Normally, little attention is paid to the authors of military manuals in the imperial period. ‘Entertaining though trifling’ is a comment that can generally be heard. Frontinus is more familiar than most because of his distinguished career and other writings, but even his Strategemata is considered more as a source of historical anecdote than as an object of serious study in its own right. Yet the military textbooks fit into the tradition of didactic literature in antiquity and as such raise questions about their scope and purpose, and about what use could be or was made of them. This has special significance in relation to generalship and the evolution of tactics in the Roman empire.
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