Having, by extensive reading, collected examples of stratagems, and having arranged these at no small pains, in order to fulfil the promise of my three books (if only I have fulfilled it), in the present book I shall set forth those instances which seemed to fall less naturally under the former classification (which was limited to special types), and which are illustrations rather of military science in general than of stratagems. Inasmuch as these incidents, though famous, belong to a different subject,1 I have given them separate treatment, for fear that if any persons should happen in reading to run across some of them, they might be led by the resemblance to imagine that these examples had been overlooked by me. As supplementary material, of course, these topics called for treatment. In presenting them, I shall endeavour to observe the following categories:
1 When the Roman army before Numantia had become demoralized by the slackness of previous commanders, Publius Scipio reformed it by dismissing an enormous number of camp-followers and by bringing the soldiers to a sense of responsibility through regular daily routine. On the occasion of the frequent marches which he enjoined upon them, he commanded them to carry several days' rations, under such conditions that they became accustomed to enduring cold and rain, and to the fording of streams. Often the general reproached them with timidity and indolence; often he broke utensils which served only the purpose of self-indulgence and were quite unnecessary for campaigning. A notable instance of this severity occurred in the case of the tribune Gaius Memmius, to whom Scipio is said to have exclaimed: "To me you will be worthless merely for a certain period; to yourself and the state for ever!"2
2 Quintus Metellus, in the Jugurthine War,3 when discipline had similarly lapsed, restored it by a like severity, while in addition he had forbidden the soldiers to use meat, except when baked or boiled.4
3 Pyrrhus is said to have remarked to his recruiting officer: "You pick out the big men! I'll make them brave."
4 In the consulship of Lucius Paulus and Gaius Varro, soldiers were for the first time compelled to take the ius iurandum. Up to that time the sacramentum was the oath of allegiance administered to them by the tribunes, but they used to pledge each other not to quit the force by flight, or in consequence p271of fear, and not to leave the ranks except to seek a weapon, strike a foe, or save a comrade.5
5 Scipio Africanus, noticing the shield of a certain soldier rather elaborately decorated, said he didn't wonder the man had adopted it with such care, seeing that he put more trust in it than in his sword.6
6 When Philip was organizing his first army, he forbade anyone to use a carriage. The cavalrymen he permitted to have but one attendant apiece. In the infantry he allowed for every ten men only one servant, who was detailed to carry the mills and ropes.7 When the troops marched out to summer quarters, he commanded each man to carry on his shoulders flour for thirty days.
7 For the purpose of limiting the number of pack animals, by which the march of the army was especially hampered, Gaius Marius had his soldiers fasten their utensils and food up in bundles and hang these on forked poles, to make the burden easy and to facilitate rest; whence the expression "Marius's mules."8
8 When Theagenes, the Athenian, was leading his troops towards Megara and his men inquired as to their place in the ranks, he told them he would assign them their places when they arrived at their destination. Then he secretly sent the cavalry ahead and commanded them, in the guise of enemies, to turn back and attack their comrades. When this plan was carried out and the men whom he had with him made preparations for an encounter with the foe, he permitted the battle-line to be drawn up in p273such a way that a man took his place where he wished, the most cowardly retiring to the rear, the bravest rushing to the front. He thereupon assigned to each man, for the campaign, the same position in which he had found him.9
9 Lysander, the Spartan, once flogged a soldier who had left the ranks while on the march. When the man said that he had not left the line for the purpose of pillage, Lysander retorted, "I won't have you look as if you were going to pillage."
10 Antigonus, hearing that his son had taken lodgings at the house of a woman who had three handsome daughters, said: "I hear, son, that your lodgings are cramped, owing to the number of mistresses in charge of your house. Get roomier quarters." Having commanded his son to move, he issued an edict that no one under fifty years of age should take lodgings with the mother of a family.10
13 Marcus Scaurus forbade his son to come into his presence, since he had retreated before the enemy in the Tridentine Pass. Overwhelmed by the shame of this disgrace, the young man committed suicide.13
14 In ancient times the Romans and other peoples used to make their camps like groups of Punic huts, distributing the troops here and there by cohorts, since the men of old were not acquainted with walls p275except in the case of cities. Pyrrhus, king of the Epirotes, was the first to inaugurate the custom of concentrating an entire army within the precincts of the same entrenchments. Later the Romans, after defeating Pyrrhus on the Arusian Plains near the city of Maleventum,14 captured his camp, and, noting its plan, gradually came to the arrangement which is in vogue to‑day.15
15 At one time, when Publius Nasica was in winter-quarters, although he had no need of ships, yet he determined to construct them, in order that his troops might not become demoralized by idleness, or inflict harm on their allies in consequence of the licence resulting from leisure.16
16 Marcus Cato has handed down the story that, when soldiers were caught in theft, their right hands used to be cut off in the presence of their comrades; or if the authorities wished to impose a lighter sentence, the offender was bled at headquarters.17
17 The Spartan general Clearchus used to tell his troops that their commander ought to be feared more than the enemy, meaning that the death they feared in battle was doubtful, but that execution for desertion was certain.18
18 On motion of Appius Claudius the Senate degraded to the status of foot-soldiers those knights who had been captured and afterwards sent back by Pyrrhus, king of the Epirotes, while the foot-soldiers were degraded to the status of light-armed troops, all being commanded to tent outside the fortifications of the camp until each man should bring in the spoils of two foemen.19
19 The consul Otacilius Crassus ordered those who had been •sent under the yoke by Hannibal and had p277then returned, to camp outside the entrenchments, in order that they might become used to dangers while without defences, and so grow more daring against the enemy.20
21 Domitius Corbulo, when in Armenia, ordered two squadrons and three cohorts, which had given way before the enemy near the fortress of Initia, to camp outside the entrenchments, until by steady work and successful raids they should atone for their disgrace.22
22 When the consul Aurelius Cotta under pressing necessity ordered the knights to participate in a certain work and a part of them renounced his authority, he made complaint before the censors and had the mutineers degraded. Then from the senators he secured an enactment that arrears of their wages should not be paid. The tribunes of the plebs also carried through a bill with the people on the same matter, so that discipline was maintained by the joint action of all.23
23 When Quintus Metellus Macedonicus was campaigning in Spain, and five cohorts on one occasion had given way before the enemy, he commanded the soldiers to make their wills, and then sent them back to recover the lost ground, threatening that they should not be received in camp except after victory.24
24aWhen his soldiers had been disgracefully routed p279the Senate ordered that no reinforcements should be sent them, unless . . .
