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 was once one among a host produced throughout the 10th century CE, a interval while the Byzantine empire loved a wide degree of good fortune in its wars opposed to its conventional enemy, the Arabs. Compiled to checklist and shield army suggestions, information, and strategies, the handbook discusses a large choice of issues: conflict formations, raids, sieges, ambushes, shock assaults, the therapy of prisoners of conflict and defectors, distribution of booty, punishment of army offences, the way to mount powerful espionage, and the way to ship and obtain envoys. there's even recommendation at the own traits required by way of generals, on the right way to neutralize enemy horses, and on find out how to defend the troops opposed to poisoned nutrients. The paintings culminates in an account of the stratagems hired by way of nice Greek and Roman army commanders of the earlier. whereas, like loads of Byzantine literature, the Sylloge frequently easily reproduces fabric present in previous texts, it additionally preserves loads of information regarding the army strategies being constructed by means of the Byzantine military throughout the 10th century. it's the first Byzantine resource to checklist the reappearance of a really good 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 info 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 thesaurus of the specialized Greek army vocabulary utilized in the paintings and by means of footnotes which clarify imprecise references and establish the author’s classical and Byzantine assets. An advent locations the paintings in its old and literary context and considers the various questions that experience remained unanswered over the centuries, resembling its authorship and the date of its composition.
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A Tenth-Century Byzantine Military Manual: The Sylloge Tacticorum (Birmingham Byzantine and Ottoman Studies) by Georgios Chatzelis