STRATEGIKON OF MAURICE PDF

As a veteran campaigner, the Byzantine emperor Maurice compiled a unique and influential handbook intended for the field commander. In this first complete English translation, the Strategikon is an invaluable source not only for early Byzantine history but for the general history of the art of war. Describing in detail weaponry and armor, daily life on the march or in camp, clothing, food, medical care, military law, and titles of the Byzantine army of the seventh century, the Strategikon offers insights into the Byzantine military ethos. In language contemporary, down-to-earth, and practical, the text also provides important data for the historian, and even the ethnologist, including eyewitness accounts of the Persians, Slavs, Lombards, and Avars at the frontier of the Empire. The best known Byzantine military manual. The Byzantine concept of war is very well documented.

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It contains wonderful descriptions of the Slavs at war or, rather, Byzantines at war with Slavs as well Slavs more generally that have been frequently cited as some of the earliest descriptions of Slav military tactics or lack thereof. We thought it only fair to include it here.

The translation comes from George T. This is true even if the enemy forces are more numerous, and certainly if they are undisciplined disorganized, such as the Slavs, Antes, and other undisciplined, disorganized peoples.

They endure heat and cold, and the want of many necessities, since they are nomadic peoples. They are very superstitious, treacherous, foul, faithless, possessed by an insatiate desire for riches… They give special attention to training in archery on horseback. A vast herd of male and female horses follows them, both to provide nourishment and to give the impression of a huge army. They are bold and undaunted in battle.

Daring and imperious as they are, they consider anuy timidity and even a short retreat as a disgrace. They are disobedient to their leaders. They are not interest in anything that is at all complicated and pay little attention to external security and their own advantage.

They despise good order, especially on horseback. They are easily corrupted by money, greedy as they are. Although they possessed bold and daring spirits, their bodies were pampered and soft.

Although they possess bold and daring spirits, their bodes are pampered and soft, and they rnot able to bear pain calmly. In addition they are hurt by heat, cold, rain, lack of provisions, especially wine, and postponement of battle. They are easily ambushed along the flanks and ot the rear of their battle line, for they do not concern themselves at all with scouts and the other security measures.

Their ranks are easily broken by a simulated flight and a sudden turning back against them. Chapter 4: Dealing with the Slavs, the Antes, and the Like. They are both independent, absolutely refusing to be enslaved or governed, least of all in their own land. They are populous and hardy, bearing readily heat, cold, rain, nakedness, and scarcity of provisions.

But they set a definite period of time for them and then give them the choice either, if they so desire, to return to their own homes with a small recompense or to remain there as free men and friends. Their women are more sensitive than any others in the world. When , for example, their husband dies, many look upon it as their own death and freely smother themselves, not wanting to continue their lives as widows.

They make effective use of ambushes, sudden attacks, and raids, devising many different methods by night and by day. This Byzantine chopper pilot did not expect an underwater Slav to attack. They are also not prepared to fight a battle standing inclose order, or to present themselves on open and level ground. If they do get up enoughcourage when the time comes to attack, they shout all together and move forward a shortdistance.

Feigning panic, Slavs pretend to flee back into their woods. Slavic shields may have been unwieldy but they sure stopped this Byzantine sword. For they can easily serve as a base for launching attacks or for rustling horses. The infantry force should encamp in order and within the fortification.

If an opportunity for battle occurs, do not make your battle line against them too deep. Those who remain loyal ought to be rewarded, and the evildoers punished. In summer there must be no letup in hurting them. In this way the attack is successfully carried out. The settlements of the Slavs and Antes lay along the rivers such as the Danube pictured here during the wet season. Your email address will not be published.

Slavs — kind, hospitable. The Slav poison darts. Slavs chasing a Byzantine scout.

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Maurice’s Strategikon

It contains wonderful descriptions of the Slavs at war or, rather, Byzantines at war with Slavs as well Slavs more generally that have been frequently cited as some of the earliest descriptions of Slav military tactics or lack thereof. We thought it only fair to include it here. The translation comes from George T. This is true even if the enemy forces are more numerous, and certainly if they are undisciplined disorganized, such as the Slavs, Antes, and other undisciplined, disorganized peoples. They endure heat and cold, and the want of many necessities, since they are nomadic peoples. They are very superstitious, treacherous, foul, faithless, possessed by an insatiate desire for riches… They give special attention to training in archery on horseback. A vast herd of male and female horses follows them, both to provide nourishment and to give the impression of a huge army.

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Maurice's Strategikon: Handbook of Byzantine Military Strategy

The Strategikon may have been written in an effort to codify the military reforms brought about by the soldier-emperor Maurice. There is debate in academic circles as to the true author of the Strategikon. Maurice may have only commissioned it; perhaps his brother Peter , or another general of his court, was the true author. The dating is also debated.

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