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Hugh Kennedy (St. Andrews)

Paul Magdalino (St. Andrews)
David Abulafia (Cambridge)
Benjamin Arbel (Tel Aviv)
Mark Meyerson (Toronto)
Larry J. Simon (Western Michigan University)

Texts and Translations dedicated to the Memory
of Nicolas Oikonomides



This book is printed on acid-free paper.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Byzanthine authors : texts and translations dedicated to the memory of Nicolas

Oikonomides / edited by John W. Nesbitt.
p. cm. – (The Medieval Mediterranean ; v. 49)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 90-04-12975-8
1. Byzantine prose literature–Translations into English. I. Oikonomides, Nicolas. II.
Nesbitt, John W. III. Series.

PA5196.E54B98 2003

ISSN 0928–5520
ISBN 90 04 12975 8

© Copyright 2003 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, translated, stored in
a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic,
mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written
permission from the publisher.

Authorization to photocopy items for internal or personal

use is granted by Brill provided that
the appropriate fees are paid directly to The Copyright
Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Suite 910
Danvers, MA 01923, USA.
Fees are subject to change.

printed in the netherlands


Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vii

Chapter One—Cosmological Confectionary and Equal opportunity in

the Eleventh Century. An Ekphrasis by Christopher of Mitylene
(Poem 42) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Paul Magdalino

Chapter Two—Two Teaching Texts from the Twelfth-Century

Orphanotropheion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Timothy S. Miller

Chapter Three—Alexander the Monk’s Text of Helena’s Discovery of

the Cross (BHG 410) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
John W. Nesbitt

Chapter Four—Elias the Monk. Friend of Psellos . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

George T. Dennis

Chapter Five—Five Miracles of St. Menas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65

John Duffy/Emmanuel Bourbouhakis

Chapter Six—Elias of Heliopolis. The Life of an Eighth-Century

Syrian Christian Saint . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85
Stamatina McGrath

Chapter Seven—Two Military Orations of Constantine VII. . . . . . 111

Eric McGeer

Chapter Eight—A Byzantine Instructional Manual on Siege Defense:

The De Obsidione toleranda. Introduction, English Translation and
Annotations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139
Denis Sullivan

Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 267

Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 279
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This volume was born from a wish to honor the memory of a man who
was for many of the contributors both a mentor and a friend. From this
wish evolved the idea of publishing a group of texts and translations. The
authors were free to choose their texts and as a result the contributions
are of varying length and content. The longest, the De obsidione toleran-
da (chapter eight), is a military manual, an instruction booklet on tech-
niques of countering the investment of a town or fort. The publication of
Prof. Sullivan’s translation provides the opportunity to reprint the (Brill)
Greek text of 1947. In contrast with defensive tactics, the two orations
(chapter seven) which Dr. McGeer has translated reflect on imperial mil-
itary policy and the outward expansion of Byzantium into Moslem terri-
tories. Dr. McGrath (chapter 6) has translated a text which offers a
glimpse of the precarious nature of the practice of Christianity within the
borders of Islam. In a much lighter vein are Prof. Magdalino’s translation
of an ekphrasis (chapter one) celebrating the merits of a cake decorated
with signs of the zodiac and Prof. Dennis’s translations of letters of
Psellos (chapter 4) describing the ribald doings of a monk named Elias.
Dr. Nesbitt’s text (chapter 3) on Helena’s discovery of the cross is offered
as a contribution to the history of pilgrimage. Prof. Miller’s texts (chap-
ter 2) provide a valuable insight into the educational activities of the
Orphanotropheion of St. Paul and the teaching techniques in vogue
among instructors at this orphanage. Prof. Duffy and his student have
contributed a hagiographical text relating some five miracles of the pop-
ular Egyptian saint, St. Menas.
The volume presents a wide spectrum of literary genres and topics
which claimed the attention of Byzantine writers and their reading public.
The editor gratefully acknowledges the help of Dr. McGrath in resolv-
ing computer-related problems. He also wishes to thank Dr. McGrath,
and his wife Carla, for help with proofreading. Thanks are also expressed
to Dr. Karen Rasmussen for her patience in formatting this book and
preparing the Adobe Acrobat version from which it is printed.
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Paul Magdalino

Although published a century ago, the poems of Christopher of Mitylene

deserve to be better known for their rich information on the realities and
mentalities of Byzantine secular society.1 A short article by Nikos
Oikonomides remains the best introduction to this material.2 It therefore
seems fitting that a collection of translations dedicated to Nikos’ memo-
ry should include one of Christopher’s least known and more unusual
pieces.3 As an ekphrasis, or rhetorical description, it is singular in three
ways: in describing a piece of confectionery, in celebrating a work of art
by a woman, and in attesting to a type of representation which is hardly
ever encountered in Byzantine art of the medieval period.