26 Because Gaius Titius, commander of a cohort, had given way before some runaway slaves, Lucius Piso ordered him to stand daily in the headquarters of the camp, barefooted, with the belt of his toga cut and his tunic ungirt, and wait till the night-watchmen came. He also commanded that the culprit should forgo banquets and baths.28
27 Sulla ordered a cohort and its centurions, though whose defences the enemy had broken, to stand continuously at headquarters, wearing helmets and without uniforms.
28 When Domitius Corbulo was campaigning in Armenia, a certain Aemilius Rufus, a praefect of cavalry, gave way before the enemy. On discovering that Rufus had kept his squadron inadequately equipped with weapons, Corbulo directed the lictors to strip the clothes from his back, and ordered the culprit to stand at headquarters in this unseemly plight until he should be released.29
29 When Atilius Regulus was crossing from Samnium to Luceria and his troops turned away from the enemy whom they had encountered, Regulus blocked their retreat with a cohort, as they fled, and ordered them to be cut to pieces as deserters.30
31 The same Cotta, when about to cross over to p281Messana to take the auspices afresh, placed in charge of the blockade of the Liparian Islands a ceremony Publius Aurelius, who was connected with him by ties of blood. But when Aurelius's line of works was burned and his camp captured, Cotta had him scourged with rods and ordered him to be reduced to the ranks and to perform the tasks of a common soldier.32
33 On one occasion when Marcus Cato, who had lingered for several days on a hostile shore, had at length set sail, after three times giving the signal for departure, and a certain soldier, who had been left behind, with cries and gestures from the land, begged to be picked up, Cato turned his whole fleet back to the shore, arrested the man, and commanded him to be put to death, thus preferring to make an example of the fellow than to have him ignominiously put to death by the enemy.34
34 In the case of those who quitted their places in the line, Appius Claudius picked out every tenth man by lot and had him clubbed to death.
35 In the case of two legions which had given way before the foe, the consul Fabius Rullus chose men by lot and beheaded them in the sight of their comrades.
36 Aquilius beheaded three men from each of the centuries whose position had been broken through by the enemy.
37 Marcus Antonius, when fire had been set to his line of works by the enemy, decimated the soldiers of two cohorts of those who were on the works, and p283punished the centurions of each cohort. Besides this, he dismissed the commanding officer in disgrace, and ordered the rest of the legion to be put on barley rations.35
38 The legion which had plundered the city of Rhegium without the orders of its commander was punished as follows: four thousand men were put under guard and executed. Moreover the Senate by decree made it a crime to bury any one of these or indulge in mourning for them.36
39 The dictator Lucius Papirius Cursor demanded that Fabius Rullus, his master of the horse, be scourged, and was on the point of beheading him, because he had engaged in battle against orders — successfully withal. Even in the face of the efforts and please of the soldiers, Papirius refused to renounce his purpose of punishment, actually following Rullus, when he fled for refuge to Rome, and not even there abandoning his threats of execution until Fabius and his father fell at the knees of Papirius, and the Senate and people alike joined in their petition.37
40 Manlius, to whom the name "The Masterful" was afterwards given, had his own son scourged and beheaded in the sight of the army, because, even though he came out victorious, he had engaged in battle with the enemy contrary to the orders of his father.38
41 The younger Manlius, when the army was preparing to mutiny in his behalf against his father, said that no one was of such importance that discipline will be destroyed on his account, and so induced his comrades to suffer him to be punished.38
43 When the consul Gaius Curio was campaigning near Dyrrhachium in the war against the Dardani,40 and one of the five legions, having mutinied, had refused service and declared it would not follow his rash leadership on a difficult and dangerous enterprise, he led out four legions in arms and ordered them to take their stand in the ranks with weapons drawn, as if in battle. Then he commanded the mutinous legion to advance without arms, and forced its members to strip for work and cut straw under the eyes of armed guards. The following day, in like manner, he compelled them to strip and dig ditches, and by no entreaties of the legion could he be induced to renounce his purpose of withdrawing its standards, abolishing its name, and distributing its members to fill out other legions.
