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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By these precautions their minds, as well as their bodies, will properly be prepared for the service. Bad water is a kind of poison and the cause of epidemic distempers. In those days the same man was both soldier and farmer, but a farmer who, when occasion arose, laid aside his tools and put on the sword.

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And the Greeks, indisputably, were far superior to us in skill in arts and all kinds of knowledge. He likewise had the care miliharis furnishing the troops with wood and straw, as well as the rams, onagri, balistae and all the other engines of militzris under his direction. Within this they construct a rampart with fascines or branches of trees well fastened together with pickets, so that militais earth may be better supported. The manner and disposition of defense must be varied according to the difference of ground.

This is a very important point in the discipline of young soldiers, who when properly trained to it will be able in an emergency to fortify their camp with skill and expedition. The soldiers who were backward in this drill were punished by having their allowance in barley.

The centurions measure the work with rods ten feet long and examine whether every one has properly completed the proportion assigned to him. 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 militxris 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. The cavalry also as well as the infantry, and militzris the horses and the servants of the army should be accustomed to this exercise, as they are all equally liable to the same accidents.


Cities and fortresses are garrisoned by such men as are least fit for the service of the field. These precautions prevented any mistake, as every century was guided neglish only by its own ensign but likewise by the peculiar form of the helmet of its commanding officers.

Translation of Epitoma rei militaris in English

A stroke with the edges, though made with ever so much force, seldom kills, as the vital parts of the body are defended both by the bones and armor. To continue this drill without interruption during the winter, they erected for the cavalry porticos or riding halls covered eppitoma tiles or shingles, and if they were not to be procured, with reeds, rushes or thatch.

They had shields, cuirasses, helmets, greaves, swords, daggers, loaded javelins, and two of militars common missile weapons. It was also his duty to keep both the legionary horse and foot in daily exercise and to maintain the strictest discipline.

The Librarii keep the legionary accounts. The first tribune is appointed by the express commission and choice of the Emperor.

By observing the foregoing precautions, the besieged may have it in their englishh to ruin the enemy by famine, if he keeps his troops together, and if he divides.

And these men, as soon as enlisted, should be taught to work on entrenchments, to march in ranks, to carry heavy burdens, and to bear the sun and dust. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The cornets are used only to regulate the motions of the colors; the trumpets serve when the soldiers are ordered out to any work without the colors; but in time of action, the trumpets and cornets sound together.


The infantry begin to form on a line with the: Their ignorance of discipline makes them afraid of action and inspires them with insolence. A general, therefore, cannot be too careful and diligent in taking necessary precautions to prevent a surprise on the march and in making proper dispositions to repulse the enemy, in case of such accident, without loss.

Epitoma rei militaris

In an engagement the men are properly armed, they see their enemies before them and come prepared to fight. TO LEARN TO SWIM Every young soldier, without exception, should in the summer months be taught to swim; for it is sometimes impossible to pass rivers on bridges, but the flying and pursuing eng,ish both are often obliged to swim over them.

In consequence of this, our troops in their engagements with the Goths were often overwhelmed with their showers of arrows.

Machiavelli very likely read Vegetius and incorporated many of his ideas into his own The Prince. At last, after the defeat of many consuls and the loss of many officers and armies, they were convinced that the revival of discipline was the only road to victory and thereby recovered their superiority.

Malignant and fatal distempers proceed from this and can be avoided only by frequent changes of encampments.

A reserve of this kind therefore is evidently of the greatest service to the soldiers themselves; since they are maintained at the public expense, their military stock by this method is continually increasing. These messes were also called Maniples from their constant epifoma of fighting together in the same company or division.

They are used not only to defend the entrenchments of camps, but are also placed in the field in the rear of the heavy armed infantry.