... in a circle the Zodiac in dough,

to his cousin

I saw the heavens as works of your fingers. For from modest but
smooth dough, you have stretched out the heavens for us like a curtain,4
and you have adorned it with houses of the stars. By houses I mean the
double sextet of the Zodiac, which you have put forward as symbols of
the virtues and passions, most vividly for all people: Leo for the manly,
Taurus for the savage, Gemini for fornicators5 and Virgo for the conti-
nent, Cancer for the twisted, most fittingly, Libra for the just, and
Sagittarius for the malevolent. Capricorn is for those whose bed has been
dishonoured, while for the senseless, Aries is wisely chosen. Aquarius is
appropriate to the dropsical, speechless Pisces to all quiet types, and
Scorpio to all stinging slanderous tongues. These are the houses of the
wandering stars. Two trios of duck eggs keep the exact shape of the
Pleiades, while the hens’ eggs you may understand as the planets,
Mercury, Moon, Sun and Jupiter, Venus, Mars and Saturn too, for though

Ed. Kurtz (1903) from MS Grottaferrata Z. a.29
Oikonomides (1990).
Ed. Kurtz (1903) no.42, 23-6; Italian translation with short introduction by Milazzo (1983).
Psalm 103: 2.
This is presumably an allusion to the use of the word ‘twins’ (d¤dumoi) to mean testicles.

they may be fixed and established, they are still seven in number. Of the
five larger eggs, the middle one is to be taken as the star of Orion, for
Scorpio aspects him diametrically, signifying the ancient wound just as it
happened.6 But the other four acquire a novel significance. For the four
positions of the four eggs are a most exact fourfold fixation of the four
cardinal points, of the ascendant, that is the east, of the setting, that is
dusky evening, of the meridian, that is mid-day, and the anti-meridian,
the northern quarter. The eggs themselves signify the foursome of winds,
blowing from the four points of heaven.7 For Zephyr comes out of the
west, Apeliotes from the eastern parts, while Notos proceeds from the
south, and as for the Arctic wind, even if explanation falls silent, the very
name shows whence it blows. What then of the quartet of pastry finials
which cap the eggs? This is the quartet of seasons in the sky, for as the
wise rhapsody bears witness, the seasons dwell at the gates of heaven. I
would even have seen here what the starless sphere of heaven looks like,
were it not completely invisible to mortal men; for it is fashioned and is
present here, but is not seen: that is its nature. So wise and resourceful in
her mind is the creator of this new sky. O all wise Providence of God the
Word, what arts you bestow even upon women, what minds you implant
in them too! Others may talk of men like Pheidias, Zeuxis indeed and
Parrasios, Polygnotos the actually unknown, Polykleitos who rather is
inglorious, and Aglaophon of the murky intellect, even the resourceful
hands of Daidalos: it is all trash and bombast, nothing any more. But let
the script admire the novel art-works of all women, saying, ‘Who gave to
female nature a consummate knowledge of textiles, and every aspect of
the science of embroidery?’8 Not wishing to go in for mass generaliza-
tion, I would rather marvel at the art of one woman, who has skilfully
given me such a work to behold. But you, O glory of virgin women, I
wish to address you yourself: if you make these things out of flour and
dough, what, I want to know, will you make with warp and woof? But as
one can learn from what you have crafted, you would indeed in the art of
weaving also surpass all Penelopes and Helens, amen I say unto thee, and
women of Lesbos too.

The poem evokes a loaf or cake sculpted with representations of the

twelve signs of the Zodiac, and studded with eighteen eggs, from differ-

Aratos, Phaenomena 634-46 (Martin ed., pp. 38-9) tells a version of the myth of Artemis
and Orion, according to which the the goddess killed the huntsman, in revenge for violating
her, by setting a scorpion on him; this explains why the constellation of Orion sets when that
of Scorpio rises.
Iliad V.749.
Cf. Job 38: 36.

