Military Texts

Eric McGeer

in The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Studies

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780199252466
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History

 Military Texts

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Classical Studies
  • Middle Eastern Languages


Show Summary Details


Byzantium inherited and preserved a corpus of ancient military treatises that would become the basis of Byzantine military literature, which belongs to a tradition of war writings in Greek dating back to the fourth century BCE. These treatises can be divided into five genres that treat war in its various aspects: taktika, strategika, poliorketika, naumachika, and strategemata. The reign of Leo's son Constantine VII (913-59) was a decisive phase in the history of Byzantine military literature. The single most important Byzantine treatise is the Strategikon composed by Maurice around the year 600. The soldier-emperor Nikephoros Phokas also wrote or inspired tactical handbooks that close the gap between theory and practice.

Keywords: Byzantium; military literature; military treatises; wars; Constantine VII; Strategikon; Nikephoros Phokas

Article.  3542 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Middle Eastern Languages

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.