Michael Lovano

in The Oxford Handbook of Warfare in the Classical World

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780195304657
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks


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This chapter evaluates the Roman writing on the subject of warfare, addressing Julius Caesar in his Commentaries on the Gallic War and the Commentaries on the Civil War. It also considers Velleius Paterculus in his Roman Histories and Ammianus Marcellinus in his Histories. Moreover, the chapter discusses Frontinus in his Stratagems and Vegetius in his Epitome of Military Science, as well as Sallust in his War against Jugurtha and War against Catiline, Livy in his From the Founding of the City, and Tacitus in his Annals and Agricola. Like Velleius, Ammianus gives the commanding officers credit for military success or blame for failure, and like Caesar, recognizes the critical role of flexibility in combat. In conclusion, Roman authors identified that the smarter and more careful, virtuous, courageous, and determined generals (usually Roman) always prevailed.

Keywords: warfare; Roman writing; Julius Caesar; Velleius Paterculus; Ammianus Marcellinus; Frontinus; Vegetius; Sallust; Livy; Tacitus

Article.  8478 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Classical Literature ; Ancient Roman History

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