ent birds and of different sizes, symbolising the Pleiades, the seven plan-
ets known to the ancient and medieval world (the moon, Mercury, Venus,
the sun, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn), the star of Orion, and the four cardi-
nal points. It is not clear that all the symbolism expounded by the poet
was intended by the confectioner, and this makes the confection some-
what difficult to visualise in detail. Nevertheless, since the representa-
tions of the Zodiac appear to be unambiguous, it is reasonable to suppose
that they formed a band around the rim of a circle of baked dough, with
eggs set before the figures of Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn; these
eggs were surmounted with crusts, which were probably fashioned in the
form of personifications of the four seasons.
Bread decorated with eggs is attested in Byzantium by the twelfth-
century canonist Theodore Balsamon, in his commentary on canon 23 of
the Council in Trullo. Balsamon records that one Easter, at a village in
Thrace, he observed the local peasants, both men and women, coming to
the parish church after vespers and presenting the priest with gifts of
food which included “birds’ eggs set together in bread dough” (metå
Ùrniye¤vn »«n §n zÊm˙ êrtou sunhnvm°nvn).9 Such loaves are still
baked as part of traditional Easter fare in Modern Greece. Another tradi-
tional practice, though more associated with weddings than with Easter,
is the confection of ornamental loaves encrusted with finely-wrought fig-
ures, foliage and other designs. In recent practice, the two types of con-
fection are not combined, being made for different occasions, and with
different types of dough, baked to a different finish in each case. The
Easter bread tends to be simply shaped, with braiding the most elaborate
form of ornamentation, and it is soft enough to eat, whereas the wedding
bread is baked hard almost to the consistency of plaster of Paris.
Almost as unusual as the medium of representation is the design itself.
Although the artistic representation of the Zodiac was well established in
the secular culture which Byzantium inherited from antiquity, surviving
examples are very rare, and Christopher of Mitylene’s poem is the only
literary attestation. Of the two extant zodiacal cycles earlier than the thir-
teenth century, one is part of a complex celestial diagram illustrating an
eighth-century manuscript of Ptolemy’s Handy Tables (; the
diagram has a precise astronomical significance, which, however, con-
tinues to elude satisfactory explanation.10 The other representation is
depicted on the opus sectile floor of the katholikon of the Pantokrator

Ed. Rallis and Potlis, vol. II (1852) 355; cf. Koukoules (1955) 161.
For the date, see Wright (1985) 355-62; for the diagram, see Tihon (1993) 194-200. On
fol. 2v of the same manuscript is a miniature representing the northern celestial hemisphere
with half the zodiac (Aries to Virgo).

monastery.11 Executed c. 1130, it is closer to the work described in our

ekphrasis not only in date, but also in its inclusion of the four seasons,
depicted in personification at the four cardinal points.
The rarity of the zodiacal cycle in Byzantine art is possibly to be
explained by the church’s condemnation of astrology, although the
Zodiac had been thoroughly tamed for Judaeo-Christian use,12 and rep-
resentation of it did not necessarily serve an astrological agenda; in itself,
it could signify the solar year or stand as a two-dimensional symbol of
the heavenly spheres. It is evidently in this non-astrological sense that
Christopher of Mitylene chooses to interpret his cousin’s handiwork. He
assigns no qualities or influences to the planets, and while he alludes to
their zodiacal houses, he does not comment on the association between
planetary positions and zodiacal signs which was the essence of astrolo-
gy, and he does not even specify the locations of the eggs representing
the planets on the loaf. The moral attributes which he attaches to the
zodiacal signs are based on a facile and obvious symbolism that has noth-
ing to do with astrological doctrine. He ignores the astrologers’ classifi-
cation of signs into male and female, diurnal and nocturnal, hot and
cold,13 and he does not imply that people are born under the signs whose
qualities they exhibit. In another poem (no. 92), where Christopher prais-
es the beauty of the night sky, he likens the stars to angels praising God.
The author seems less concerned with the cosmological significance
than with the artistry of the work he describes. The point of his poem is
to praise a novel work of art, novel because it is fashioned from every-
day foodstuffs, and by a woman. The point is emphasised by the rhetor-
ical synkrisis with famous ancient artists — a topos of ekphrasis which
Christopher here puts to doubly subversive use. Instead of citing the
great exempla from antiquity as models to be emulated, he derides and
dismisses them. This was a common device of Christian homiletic, yet
the contrast which Christopher draws is not between the outdated absurd-
ities of pagan mythology and the revealed truth of Christianity, but
between the inflated reputations of dead males and the unsung but tangi-
ble achievements of living women. One should be wary of reading fem-
inist sentiment into a piece of stylish rhetorical inversion by a male
author of the eleventh century, whose works also include a poem cele-
brating the artistic genius of the spider, complete with an ekphrasis of the
spider’s web (no. 122). However, Christopher does not confine his atten-
tion to one domestic example or to the domain of home baking, but uses

