The De Re Militari of Vegetius

The De Re Militari of Vegetius : The Reception, Transmission and Legacy of a Roman Text in the Middle Ages

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Vegetius' late Roman text became a well-known and highly respected 'classic' in the Middle Ages, transformed by its readers into the authority on the waging of war. Christopher Allmand analyses the medieval afterlife of the De Re Militari, tracing the growing interest in the text from the Carolingian world to the late Middle Ages, suggesting how the written word may have influenced the development of military practice in that period. While emphasising that success depended on a commander's ability to outwit the enemy with a carefully selected, well-trained and disciplined army, the De Re Militari inspired other unexpected developments, such as that of the 'national' army, and helped create a context in which the role of the soldier assumed greater social and political importance. Allmand explores the significance of the text and the changes it brought for those who accepted the implications of its central messages.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 15 b/w illus. 1 table
  • 113915656X
  • 9781139156561

Table of contents

Part I. The Medieval Reception: 1. General remarks on the manuscripts; 2. Analysis of the manuscripts; 3. A particular response to the De Re Militari... and its influence; 4. Bedfellows; 5. Owners and their texts; Part II. The Transmission: 6. Particular uses of the De Re Militari; 7. Translations; 8. Texts, drawings and illuminations; 9. Excerpts; 10. Vegetius in print; Part III. The Legacy: The De Re Militari in Medieval Thought and Practice: 11. The development of Vegetian influence.
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Review quote

'Essential.' Choice 'The full story of Vegetius in the medieval era has not been told. Christopher Allmand ... has perhaps capped his career with what is likely to be the definitive study of Vegetius in the Middle Ages for the foreseeable future.' Everett L. Wheeler, Reviews in History ( 'The De Re Militari of Vegetius is a valuable work and required reading for anyone interested in medieval military history.''... [a] comprehensive survey of the surviving manuscripts ... Very much a labour of love, Allmand's survey is a valuable addition to our understanding of medieval mentalites.' Nicholas Vincent, History 'The De Re Militari of Vegetius is a valuable work and required reading for anyone interested in medieval military history.' Bernard S. Bachrach, War in History
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