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Aeneas Tacticus

Aeneas (Aineias) Tacticus, probably the Stymphalian general of the Arcadian koinon (see arcadian league) in 367 bce (Xen. Hell. 7. 3. 1); anyway the earlies (-surviving) and most historically interesting of the ancient military writers (tactici). Of several treatises only his Siegecraft (Poliorcetica) is extant, internally datable to the mid-4th cent. via the clustering of contemporary illustrations of its precepts (and linguistically important for its embryo form of the koinē). Concerned more with defence against than prosecution of siege-warfare, it offers unique insights into the stresses of life in small communities with warfare and revolution constantly threatening. See siegecraft, greek.


The best critical text is the Budé by A. Dain (1967) which, together with renewed study of content since the 1960s, is reflected in the full commentaries-cum-translation by D. Whitehead (1990; updated edn 2001; no text) and M. Bettalli (1990); but still valuable are the Loeb (1923) and Hunter–Handford (1927) edns. Language: B. A. van Groningen, Mnemosyne 1938, 329 ff. (with earlier bibliog.). Lexicon: D. Barends (1955).

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