Description. Flavius Vegetius Renatus, the 4th century AD writer on military matters, was more well known during the Middle Ages than today. His “Epitoma Rei. Epitoma rei militaris. by Vegetius Renatus, Flavius; Reeve, Michael D. Publication date Language Latin; English. Book digitized by. De re militari (Latin “Concerning Military Matters”), also Epitoma rei militaris, is a treatise by the . Xii in the Royal Library, written and ornamented for Richard III of England, is a translation of Vegetius. It ends with a paragraph starting: “Here.
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Epihoma re militari Latin “Concerning Military Matters”also Epitoma rei militarisis a treatise by the late Latin writer Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus about Roman warfare and military principles as a presentation of methods and practices in use during the height militarjs Rome’s power, and responsible for that power.
The extant text dates ehglish the 5th century. Vegetius emphasized things such as training of soldiers as a disciplined force, orderly strategymaintenance of supply lines and logisticsquality leadership and use of tactics and even deceit to ensure advantage over the opposition.
He was concerned about selection of good soldiers and recommended hard training of at least four months before the soldier was accepted into the ranks.
The leader of the army dux had to take care of the men under his command and keep himself informed about the movements of the enemy to gain advantage in the battle. De re militari became a military guide in the Middle Ages.
Even after the introduction of gunpowder to Europe, it was carried by general officers and their staffs as a field guide to methods. Friends and subordinates customarily presented embellished copies as gifts to leaders. It went on into the 18th and 19th centuries as a source of policy and strategy to the major states of Europe.
In that sense De re militari is a projection of Roman civilization into modern times and a continuation of its influence on its cultural descendants. The author of De re militari was Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatuswho lived in the late 4th century and possibly the early 5th century.
The name of the work has a number of variants, including Epitoma Rei Militarisbut there are other problems with accepting it at face value as the verbatim work of Vegetius. Some of the manuscripts have a note that the text was revised for the 7th time in Constantinople in the consulate of Valentinian, who must have been Valentinian IIIreigning Vegetius’ dates are not known, nor are the circumstances under which the work was revised.
The year is taken as the latest possible time the work could have been written, assuming he did all seven revisions in just a few years.
The initial date of the window is established by Vegetius’ own statement that he wrote covering the time usque ad tempus divi Gratiani”up to the time of the divine Gratian. If the earlier date is preferred, it is unlikely Vegetius did all seven militarls or even one of them. There is no reason to question his general authorship, however. Eputoma work is dedicated to a mysterious emperor, whose identity is unknown but whom Vegetius must have assumed to have been known to his intended readership.
It may be that he wrote on behalf of military reform under the patronage of Theodosius I. In that case he would have been miitaris in the windowthe dates of Theodosius’ reign.
De re militari | Open Library
This article adopts that point of view and assigns an approximate date of to the work, which would not be, then, word for word the same as what Vegetius wrote, accounting for the title variants.
Vegetius based his treatise on descriptions of Roman armies, especially those of the mid to late Republic. Watson observes, Vegetius’ Epitoma “is the only ancient manual of Roman military institutions to have survived intact. Vegetius’ epitome mainly focuses on military organisation and how to react to certain occasions in war.
Vegetius explains how one should fortify and organise a camp, how to train troops, how to handle undisciplined troops, how to handle a battle engagement, how to march, formation gauge, and many other useful methods of promoting organisation and valour in the legion.
The treatise is carefully laid out in subsections. They are organized into four books:. The first book, headed Primus liber electionem edocet iuniorum, ex quibus locis uel quales milites probandi sint aut quibus armorum exercitiis imbuendiexplains the selection of recruits, from which places and what kinds of men are soldiers to be authorised and with what exercises of arms they are to be indoctrinated.
Vegetius also describes in detail the organisation, training and equipment of the army of the early Empire. Portraying the military decadence of the Late Roman Empire, it is a plea for army reform. The second book, Secundus liber ueteris militiae continet morem, ad quem pedestris institui possit exercituscontains traditional military practices with which infantry can be created. The third book, Tertius liber omnia artium genera, quae terrestri proelio necessaria uidentur, exponitsets forth all types of arts that appear to be necessary for fighting on land.
