Topic: Greece/Byzantine world
The Strategikon or Strategicon (Greek: Στρατηγικόν) is a manual of war traditionally regarded as written in the late 6th century and usually attributed to the Byzantine Emperor Maurice. It is moreover a practical manual, "a rather modest elementary handbook" in the words of its introduction, "for those devoting themselves to generalship". This book gives a general guide, handbook, of the Byzantine military's strategies. In his introduction to his 1984 translation of the text, George T. Dennis noted "The Strategikon is written in a very straightforward and generally uncomplicated Greek."
The Strategikon may have been written in an effort to codify the military reforms brought about by the soldier-emperor Maurice. There is debate in academic circles as to the true author of the Strategikon. Maurice may have only commissioned it; perhaps his brother Peter, or another general of his court, was the true author. The dating is also debated. If it was written in the 6th century, the Strategikon may have been produced to codify the experience of the Balkan and Persian campaigns, or the campaigns may have been carried out in compliance with the manual. However, starting in the late 19th century, some historians have argued for a later date in the eighth or ninth century, on philological or technological grounds. In any case, it is considered one of the most important military texts of the medieval years, along with the 10th century military treatises attributed to the Byzantine emperors Leo VI (Tactica) and Nicephorus Phocas (De velitatione and Praecepta Militaria); Leo's Tactica in particular drew heavily from the Strategikon.
The text consists of 12 chapters, or "books", on various aspects of the tactics employed by the Byzantine military of the 6th and 7th century A.D. It is primarily focused on cavalry tactics and formations, yet it also elaborates on matters of infantry, sieges, baggage trains, drilling and marching. The author was familiar with classical military treatises, especially Onasander and Aelian, which he used as conceptional models rather than sources of content. Each book has a general topic to be discussed, and each book goes into great detail even separating each book further into subsections and including maps. These maps are not large and extravagant but more symbols to show positions and a standard design of the formations the Byzantine military used at this time. Books seven and eight contain practical advice to the General in the form of instructions and maxims. The eleventh book has ethnographic interest, with its portrayal of various Byzantine enemies (Franks, Lombards, Avars, Turks, and Slavs). The Strategikon also belongs to Byzantine legal literature, since it contains a list of military infractions and their suitable penalties.
- "Strategikon of Maurice" | 2017-08-22 | 19 Upvotes 1 Comments
The extreme weather events of 535–536 were the most severe and protracted short-term episodes of cooling in the Northern Hemisphere in the last 2,000 years. The event is thought to have been caused by an extensive atmospheric dust veil, possibly resulting from a large volcanic eruption in the tropics or in Iceland. Its effects were widespread, causing unseasonable weather, crop failures, and famines worldwide.
- "Extreme weather events of 535–536" | 2021-03-27 | 99 Upvotes 86 Comments
The term Norman–Arab–Byzantine culture, Norman–Sicilian culture or, less inclusively, Norman–Arab culture, (sometimes referred to as the "Arab-Norman civilization") refers to the interaction of the Norman, Byzantine Greek, Latin, and Arab cultures following the Norman conquest of the former Emirate of Sicily and North Africa from 1061 to around 1250. The civilization resulted from numerous exchanges in the cultural and scientific fields, based on the tolerance shown by the Normans towards the Latin- and Greek-speaking Christian populations and the former Arab Muslim settlers. As a result, Sicily under the Normans became a crossroad for the interaction between the Norman and Latin Catholic, Byzantine–Orthodox, and Arab–Islamic cultures.
- "Norman-Arab-Byzantine Culture" | 2023-04-05 | 10 Upvotes 2 Comments
In the mid-6th century CE, two monks, with the support of the Byzantine emperor Justinian I, acquired and smuggled living silkworms into the Byzantine Empire, which led to the establishment of an indigenous Byzantine silk industry that long held a silk monopoly in Europe.
- "Smuggling of silkworm eggs into the Byzantine Empire" | 2023-04-20 | 166 Upvotes 90 Comments