relate the exploits and events of wars, and take no notice of the objects of our present enquiries, which they considered as universally known.

Besides the centurions, now called centenarii, were distinguished by different crests on their helmets, to be more easily known by the soldiers of their respective centuries.

Vegetius on Strategy — Strategic Thinking

To the institution of a body of troops milutari this sort Claudius owed his victory over an enemy who, till that time, had constantly been superior to him. The use of the common missile weapons and loaded javelins was another part of the drill strictly attended to.

We shall exemplify the manner of drawing up an army in order of battle in the instance of one legion, which may serve for any number. In war discipline is superior to strength; but if that discipline is neglected, there is no longer any difference between the soldier and the peasant.

The Campignei or Antefignani are those whose duty it is to keep the proper exercises and discipline among the troops. But it is almost impossible for men to act in concert under such varying and unsettled circumstances. For the security of an expedition depends on the concealment of all motions from the enemy. The legion should consist of ten cohorts, the first of which exceeds the others both in number and quality of its soldiers, who are selected to serve in it as men of some family and education.


The most reliable modern edition is that of Michael D. What can be expected from a foot-archer without cuirass or helmet, who cannot hold at once his bow and shield; or from the ensigns whose bodies are naked, and who cannot at the same time carry a shield and the colors?

This was an invention of the Lacedaemonians, in which they were imitated by the Carthaginians. F or reason will convince us that what is necessary to be performed in the heat of action should constantly be practiced in the leisure of peace.

The camp should not be liable to sudden inundations. The centuries were also subdivided into messes of ten men each who lay in the vegetiks tent and were under orders and inspection of a Decanus or head of the mess. It would then be prudent in him to separate them from the rest under pretence of some service agreeable to them, or detach them to garrison cities or castles, but with such address that though he wants to get rid of them, they may think themselves employed by preference and favor.

In like manner the Decurion is to be preferred mliitari the command of a troop for his activity and address evgetius mounting his horse completely armed; for his skill in riding and in the use of the lance and bow; for his attencion in forming his men to all the evolutions of the cavaIry; and for his care in obliging them to keep their cuirasses, vebetius and helmets always bright and in good order.

Later additions on army organization book 2tactics and campaign operations book 3and siegecraft and naval warfare book 4 yielded a compendium of ancient military thought, the Epitoma rei militaris of Flavius Vegetius Renatus. But the method of the vegetiu no longer is followed. But when there happened any dangerous insurrection supported by infinite multitudes of fierce and barbarous nations, on such emergencies they took the field with two armies under two consuls, who were charged, both singly and jointly, to take care to preserve the Republic from danger.

Every soldier carries five of these javelins in the hollow of his shield.

The general, before he puts his troops in motion, should send out detachments of trusty and experienced soldiers well mounted, to reconnoiter the places through which he is to march, in front, in rear, and on the right and left, lest he should fall into ambuscades. He likewise had the care of furnishing the troops with wood and straw, as well as the rams, onagri, balistae and all the other engines of war under his direction. Or with what success would their small size have been opposed to the prodigious stature of the Germans?


But they are of little service to us in this respect, as they only relate the exploits and events of wars, and take no notice of the objects of our present enquiries, which they considered as universally known.

The Torquati, so denominated from the gold collars given them in reward for their bravery, had besides this honor different allowances.

For the whole detail of the legion, including the lists of the soldiers exempted militai duty on private accounts, the rosters for their tour of military duties and their pay lists, is daily entered in the legionary books and kept we may almost say, with greater exactness than the regulations of provisions milktari other civil matters in the registers of the police. But the complete Roman legion [from elsewhere: The use of the common missile weapons and loaded javelins was another part of the drill strictly attended to.

They gave their recruits round bucklers woven with willows, twice as heavy as those used on real service, and wooden swords double the weight of the common ones.

The defeats of Xerxes, Darius, Mithridates and other monarchs who brought innumerable multitudes into the field, plainly show that the destruction of such prodigious armies is vegetlus more to their own numbers than to the bravery of their enemies.

Full text of “The Military Institutions Of The Romans [De Re Militari].pdf (PDFy mirror)”

This was formerly called the pilum, but now it is known by the name of spiculum. If any difficulty arises milifari the choice of roads, he should procure proper and skillful guides. My design in this treatise is to exhibit in some order the peculiar customs and usages of the ancients in the choice and discipline of their new levies.

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