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 and tactics it also serves as a guide on how to manage the provisioning, marching, 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 cavalry). For example :-

"Each squad should have a tent, as well as sickles and axe 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 and ethnologists, 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, Slavs, Lombards, and Avars.

Dennis, G.T., Maurice's Strategikon. Handbook of Byzantine military strategy (Philadelphia 1984) 178p.

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