Ousterhout (2001) 133-50, esp. 144-6.
Hübner (1983).
Bouché-Leclercq (1899), ch. 5.

the art of one woman to exemplify the skill of all women as producers of
finely woven and embroidered textiles. Unfortunately, it is not clear from
his brief allusions whether he he is referring to domestic production, or
to the more commercial and guild-based manufacture which is implied in
the description by his contemporary, Michael Psellos, of the festival of
Agathe: the yearly occasion, on 12 May, when the women involved in the
carding, spinning, and weaving of wool and linen gathered for a religious
ceremony followed by dancing.14 It is also unclear whether he is thinking
only of wool and linen textiles, or also envisages the manufacture of the
high-quality silks for which Byzantium was famous.15 The elevated ter-
minology which he uses to describe female expertise – the knowledge
(gn«siw) of textiles, the science (§pistÆmh) of embroidery, the art
(t°xnh) of weaving – would seem appropriate to artefacts at the top of
the range. The tenth-century Book of the Eparch mentions women
engaged in the silk industry, and women were prominent among the silk-
weavers of Thebes in the twelfth century.
A cautiously feminist reading of the ekphrasis is appropriate to both
the period and the author. The eleventh century was a time when imperi-
al women were especially important on the political scene, and their
prominence was recorded by two historians, Michael Psellos and Anna
Comnena, who both in their different ways clearly found it remarkable.17
Psellos also wrote three gender-specific works which are key sources for
the role and image of women in Byzantine society: his funeral orations
on his mother and adopted daughter, Styliane,18 and the text on the festi-
val of Agathe, which provides a unique aperçu of a public event organ-
ised by and for women. Yet for all his insight and interest, Psellos’ view
of women’s place in society shows a condescension which we do not find
in Christopher of Mitylene, either in the ekphrasis we have examined or
in his other poems concerning women (nos. 52, 57, 61, 66-7, 70, 75-7,
81, 140). Psellos says that his mother was second to none at weaving, but
had little time for it; “she was terribly annoyed that she did not have a
male nature, and that it was not possible for her to converse fearlessly
with letters”.19 As for Styliane, he says, one must not imagine that
because she was literate, she neglected her “womens’ work” of weaving

Ed. Sathas, vol. 5 (1876) 527-31; Laiou (1986) 111-22.
On Byzantine silk and other textile production, see in general the chapters by A.
Muthesius and G. Dagron in Laiou (2002); Jacoby (1991-2) 452-500; Kaplan (1998) 313-27.
Leo VI, Liber Praefecti 7.2 (Koder ed., p. 100); John Tzetzes, Epistulae 101-2; Choniates
74, 98.
See in general Hill, James, Smythe (1994) 215-29; Hill (1999).
Ed. Sathas (1876) 3-61, 62-87; cf. Leroy-Molinghen (1969) 155-63.
Ed. Sathas 7.

and embroidery.20 Unlike Psellos, Christopher of Mitylene is not writing

from the lofty perspective of the philosopher,21 but approaches mundane,
material reality for its own sake and on its own terms. Although his
poems are educated and elegant commentaries on everyday life, they
draw simple morals and do not strain to relate their subject-matter to
higher levels of meaning or of being. He does not need to relativise the
artistic achievements of contemporary women, because it is enough for
him to reflect the real value their products were accorded in the home,
the market-place and the ceremonial magnificence of the court.

Ibid. 66.

Psellos makes his philosophical priorities clear in all the minor works cited above, and a

recent study argues that they are basic to his writing of history: Kaldellis (1999).
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Timothy S. Miller