44 In the consulship of Quintus Fulvius and Appius Claudius, the soldiers, who after the battle of Cannae had been banished to Sicily by the Senate, petitioned the consul Marcellus to be led to battle. Marcellus consulted the Senate, who declared it was not their pleasure that the public welfare should be trusted to those who had proved disloyal. Yet they empowered Marcellus to do what seemed best to him, provided none of the soldiers should be relieved of duty, honoured with a gift or reward, or conveyed back to Italy, so long as there were any Carthaginians in the country.41
p287 46 When the consul Quintus Petilius had been killed in battle by the Ligurians, the Senate decreed that that legion in whose ranks the consul had been slain should, as a whole, be reported "deficient";43 that its year's pay should be withheld, and its wages reduced.44
1 When, during the Civil War, the armies of Brutus and Cassius were marching together through Macedonia, the story goes that the army of Brutus arrived first at a stream which had to be bridged, but that the troops of Cassius were the first in constructing the bridge and in effecting a passage. This rigorous discipline made Cassius's men superior to those of Brutus not only in constructing military works, but also in the general conduct of the war.45
2 When Gaius Marius had the option of choosing a force from two armies, one of which had served under Rutilius, the other under Metellus and later under himself, he preferred the troops of Rutilius, though fewer in number, because he deemed them of trustier discipline.46
8 The same fourteen thousand Greeks, having lost their generals in battle, returned unharmed through difficult and unknown places, having committed the management of their retreat to one of their number, Xenophon, the Athenian.52
9 When Xerxes was defied by the three hundred Spartans at Thermopylae and had with difficulty destroyed them, he declared that he had been deceived, because, while he had numbers enough, yet of real men who adhered to discipline he had none.53
3 Atilius Regulus, though he had been in charge p291of the greatest enterprises, was so poor that he supported himself, his wife, and children on a small farm which was tilled by a single steward. Hearing of the death of this steward, Regulus wrote to the Senate requesting them to appoint someone to succeed him in the command, since his property was left in jeopardy by the death of his slave, and his own presence at home was necessary.56
4 Gnaeus Scipio, after successful exploits in Spain, died in the extremest poverty, not even leaving money enough for a dowry for his daughters. The Senate, therefore, in consequence of their poverty, furnished them dowries at public expense.57
7 Hannibal was accustomed to rise while it was still dark, but never took any rest before night. At dusk, and not before, he called his friends to dinner; and not more than two couches60 were ever filled with dinner guests at his headquarters.61
8 The story goes that Scipio Aemilianus used to eat bread offered him as he walked along on the march in the company of his friends.
10 The same story is related of Alexander of Macedon.
12 When, in honour of his defeat of the Sabines, the Senate offered Manius Curius a larger amount of ground than the discharged troops were receiving, he was content with the allotment of ordinary soldiers, declaring that that man was a bad citizen who was not satisfied with what the rest received.63
13 The restraint of an entire army was also often noteworthy, as for example of the troops which served under Marcus Scaurus. For Scaurus has left it on record that a tree laden with fruit, at the far end of the fortified enclosure of the camp, was found, the day after the withdrawal of the army, with the fruit undisturbed.64
14 In the war waged under the auspices of the Emperor Caesar Domitianus Augustus Germanicus and begun by Julius Civilis in Gaul, the very wealthy city of the Lingones,a which had revolted to Civilis, feared that it would be plundered by the approaching army of Caesar. But when, contrary to expectation, the inhabitants remained unharmed and lost none of their property, they returned to their loyalty, and handed over to meb seventy thousand armed men.65
15 After the capture of Corinth, Lucius Mummius adorned not merely Italy, but also the provinces, with statues and paintings. Yet he refrained so scrupulously from appropriating anything from such vast spoils to his own use that his daughter was in actual need and the Senate furnished her dowry at the public expense.66
1 When Camillus was besieging the Faliscans, a school teacher took the sons of the Faliscans outside the walls, as though for a walk, and then delivered them up, saying that, if they should be retained as hostages, the city would be forced to execute the orders of Camillus. But Camillus not only spurned the teacher's perfidy, but tying his hands behind his back, turned him over to the boys to be driven back to their parents with switches. He thus gained by kindness a victory which he had scorned to secure by fraud; for the Faliscans, in consequence of this act of justice, voluntarily surrendered to him.67
2 The physician of Pyrrhus, king of the Epirotes, came to Fabricius, general of the Romans, and promised to give Pyrrhus poison if an adequate reward should be guaranteed him for the service. Fabricius, not considering that victory called for any such crime, exposed the physician to the king, and by this honourable act succeeded in inducing Pyrrhus to seek the friendship of the Romans.68
1 When the soldiers of Gnaeus Pompey threatened to plunder the money which was being carried for the triumph, Servilius and Glaucia urged him to distribute it among the troops, in order to avoid the outbreak of a mutiny. Thereupon Pompey declared he would forgo a triumph, and would die rather than yield to the insubordination of his soldiers; and after upbraiding them in vehement language, he threw in their faces the fasces wreathed with p297laurel, that they might start their plundering by seizing these. Through the odium thus aroused he reduced his men to obedience.69
2 When a sedition broke out in the tumult of the Civil War, and feeling ran especially high, Gaius Caesar dismissed from service an entire legion, and beheaded the leaders of the mutiny. Later, when the very men he had dismissed entreated him to remove their disgrace, he restored them and had in them the very best soldiers.70
3 Postumius, when ex-consul, having appealed to the courage of his troops, and having been asked by them what commands he gave, told them to imitate him. Thereupon he seized a standard and led the attack on the enemy. His soldiers followed and won the victory.
