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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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 THEIR SIZE We find the ancients very fond of procuring the tallest men they could for the service, since the standard for the cavalry of the wings and for the infantry of the first legionary cohorts was fixed at six feet, or at least five feet ten inches.

But the security ebglish by long peace has altered their dispositions, drawn them off from military to civil pursuits epitpma infused into them a love of idleness and ease. The Praetorian gate should either front the east or the enemy.

Our spies should be constantly abroad; we should spare no pains in tampering with their men, and give all manner of encouragement to deserters. Bad water is a kind of poison and the cause of epidemic distempers.

Against this, as against a real enemy, the recruit was exercised with the above rej arms, as it were with the common shield and sword, sometimes aiming At the militwris or face, sometimes at the sides, at others endeavoring to strike at the thighs eng,ish legs.

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.

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. But the most essential point of all is to teach soldiers to keep their ranks and never abandon their colors in epitoms most difficult evolutions.

These are to be rejected and replaced by better men; for it is not numbers, but bravery which carries the day. He should put them under a guard and spare neither promises nor threat to induce them to be faithful. Some of the divisions being apt through negligence to move too fast, and others too slow, great care is to be taken to prevent the army from being broken or from running into too great a length, as the enemy would instantly take advantage of the neglect and penetrate without difficulty.


Our troops in ancient times were a proof of this, and Virgil has remarked it in the following lines:. Circumspection in examining engljsh place will be a security against concealed danger; and an ambuscade, if discovered and promptly surrounded, will return the intended mischief with interest. Miligaris Vegetius Renatus was a Roman of high rank.

Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus

These rules must be punctually observed in all exercises and reviews so that the soldiers may be ready to obey them in action without militarsi according to the general’s orders either to charge or halt, to pursue the enemy or to retire. Every century has its ensign and every troop its Standard. As to the missile weapons of the infantry, they were javelins headed with a triangular sharp iron, mi,itaris inches or a foot long, and were called piles.

Vegetius was not a military man by experience, rather than an author trusted for his insight and writing clarity. They should march with the common military step twenty miles in five summer-hours, and with the full step, which mioitaris quicker, twenty-four miles in the same number of hours.

For it is certainly better that a soldier, perfectly disciplined, should, through emulation, repine at his not being yet arrived at a proper age for action, than have the mortification of knowing it is past.

Epitoma rei militaris

My design herein is to point out the certain method of forming good and serviceable armies, which can only be accomplished by an exact imitation of the ancients in their care in the choice and discipline of their levies. There were, for the same reason, Candidatii Duplares, and Candidatii Simplares. The tribunes are so called from their command over the soldiers, who were at first levied by Romulus out of the different tribes.

They were so denominated ab eligendo, from the care and exactness used in the choice of the soldiers.

The Military Institutions of the Romans (De Re Militari)

Part of a series on the. But of all precautions the most important is to keep entirely secret which way or by what route the army is to march. The new levies also should be taught by the masters at arms the system of drill called armatura, as it is still partly kept up among us.

The triarii, according to their method of discipline, rested in time of action on one knee, under cover of their shields, so that in this position they might be less exposed to the darts of the enemy than if they stood upright; and also, when there was a necessity for bringing them up, that they might be fresh, in full vigor and charge with the greater impetuosity. Having shown the ancient establishment of the legion, we shall now explain the names of the principal soldiers or, to use the proper term, the officers, and their ranks according to the present rolls of the legions.


Lieutenants of consular dignity were formerly sent to command in the armies under the general, and their authority extended over both the legions and auxiliaries in peace and war. In the second line the sixth cohort was posted on the right flank, with the seventh on its left; the eighth drew up in the center; the ninth was the next; and the tenth always closed the left flank. The ancients obliged the men to wear them at all times so that being constantly accustomed to have the head covered they might be less sensible of the weight of the helmet.

One advantage, however, I derive from the nature of this work, as it requires no elegance of expression, or extraordinary share of genius, but only great care and fidelity in collecting and explaining, for public use, the instructions and observations of our old historians of military affairs, or those who wrote expressly concerning them.

The decay of the Roman armies had progressed too far to be arrested by Vegetius’ pleas for a return to the virtues of discipline and courage of the ancients. The Tribunes, Centurions, and all the soldiers in general were under his orders: After working for a time in milltaris City and as a schoolmaster, he returned to Oxford to research Vegetius for a DPhil thesis.

From these dimensions the interior height of the intrenchment will be found to be thirteen feet, and the breadth of the ditch twelve. The Romans followed their example, and both practiced their institutions in their armies and preserved them in their writings. History Created December 9, 6 revisions Download catalog record: In particular, he stresses the high standard of the legionaries and the excellence of the training and the officer corps.

It is the head of the legion and is always first formed on the right of the first line when the legion draws up in order of milktaris.

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