Vaticanus Palatinus gr. 92 contains a short poem (folios 145v-46) and a

prose essay (folios 207-08) which offer valuable information concerning
the Orphanotropheion of Saint Paul, the premier philanthropic institution
of Constantinople and, during the twelfth century, one of the capital’s
leading educational centers.1 Although the Orphanotropheion outranked
all other charitable institutions of the Byzantine Empire, no typikon has
survived which outlines how the orphanage functioned, nor do any extant
hagiographical sources describe the buildings, monasteries, and church-
es which formed part of this complex institution.2
To understand how the Orphanotropheion educated its children,
organized its administration, and financed its operations, one must ana-
lyze a wide variey of sources, from the laws of the emperor Leo I (457-
74) to twelfth-century literary works such as Anna Komnena’s Alexiad.3
The two texts, published here for the first time, provide new information
concerning both the teaching methods used at the orphanage as well as
its administrative organization, information which supplements what
scholars have gleaned from published sources.
Vaticanus Palatinus gr. 92 was copied in the last decades of the thir-
teenth century in Southern Italy. It belongs to a large group of manuscripts,
which preserve short poems and prose texts used to teach Classical Greek
grammar, vocabulary, orthography, and syntax. Some of these short works
were extracted from Classical Greek literature, while others were composed
by Byzantine teachers to illustrate difficult grammar rules or to introduce
unfamiliar vocabulary.4
Vaticanus Palatinus gr. 92 is unusual among these instructional
codices in that, beginning on folio 122v, it identifies the Byzantine
instructors who composed the original poems and prose essays. As Carlo
Gallavotti has demonstrated, many of these author/instructors taught in
Constantinopolitan schools of the twelfth century.5 This manuscript iden-

For a detailed description of Vat. Pal. gr. 92, see Gallavotti (1983) 21-30.
Miller (1994) 83-104.
Anna Komnena, Alexiad, 15.7.3-9 (Leib ed. 3.214-18); Prodromos, “Monodie” 1-14.
Gallavotti, (1983) 21-30. See also Browning (1976) 21-34.
Gallavotti (1983) 24-30.

tifies the author of the poem on folios 145v-46 as “Leo of Rhodes” and
that of the prose work on folios 207-08 as “of Rhodes”. Since the manu-
script identifies no other author as “of Rhodes”, and both of these texts
refer to exactly the same issue, we can safely assume that Leo of Rhodes
wrote both texts.
The poem and the prose work prove that Leo of Rhodes taught at the
Orphanotropheion of Saint Paul in Constantinople. This Leo is most likely
the same man who became metropolitan of Rhodes sometime before 1166.6
During the twelfth century, the patriarch of Constantinople and the emper-
or often selected metropolitan bishops from among prominent teachers at
the Orphanotropheion. The emperor John II (1118-43) confirmed Stephen
Skylitzes, one of the leading teachers and eventually director of the orphan
school (not the orphanotrophos), as metropolitan of Trebizond.7 At the end
of the twelfth century, Constantine Stilbes attained the metropolitan see of
Kyzikos after beginning his career as a catechism teacher at the
Orphanotropheion.8 During the same years, Basil Pediadites taught gram-
mar at the orphan school and then advanced to shepherd the metropolitan
church of Kerkyra.9 It would, therefore, not be unusual for a teacher at the
Orphanotropheion, like Leo, to receive a promotion to an important see
such as Rhodes.10
Leo wrote both of these texts for teaching. Greek grammar manuscripts,
like Vaticanus Palatinus gr. 92, contain many short iambic dodecasyllabic
poems such as Leo’s first text. Students used such poems to learn both
Classical meters based on vowel length and the more recent stress rhythms
used in Byzantine dodecasyllabic poetry. Leo’s second text belongs to a cat-
egory of teaching tools called schede. The ancient Greek word schedos
meant a riddle or puzzle. In the eleventh century, Michael Psellos used the
word to describe a teaching exercise, a short essay that provided examples
of difficult words or confusing grammatical constructions from ancient
In the Alexiad, Anna Komnena described students at the
Orphanotropheion hard at work recopying schede, exercises she consid-
ered to be innovations of her generation.11 In claiming that schede were a
recent innovation, Anna was probably referring to a new type of schedos,
associated with Theodore Prodromos and Stephen Skylitzes, both gram-

Hierarchia (1988) 1.203.
Prodromos, “Monodie” 9-10.
Browning (1963) 26-32.
Ibid. 20-22.
Browning (1976) 25, where Browning assumes that the attribution toË ÑRÒdou refers to
the bishop of Rhodes.
Anna Komnena, Alexiad 15.7.9 (Leib ed. 3.218).