4 Claudius Marcellus, having unexpectedly come upon some Gallic troops, turned his horse about in a circle, looking around for a way of escape. Seeing danger on every hand, with a prayer to the gods, he broke into the midst of the enemy. By his amazing audacity he threw them into consternation, slew their leader,71 and actually carried away the spolia opima72 in a situation where there had scarcely remained a hope of saving his life.73
5 Lucius Paulus, after the loss of his army at Cannae, being offered a horse by Lentulus with which to effect his escape, refused to survive the disaster, although it had not been occasioned by him, and remained seated on the rock against which he had leaned when wounded, until he was overpowered and stabbed by the enemy.74
6 Paulus's colleague, Varro, showed even greater resolution in continuing alive after the same disaster, p299and the Senate and the people thanked him "because," they said, "he did not despair of the commonwealth." But throughout the rest of his life he gave proof that he had remained alive not from desire of life, but because of his love of country. He suffered his beard and hair to remain untrimmed, and never afterwards reclined when he took food at table. Even when honours were decreed him by the people he declined them, saying that State needed more fortunate magistrates than himself.75
7 After the complete rout of the Romans at Cannae, when Sempronius Tuditanus and Gnaeus Octavius, tribunes of the soldiers, were besieged in the smaller camp,76 they urged their comrades to draw their swords and accompany them in a dash through the forces of the enemy, declaring that they themselves were resolved on this course, even if no one else possessed the courage to break through. Although among the wavering crowd only twelve knights and fifty foot-soldiers were found who had the courage to accompany them, yet they reached Canusium unscathed.77
8 When Gaius Fonteius Crassus was in Spain, he set out with three thousand men on a foraging expedition and was enveloped in an awkward position by Hasdrubal. In the early part of the night, at a time when such a thing was least expected, having communicated his purpose only to the centurions of the first rank, he broke through the pickets of the enemy.
9 When the consul Cornelius had been caught in an awkward position by the enemy in the Samnite War, p301Publius Decius, tribune of the soldiers, urged him to send a small force to occupy a neighbouring hill, and volunteered to act as leader of those who should be sent. The enemy, thus diverted to a different quarter, allowed the consul to escape, but surrounded Decius and besieged him. Decius, however, extricated himself from this predicament also by making a sortie at night, and escaped unharmed along with his men and rejoined the consul.78
10 Under the consul Atilius Calatinus the same thing was done by a man whose name is variously reported. Some say he was called Laberius, and some Quintus Caedicius, but most give it as Calpurnius Flamma. This man, seeing that the army had entered a valley, the sides and all commanding parts of which the enemy had occupied, asked and received from the consul three hundred soldiers. After exhorting these to save the army by their valour, he hastened to the centre of the valley. To crush him and his followers, the enemy descended from all quarters, but, being held in check in a long and fierce battle, they thus afforded the consul an opportunity of extricating his army.79
11 Gaius Caesar, when about to fight the Germans and their king Ariovistus, at a time when his own men had been thrown into panic, called his soldiers together and declared to the assembly that on that day he proposed to employ the services of the tenth legion alone. In this way he caused the soldiers of this legion to be stirred by his tribute to their unique heroism, while the rest were overwhelmed with mortification to think that reputation for courage should be confined to others.80
12 A certain Spartan noble, when Philip declared he p303would cut them off from many things, unless the state surrendered to him, asked: "He won't cut us off from dying in defence of our country, will he?"81
14 When Gaius Aelius, a city praetor, was holding court on one occasion, a woodpecker lighted upon his head. The soothsayers were consulted and made answer that, if the bird should be allowed to go, the victory would fall to the enemy, but that, if it were killed, the Roman people would prevail, though Gaius and all his house should perish. Aelius, however, did not hesitate to kill the woodpecker. Our army won the day, but Aelius himself, with fourteen others of the same family, was slain in battle. Certain authorities do not believe that the man referred to was Gaius Caelius, but a certain Laelius, and that they were Laelii, not Caelii, who perished.83
15 Two Romans bearing the name Publius Decius, first the father, later the son, sacrificed their lives to save the State during their tenure of office. By spurring their horses against the foe they won victory for their country.84
16 When waging war against Aristonicus in Asia somewhere between Elaea and Myrina, Publius Crassus fell into the hands of the enemy and was being led away alive. Scorning the thought of captivity for a Roman consul, he used the stick, with which he had urged on his horse, to gouge out the eye of the Thracian by whom he was held captive. The Thracian, infuriated with the pain, p305stabbed him to death. Thus, as he desired, Crassus escaped the disgrace of servitude.85
17 Marcus, son of Cato the Censor, in a certain battle fell off his horse, which had stumbled. Cato picked himself up, but noticing that his sword had slipped out of its scabbard and fearing disgrace, went back among the enemy, and though he received a number of wounds, finally recovered his sword and made his way back to his comrades.86
18 The inhabitants of Petelia, when they were blockaded by the Carthaginians, sent away the children and the aged, on account of the shortage of food. They themselves, supporting life on hides, moistened and then dried by the fire, on leaves of trees, and on all sorts of animals, sustained the siege for eleven months.87
20 The story goes that the inhabitants of Casilinum, when blockaded by Hannibal, suffered such shortage of food that a mouse was sold for two hundred denarii,89 and that the man who sold it died of starvation, while the purchaser lived. Yet the inhabitants persisted in maintaining their loyalty to the Romans.90
21 When Mithridates was besieging Cyzicus, he paraded the captives from that city and exhibited them to the besieged, thinking thus to force the people of the town to surrender, through compassion for their fellows. But the townspeople urged the prisoners to meet death with heroism, and persisted in maintaining their loyalty to the Romans.91
2 When Xenophon on one occasion happened to be on horseback and had just ordered the infantry to take possession of a certain eminence, he heard one of the soldiers muttering that it was an easy matter for a mounted man to order such difficult enterprises. At this Xenophon leaped down and set the man from the ranks on his horse, while he himself hurried on foot with all speed to the eminence he had indicated. The soldier, unable to endure the shame of this performance, voluntarily dismounted amid the jeers of his comrades. It was with difficulty, however, that the united efforts of the troops induced Xenophon to mount his horse and to restrict his energies to the duties which devolved upon a commander.95
3 When Alexander was marching at the head of his troops one winter's day, he sat down by a fire and began to review the troops as they passed by. Noticing a certain soldier who was almost dead with the cold, he bade him sit in his place, adding: "If p309you had been born among the Persians, it would be a capital crime for you to sit on the king's seat; but since you were born in Macedonia, that privilege is yours.96
4 When the Deified Vespasianus Augustus learned that a certain youth, of good birth, but ill adapted to military service, had received a high appointment because of his straitened circumstances, Vespasian settled a sum of money on him, and gave him an honourable discharge.
