Flavius Vegetius Renatus, wrote an Epitoma rei militaris in four books, which is the only account of Roman military practice to have survived intact. The work was written after
Book 1 discusses the recruit, book 2 army organization, book 3 tactics and strategy, book 4 fortifications and naval warfare. Vegetius examines important themes—the maintenance of discipline and morale, vigilant preparations in enemy territory, establishing a camp, campaign planning, tactical adaptability in battle, conducting a retreat, and the use of stratagems. He also quotes some general maxims which ‘tested by different ages and proved by constant experience, have been passed down by distinguished writers’ (3. 26). Vegetius is convinced of the relevance of this approach. The emperor had instructed him to abridge ancient authors, and sought instruction from past exploits despite his own achievements.Less
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