By Georgios Chatzelis
The Sylloge Tacticorum is a mid-Byzantine instance of the literary style of army manuals or Taktika which stretches again to antiquity. It was once one in all a host produced throughout the 10th century CE, a interval while the Byzantine empire loved a wide degree of good fortune in its wars opposed to its conventional enemy, the Arabs. Compiled to list and look after army ideas, information, and strategies, the handbook discusses a wide selection of concerns: conflict formations, raids, sieges, ambushes, shock assaults, the therapy of prisoners of battle and defectors, distribution of booty, punishment of army offences, tips on how to mount powerful espionage, and the way to ship and obtain envoys. there's even recommendation at the own features required by way of generals, on tips on how to neutralize enemy horses, and on find out how to shield the troops opposed to poisoned foodstuff. The paintings culminates in an account of the stratagems hired by way of nice Greek and Roman army commanders of the earlier. whereas, like quite a bit of Byzantine literature, the Sylloge usually easily reproduces fabric present in prior texts, it additionally preserves loads of information regarding the army strategies being constructed through the Byzantine military in the course of the 10th century. it's the first Byzantine resource to list the reappearance of a really good heavy cavalry (the kataphraktoi) and of a really expert infantry (the menavlatoi) used to repel the assaults of the opposing heavy cavalry. there's additionally loads of info on new infantry and cavalry formations and at the new strategies that required them.
This is the 1st whole translation of the Sylloge into English. it really is observed by way of a word list of the specialized Greek army vocabulary utilized in the paintings and by means of footnotes which clarify vague references and establish the author’s classical and Byzantine assets. An advent locations the paintings in its ancient and literary context and considers the various questions that experience remained unanswered over the centuries, corresponding to its authorship and the date of its composition.
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Extra resources for A Tenth-Century Byzantine Military Manual: The Sylloge Tacticorum (Birmingham Byzantine and Ottoman Studies)
A Tenth-Century Byzantine Military Manual: The Sylloge Tacticorum (Birmingham Byzantine and Ottoman Studies) by Georgios Chatzelis