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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In other projects Wikimedia Commons Wikiquote. The old Romans were so conscious of its usefulness that they rewarded the masters at arms with a double allowance of provision.

The ensign-bearers carry the ensigns and are called Draconarii. Milner sets forth the argument for Theodosius in Vegetius: This is because he is so seldom exercised and rarely puts them on. A stroke with the edges, though made with ever so much force, seldom kills, as the vital parts of the body are defended both by the bones and armor. In some manuscripts he is given the title of count.

They also were assiduous in exercising their cavalry, not only in plains, but also on uneven ground, broken and cut with ditches.

Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus

The soldiery to whom the defense of the Empire is consigned and in whose hands is the fortune of war, should, if possible, be of reputable families and unexceptionable in their manners. The younger soldiers and recruits went through their drills of every kind every morning and afternoon and the veterans and most expert regularly once a day. Hannibal, also, before he set englishh on his expedition into Italy, chose a Lacedaemonian for his counsellor in military operations; and by his advice, though inferior to the Romans both in number and strength, overthrew so many consuls and such mighty legions.

Our spies should be constantly abroad; we should spare no pains in tampering with their men, and give all manner of encouragement to deserters. But if the height of the mutiny requires violent remedies, it will be most advisable, after the manner of the ancients, to punish the ring-leaders only in order that, though few suffer, all may be terrified by the example.

In war discipline is superior molitaris strength; but if that discipline is neglected, there is no longer any difference between the soldier and the peasant. There is no difficulty in carrying on the fortifications of a camp when no enemy is in sight. These precautions prevented any mistake, as every century was guided not only by miltaris own ensign but likewise by the peculiar form of the helmet of its commanding officers. By this neglect our forces have been often surprised by day and night by the enemy’s cavalry and suffered very severe losses.


They then range their shields and baggage in a circle about their own colors and, with, out other arms than their swords, open a trench nine, eleven or thirteen feet broad. He had charge of the arms, horses, clothing and provisions. An overview of elitoma line of reasoning is given in Barnes.

And if their quarters are near the sea or a river, let them all, without exception, be obliged in the summer to have the frequent practice of swimming. It is then inspected and measured by the centurions, who punish such as have been indolent or negligent.

There are two methods of entrenching a camp. It was the ancient regulation that practice marches of this distance must be made three times a month. Such seditious dispositions principally show themselves in those who have lived in their quarters in idleness and effeminacy. It remains one of the best miljtaris to Roman Military Archaeology, regarding Roman forts, military practices, and even the selection attributes rather humorous today of good army recruits.

It is necessary to be well acquainted whether the enemy usually make their attempts in the night, at break of day or in the hours of refreshment or rest; and by knowledge of their customs to guard against what we find their general practice.

Epitoma rei militaris

Machiavelli very likely read Vegetius and incorporated many of his ideas into his own The Prince. For it is not profusion of riches or excess of luxury that can influence our enemies to court or respect us.

The first line, as I said before, was composed of the principes; the hastati formed the second and were armed in the same manner. Let them be exercised in the use of the bow, in throwing missile weapons and stones, both with the hand and sling, and with the wooden sword at the post; let englsh this be continually repeated and let them be often kept under arms till they are tired.

Each cohort has also its own peculiar ensign, the Dragon, carried by the Reei. For though after the example of the Goths, the Alans and the Huns, we have made some improvements in the arms of the cavalry, yet it is plain the infantry are entirely defenseless.

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.

But above miitaris, the part where the enemy is most expected must be reinforced with some of the best cavalry, light infantry and foot archers. By an army is meant a number of troops, legions and auxiliaries, cavalry and infantry, assembled to make war. Amazon Inspire Digital Educational Resources.


Their offensive weapons were large swords, called spathae, and smaller ones called semispathae together with five loaded javelins in the concavity of the shield, which they threw at the first charge. However, the best judges of the service have always been of the opinion that daily practice of the military exercises is much more efficacious towards the health of an army than all the art of medicine.

They exercised them with these at the post both morning and afternoon.

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

If any difficulty epitoa about the choice of roads, he should procure proper and skillful guides. The Roman greatness is a proof of the excellence of their legions, for with them they always defeated whatever englishh of the enemy they thought fit, or their circumstances gave them an opportunity to engage. It was a constant custom among the old Romans, confirmed by the Ordinances of Augustus and Hadrian, to exercise both cavalry and infantry three times in a month by marches of a certain length.

Each nation has its own peculiar discipline, customs and manner of fighting.

Watson observes, Vegetius’ Epitoma “is the only ancient manual of Roman military institutions to have survived intact. In short, a soldier who has proper confidence in his own skill and strength, entertains no thought of mutiny.

The infantry begin to form on a line with the: He states quite frankly that his purpose was to collect and synthesize from ancient manuscripts and regulations the military customs and wisdom that made ancient Rome great. The ninth has five hundred and fifty-five foot and sixty-six horse. 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.

Or, if they are under great apprehensions of militariw enemy, they enlarge it to seventeen feet it being a general rule to observe odd numbers.

As the enumeration of all the particulars of this sort would be too tedious, I shall only observe that the legion should carry with it wherever it moves, whatever is necessary for every kind of service so that the encampments may have all the strength and conveniences of a fortified city.

The legion carries with it a number of small boats, each hollowed out of a single piece of timber, with long cables and sometimes iron chains to fasten them together.