The Strategikon of Maurice
was written by the Byzantine Emperor Maurice
(582-602) and is a handbook designed to help a field commander. As well as providing military strategies
it also serves as a guide on how to manage
, medical care
, military law
necessary to keep an army
in top fighting form. It really is full of facinating descriptions of weapons, marches, drills, formations and other details found nowhere else (supposedly it is the first manual to mention the use of stirrups
). For example :-
should have a tent
, as well as sickles
to meet any contingency
. It is well to have the tents of the Avar
type, which combine practicality
with good appearance.."
He also said it is often preferable to strike the enemy "by means of deceptions or raids
or hunger" instead of open battle.
I'm sure much of what he says is still relevant today....But aside from it's military value, it is of huge importance to historians
, as it goes into great detail over many aspects of normal 6th-7th century life, as well as providing eye-witness
reports of the Persians
, and Avars
Dennis, G.T., Maurice's Strategikon. Handbook of Byzantine military strategy (Philadelphia 1984) 178p.