Author of the Epitoma Rei Militaris, a military manual written in the late 4th or early 5th century and one of the best sources regarding the Roman army, its organisation and methods of warfare. However, the work was written at a time of military decline, especially in the western Empire, then being overrun by the barbarians, never to recover. Vegetius describes an ideal of what the Roman army had been, rather than a description of the real army of his time, and in places refers to the practises of the ancients, by whom he means the soldiers of the late republic and early empire, the time of Rome’s great conquests, but there is no reason to believe that the details he provided are not accurate. The work provides detailed information on the organisation, equipment and drill of the Legions. Vegetius also included advice on warfare, often copied without the rest of the work. The Epitoma Rei Miliaris was copied widely during the middle ages and onwards, and from the sixteenth century was used as a practical guide to warfare, often with some success.
How to cite this article: Rickard, J (15 June 2006),Vegetius, 27 April 1296, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_vegetius.html