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 used to be one among a bunch produced through the 10th century CE, a interval whilst the Byzantine empire loved a wide degree of luck in its wars opposed to its conventional enemy, the Arabs. Compiled to list and shield army techniques, information, and strategies, the handbook discusses a large choice of issues: conflict formations, raids, sieges, ambushes, shock assaults, the therapy of prisoners of warfare and defectors, distribution of booty, punishment of army offences, how you can mount powerful espionage, and the way to ship and obtain envoys. there's even suggestion at the own features required by way of generals, on tips on how to neutralize enemy horses, and on the right way to shield the troops opposed to poisoned nutrition. The paintings culminates in an account of the stratagems hired by means of nice Greek and Roman army commanders of the prior. whereas, like lots of Byzantine literature, the Sylloge frequently easily reproduces fabric present in past texts, it additionally preserves loads of information regarding the army strategies being constructed via the Byzantine military in the course of the 10th century. it's the first Byzantine resource to checklist the reappearance of a really expert 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 details on new infantry and cavalry formations and at the new strategies that required them.
This is the 1st entire translation of the Sylloge into English. it's followed by means of a word list of the specialized Greek army vocabulary utilized in the paintings and through 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, comparable to its authorship and the date of its composition.
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