View Full Version : Sextus Julius Frontinus: Stratagems

01-25-2009, 04:25 AM
Caught a link to this online book (http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Frontinus/Strategemata/1*.html) from Marc Tyrell's blog (http://marctyrrell.com/)

Since I alone of those interested in military science have undertaken to reduce its rules to system,2 and since I seem to have fulfilled that purpose, so far as pains on my part could accomplish it, I still feel under obligation, in order to complete the task I have begun, to summarize in convenient sketches the adroit operations of generals, which the Greeks embrace under the one name strategemata. For in this way commanders will be furnished with specimens of wisdom and foresight, which will serve to foster their own power of conceiving and executing like deeds. There will result the added advantage that a general will not fear the issue of his own stratagem, if he compares it with experiments already successfully made.

I neither ignore nor deny the fact that historians have included in the compass of their works this feature also, nor that authors have already recorded in some fashion all famous examples. But I ought, I think, out of consideration for busy men, to have regard to brevity. For it is a tedious business to hunt out separate examples scattered over the vast p5body of history; and those who have made selections of notable deeds have overwhelmed the reader by the very mass of material. My effort will be devoted to the task of setting forth, as if in response to questions, and as occasion shall demand, the illustration applicable to the case in point. For having examined the categories, I have in advance mapped out my campaign, so to speak, for the presentation of illustrative examples. Moreover, in order that these may be sifted and properly classified according to the variety of subject-matter, I have divided them into three books. In the first are illustrations of stratagems for use before the battle begins; in the second, those that relate to the battle itself and tend to effect the complete subjugation of the enemy; the third contains stratagems connected with sieges and the raising of sieges. Under these successive classes I have grouped the illustrations appropriate to each.

It is not without justice that I shall claim indulgence for this work, and I beg that no one will charge me with negligence, if he finds that I have passed over some illustration. For who could prove equal to the task of examining all the records which have come down to us in both languages! And so I have purposely allowed myself to skip many things. That I have not done this without reason, those will realize who read the books of others treating of the same subjects; but it will be easy for the reader to supply those examples under each category. For since this work, like my preceding ones, has been undertaken for the benefit of others, rather than for the sake of my own renown, I shall feel that I am being aided, rather than criticized, by those who will make additions to it.

01-25-2009, 02:39 PM
Nice, I love this kind of stuff. If only it were .pdf.

01-25-2009, 06:23 PM
Nice, I love this kind of stuff. If only it were .pdf.

My thoughts exactly!

William F. Owen
01-26-2009, 07:40 AM
Nice, I love this kind of stuff. If only it were .pdf.

Shouldn't be too difficult to make one. I'll try when I have time.