New PDF release: Battles and Generals: Combat, Culture, and Didacticism in

By Conor Whately

ISBN-10: 9004310363

ISBN-13: 9789004310360

In Battles and Generals: strive against, tradition, and Didacticism in Procopius’ Wars, Whately reads Procopius’ descriptions of strive against in the course of the lens of didacticism, arguing that considered one of Procopius’ intentions was once to build these debts not just in order that they will be exciting to his viewers, but in addition in order that they may perhaps offer genuine price to his readership, which used to be comprised, partly, of the empire’s army command. during this research we find that the various battles and sieges that Procopius describes are usually not commonplace; particularly, they've been crafted to mirror the character of strive against – as understood by means of Procopius – at the 3 fronts of Justinian’s wars, the frontier with Persia, Vandal north Africa, and Gothic Italy.

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Additional resources for Battles and Generals: Combat, Culture, and Didacticism in Procopius’ "Wars"

Sample text

Cyr. 14, trans. Miller]. Xenophon here makes the case that tactics represent only one small part of generalship; morale is also of considerable importance. Much later, after discussion of the value of the hunt and the use of deception to catch small game (Xen. Cyr. 158 For Xenophon the outcome of a battle ultimately rests on the 154 155 156 157 158 Polyb. 21–26. 8–9), in his description of the battle, modifies Polybius by stressing the importance of morale and tactics. Xenophon has much to say on warfare and so in the interests of brevity, I have concentrated on one of his texts, the Cyropaedia, in the belief that it is representative of the military doctrine that he espouses.

It is here that Procopius’ thoughts on leadership in combat come to a head. The fifth chapter, “Book Eight”, on combat in book eight, marks something of a departure, for we abandon the sections of the previous three chapters, including the historical overview. Instead, we look at the characteristics of five engagements: the River Hippis, Senogallia, Busta Gallorum, Petra, and Archaeopolis. This format allows us to evaluate what Procopius thought were the most pertinent characteristics in describing and explain combat in the Persian Wars, Vandal Wars, and Gothic Wars; these are the ones that he would likely have reused when he sat down to update the Wars with book eight.

For a battle narrative with these precepts in action see book seven of the Cyropaedia. For a more detailed exposition of Xenophon’s views on generalship and tactics, see Hutchinson (2000). Cf. Shay 1994. The value that hunting had for instilling military skills was recognized throughout antiquity. In late antiquity Maurice, or at least some external editor of the text, appended a discussion on hunting to his Strategicon. For East Rome’s great political rival the Sasanid Persian Empire, hunting was highly esteemed by the nobility, as evidenced, for example, by the Legend of Mar Qardagh.

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Battles and Generals: Combat, Culture, and Didacticism in Procopius’ "Wars" by Conor Whately


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