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Tenth-century Byzantine Military Manual : The Sylloge Tacticorum (Hardcover)

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This is the first complete translation into English, or any modern language, of the mid-Byzantine text known as the Sylloge Tacticorum. The Sylloge Tacticorum belongs to the literary genre of military manuals or Taktika which stretches back to antiquity. It was one of a number produced during the tenth century, probably being written after the Taktika attributed to Emperor Leo VI (886-912) but before the Praecepta Militaria of Nikephoros II Phokas (963-969). Although the Sylloge is attributed to Leo VI and bears a very specific dating in its title (6412 AM or 903/4 CE), modern scholarship does not accept this attribution and there is a debate as to whether the text dates in the first half or in the middle of the century. The annotation and the introduction help explain the text for the modern reader, and set it in its historical context. The treatise consists of 102 extant chapters which can be divided into three broad themes. The first themes covers chapters 1 to 56 which discuss a variety of military matters such as the qualities of the general, treatment of prisoners of war and defectors, distribution of booty, punishment of military offences, spying, envoys, battle formations, raids, sieges, ambushes and surprise attacks. The second category covers chapters 57 to 75 where more unusual matters are discussed, such as protecting against poisonous food or drinks, poisonous arrows, using flammable mixtures or easily neutralizing enemy horses. The final and third category covers chapters 76 to 102 where the stratagems of great Greek and Roman military commanders of the past are recorded. The information provided is a mixture of the contemporary and historical. While, like so much of Byzantine literature, the Sylloge often simply reproduces early texts, it is the first Byzantine source to record the appearance of the specialized heavy cavalry, the kataphraktoi, the menavlatoi, a specialized infantry used to repel the attacks of the enemy heavy cavalry and new infantry and cavalry formations and tactics.
Number of Pages: 200.0
Genre: History
Series Title: Birmingham Byzantine and Ottoman Studies
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Language: English
Street Date: July 21, 2017
TCIN: 52739361
UPC: 9781472470287
Item Number (DPCI): 248-46-9902

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