1 Gaius Caesar used to say that he followed the same policy towards the enemy as did many doctors when dealing with the physical ailments, namely, that of conquering the foe by hunger rather than by steel.97
2 Domitius Corbulo used to say that the pick was the weapon with which to beat the enemy.
4 When people said of Scipio Africanus that he lacked aggressiveness, he is reported to have answered: "My mother bore me a general, not a warrior."
5 When a Teuton challenged Gaius Marius and called upon him to come forth, Marius answered that, if the man was desirous of death, he could end his life with a halter. Then, when the fellow persisted, Marius confronted him with a gladiator of despicable size, whose life was almost spent, and told the Teuton that, if he would first defeat this gladiator, he himself would then fight with him.
p311 6 After Quintus Sertorius had learned by experience that he was by no means a match for the whole Roman army, and wished to prove this to the barbarians also, who were rashly demanding battle, he brought into their presence two horses, one very strong, the other very feeble. Then he brought up two youths of corresponding physique, one robust, the other slight. The stronger youth was commanded to pull out the entire tail of the feeble horse, while the slight youth was commanded to pull out the hairs of the strong horse, one by one. Then, when the slight youth had succeeded in his task, while the strong one was still struggling vainly with the tail of the weak horse, Sertorius observed: "By this illustration I have exhibited to you, my men, the nature of the Roman cohorts. They are invincible to him who attacks them in a body; yet he who assails them by groups will tear and rend them."99
7 The consul Valerius Laevinus, having caught a spy within his camp, and having entire confidence in his own forces, ordered the man to be led around, observing that, for the sake of terrifying the enemy, his army was open to inspection by the spies of the enemy, as often as they wished.100
8 Caedicius, a centurion of the first rank, who acted as leader in Germany, when, after the Varian disaster,101 our men were beleaguered,º was afraid that the barbarians would bring up to the fortifications the wood which they had gathered, and would set fire to his camp. He therefore pretended to be in need of fuel, and sent out men in every direction to steal it. In this way he caused the Germans to remove the whole supply of felled trees.102
p313 9 Gnaeus Scipio, in a naval combat, hurled jars filled with pitch and rosin among the vessels of the enemy, in order that damage might result both from the weight of the missiles and from the scattering of their contents, which would serve as fuel for a conflagration.
10 Hannibal suggested to King Antiochus that he hurl jars filled with vipers among the ships of the enemy, in order that the crews, through fear of these, might be kept from fighting and from performing their nautical duties.103
12 Marcus Porcius Cato, having boarded the ships of the enemy, drove from them the Carthaginians. Then, having distributed their weapons and insignia among his own men, he sank many ships of the enemy, deceiving them by their own equipment.
13 Inasmuch as the Athenians had been subject to repeated attacks by the Spartans, on one occasion, in the course of a festival which they were celebrating outside the city in honour of Minerva, they studiously affected the rôle of worshippers, yet with weapons concealed beneath their clothing. When the ceremonial was over, they did not immediately return to Athens, but at once marched swiftly upon Sparta at a time when they were least feared, and themselves devastated the lands of an enemy whose victims they had often been.
17 Paches, the Athenian, on one occasion declared that the enemy would be spared, if they put aside the steel. When they had all complied with these terms, he ordered the entire number to be executed, since they had steel brooches on their cloaks.107
18 When Hasdrubal had invaded the territory of the Numidians for the purpose of subduing them, and they were preparing to resist, he declared that he had come to capture elephants, an animal in which Numidia abounds. For this privilege they demanded money, and Hasdrubal promised to pay it. Having by these representations thrown them off the scent, he attacked them and brought them under his power.
