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Aene'as or Aene'as Tacticus

*Ai)nei/as), surnamed TACTICUS ( Τακτικός), a Greek writer, whose precise date is not known. Xenophon (Xenoph. Hell. 7.3.1) mentions an Aeneas of Stymphalus, who about the time of the battle of Mantineia (362, B. C.) distinguished himself by his bravery and skill as general of the Arcadians. Casaubon supposes this Aeneas to be the same, and the supposition is confirmed by a passage (Comment. Poliorc. 27) where he speaks familiarly of an Arcadian provincialism.


But, however this may be, the general character of this work, the names he mentions, and the historical notices which occur, with other internal evidence, all point to about this period.

στρατηγικὰ βιβλία

He wrote a large work on the whole art of war, στρατηγικὰ βιβλία, or περὶ τῶν στρατηγικῶν ὑπομνήματα (Plb. 10.40; Suidas, s. v. Αἰνείας), consisting of several parts.

Of these only one is preserved, called τακτικόν τε καί πολιορκητικόν ὑπόμνημα περί τοῦ πως χρή πολιορκούμενον ἀντέχειν, commonly called Commentarius Poliorceticus. The object of the book is to shew how a siege should be resisted, the various kinds of instruments to be used, manœuvres to be practised, ways of sending letters without being detected, and without even the bearers knowing about it (c. 31, a very curious one), &c. It contains a good deal of information on many points in archæology, and is especially valuable as containing a large stock of words and technical terms connected with warfare, denoting instruments, &c., which are not to be found in any other work. From the same circumstance, many passages are difficult.


The book was first discovered by Simler in the Vatican library. It was edited first by Isaac Casaubon with a Latin version and notes, and appended to his edition of Polybius. (Paris, 1609.) It was republished by Gronovius in his Polybius, vol. iii. Amsterdam, 1670, and by Ernesti, Leipzig, 1763. The last edition is that of J. C. Orelli, Leipzig, 1818, with Casaubon's version and notes and an original commentary, published as a supplement to Schweighaeuser's Polybius.


Besides the Vatican MS. there are three at Paris, on which Casaubon founded his edition, and one in the Laurentian library at Florence. This last is, according to Orelli (Praef. p. 6), the oldest of all. The work contains many very corrupt and mutilated passages.

An epitome of the whole book, not of the fragment now remaining, was made by Cineas, a Thessalian, who was sent to Rome by Pyrrhus, 279, B. C.

Further Information

Aelian, Tact. 1.) This abridgement is referred to by Cicero (Cic. Fam. 9.25).


hide References (3 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (3):
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 9.25
    • Xenophon, Hellenica, 7.3.1
    • Polybius, Histories, 10.40
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