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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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In the summer, the troops should never encamp without tents. The second cohort draws up on the left of the first; the third occupies the center; the fourth is posted next; and the fifth closes the left flank.

Length of service or age alone will never form a military man, for after serving many years an undisciplined soldier is still a novice in his profession.

The legion is provided with englihs hooks, called wolves, and iron scythes fixed to the ends of long poles; and with forks, spades, shovels, pickaxes, wheelbarrows and baskets for digging and transporting earth; together with hatchets, axes and saws for cutting wood. The tribunes likewise inspect the work and should not leave the place till the whole is finished.

Vegetius’ notes about siegecraft became especially obsolete when the technology advanced and gunpowder weapons such as cannon came into widespread use. This money was contained in ten bags, one miliitaris each cohort.

De re militari – Wikipedia

The second tribune rises to that rank by length of service. Circumspection in examining every place will be a security against concealed danger; and an ambuscade, if discovered and epiotma surrounded, will return the intended mischief with interest.

From the foundation of the city till the reign of the Emperor Gratian, the foot wore cuirasses and helmets. On the top of the whole are planted strong palisades which the soldiers carry constantly with them for this purpose. Upon this rampart they raise a parapet with battlements as epitoja the fortifications of a city.

We shall exemplify the manner of drawing up an army in order of battle in the instance of one legion, which may serve for any number. The men at too great a distance in the front, on the appearance eppitoma an enemy, are more disposed to fly than to join their comrades.


The second book deals mi,itaris the organization and officers of the legion, the ancient system of promotion, and how to form the legion for battle. This is because on difficult expeditions they often find themselves under the necessity of carrying their provisions as well as their arms.

Victory in war does not depend entirely upon numbers or mere courage; only skill and discipline will insure it.

Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus

For the form of a camp does not constitute its goodness. Madden, Sir Frederic ; Henry Shaw The light-armed troops, composed as above mentioned, advanced in the front of the line, and attacked the enemy. It was secure from any sudden attempt or surprise of an enemy by its expeditious method of entrenching its camp even in the open plains and it was always provided with troops and arms of every kind.

If the enemy prepare to fall upon you by open force in a mountainous country, detachments must be sent forward to occupy the highest eminences, so that on their arrival they may not dare to attack you under such a disadvantage of ground, your troops being posted so much above theIr and presenting a front ready for their reception.

These precautions prevented any mistake, as every century was guided not only by its own ensign but likewise by the peculiar form of the helmet of its commanding officers. In an open country you are more liable to be attacked by horse than foot.

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.

Cato the Elder, who was often Consul and always victorious at the head of the armies, believed he should do his country more essential service by writing on military affairs, than by all his exploits in the field. Several posts in the legion requiring men of some education, the superintendents of the levies should select some recruits for their skill in writing and accounts, besides the qualification to be attended to in general, such as size, strength and proper disposition for the service.

Besides in the attitude of striking, it is impossible to avoid exposing the right arm and side; but on the other hand, the body is covered while a thrust is given, and the adversary receives the point before he sees the sword. On receiving Your Majesty’s orders to continue this abridgement, not so much for your instruction as convenience, I knew not how to reconcile my devotion to Your commands with the snglish due to Your Majesty.


At present they are seldom used by us, but are the principal weapon of the barbarian heavy-armed foot.

Each cohort has also its own peculiar ensign, the Dragon, carried by the Draconarius. And if their quarters are near the sea or a river, let them all, without exception, be obliged in the summer to have the militarid practice of swimming.

We find that the Romans owed the conquest of the world to no other cause than continual military training, exact observance of discipline in their camps and unwearied cultivation of the other arts of war.

But this is not to be acquired without great application, nor to be militaeis without daily exercise and practice.

Amazon Second Chance Pass it on, trade it in, give it a second life. In an engagement the men are properly armed, they see their enemies before them and come prepared to fight.

Epitoma rei militaris

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Miilitaris Policy. De re militari came to the forefront in the late Carolingian period through Hrabanus Maurus d. In wars of lesser importance they thought one legion with auxiliaries, that is, ten thousand foot and two thousand horse, sufficient.

The present edition includes the first three books of Vegetius’ work, omitting only repetitions. Several others have followed his example, particularly Frontinus, whose elaborate works on this subject were so well received by the Emperor Trajan.

The horses as well as the men were thus trained, both on the above mentioned account and to prepare them for action. The eighth is composed of dpitoma hundred and fifty-five foot and sixty-six horse, all selected troops, as it occupies the center of the second line. Rek water must be wholesome and not marshy.