19 Alcetas, the Spartan, in order the more easily to make a surprise attack on a supply convoy of the Thebans, got ready his ships in a secret place, and exercised his rowers by turns on a single galley, as though that was all he had. Then at a certain time, as the Theban vessels were sailing past, he sent all his ships against them and captured their supplies.108
20 When Ptolemy with a weak force was contending against Perdiccas's powerful army, he arranged for a few horsemen to drive along animals of all sorts, with brush fastened to their backs for them to trail behind them. He himself went ahead with the forces which he had. As a consequence, the dust p317raised by the animals produced the appearance of a mighty army following, and the enemy, terrified by this impression, were defeated.109
21 Myronides, the Athenian, when about to fight on an open plain against the Thebans, who were very strong in cavalry, warned his troops that, if they stood their ground, there was some hope of safety, but that, if they gave way, destruction was absolutely certain. In this way he encouraged his men and won the victory.110
22 When Gaius Pinarius was in charge of the garrison of Henna in Sicily, the magistrates of the city demanded the keys of the gates, which he had in his keeping. Suspecting that they were preparing to go over to the Carthaginians, he asked for the space of a single night to consider the matter; and, revealing to his soldiers the treachery of the Greeks, he instructed them to get ready and wait for his signal on the morrow. At daybreak, in the presence of his troops, he announced to the people of Henna that he would surrender the keys, if all the inhabitants of the town should be agreed in their view. When the entire populace assembled in the theatre to settle this matter, and, with the obvious purpose of revolting, made the same demand, Pinarius gave the signal to his soldiers and murdered all the people of Henna.111
23 Iphicrates, the Athenian general, once rigged up his own fleet after the style of the enemy, and sailed away to a certain city whose people he viewed with suspicion. Being welcomed with unrestrained enthusiasm, he thus discovered their treachery and sacked their town.112
24 When Tiberius Gracchus had proclaimed that he p319would confer freedom on such of the volunteer slaves as showed courage, but would crucify the cowards, some four thousand men who had fought rather listlessly, gathered on a fortified hill in fear of punishment. Thereupon Gracchus sent men to tell them that in his opinion the whole force of volunteer slaves had shared in the victory, since they had routed the enemy. By this expression of confidence he freed them from their apprehensions and took them back again.113
25 After the battle of Lake Trasimenus, where the Romans suffered great disaster, Hannibal, having brought six thousand of the enemy under his power by virtue of a covenant he had made, generously allowed the allies of the "Latin Name"114 to return to their cities, declaring that he was waging war for the purpose of freeing Italy. As a result, by means of their assistance he received in surrender a number of tribes.115
26 When Locri was blockaded by Crispinus, admiral of our fleet, Mago spread the rumour in the Roman camp that Hannibal had slain Marcellus and was coming to relieve Locri from blockade. Then, secretly sending out cavalry, he commanded them to show themselves on the mountains, which were in view. By doing this, he caused Crispinus, in the belief that Hannibal was at hand, to board his vessels and make off.116
28 When Pelopidas, the Theban, had been put to flight by the Thessalians and had crossed the river over which he had constructed an emergency bridge, he ordered his rearguard to burn the bridge, in order that it might not serve also as a means of passage to the enemy who were following him.118
29 When the Romans in certain operations were no match for the Campanian cavalry, Quintus Naevius, a centurion in the army of Fulvius Flaccus, the proconsul, conceived the plan of picking from the whole army the men who seemed swiftest of foot and of medium stature, arming them with small shields, helmets, and swords, and giving to each man seven spears, •about four feet in length. These men he attached to the cavalry, and commanded them to advance to the very walls, and then, taking their position at that point, to fight amid the cavalry of the enemy, when our cavalry retreated. By this means the Campanians suffered severely, and especially their horses. When these were thrown into confusion, victory became easy for our troops.119
30 When Publius Scipio was in Lydia, and observed that the army of Antiochus was demoralized by the rain, which fell day and night without cessation, and when he further noted that not only were men and horses exhausted, but that even the bows were rendered useless from the effect of the dampness on their strings, he urged his brother to engage in battle on the following day, although it was consecrated to religious observance. The adoption of this plan was followed by victory.120
31 When Cato was ravaging Spain, the envoys of the Ilergetes, a tribe allied with the Romans, came to him and begged for assistance. Cato, unwilling either p323to alienate his allies by refusing aid, or to diminish his own strength by dividing his forces, ordered a third part of his soldiers to prepare rations and embark on their ships, directing them to return and to allege head winds as the reason for this action. Meanwhile the report of approaching aid went on before them, raising the hopes of the Ilergetes, and shattering the plans of the enemy.121
32 Since in the army of Pompey there was a large force of Roman cavalry, which by its skill in arms wrought havoc among the soldiers of Gaius Caesar, the latter ordered his troops to aim with their swords at the faces and eyes of the enemy. He thus forced the enemy to avert their faces and retire.122
33 When the Voccaei were hard pressed by Sempronius Gracchus in a pitched battle, they surrounded their entire force with a ring of carts, which they had filled with their bravest warriors dressed in women's clothes. Sempronius rose up with greater daring to assault the enemy, because he imagined himself proceeding against women, whereupon those in the carts attacked him and put him to flight.123
34 When Eumenes of Cardia, one of the successors of Alexander, was besieged in a certain stronghold, and was unable to exercise his horses, he had them suspended during certain hours each day in such a position that, resting on their hind legs and with their fore feet in the air, they moved their legs till the sweat ran, in their efforts to regain their natural posture.124
35 When certain barbarians promised Marcus Cato guides for the march and also reinforcements, provided that a large sum of money should be assured p325them, he did not hesitate to make the promise, since, if they won, he could reward them from the spoils of the enemy, while, if they were slain, he would be released from his pledge.125
36 When a certain Statilius, a knight of distinguished record, evinced an inclination to desert to the enemy, Quintus Maximus ordered him to be summoned to his presence, and apologized for not having known until then the real merits of Statilius, owing to the jealousy of his fellow-soldiers. Then, giving Statilius a horse and bestowing a large gift of money besides, he succeeded in sending away rejoicing a man who, when summoned, was conscience-stricken; he succeeded also in securing for the future a loyal and brave knight in place of one whose fealty was in doubt.126
37 Philip,127 having heard that a certain Pythias, an excellent warrior, had become estranged from him because he was too poor to support his three daughters, and was not assisted by the king, and having been warned by certain persons to be on his guard against the man, replied: "What! If part of my body were diseased, should I cut it off, rather than give it treatment?" Then, quietly drawing Pythias aside for a confidential talk, and learning the seriousness of his domestic embarrassments, he supplied him with funds, and found in him a better and more devoted adherent than before the estrangement.