mar teachers at the Orphanotropheion. In a recent article, Ioannis Vassis

has shown that authors of twelfth-century schede, such as Prodromos,
deliberately used misspellings, tricky elisions, and changes in pronunci-
ation of both vowels and consonants to give their compositions two or
more possible meanings. To determine the correct meaning of such texts,
students had to rewrite the schede following the strict rules of Classical
Greek pronunciation, orthography, and grammar.12
It is also possible to classify Leo’s poem as a schedos exercise since
it too contains what appears to be a deliberate misspelling. On line 12 the
manuscript reads efiw Œw, which would mean “into the ear”, echoing the
prÚw Œta of line 11. It could also be recast, however, as ‡svw which in
the context makes better sense “so in the same way”.
Because of many deliberate misspellings in schede exercises, it is
extremely difficult to provide an accurate printed text of such prose com-
positions. Should it be presented in its form as a puzzle, or should the mod-
ern editor recast the text as the students were supposed to recopy it?13
As Vassis has shown, Prodromos prepared difficult schede. Fortunately,
Leo of Rhodes wrote easier exercises. The prose schedos edited below has
only two passages where strange orthography and elisions make the mean-
ing unclear. Leo seems to have written this schedos primarily to teach his
students to observe proper rules of accentuation and to check carefully for
proper breathing marks.14
Some twelfth-century intellectuals attacked the use of schede. Anna
Komnena condemned them as a confusing intertwining of words
(plokÆ). Both John Tzetzes and Theodore Balsamon used the same term,
ploke, to describe the useless complexity of the schedos exercises, as
designed by Prodromos and Skylitzes.15 In place of such schede, Anna
Komnena recommended a return to reading the original works of the
ancient Greeks.16
In preparing this edition, I have reproduced both the poem and the
prose schedos, found in Vaticanus Palatinus gr. 92. I have included in the

Vassis (1993-94) 1-19.
Vassis (1993-94) 14-19, where he resolves the problem by presenting the schedos first as
transmitted by the manuscript (überlieferte Fassung) and then written out with the errors
and contradictions eliminated (entschüsselte Fassung).
For example, on folio 207v, the schedos text has the reading ≥syh eÈfrÒsunon. A review
of the forms of afisyãnomai, however, shows that ≥syh does not exist, but if the readerchanges
the breathing mark to ¥syh (a change which would not alter the pronunciation of the word),
the verb becomes the third-person, singular, aorist, passive of ¥domai, a verb which occasion-
ally appears in a construction with a neuter substantive adjective, such as eÈfrÒsunon.
Vassis (1993-94) 9-10, and notes 33 and 34.
Anna Komnena, Alexiad, 15.7.9 (Leib ed. 3.218). For additional information concerning
schede, see Garzya (1974), section VII (pp. 1-14).

apparatus criticus the words that have been written above the line in
smaller letters. The same hand which copied the body of the text appears
to have added these superscripted words. The copyist probably included
these words to assist students in understanding the text since, in most
cases, the superscriptions offer a common synonym for a more obscure
Greek word in the text.


Fol. 145v ToË ÑRÒdou kuroË L°ontow

NËn oÈ prÚw Ímçw toÁw §n èm¤ll˙ n°ouw
oÈd¢ prÚw Ímçw toÁw sunelyÒntaw f¤louw,
éllå prÚw aÈtÚn t∞w sxol∞w tÚn prostãthn
§jagoreÊv tØn §mØn ékhd¤an.
5 ka‹ tØn ÙdÊnhn §kf°rv t∞w kard¤aw
ka‹ pr°sbin aÈtÒn, oÈk ¶xvn ˘ ka‹ drãsv,
t“ pammeg¤stƒ poimenãrx˙ prof°rv.
k°kmhka ka‹ går proslal«n brefull¤oiw
pl°kvn épe›pon toÁw èmillhthr¤ouw.
10 …w oÔn §fãnhw, PaËle, kur¤ou stÒma |
l°gvn prÚw Œta t“ sof“ didaskãlƒ.
oÏtv per ‡svw tlhpayoÁw éndrÚw xãrin
t“ patriãrx˙ frãze t∞w ofikoum°nhw.
d¤dajon aÈtÚn toÁw makroÁw §moÁw pÒnouw
15 ˜souw én°tlhn s∞w xãrin klhroux¤aw.
ékoÊsetai s«n fllar«w prosfyegmãtvn.
prosd°jetai sou toÁw lÒgouw éspas¤vw.
§nde¤jetai tÚ f¤ltron ˘ prÒw se tr°fei.
tÚn går ımo›on o‰da file›n toÁw trÒpouw
20 ka‹ =Êseta¤ me t∞w pikrçw plinyourg¤aw.

