Stratagems by Frontinius

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Stratagems by Frontinius

Postby Marcus Minucius Audens » Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:35 pm

Salvete All;
Ever since I began to study the ancient Roman world many years ago, I have always been facinated by the Stratagems. They seem to me to be as alive today as they were in ancient times, since men have not changed much, and those who give thought to their situation, strength and trust of those whom they command, and their immediate surroundings, can usually get around their opponents in one way or another. To me, the Stratagems are as useful today as they were in ancient times. That being said, I shall endeavor to entertain those of you who may have an interest in this particular subject, with a series of a few of these ideas and establish a discussion period after each, in which each of us can put forward his/her opinion and ideas. In my world, you and I may not agree but my ideas are mine, after all, just as your ideas are yours. Now if you can convince me that your way is correct, then I shall have learned something. So, let us begin our first Stratagem example and discussion:

Frontinius lists his stratagems in a series of different types, so while we are determining which stratagem to look at and discuss, we are also entering into a series of different types, The first in his series of types of stratagems for commanders to deal with, prior to a battle or combat is:

I - On Concealing One's Plans;

"Marcus Porcius Cato believed that, when opportunity offered, the Spanish cities which he had subdued would revolt, relying on the protection of thier walls. He therefore wrote to each of the cities, ordering them to destroy their fortifications, and threatening war unless they obeyed forthwith. He ordered these letters to be delivered to all cities on the same day. Each city supposed that it alone had recieved the commands: had they known that the same orders had been sent to all, they could have joined forces, and refused obedience." (1)

(1) - 195 BC, cf Appian Hisp. 4.

Now for the discussion; the following questions should lead to some opnions. All who read these words are invited to comment:

>> In your opinon how could this Stratagem be used today?
>> How might this idea be used in the modern day, considering our present communication system? and how would one still be able to se this Stratagem?
>> What was the advantage to using this idea, and what was the risk?

Marcus Audens
Marcus Minucius Audens

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