38 After an unsuccessful battle with the Carthaginians, in which he had lost his colleague Marcellus, Titius Quinctius Crispinus, learning that Hannibal had obtained possession of the ring of the slain hero, sent letters among all the municipal towns of Italy, warning the inhabitants to give credit to no letters which should be brought sealed with the ring of p327Marcellus. As a result of this advice, Salapia and other cities were assailed in vain by Hannibal's insidious efforts.128
39 After the disaster at Cannae, when the Romans were so terror-stricken that a large part of survivors thought of abandoning Italy, and that too with the endorsement of nobles of the highest standing, Publius Scipio, then extremely young, in the very assembly where such a course was being discussed, proclaimed with great vehemence that he would slay with his own hand whoever refused to declare on oath that he cherished no purpose of abandoning the State. Having first bound himself with such an oath, he drew his sword and threatened death to one of those standing near unless he too should take the oath. This man was constrained by fear to swear allegiance; the rest were compelled by the example of the first.129
40 When the camp of the Volscians had been pitched near bushes and woods, Camillus set fire to everything which could carry the flames, once started, up to the very fortifications. In this way he deprived the enemy of their camp.130
42 When Quintus Metellus was about to break camp in Spain and wished to keep his soldiers in line, he proclaimed that he had discovered that an ambush had been laid by the enemy; therefore the soldiers should not quit the standards nor break ranks. Though he had done this merely for purposes of discipline, yet happening to meet with an actual ambuscade, he found his soldiers unafraid, since he had given them warning.132
1 a different subject: That is, different from the class of stratagems proper.
Thayer's Note: and Plut. Apophth. Rom., Scip. Min. 17.
4 no meat except baked or boiled: The point of the prohibition is not obvious to the modern sense.
Thayer's Note: Clearly a measure to protect the health of the troops. The only other possibilities are roasted or grilled; and raw. As unlikely as it seems to well-fed civilians today, Frontinus himself tells of one instance in which troops ran amok and stuffed themselves on raw meat, or at least very under-done, with unhappy results. An army on a difficult campaign will not naturally look to the details of how their meat is cooked, and very incidentally, I myself can report a week's survival course in the Air Force by the end of which my squadron and I were hungry enough to eat bits of a very ill-roasted squirrel we strangled with some parachute cord.
5 soldiers required to take the ius iurandum: 216 B.C. Cf. Livy XXII.38. Up to the time of the Battle of Cannae, there were two military oaths, the sacramentum, which was compulsory and was administered by the consul when the soldier first enlisted, and the ius iurandum, a voluntary oath taken before a tribune when the soldiers were assigned to separate divisions. In 216 the two were united, and thereafter the ius iurandum, administered by the military tribune, was compulsory. The facts here stated are slightly at variance with the general understanding.
8 Marius's mules: Cf. Fest. Paul. 24, 2; 148, 6.
12 Publius Rutilius' son in the field: 105 B.C.
14 Maleventum: The modern Benevento. Pyrrhus was defeated here in 275 B.C.
16 Nasica's ships: 194‑193 B.C.
20 Otacilius Crassus toughens up his weaker soldiers: Manius Otacilius Crassus was consul in 263 and 246 B.C. Titus Otacilius Crassus was consul in 261 B.C.
25 The Senate orders winter in the field as a disciplinary measure: 280 B.C. Publius Valerius Laevinus.
26 legions refusing to serve in the Punic War: In the Second Punic War, after Cannae.
Thayer's Note: I don't know if it's still going on now, but back when I served (1967‑1969) it was standard treatment in the U. S. Army, at least in basic training at Fort Bragg, to post a sloppy soldier outdoors, at the door to the barracks, under arms but in his underwear for a few hours, even in the snow. Somehow I escaped this punishment myself, but saw it with my own eyes, inflicted on others.
31 Cotta flogs a young man from a powerful family: 252 B.C.
36 the plundering legion: When Pyrrhus was in southern Italy, the people of Rhegium applied to Rome for assistance, and the Romans sent them a garrison of four thousand soldiers, levied among the Latin colonies in Campania. In 279 these troops seized the town, killed or expelled the male inhabitants, and took possession of the women and children. Cf. Livy XXVIII.28; Val. Max. II.VII.15; Polyb. I.VII.6‑13; Oros. IV.III.3‑5.
