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Strategika

(στρατηλικά), military treatises, also called taktika. The Byz. consulted, copied, and excerpted ancient military writers who were regarded as authorities on different topics, esp. Aelian ...

Strategika

Strategika   Reference library

Alexander Kazhdan and Eric McGeer

The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
338 words

... De re militari (ca. 1000 ). Although some strategika closely follow older traditions, others are valuable sources for the theory and practice of warfare in Byz., the army's social basis, and the habits and attitudes of hostile neighbors. The production of strategika stopped after Basil II. The Byz. themselves were convinced of the utility of such works. The Book of Ceremonies ( De cer . 467.4–14) recommended bringing tactical treatises along on campaigns, while Kekaumenos urged consultation of strategika in combination with personal inventiveness...

Strategika

Strategika  

(στρατηλικά), military treatises, also called taktika. The Byz. consulted, copied, and excerpted ancient military writers who were regarded as authorities on different topics, esp. Aelian the ...
Stratiotes

Stratiotes  

(στρατιώτης), In narrative texts, strategika, and other documents, the term stratiotes meant soldier; in legislative texts it denoted the holder of a strateia. Stratiotai were sometimes contrasted ...
Encyclopedism

Encyclopedism   Reference library

Alexander Kazhdan

The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
220 words

...The main feature of this period was the “organization” of an administrative and cultural structure; for this purpose various manuals were produced—on the bureaucratic hierarchy ( taktika ), on tax collecting (see Taxation, Treatises on ) , on military tactics and strategy ( strategika ), on agriculture ( Geoponika ); Roman law was systematized in the Basilika and related texts, and rules for the guilds of Constantinople (the Book of the Eparch ) were issued. It was also a period of active transliteration of texts from uncial to minuscule and of attempts...

Taxiarchos

Taxiarchos   Reference library

Alexander Kazhdan and Eric McGeer

The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
233 words

..., who were then foreign mercenaries. The Souda defines taxiarchos as an old term, “now” replaced by hekatontarchos , that is, the commander of 100 men. With the reorganization and increased role of infantry during the 10th C., however, the taxiarchos appears in the strategika and Kekaumenos as a high-ranking officer in command of a 1,000-man unit ( taxiarchia ) comprising 500 heavy infantrymen, 300 archers, and 200 light infantrymen ( Oikonomides , Listes 335f); the terms chiliarches and chiliarchia also refer to this officer and his unit....

Recruitment

Recruitment   Reference library

Eric McGeer

The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
226 words

...) in return for military service. The hiring of mercenaries and the settlement of warlike foreign peoples in Byz. territory were also common means of recruitment. Men were eligible for army service between the ages of 18 and 40 with length of service spanning 30 years. The strategika specify youth, size, and strength as the qualities required of soldiers; various nationalities were recommended for particular roles, such as Armenians for heavy infantry and Rus᾽ as skirmishers in the 10th C. ( Oikonomides , Listes 336). Jones , LRE 614–19. J.F. Haldon ,...

Touldos

Touldos   Reference library

Eric McGeer

The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
214 words

...of Maurice ( Strat. Maurik. , bk.5) the touldos , under a separate commander, includes the army's nonmilitary personnel, pack animals, reserve horses, and frugal provisions for food and shelter. Similar notes on the composition of the touldos are found in the 10th-C. strategika . They too emphasize frugality for the sake of the army's mobility, since most daily needs, food, fodder, or wood, could be collected by foraging parties. Specially assigned units guarded the touldos while the army marched or fought, and it was kept well inside the camp at...

Medical Services, Military

Medical Services, Military   Reference library

Eric McGeer

The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
210 words

...service units (ed. Dennis , Military Treatises 324.20–21), but exactly where the wounded were taken and what care they received is not recorded. Physicians ( therapeutai or iatroi ) are listed among the nonmilitary personnel accompanying the army in 6th- and 10th-C. strategika . Sections of the medical treatises of Oribasios and Paul of Aegina cover military medicine, esp. fractures and extractions; Prokopios ( Wars 6.2.25–32) describes the skillful extraction of an arrowhead from a wounded man by military surgeons. Histoire de la médecine aux...

Camp

Camp   Reference library

Eric McGeer

The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
359 words

...from east to west. The distinctly Byz. plan of a square camp crossed by intersecting roads thus differs from the earlier Roman rectangular plan based on the T-shaped intersection of the via praetoria/principalis and is first attested in the 6th C. To protect the camp, the strategika recommended digging a trench with the earth heaped up along the inner lip to form a rampart; the infantry might then fix their spears in the earth and hang or lean their shields upon them to make a shield-cover or palisade. John I Tzimiskes ' army fortified their camp in this...

Cavalry

Cavalry   Reference library

Eric McGeer

The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
265 words

...with shock by deploying three units forward in an attack line and four behind in support, with other units on both flanks detailed to outflank the enemy on the right and prevent enemy encirclement from the left. To this basic pattern of cavalry deployment the 10th-C. Strategika show the addition of heavy Kataphraktoi for increased shock against enemy infantry, and a third line of reserves for protection against Arab skirmishers ( Praecepta Milit. 3–4, pp. 10.15–18.15). Cavalry warfare in the later period was influenced by Latin Mercenaries , best...

Taktika of Leo VI

Taktika of Leo VI   Reference library

Eric McGeer

The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
297 words

...(11.25–26; 15.38; 17.83) are contemporary, while the lack of sources on naval warfare compelled him to ask his own sailors for information on this subject (19.1). The Taktika became the authoritative military reference work in the 10th C., inspiring and influencing later Strategika ( Dagron -Mihăescu, Guérilla 139–60). The text has come down in two traditions—a preliminary model and a fully revised version ( A. Dain , TM 2 [ 1967 ] 354–57). Of interest for the text's early history is the acrostic in book 20, rearranged during the reign of ...

