Frontinus, Stratagems

LCL 174: 2-3

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Sextus Julius Frontinus

Iuli Frontini Strategematon

Liber Primus

Cum ad instruendam rei militaris scientiam unus ex numero studiosorum eius accesserim eique destinato, quantum cura nostra valuit, satisfecisse visus sim, deberi adhuc institutae arbitror operae, ut sollertia ducum facta, quae a Graecis una στρατηγημάτων; appellatione comprehensa sunt, expeditis amplectar commentariis. Ita enim consilii quoque et providentiae exemplis succincti duces erunt, unde illis excogitandi generandique similia facultas nutriatur; praeterea continget, ne de eventu trepidet inventionis suae, qui probatis eam experimentis comparabit.

Illud neque ignoro neque infitior, et rerum gestarum scriptores indagine operis sui hanc quoque partem esse complexos et ab auctoribus exemplorum quidquid insigne aliquo modo fuit traditum. Sed, ut opinor, occupatis velocitate consuli debet. Longum est enim, singula et sparsa per immensum corpus


Stratagems, I

The Stratagems Of Sextus1 Julius Frontinus

Book I

Since I alone of those interested in military science have undertaken to reduce its rules to system,2 and since I seem to have fulfilled that purpose, so far as pains on my part could accomplish it, I still feel under obligation, in order to complete the task I have begun, to summarize in convenient sketches the adroit operations of generals, which the Greeks embrace under the one name strategemata. For in this way commanders will be furnished with specimens of wisdom and foresight, which will serve to foster their own power of conceiving and executing like deeds. There will result the added advantage that a general will not fear the issue of his own stratagem, if he compares it with experiments already successfully made.

I neither ignore nor deny the fact that historians have included in the compass of their works this feature also, nor that authors have already recorded in some fashion all famous examples. But I ought, I think, out of consideration for busy men, to have regard to brevity. For it is a tedious business to hunt out separate examples scattered over the vast

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.frontinus-stratagems.1925