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Vegetius, Flavius Renātus

The author of a treatise, Rei Militaris Instituta, or Epitoma Rei Militaris. The exact date is not established, but it was probably composed early in the fifth century A.D. It is a question whether its dedication to Theodosius is genuine, and some writers maintain that it was addressed to Valentinian III. The materials were derived, according to the declaration of the writer himself, from Cato the Censor De Disciplina Militari, from Cornelius Celsus, from Frontinus, from Paternus, and from the imperial constitutions of Augustus, Trajan, and Hadrian. The work is divided into four books. The first treats of the levying and training of recruits, including instructions for the fortification of a camp; the second, of the different classes into which soldiers are divided, and especially of the organization of the legion; the third, of the operations of an army in the field; the fourth, of the attack and defence of fortresses, and of marine warfare. Another division makes the number of books five, the fifth being the part relating to marine warfare. The value of this work, which is a somewhat uncritical compilation from different historians, is much diminished by the fact that the usages of periods the most remote from each other are mixed together into one confused mass, and not unfrequently, we have reason to suspect, are blended with arrangements which never existed except in the fancy of the author. It is probably right to ascribe to the same Vegetius the work on veterinary art called Mulomedicina (on the treatment of horses and mules), though it is written in a more popular style, as being intended for the use of less refined readers. The military work is edited by Oudendorp and Bessel (Strasburg, 1806); and the Res Militaris by Lang (Leipzig, 1885). The Mulomedicina is edited by Schneider (Leipzig, 1797).

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