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Can you identify this passage?
#1
While researching an old translation of Vegetius, I came upon the following passage which, to the best of my knowledge, does not come from Vegetius himself. Does anyone recognise it?

To exercise soldiers in cutting wood
They had also the custom to cut not only from trees but also whole woods and that not only for the fire(?), buildings, fortifications and artillery and such like uses but also to open the passages in troublesome and difficult ways, in which exercise the soldiers were so diligently trained up as, when occasion presented itself, they were so dextrous as, with much expedition and ease, they could either raise or demolish any works.
Michael King Macdona

And do as adversaries do in law, -
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
(The Taming of the Shrew: Act 1, Scene 2)
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#2
Which book?
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR
FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
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#3
It is in a manuscript and does not appear in any published work. The passage is written separately from any of Vegetius' books. I assume that either the writer found it in another source and thought that it would be a useful addition to Vegetius' advice on training or he made it up himself from snippets found in his wider reading. Vegetius does mention the felling of trees as part of a soldier's training but only in passing.
Michael King Macdona

And do as adversaries do in law, -
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
(The Taming of the Shrew: Act 1, Scene 2)
Reply
#4
Could it have come from John Sadler's translation of Vegetius 1572? Or John Clarke's "Military Institutions of Vegetius 1767?
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#5
What if the version of Vegetius we consider to be "complete" is actually an abridgement, and he was attempting to find the passages taken out and complete the text?
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#6
This is the only passage that comes to my mind about cutting trees for training purposes:

"Silvam caedere, portare onera, transilire fossas, natare in mari sive fluminibus, gradu pieno ambulare , vel currere etiam armatos cum sarcinis suis, frequentissime conversi ut quotidiani laboris usus in pace, difficilis non videatur in bello."

EPITOMA REI MILITARIS, LIBER SECUNDUS, CAPUT XXIII.
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#7
Thanks for the suggestions, chaps. I am pretty satisfied that it comes from a non-Vegetian source. No doubt, the writer regarded it as a supplement to Vegetius' advice. The question is: where did he get it from?
Michael King Macdona

And do as adversaries do in law, -
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
(The Taming of the Shrew: Act 1, Scene 2)
Reply
#8
Sorry Renatus but now I'm puzzled and intrigued, so ... I have to ask you: who is the author of the amendment to the text?

That is, are we talking of a modern (XIX century) hand or are we talking of a late Roman or Medieval hand?

If so, may I dare to ask you about what source code are we talking?

In short: What is the story of this passage and where does it comes from? A Medieval edition (Which one?) a modern one (again: which one?)

Renatus, please, be merciful whith my old mind ..... and for once, try to be a little more verbose! :wink:
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#9
Quote:It is in a manuscript and does not appear in any published work.
Without knowing which of the many Vegetius MSs it is difficult to comment. It isn't the 'Modestus' précis so far as I'm aware.

Mike Bishop
You know my method. It is founded upon the observance of trifles

Blogging, tweeting, and mapping Hadrian\'s Wall... because it\'s there
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#10
This gives me an idea for a new quiz thread. "Identify the passage" quiz!
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#11
It is a 17th century translation derived, I would guess, from one of the editions of Stewechius or Scriverius. However, as I have said, I do not think that the passage comes from Vegetius. I have checked Modestus, Frontinus, Aulus Gellius and Valerius Maximus but (unless I have missed something) I do not see it in any of them.
Michael King Macdona

And do as adversaries do in law, -
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
(The Taming of the Shrew: Act 1, Scene 2)
Reply
#12
Quote:It is a 17th century translation derived, I would guess, from one of the editions of Stewechius or Scriverius.
I am suspicious that Google Books can't find it. They seem to have scanned most of these old books (they don't always let you read them, but they seem to search them, nonetheless).
posted by Duncan B Campbell
https://ninth-legion.blogspot.com/
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#13
There's no need for suspicion. It's an unpublished manuscript. I'm playing my cards a little close to my chest but all will be revealed in due course.
Michael King Macdona

And do as adversaries do in law, -
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
(The Taming of the Shrew: Act 1, Scene 2)
Reply
#14
Quote:.... I'm playing my cards a little close to my chest but all will be revealed in due course.

Being an old card player, I had noticed the posture. 8+)
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#15
(10-11-2013, 10:58 AM)Renatus Wrote: I'm playing my cards a little close to my chest but all will be revealed in due course.

I am reviving this thread to make good on this promise.

The passage in question does not come from any ancient writer but from a seventeenth century French  work entitled La Milice Romaine by Johann Jacobi von Wallhausen (Gallicised as Jean Jaques de Wallhausen) published in Frankfurt am  Main in 1616. This work was simultaneously published in German under the title Romanische Kriegskunst. It consists of two parts, the first being a discussion between a Roman and a German in which Roman training methods are described and the second being a translation of Vegetius. The passage is a slightly abridged translation of Chapter 8 of the first part.

The manuscript that I mention I found in the British Library. It is unattributed but is in the handwriting of Lord Thomas Fairfax, first Captain-General of the New Model Army and commander-in-chief of Parliamentary forces during the English Civil War. It is an abridged translation of the first three books of Vegetius' treatise and is translated, not from the Latin but from von Wallhausen's French translation. The omission of certain chapters irrelevant to seventeenth-century warfare and marginal notes indicating an intention to re-order some other chapters lead me to the conclusion that Fairfax was creating a manual, based on Vegetius, for the use of his fellow commanders and/or subordinates more applicable to his own time but retaining its ancient authority.

My findings have been published in the Modern Language Review, the reference there being:

Michael King Macdona, 'Thomas, 3rd Lord Fairfax and Vegetius', The Modern Language Review, vol. 113, no. 2, 2018, pp. 307–320.

I have also uploaded the article to academia.edu, the link being:

https://www.academia.edu/38776177/Thomas...d_Vegetius
Michael King Macdona

And do as adversaries do in law, -
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
(The Taming of the Shrew: Act 1, Scene 2)
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