The Roman Legion Essay

1259 Words Jul 5th, 2015 6 Pages
The De Re Militari, also called Epitoma rei militaris, was written by Roman patrician and military reformer Flavius Vegetius Renatus during the fourth or fifth century BC. Commissioned by the current reigning Emperor the stated purpose of De Re Military was to “collect and explain for military use the instructions and observations of our old historians of military affairs, or those who wrote expressly concerning them.” However, although intended for instruction and reform of the Roman legion through the De Re Military Vegetius provides not only a look into the tactics, weapons and organization of the Roman legion of the past but also insights into the state of the Roman military at the present time of the document.
De Re Militari itself is written in three books containing a letter from Vegetius to the Emperor, which suggests the writing of the entire document was spaced out which each peace individually commissioned. The first book treats of the choice and exercises of new levies, the second explains the establishment of the legion and the method of discipline, and the third contains the dispositions for action. However, while book one and book three clearly state they have been commissioned by the Emperor Vegetius writes that book two was composed of his own accord based on the reception of the first book. This suggests that the reception of the first book was a positive one and encouraged Vegetius to write with the assumption that the reforms he recommended would…

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