Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Military Institutions of the Romans by…

Military Institutions of the Romans

by Vegetius

Other authors: Jacques Bongars (Translator)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations
130492,561 (4.03)None



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

Showing 4 of 4
Another copy of Vegetius which is easy to read and pretty clear. Good that analysis with the text points out that Vegetius was looking backwards into Roman history and was not really talking about the army of his time (which bore little resemblance to the army of Augustus). ( )
  SPQR2755 | Oct 13, 2013 |
I wasn't overly excited about this book, but I wanted to read it due to its significant history. And after I read Penman's "The Sunne in Splendour," a favorite of last year, this one turned up in researching books read by Richard III.
To my surprise, I found it quite a pleasant, interesting read.

Vegetius starts out by emphasizing the need for playing off strengths. He admits the best attributes about enemy armies: the Gauls with their "multitudes," the Germans have "prodigious stature," Spain "physical strength," the Greeks "arts and all kinds of knowledge," the Africans "wealth, deception and stratagem" (that last one made me want to read an African version of Vegetius).
The best attributes of the Roman army, he tells us, are that they are thorough, hardworking, well trained, and strict.

From there, Vegetius moves to practically begin with advice on recruiting. He weighs the question of which is the better choice - peasants or city nobility (answer: Peasants. They'll already be used to hard labor, strangers to luxury, and "unacquainted with the use of baths"). How old should these recruits be? What size? How can you tell if they'll make a good soldier? On all this and more, Vegetius is full of tips.

And so the book goes, concisely and sagely written. It is short enough that you can imagine Richard III carrying a copy with him on a campaign, and yet thorough in the detail that it goes into. Weapons, ranks within the army, promotions, salaries, discipline, training ideas, means of preventing mutiny, army music, ways to kill rather than wound, battle formations, what to do when an enemy flees... It's all here. ( )
  joririchardson | Apr 9, 2013 |
Considered one of the most important military treatise from Roman times to the nineteenth century, Provides a detailed account of Roman Army with an abreviated book on the Roman Navy. Wish I had read this book in my earlier years as it would have been a constant reference source and used as an object of discussion during my military service. ( )
  Taurus454 | Jan 6, 2011 |
This is a good no-frills edition of Vegetius classic work. He was the source fof military science for many Medieval generals but it's unsure how much influence he had in his own time. He seems to be discussing ideals based on classical Roman warfare rather than actual military practice of the 5th century. There's also no evidence that he was actually a soldier himself. Still, it's an interesting read. ( )
  dsullivan800 | Oct 14, 2008 |
Showing 4 of 4
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Vegetiusprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bongars, JacquesTranslatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Clark, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Meijer, FikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nilner, N. P.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reeve, M. D.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
It has been an old custom for authors to offer to their Princes the fruits of their studies in belles letters, from a persuasion that no work can be published with propriety but under the auspices of the Emperor, and that the knowledge of a Prince should be more general, and of the most important kind, as its influence is felt so keenly by all his subjects. We have many instances of the favorable reception which Augustus and his illustrious successors conferred on the works presented to them; and this encouragement of the Sovereign made the sciences flourish. The consideration of Your Majesty’s superior indulgence for attempts of this sort, induced me to follow this example, and makes me at the same time almost forget my own inability when compared with the ancient writers. One advantage, however, I derive from the nature of this work, as it requires no elegance of expression, or extraordinary share of genius, but only great care and fidelity in collecting and explaining, for public use, the instructions and observations of our old historians of military affairs, or those who wrote expressly concerning them.
First words
Victory in war does not depend entirely upon numbers or mere courage; only skill and discipline will insure it.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
This is Vegetius' Epitome Rei Militaris in translation.
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (4)

Book description
Also known as “De Re Militari” (On Military Matters), this is the only handbook of Roman warfare to survive to modern times. Written when the power of the Roman empire was already waning, it was intended to educate a new emperor on the capabilities of the Roman legions. The author touches on all military matters, including the selection and training of recruits, the importance of logistics and supply, how to develop leadership qualities, the maintenance of army discipline, the use of arms and armor, and various battlefield tactics. It also contains many military and political maxims still used to this day, including “He who aspires to peace should prepare for war,” and “Few men are born brave; many become so through training and force of discipline.” Copied and recopied countless times, it was required military reading until the advent of gunpowder, and has been carried into battle by kings and generals.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 085323910X, Paperback)

The only Latin art of war to survive, Vegetius’ Epitome was for long a part of the medieval prince’s military education. The core of his proposals, the maintenance of a professional standing army, was revolutionary for medieval Europe, while his theory of deterrence through strength remains the foundation of modern Western defense policy.

"by far the best English translation of Vegetius available ..."—Bryn Mawr Classical Review

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:04 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

No library descriptions found.

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
17 wanted1 free
3 pay

Popular covers


Average: (4.03)
3 2
3.5 1
4 10
5 3

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 117,110,825 books! | Top bar: Always visible