It contains a series of military maxims, which became influential to military learning of commanders in later medieval Europe, from William the Silent to Frederick the Great. Some of the maxims may be mentioned here as illustrating the principles of a war for limited political objectives with which he deals:.
The fourth book, Quartus liber uniuersas machinas, quibus uel obpugnantur ciuitates uel defenduntur, enumerat; naualis quoque belli praecepta subnectitenumerates “all the machines with which cities are besieged or defended” chapters and adds also the precepts of naval warfare chapters It contains the best description of siegecraft in the Late Roman Empire.
From it, among other things, we learn details of the siege engine called the onagerwhich until recently was thought to have been common in medieval sieges. Vegetius is keen to stress the shortcomings of the Roman Army in his lifetime.
In order to do this he eulogises the army of the early Roman Empire. In particular he stresses the high standard of the pydars and the excellence of the training and the officer corps. In reality, Vegetius probably describes an ideal rather than the reality.
The Army of the early Empire was a formidable fighting force, but it probably was not in its entirety quite as good as Vegetius describes. For example, he says that recruits should be 5 Roman feet 10 inches tall Epitoma 1. Heavily used in its own time, De re militari became a popular manual on warfare in the Middle Ages, especially between the 9th and 16th centuries, even if some of the information was unsuitable to later times and circumstances.
Milner observes that it was “one of the most popular Latin technical works from Antiquity, rivalling the elder Pliny ‘s Natural History in the number of surviving copies dating from before AD I of the 11th, possibly late 10th century. De re militari came to the forefront in the late Carolingian period through Hrabanus Maurus d. Vegetius’ notes about siegecraft became especially obsolete when the technology advanced and gunpowder weapons such as cannon came into widespread use.
Vegetius’ suggestion of a soldier’s religious oath to God and to the realm might have influenced knightly practices. Still, because of the lack of literacyas a guide it was probably accessible only to aristocracy, clergy and royalty. Machiavelli very likely read Vegetius and incorporated many of his ideas into his own The Prince. To the modern day, Latin copies of the book have survived, not including translations to various other European languages.
Many of them have a copious amount of personal notes on them, pointing at matters that have interested their contemporary owners. The first printed editions are ascribed to UtrechtCologneParisRome in Veteres de re mil. A German translation by Ludwig Hohenwang appeared at Ulm in An early English version via French was published by Caxton in However, after the first printed editions, Vegetius’ position as the premier military authority began to decline, as ancient historians such as Polybius became available.
Stewechius ‘ opinion that the survival of Vegetius’ work led to the loss of his named sources were more typical of the late Renaissance. In Milner’s words, Vegetius’ work suffered “a long period of deepening neglect”. The work is known by a number of variant titles. Here are some titles from among the incunabulabooks printed before The common element of all the names are the two cases of res militaris nominative case: The classical form would have been the ablative.
Vegetius uses epitomataplural of the Greek epitoma, in his other surviving work on doctoring mules. English translations militafis printed books. It ends with a paragraph starting: The translator is identified in Manuscript No. The most reliable modern edition is that of Michael D. For a detailed critical estimate of Vegetius’ works and influence, see Max Jahns, Geschiche der Kriegswissenschafteni.
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Translation of Epitoma rei militaris in English
This article is about a work by Vegetius. For the work of the same name by Roberto Valturio, see De re militari Valturio. Edition bound in goatskinRepublic of Venicec. Army Unit types and ranks Decorations and punishments Legions.
Military engineering Castra Siege engines.
Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus
An overview of the line of reasoning is given in Militari. See further, Charles Jones, “Bede and Vegetius. For an image, see British Library. Editions and translations [ edit ] The most reliable modern edition is that of Michael D. The unknown editor altered the translation “to conform to modern usage” and abbreviated the text. Access is by subtitle.
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Epitoma rei militaris
Epitome of Military Science. Second revised edition Vegetius, ‘Het Romeinse leger’. Secondary sources [ edit ] Bachrach, Bernard S. The Abels-Morillo Defense of Discontinuity. First page no charge. Ebert, Friedrich Adolf Madden, Sir Frederic ; Henry Shaw Teuffel, Wilhelm Sigismund History of Roman Literature: II The Imperial Period. Warr, Charles Winter trans. Article pages — Translated from the German 5th edition, revised and enlarged. Downloadable from Google Books. Retrieved from ” https: