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Epitoma Rei Militaris

4.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  176 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Few secular works of antiquity were as popular in the Middle Ages as Vegetius' Epitoma, the broadest ancient manual of Roman warfare. This edition is the first to be based on a comprehensive investigation of over 200 surviving manuscripts. The apparatus gives a full account of the readings that medieval scribes inherited from antiquity.
Published May 6th 2004 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 390)
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Herman Gigglethorpe
This is a concise insight into Roman military tactics. The appeals to the emperor Valentinian (II?) will make you roll your eyes, but you will understand that Romans were well aware that their empire was declining well before it fell. The malaise is very apparent here.
Jan 28, 2009 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Great Field Marshall de Saxe said when you study about war study the Romans for they are the true masters of war. Vegetius writes elloquently about the "ancients" during the last days of the great empire. He writes on what made the Roman Army the greatest way machine in history. He revviwes the unmatched discipline of the Romans and their tactics which were centuries ahead of their time. Vegetius is right, "Si vis pacem, para bellum" or "If you want peace prepare for war."
Another great quote
Cody Weston
A concise and clearly translated summary of the military tactics and strategies of the romans. As I understand it, this was required reading for medieval strategists, and was interesting to read from that perspective.
Apr 09, 2012 Tristan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short and concise. Apparently many commanders during the medieval times possessed a copy of this. If you're a student of war and martial arts, it wouldn't hurt to own a copy of this. Not only as a remainder of the importance of discipline in war and combat, but also in life.

'Discipline was the only road to victory... and thereby recovered their superiority. (on Rome's eventual destruction of Hannibal)
Nov 30, 2012 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best scholarly edition available in English. I won't comment on the work itself except to say that this late Roman work was the Medieval bible on the Art of War at least until the mid-fifteenth century. The footnotes and the work unpacking what pieces of Vegetius might come from Cato and other authors is extremely helpful to an amateur classicist of a reenactor.
Ricardo Portella
Wise advise for the Emperor

If only he had followed, he would have saved the Roman Empire. It is a classic of military tactics and it is very easy to read. The advises given by Vegetius are valid still and every would be General should read this book. Unfortunately, books IV and V were not translated.
Jul 01, 2012 Cristian rated it really liked it
Shelves: strategy
Insightful regarding what a good military strategist back in the roman era took into consideration when preparing for war, not only about tactics while in the battlefield, but ranging from the selection of soldiers, to fortification, food, etc.
Dec 19, 2010 Ka rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating text that provides detailed insight into the functioning of the Roman military. Many of its lessons remain relevant to the present day, particularly in the realm of defence and security.
Eddie Black
Mar 28, 2011 Eddie Black rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: military
pretty interesting read. Interesting to hear some of the same bits of wisdom that I've heard/learned/told in the current military echoed in this old tome.
Trevor Russell
Merely gnomic wisdom and external theorizing masquerading as eternal military knowledge.
John Yelverton
Aug 22, 2013 John Yelverton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting book on the art of war and the methods used by the Roman Empire to accomplish their military discipline and conquests.
Oct 28, 2014 Christopher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Easy and quick read. Great perspective on military life and operations in the ancient and medieval world.
May 27, 2016 Greg rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, ancient
Mostly dry and would probably only hold the interest of those who like this sort of thing. Highly quotable.
Aug 18, 2013 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wish I'd read this before reading any ancient or medieval military history.
Rick Florio
Oct 10, 2014 Rick Florio rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quick read, very informative
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“Victory in war does not depend entirely upon numbers or mere courage; only skill and discipline will insure it.” 0 likes
“The Roman greatness is a proof of the excellence of their legions,” 0 likes
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