Strategikon of Maurice


Strategikon of Maurice

The "Strategikon" ( _el. Στρατηγικόν) is a manual of war by written in the late 6th century and usually attributed to Byzantine Emperor Maurice; it is moreover a practical manual, "a rather modest elementary handbook," in the words of its introduction, "for those devoting themselves to generalship." There is debate in academic circles as to the true author of Strategikon. Maurice may have only initiated it; perhaps his brother Peter, or another general of his Court was the true author. Also, it is debated whether the Strategikon was brought about by experience of Maurice’s Balkan campaigns or whether those campaigns were led in compliance with the manual.

The "Strategikon" was written in an effort to codify the military reforms brought about by the soldier/emperor Maurice. These reforms were left relatively unchanged for 500 years, until the 11th century.

The text consists of 12 chapters, or "books," all but one of which deal with the organization, training and support of mounted troops. It also includes plans for the recruitment of a peasant militia, which should replace the mercenary armies. Of particular note is the eleventh book with its portrayal of various Byzantine enemies (Franks, Lombards, Avars, Turks, and Slavs). This is of ethnographical interest. Strategikon also belongs to Byzantine legal literature, since it also contains a list of military infractions and their suitable penalties.

Strategikon is praised in military circles as the first, and only, sophisticated combined arms theory until World War II.

References

External links

* [http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/strategikon/strategikon.htm A comparison of the "Strategikon" to Sun Tzu's "The Art of War"]


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