4 ékhd¤an] yl¤cin supr. scr. || 6 pr°sbin] parãklhton supr. scr. |

aÈtÒn] ka‹ prostãthn supr. scr. || 7 prof°rv] prosp°mpv supr. scr.
|| 8 k°kmhka] épe›pon supr. scr. || 10 …w] kayÉ supr. scr. ||
11 didaskãlƒ] XrusostÒmƒ supr. scr. || 12 ‡svw] efiw Œw ms


Now, neither to you, the youths in the contest,

nor to you, my assembled friends,
but to him, the patron of the school,
I confess my apathy,
and I set forth the pain of my heart,
and having no <other> course of action,
I present him as my ambassador to the exceedingly great patriarch.
For I am worn out in addressing the tribes of young children,
and I renounce my weaving contentious words.
Therefore, just as you appeared as the mouth of the Lord, Paul,
when you spoke into the ear of the wise teacher [John Chrysostom],
so, in the same way, on behalf of a wretched man
speak to the ecumenical patriarch.
Teach him my long painful labors,
as many as I have endured on behalf of your inheritance.
He will listen joyfully to your utterances.
He will readily accept your words.
He will show the affection which he nourishes toward you.
For I know that a similar person loves these ways.
And he will rescue me from this bitter brick making.


Fol. 207 ToË ÑRÒdou

ÉEpaxy¢w ¶rgon pçsa didaskal¤a, polÁ pl°on d¢ paidodidaskal¤a, to›w d¢
trighrãsasin efis°ti pl°on, ıpo›ow êra kaÉgΔ kayå ka‹ sÁ épofÆn˙ per‹
§moË: ˘ pçn êr˙w, tel« gÉ, Œ ka‹ m°litow ≤d¤vn tª frãsei, dikaiodÒta ka‹ Ùr-
fanotrÒfe lamprÒtate, kr¤nv går =ipØn pãlin §n lo|gism“ sunet“ tÚ efikÚw
ka‹ énagka›on t«n lÒgvn moi prÚw s¢ épote¤nasyai, ka‹ tolmhr«w §rvt∞sai
tosaÊthn [ka‹ dÊnamin] ¶xein §m°, tØn ékmØn ˘w ±nãlvsÉ efiw tÚ leitoÊrghmÉ
éteir∞, toËto neËra mØ eÈtux«n. mØ går oÈk ênyrvpÒw tiw §gΔ ·nÉ §park«
tosoËton xrÒnon prÚw tÚ mustagvge›n, ≥dh dÉ êskhnow êggelow. miÉ ≤ §mØ
oÈs¤a m«n, efi fulãttei tØn ofike¤an fÊsin, t«n épay«n; polloË ge ka‹ de›.
ÉEpe‹ oÔn Íp¢r pãntaw o‰syÉ ¶rgon ≥dh §m°, filoiktÒtate, tÚ §paxy¢w
t∞w mustagvg¤aw §p‹ xrÒnoiw makro›w §nergÆsanta, ˜ti ka¤ soi, yesp°sie, Œs-
mai efiw taÊthn, ˜ti mãlista dejiÚn ¶krinaw metå toË thnikaËta sofoË érxi-
poim°now. efi går mÆ, dialanyãnei tÚ makroxrÒnion taÊthw mÉ, e‡kosi talai-
pvr¤& §ntaËya d¢ ¶th §st¤—tå d¢ t∞w Ífedr¤aw pare¤syvsan. o‰sya går ka‹
aÈtÚw tØn ≤m«n §fore¤an √ diempisteuye‹w metå ka‹ êllvn meg¤stvn érx«n,
ìw efi ka‹ y°lv t“ lÒgƒ perilabe›n, ne›mai tr‹w §k kair«n t«n nËn énast°llo-
Efiw o‰kton kamfye¤w, sumpay°stat°, moi él°jei, §kkakÆsonti t“ musta-
gvge›n. §pikoÊrei ta›w sa›w prÚw tÚn patriãrxhn eÈprosd°ktoiw fvna›w. ka‹

