The codices of the Strategemata1 are of two classes. Of the better class, three manuscripts survive; of the second, inferior class, there are many representatives.
The three manuscripts of the first class are the codex Harleianus 2666 (H), which contains the entire work, but is very carelessly written; the codex Gothanus I. 101 (G), and the codex Cusanus C. 14 (C), each of which contains excerpts only. These three have been taken from a copy which, though not free from errors and lacunae, was still most carefully written, and must be thought to have preserved with the greatest fidelity even mutilated words.
The second class is derived from a codex which the copyist had corrected in many places according to his pleasure, and the manuscripts of this class never bring any help to readings where the first class is in error. The best representative of the second class is codex Parisinus 7240 (P), which far surpasses all the rest in authority. Both classes come from the same archetype in which a leaf had been transposed.2 A copyist of P about the thirteenth
century, noticing this transposition, attempted a re-arrangement which appears in some of the later codices and editions.
The archetype had many lacunae, glosses and duplicates. It seems to have contained, besides the Strategemata, a breviarium of Eutropius, since these two works are found combined in most of the oldest codices of both classes. After the thirteenth century, copyists put Vegetius and Frontinus in one codex.
The codex Harleianus, a parchment of the ninth or tenth century, is now in the British Museum. It contains many errors and omissions. Some of these were corrected by the copyist himself, others by another hand of the same period. The latter (designated by h) became the model for the second class of manuscripts, the readings coinciding in many instances with those of P. As the corrector frequently used the eraser, for readings lacking in G and C we have only the testimony of the second class. The readings of h are sometimes happy amendments, sometimes atrocious corruptions. The writer omitted, copied incorrectly, amended and changed the spelling, assimilating most prepositions.
The codex Gothanus, a parchment of the ninth century, contains a breviarium of Eutropius, a breviarium of Festus and excerpts from Frontinus.1 It was written by two hands. The copyist of Frontinus frequently separated the words wrongly, and misunderstood signs of abbreviation.