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Tactics of Aelian, The


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  • Tactics of Aelian, The 
    Title: Tactics of Aelian, The
    Author: MATTHEW CHRISTOPHER
    Format: HARDCOVER
    Publication date: 30/10/2012
    Imprint: PEN & SWORD
    Price: $44.99
    Publishing status: ACTIVE

    AUSTRALIAN AUTHOR? Aelian's work on tactics is a hugely significant piece of ancient military literature, yet the last new edition in English was published in 1814. Although writing (in his native Greek) in the second century AD, Aelian drew heavily on earlier works, such as Asclepiodotus, to put together a comprehensive manual of warfare in the Hellenistic period (late 3rd to early 1st centuries BC). His Tactica thus examines all facets of warfare in the period of Alexander the Greats successors, including the arms and armour of cavalry and infantry, formations, commands and signals. Aelian also provides a discussion of the Roman army of the period. As well as being an invaluable source for modern historians studying the Hellenistic period, the book was very influential on military theory long after Aelian's death. Arrian's work on tactics may merely be a revision of Aelian's; the Byzantine Emperor Leo VI used excerpts in his own treatise and an Arabic translation made around 1350 was used to train Muslim armies. Most significantly it became one of the primary training aids for the pike and musket armies of the 16 and 17th century Europe. A substantial edition published in London in 1616 contained a full direct translation as well as comprehensive notes and a treatise on how to apply Aelian's work to the training of English pike formations in the Macedonian manner. It was well used to train the foot regiments that fought the English Civil War. This unique longevity makes it of interest to anyone interested in warfare from the Hellenistic period right up to the English Civil War. AUTHOR: Christopher Matthew has just completed his doctoral thesis on hoplite warfare at MacQuarie University in Sydney, where one of his assessors has said he 'singlehandedly advanced the whole field'. He has also been invited to lecture on the subject at other Australian universities. This book, closely based on his doctoral thesis, will be his first, although he has already had several articles published in academic journals. 'He is currently working on a new translation of Aelian's work on tactics and co-editing (with Dr Matthew Trundle) Beyond the Gates of Fire: New Perspectives on the Battle of Thermopylae, both of which will be published by Pen & Sword. SELLING POINTS: • Undoubtedly the most up-to-date edition available in any language • Aelian’s tactics influenced tactical thinking for around 15 centuries • Relevant for those interested in tactics of the Hellenistic, Byzantine, Medieval, Renaissance and English Cival War periods ILLUSTRATIONS: 36 b/w diagrams *

    ISBN: 9781848849006
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