38 Manlius has his son scourged and beheaded; with that kind of father I too would have agreed to it: 340 B.C. Cf. Livy VIII.7; Val. Max. II.VII.6; Sall. Cat. 52; Cic. de Fin. I.VII.23, de Off. III.XXXI.112. The father, Titus Manlius Torquatus, was the son of Lucius Manlius, dictator in 363, who had also received the cognomen Imperiosus on account of his severity.
43 "deficient": The term infrequens was technically applied to soldiers who were absent from or irregular in attendance on their duties.
45 Technical skill better than raw speed: 42 B.C.
46 Marius prefers disciplined soldiers to his own: 104 B.C.
52 discipline pulls a Greek army thru a long trek across Asia Minor: Cf. Xen. Anab. III.1 ff.
57 poverty and honesty of Gnaeus Scipio: Other writers, excepting Seneca, speak of but one daughter, and represent the dowry as given when Scipio was warring in Spain, in 218‑211 B.C. Cf. Val. Max. IV.IV.10; Sen. Qu. Nat. I.XVII.9; Apul. Apol. 18; Ammian. Marc. XIV.VI.11.
Thayer's Note: I am usually neither cynical nor distrustful of ancient sources, but on internal grounds, I don't believe this to be absolutely literal. The translation is good; so what does "among his belongings" mean? Clearly other possessions of some other type.
60 not more than two couches: Frontinus has in mind a Roman lectus, or dining-couch, which accommodated three persons.
68 Pyrrhus' corrupt doctor: 279 B.C. Cf. Livy Per. 13; Cic. de Off. III.XXII.86; Plut. Pyrrh. 21. Val. Max. VI.V.1 and Gell. III.8 represent Fabricius as disclosing the plot, but not the name of the traitor.
71 their leader: Viridomarius, the Insubrian Gaul.
72 spolia opima: Spoils taken from a victorious commander from the leader of the enemy.
Thayer's Note: For more detailed information about what exactly did and did not constitute spolia opima, see the article in Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities.
76 smaller camp: When the Romans reached Cannae, they pitched two camps, the larger one on the N.W. bank of the Aufidus, the smaller on the S.E. bank, •about a mile and a quarter apart, according to Polyb. III.CX.10. Before the battle, Hannibal transferred his camp from the east side of the river to the west.
77 Tuditanus and Octavius break thru the lines: 216 B.C. Cf. Livy XXII.50; Appian Hann. 16. Livy gives the number of those escaping from the smaller camp as six hundred. Appian says ten thousand from the larger camp escaped. One leader only is mentioned by both.
83 Aelius' woodpecker: Cf. Plin. H. N. X.XVIII.20. Val. Max. V.VI.4 says that the Aelian family lost seventeen members at the battle of Cannae. The last sentence of this paragraph is undoubtedly an interpolation.
Thayer's Note: The date of the battle of Pydna, although it is usually given in the English-speaking world as 168 B.C., was probably in 172: see Plut. Aem. 17.7 and my note there.
88 the resolve of the inhabitants of Consabra: 79‑75 B.C.
89 two hundred denarii: about £6 15s.
Thayer's Note: That was in Bennett's time, 1925. Now (2002), as Mrs Slocombe would say, with "decimalization, inflation, value-added tax", call it around $150 in U.S. money.
91 the resolve of the Cyzicenes: 74 B.C. Cf. Appian Mith. 73.
92 the resolve of the Segovians: 147‑139 B.C.
95 Xenophon on foot: 401 B.C. Cf. Xen. Anab. III.IV.44‑49.
101 the Varian disaster: The defeat of Varus by Arminius in the Teutoburg Forest in 9 A.D.
The Parthians did the same to the Romans in 54 B.C., Plut. Crassus, 28.
106 Scipio Africanus' paved road: Cf. Veget. III.21.
Thayer's Note: Frontinus and several other classical writers bring up the effects or outright tactical use of dust; see Strat. II.2.7 and note. For an interesting night-time variant of the tactic, see Galdames, History of Chile, p190.
114 the "Latin Name": i.e. the Latin League. The cities of Latium were from very early times united in an alliance with Rome. At first this bond was of a political nature, on a basis of perfect equality; later Rome became the leading power and assumed the supremacy.
117 Scipio Aemilianus attaches archers and slingers to all his units: 133 B.C. Veget. I.15 narrates instances of the important part played in Roman battles by archers and javelin throwers, and emphasizes the necessity of training in archery.
118 Pelopidas burns his bridge: 369‑364 B.C.
Thayer's Note: A classic move, seen in many guises; as for example with the ships of Agathocles, Diodorus, XX.7.
123 the Voccaei dress up: 179‑178 B.C.
127 Philip: The father of Alexander.
131 Crassus' camp burned down: 90 B.C.
132 Quintus Metellus' virtual ambush turns out real: 143‑142 B.C.
a Civitas Lingonum, today's Langres.
And for the following, I am indebted to Murray K. Dahm: A soon to be published diploma fragment of A.D. 81‑84 shows Frontinus as legatus for the army of Germania Inferior (W. Eck and A. Pangerl, Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik, 2003, in press). In that rôle Frontinus could well have taken an active part in Domitian's Germanic wars, which would explain both his deep insight into Domitian's campaign thruout the Strategemata and the reference to his personal involvement in Book IV.
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