Aeneas Tacticus, Attestations and Fragments

LCL 156: 202-203

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Aeneas Tacticus

ἀλλήλοις διὰ τῶν πυρσῶν δηλοῦν τὸ κατεπεῖγον ἀγγεῖα κατασκευάσαι κεραμεᾶ1 κατά τε τὸ πλάτος καὶ κατὰ τὸ βάθος ἰσομεγέθη πρὸς ἀκρίβειαν· εἶναι δὲ μάλιστα τὸ μὲν βάθος τριῶν πηχῶν, τὸ δὲ πλάτος πήχεος. εἶτα παρασκευάσαι φελλοὺς βραχὺ κατὰ πλάτος ἐνδεεῖς τῶν στομάτων, ἐν δὲ τούτοις μέσοις ἐμπεπηγέναι βακτηρίας διῃρημένας2 ἴσα μέρη τριδάκτυλα, καθ᾿ ἕκαστον δὲ μέρος εἶναι περιγραφὴν εὔσημον. ἐν ἑκάστῳ δὲ μέρει γεγράφθαι τὰ προφανέστατα καὶ καθολικώτατα τῶν ἐν τοῖς πολεμικοῖς συμβαινόντων, οἷον εὐθέως ἐν τῷ πρώτῳ διότι πάρεισιν ἱππεῖς εἰς τὴν χώραν, ἐν δὲ τῷ δευτέρῳ διότι πεζοὶ βαρεῖς, ἐν δὲ τῷ τρίτῳ ψιλοί, τούτων δ᾿ ἑξῆς πεζοὶ μεθ᾿ ἱππέων, εἶτα πλοῖα, μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα σῖτος, καὶ3 κατὰ τὸ συνεχὲς οὕτω, μέχρις4 ἂν ἐν πάσαις γραφῇ ταῖς χώραις τὰ μάλιστ᾿ ἂν ἐκ τῶν εὐλόγων προνοίας τυγχάνοντα καὶ συμβαίνοντα κατὰ τοὺς ἐνεστῶτας καιροὺς ἐκ τῶν πολεμικῶν. τούτων δὲ γενομένων ἀμφότερα κελεύει τρῆσαι5 τὰ ἀγγεῖα πρὸς ἀκρίβειαν, ὥστε τοὺς αὐλίσκους ἴσους εἶναι καὶ κατ᾿ ἴσον ἀπορρεῖν· εἶτα πληρώσαντας ὕδατος ἐπιθεῖναι τοὺς φελλοὺς ἔχοντας τὰς6 βακτηρίας, κἄπειτα τοὺς αὐλίσκους ἀφεῖναι ῥεῖν ἅμα. τούτου δὲ συμβαίνοντος δῆλον ὡς ἀνάγκη, πάντων ἴσων καὶ ὁμοίων ὄντων, καθ᾿ ὅσον ἂν ἀπορρέῃ τὸ ὑγρόν, κατὰ τοσοῦτον τοὺς φελλοὺς καταβαίνειν καὶ τὰς βακτηρίας κρύπτεσθαι κατὰ τῶν ἀγγείων. ὅταν δὲ τὰ προειρημένα γένηται κατὰ τὸν χειρισμὸν ἰσοταχῆ καὶ σύμφωνα, τότε κομίσαντας ἐπὶ τοὺς



those who wish,” he says, “to communicate any matter of pressing importance to each other by fire-signals prepare two earthenware vessels of exactly equal size both as to diameter and depth. Let the depth be three cubits, the diameter one. Then prepare corks of a little shorter diameter than that of the mouths of the vessels: and in the middle of these corks fix rods divided into equal portions of three fingers’ breadth, and let each of these portions be marked with a clearly distinguishable line; and in each let there be written one of the most obvious and universal of those events which occur in war; for instance in the first ‘cavalry have entered the country,’ in the second ‘hoplites,’ in the third ‘light-armed,’ in the next ‘infantry and cavalry,’ in another ‘ships,’ in another ‘corn,’ and so on, until all the portions have had written on them the measures on the part of the enemy which may reasonably be foreseen and are most likely to occur in the present emergency. Then carefully pierce both the vessels in such a way that the taps shall be exactly equal and carry off the same amount of water. Fill the vessels with water and lay the corks with their rods upon its surface and set both taps running together. This being done, it is evident that, if there is perfect equality in every respect between them, both corks will sink exactly in proportion as the water runs away, and both rods will disappear to the same extent into the vessels. When they have been tested and the rate of the discharge of the water has been found to be exactly equal in both, then the vessels should be taken

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.aeneas_tacticus-attestations_fragments.1928