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 certainly one of a host produced through 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 concepts, information, and strategies, the handbook discusses a wide selection of concerns: conflict formations, raids, sieges, ambushes, shock assaults, the remedy of prisoners of struggle and defectors, distribution of booty, punishment of army offences, how one can mount potent espionage, and the way to ship and obtain envoys. there's even recommendation at the own characteristics required via generals, on easy methods to neutralize enemy horses, and on how you can guard the troops opposed to poisoned nutrients. The paintings culminates in an account of the stratagems hired by way of nice Greek and Roman army commanders of the prior. whereas, like lots of Byzantine literature, the Sylloge usually easily reproduces fabric present in past texts, it additionally preserves loads of information regarding the army strategies being built through the Byzantine military throughout 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 truly is observed through a thesaurus of the specialized Greek army vocabulary utilized in the paintings and by means of footnotes which clarify imprecise references and determine the author’s classical and Byzantine assets. An creation locations the paintings in its ancient and literary context and considers a few of the questions that experience remained unanswered over the centuries, similar to its authorship and the date of its composition.

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A Tenth-Century Byzantine Military Manual: The Sylloge Tacticorum (Birmingham Byzantine and Ottoman Studies) by Georgios Chatzelis

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