Praecepta Militaria

Praecepta Militaria   Reference library

Alexander Kazhdan and Eric McGeer

The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
301 words

...likely battle situations ranging from skirmishes to pitched battles and recommends the proper response to each one, repeatedly stressing reconnaissance, discipline, and caution. The text concludes with brief remarks on camps , spies, and the army's religious observances. ed. Strategika imperatora Nikifora, ed. Ju.A. Kulakovskij , ZapANIst-fıl 8.9 (St. Petersburg 1908) 1–58. H. Mihăescu , Pour une nouvelle édition du traité Praecepta militaria du X e siècle, RSBS 2 (1982) 315–22. Dagron-Mihăescu , Guérilla 153f. Alexander Kazhdan , Eric...

Military Religious Services

Military Religious Services   Reference library

Eric McGeer

The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
265 words

...the early 4th C., when Constantine I granted his Christian soldiers leave to attend Sunday liturgy. By the mid-5th C. military chaplains are found in the army ( Jones , LRE 632f), and priests are commonly listed among the army's nonmilitary personnel in 6th- and 10th-C. strategika ; St. Loukas the Stylite (10th C.), for example, was a military chaplain who conducted services for soldiers each Sunday ( Delehaye , Saints stylites 201.14–25). Liturgical books were brought along on imperial campaigns ( De cer. 467.4). Religious rituals were an integral...

Naumachika

Naumachika   Reference library

Eric McGeer

The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
296 words

..., TM 2 (1967) 342, 350, 365f. E. Eickhoff , Seekrieg und Seepolitik zwischen Islam und Abendland (Berlin 1966) 158–70. F. Lammert , Die älteste erhaltene Schrift über Seetaktik und ihre Beziehung zum Anonymus Byzantinus des 6. Jahrhunderts, zu Vegetius und zu Aineias' Strategika , Klio 33 (1940) 271–88. V. Christides , Two Parallel Naval Guides of the Tenth Century: Qudāma's Document and Leo VI's Naumachica: A Study on Byzantine and Moslem Naval Preparedness , Graeco-Arabica 1 (1982) 51–103. Eric...

Infantry

Infantry   Reference library

Eric McGeer

The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
281 words

...a mobile base for cavalry on campaign. Infantry was also indispensable for sieges and in terrain unsuited to cavalry. Foot soldiers were usually deployed in a square formation that they maintained in battle, on the march, and in camp . To judge from the totals given in the strategika , infantry made up the bulk of the the army, outnumbering the cavalry by a ratio of 2:1 or 3:1. Three types of infantrymen are distinguished: heavy infantry armed with spears and swords, protected by corselets, caps, and shields; archers; and light infantry, armed with javelins...

Intelligence, Military and Political

Intelligence, Military and Political   Reference library

Eric McGeer

The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
271 words

...best to adapt to each one. The De velitatione (10th C.) describes the surveillance of the frontiers by local units, which monitored enemy invaders to ascertain their strength and intentions; the necessity of reconnaissance while on campaign is repeatedly emphasized in the strategika . In preparation for offensive expeditions, merchants were sent into enemy lands to collect information ( De cer . 657.3–12), and grudging tribute to their effectiveness comes from Ibn Ḥawqal , who criticized the Arab authorities' inattention to them ( Configuration de la...

Armor

Armor   Reference library

Eric McGeer and Anthony Cutler

The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
733 words

.... The 6th- and 10th-C. strategika and other literary sources identify several types of body protection worn by Byz. soldiers. Body armor ( thorax ) for cavalrymen was made of chain mail or lamellar, small plates of horn or iron laced together or to a leather backing. These protective coats, called zabai, lorikia , or klibania , varied in length, reaching the ankles, knees, or waist. To guard against concussive as well as penetrative blows, heavy cavalrymen or kataphraktoi wore padded, waist-length surcoats ( epilorikia, epanoklibania ) made of wool,...

Strategy

Strategy   Reference library

Alexander Kazhdan, Eric McGeer, and Anthony Cutler

The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
418 words

...caution thus prevailed over the adventurous, daring combat typical of the Western knight. Byz. strategy derived from two sources: the theoretical tradition of classical tacticians and the general's own practical experience, esp. the observation of hostile peoples; Byz. strategika reflect these two approaches. Although war was considered evil (see Peace and War ) , patriotism and the belief that Byz. was the defender of Christian and classical values fostered the readiness for resistance and counter-attack. The Byz. pursued an essentially defensive...

Stratiotes

Stratiotes   Reference library

Alexander Kazhdan and Eric McGeer

The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
453 words

...(στρατιώτης), In narrative texts, strategika , and other documents, the term stratiotes meant soldier; in legislative texts it denoted the holder of a strateia . Stratiotai were sometimes contrasted with peasants ( georgoi ): the Nomos Stratiotikos prohibited stratiotai from involvement in agriculture or trade, and the Taktika of Leo VI (11.11) described peasants who maintained stratiotai and stratiotai who defended peasants as the “twin pillars” of Byz. society. Stratiotai were listed in muster-rolls as the possessors of stratiotika...

Army

Army   Reference library

Eric McGeer and Alexander Kazhdan

The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
1,125 words

... Theophobos ) or foreign peoples were resettled within Byz. territory to provide manpower (Theoph. 364.11–18). The army's greatest period was in the 10th and early 11th C., when the Byz. recaptured much of the territory lost to the Arabs and Bulgars. As shown by contemporary strategika , the army's increased effectiveness was rooted in the efforts of such soldier-emperors as Nikephoros II Phokas and Basil II to employ more heavily armed men (e.g., kataphraktoi ) and to perfect combined infantry and cavalry tactics in battle or on campaign. At the same...

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