Aeneas Tacticus, On the Defence of Fortified Positions

LCL 156: 30-31

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Aeneas Tacticus

5ἔσονται· ἔπειτα λοιπὸν ἀπολέγειν σώματα τὰ1 δυνησόμενα μάλιστα πονεῖν, καὶ μερίσαντα2 λοχίσαι, ἵνα εἴς τε τὰς ἐξόδους καὶ τὰς κατὰ πόλιν περιοδίας καὶ τὰς τῶν πονουμένων βοηθείας ἢ εἴς τινα ἄλλην ὁμότροπον ταύταις λειτουργίαν ὑπάρχωσιν οὗτοι προτεταγμένοι τε καὶ δυνατοὶ 6ὄντες ὑπηρετεῖν. εἶναι δὲ αὐτοὺς εὔνους τε καὶ τοῖς καθεστηκόσι πράγμασιν ἀρεσκομένους· μέγα γὰρ πρὸς τὰς τῶν ἄλλων ἐπιβουλὰς τοιοῦτο3 ἀθρόον ὑπάρχον ἀντ᾿ ἀκροπόλεως· φόβος γὰρ ἂν 7εἴη τοῖς ἐναντία θέλουσιν ἐν τῇ πόλει. ἡγεμὼν δὲ καὶ4 ἐπιμελητὴς αὐτῶν ἔστω τά τε ἄλλα φρόνιμος καὶ εὔρωστος, καὶ ᾧ ἂν πλεῖστοι κίνδυνοι 8εἶεν μεταβολῆς γενομένης. τῶν δὲ λοιπῶν τοὺς ῥωμαλεωτάτους ἡλικίᾳ καὶ νεότητι ἐκλέξαντα ἐπὶ τὰς φυλακὰς καθιστάναι καὶ τὰ τείχη, τὸ δὲ περιὸν πλῆθος μερίσαντα πρὸς τὸ μῆκος τῶν νυκτῶν καὶ τῶν φυλάκων τὸ πλῆθος κατανεῖμαι, 9τῶν δὲ ὄχλων τοὺς μὲν εἰς τὴν ἀγοράν, τοὺς δὲ εἰς τὸ θέατρον, τοὺς δὲ ἄλλους εἰς τὰς οὔσας5 ἐν τῇ πόλει εὐρυχωρίας, ἵνα μηδὲν ἔρημον ᾖ εἰς δύναμιν τῆς πόλεως.


Ἄριστον6 δὲ τὰς ἀχρείους οὔσας εὐρυχωρίας ἐν τῇ πόλει, ἵνα μὴ σωμάτων εἰς αὐτὰς δέῃ, τυφλοῦν ταφρεύοντα καὶ ὡς μάλιστα ἀβάτους

  • 1Added by Köchly and Rüstow.
  • 2Casaubon: μετρίσαντα M.
  • 3Hertlein (τοιοῦτον): τοῦτο M.
  • 4Hertlein: καὶ ὁ Μ.
  • 5ὀυσιασ Μ (ι deleted? οὔσας A, οὐσας B).
  • 6Casp. Orelli: εὔχρηστον? R. Schöne: ἄχρηστον M (retained by Casaubon, defended by Fischer).

Aeneas the tactician, ii.

Next one must pick out men capable of the greatest physical exertion and divide them into companies, that there may be ready for sallies, for patrolling the city, for the relief of those hard pressed, or for any other similar service, these who are picked men and able to give assistance.1 They must be both loyal and satisfied with the existing order, since it is a great thing to have such a group acting like a fortress against the revolutionary designs of the other party, for it would be a terror to the opposition inside the city.2 And let the man who is to lead and have charge of them be not merely prudent and vigorous, but also one who would run the greatest risks from a change of government. From the rest the strongest, in the prime of manhood, should be chosen for the watches and the walls, while the remainder should be divided and apportioned according to the length of the nights and the number of the watches. Of the common soldiers some should be stationed in the market-place, some in the theatre, and the rest in the open places in the city, so that as far as the city’s power permits no part may be unguarded.


And that there may be no need of troops to guard them, it is best to block up the useless open places in the city by digging ditches3 and by

  • 1Compare the modern equivalent in the shape of Arditi, Stoss-Truppen, and Battalions of Death.
  • 2See ch. 10 for a detailed treatment of this topic.
  • 3That is, across the entrances to them.
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.aeneas_tacticus-defence_fortified_positions.1923