Book Review: Three Byzantine Military Treatises


by George T. Dennis, translator and editor

Dumbarton Oaks/Cambridge, Ma.: Harvard University Press, 2008 . Pp. xv, 381 . Illus., map, diagr., notes, biblio., index . $19.95 paper. ISBN:0884023397

Originally published in hard cover over 20 years ago, Three Byzantine Military Treatises includes a series of useful introductions by the editor, a Jesuit and professor emeritus from Georgetown, with accompanying Greek and English texts on facing pages of the sixth century "Treatise on Strategy," plus the short essays "Skirmishing" and "Campaign Organization and Tactics," which probably date to the tenth century. 

These are practical handbooks, full of interesting detail, such as instructions on building fortified cities, preparing ambushes, and even how to turn a retreat into a trap, accompanied by numerous diagrams. 

Although primarily intended for scholarly readers, anyone interested in Byzantine warfare, ancient military practice, deception and intell operations, or the "ticks of the trade," will find this a useful work. 

Reviewer: A.A. Nofi   

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