1st Edition

Greek and Roman Military Manuals Genre and History

Edited By James T. Chlup, Conor Whately Copyright 2020
    308 Pages
    by Routledge

    308 Pages
    by Routledge

    This volume explores the enigmatic primary source known as the ancient military manual. In particular, the volume explores the extent to which these diverse texts constitute a genre (sometimes unsatisfactorily classified as ‘technical literature’), and the degree to which they reflect the practice of warfare.

    With contributions from a diverse group of scholars, the chapters examine military manuals from early Archaic Greece to the Byzantine period, covering a wide range of topics including readership, siege warfare, mercenaries, defeat, textual history, and religion. Coverage includes most of the major contemporary siege manual writers, including Xenophon, Frontinus, Vegetius, and Maurice. Close examination of these texts serves to reveals the complex ways in which ancient Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines sought to understand better, and impose order upon, the seemingly irrational phenomenon known as war.

    Providing insight into the multifaceted collection of texts that constituted military manuals, this volume is a key resource for students and scholars of warfare and military literature in the classical and Byzantine periods.

    Introduction: The Ancient Military Treatise, Genre, and History
    James T. Chlup and Conor Whately

    1. Military Manuals from Aeneas Tacticus to Maurice: Origins, Scholarship, Genre, Audience, and History
    Conor Whately

    2. The Limited Source Value of Works of Military Literature
    Hans Michael Schellenberg

    3. The Blind Leading the Blind? Civilian Writers and Audiences of Military Manuals in the Roman World
    Nadya Williams

    4. Homeric Taktika
    Nicholas Sekunda

    5. Aeneas Tacticus, Philon of Byzantium, Onasander and the Good Siege: A Case-Study of Demetrius at Rhodes
    Graham Wrightson

    6. Mercenaries and Moral Concerns
    Aaron L. Beek

    7. Xenophon’s On Horsemanship: the Equestrian Military Manual
    Lucy Felmingham-Cockburn

    8. Refighting Cunaxa: Xenophon’s Education of Cyrus as a Manual on Military Leadership
    Jeffrey Rop

    9. The Lost Tactica of Lucius Papirius Paetus
    Murray Dahm

    10. Defeat as Stratagem: Frontinus on Cannae
    James T. Chlup

    11. Vegetius’ Regulae bellorum generales
    Jonathan Warner

    12. Vegetius’ Naval Appendix and the Battle of the Hellespont (324 CE)
    Craig H. Caldwell

    13. Justinian's Warfare as Role Model for Byzantine Warfare? The Evidence of the Military Manuals
    Clemens Koehn

    14. 'God has sent the thunder': Ideological Distinctives of Middle Byzantine Military Manuals
    Meredith L. D. Riedel

    Epilogue: Is War an Art? The Past, Present, and Future of Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Military Literature
    Immacolata Eramo


    James T. Chlup is Associate Professor of Ancient History at the University of Manitoba, Canada.

    Conor Whatley is Associate Professor of Classics at the University of Winnipeg, Canada.

    "This overview of the volume shows the enormous range of the object from Homer to the Byzantine, even into the early modern period, and demonstrates how a more intensive study of the discussed works can highlight their - admittedly rather indirect - value as a historical source." - Kai Brodersen, sehepunkte

    "Non-specialist readers should profit from both an interrogative framework and selected case studies. Specialists too may find contributions of specific interest... a notably well-edited collection, insofar as frequent cross-referencing within and between chapters tightens thematic threads and enhances overall coherence." - Philip Rance, The Byzantine Revew