1 ÉEpaxy¢w ¶rgon] fortikÚn prçgma supr. scr. || 2 épofÆn˙] épofπn˙ ms ||

3 ˘ pçn] ˜p ín ms et ka‹ fvnØn supr. scr. | êr˙w, tel« gÉ] ka‹ épçr˙w ka‹ Ípãrxv supr.
scr. | ≤d°vn] ka‹ glukÁw supr. scr. || 6 [ka‹ dÊnamin] supr. scr.] dunatÚn ·nÉ ms |
±nãlvsÉ ms] ka‹ kathnãlvsa supr. scr. || 7 éteir∞] éblabØ supr. scr. || 8 êskhnow] ka‹
és≈matow supr. scr. || 9 m«n] ka‹ îra supr. scr. | efi] ka‹ §peidÉ supr. scr. | de›] pr°pei
supr. scr. || 10 o‰syÉ] ka‹ gin≈skeiw supr. scr. || 11-12 Œsmai ms] ka‹ §mb¤blhmai supr.
scr. || 12 mãlista] ka‹ l¤an supr. scr. || 14 o‰sya] gin≈skeiw supr scr. || 15 §fore¤an]
ka‹ tØn §pitÆrhsin supr. scr. | √ ] ka‹ kayÉ supr. scr. | meg¤stvn érx«n] ka‹ §jousi«n
supr. scr. || 16 ne›mai] ka‹ parasxe›n supr. scr. | tr‹w] ka‹ §k tritÒw supr. scr. || 18
él°jei] ka‹ boÆyei supr. scr. | t“] ka‹ t¤ni supr. scr. || 20 e‰ar] ka‹ ¶ar supr. scr. |
efiste›nai] ka‹ stena‹ supr. scr. ||


All teaching is difficult work, but especially teaching children, and even
more difficult for those who are very old, such as I am, as even you make
known concerning me. Everything you happen to take up, I finish, o
chief justice (dikaiodotes), sweeter than honey in your diction, and most
illustrious orphanotrophos. For, after wise deliberation, I judge it rea-
sonable and necessary for me to let my words rush forth to reach you,
even daring to ask that I have so much strength, a man who expended the
strength of his prime in this unyielding service, a man not fortunate in
physical strength. For I am not such a man that I am strong enough to
serve so long in this mystagogia, already an incorporeal angel. If my
being guards its own nature, it is not one of those who suffer no changes,
is it? Not at all!
Because you already know, most merciful one, that I have performed
beyond all others in the arduous work of the mystagogia for a long peri-
od of years, and that I have exerted myself to such an extent in your inter-
est, reverent one, you have judged me especially acceptable, together
with the wise arch-shepherd [serving] at that time. If not, then I receive
no credit for this long service—at this time twenty years of drudgery,
omitting the years in subordinate service. For you yourself know our
supervisory position with which I was entrusted along with all the other
offices. Although I want to include these in the speech, I restrain myself
from reciting them most especially at the present moment.
Most sympathetic one, protect me, bent down in supplication, since I
am exhausted by this mystagogia. Give help with your acceptable
appeals to the patriarch. May your meeting with him, o honorable one,
lead me from the oppressions of winter to reach the spring air. He has

§k xeim«now yl¤cevn efiw e‰ar efiste›nai, [Œ] pan°time, prÚw aÈtÚn ¶nteujiw
sØ diagãg˙ me. ¥syh eÈfrÒsunon, ˜ti oÈ fa¤nontai kekleism°nai tis‹n afl pÊ-
lai t∞w eÈsplagxn¤aw aÈtoË, éllÉ ín eÔrow efiw svthr¤an ényr≈pou mçllon §k-
te¤non. yarr« goËn …w ín nuxyÆsonta¤ soi ka‹ énapetasyÆsontai, |ka‹ tª mak-
rò mou talaipvr¤& ·levn ı f¤loiktow §nidΔn lÊtron ofl mogÆsanti d≈sei moi.
éndrÚw tÚ loipÚn tlhpayoËw Íperlãlei. tÚn PaËlon ßjeiw tÚn m°gan sunergã-
thn ˘n pr°sbin aÈtÚn égaya›w §pÉ §lp¤si pros∞ja t“ =hy°nti. tØn tÒlman
bl°peiw: toÊtƒ d¢ ka‹ s¢ sÆmeron suneisf°rv. ka‹ går ˜sow moi PaËlow §n
to›w èg¤oiw, tosoËton aÈtÚw §n broto›w ¶rrei fyÒnow.

21 ¥syh] ≥syh ms et ka‹ §l°xyh supr. scr. | tis‹n] tÉ efis‹n ms || 22 eÔrow] ka‹ plãtow
supr. scr. || 23 nuxyÆsonta¤] ka‹ diegeryÆsontai supr. scr. || 24 mogÆsanti] ka‹
kakopayÆsanti supr. scr.

rejoiced in what is gracious so that the gates of his mercy appear not to
be closed to some, but rather he is stretching wide for the salvation of
man. I am confident that [these gates] will be stirred by you and spread
wide. Seeing my long suffering, the compassionate one will give his mer-
ciful release to me struggling on his behalf. For the rest, speak on behalf
of a long-suffering man. You will have Paul as your great colleague
whom, with good hopes, I have added as an ambassador to the one under
discussion. You appear bold. Today I commission you [ to go] to him. For
as much as Paul [is my ambassador] among the saints, so much does this
jealousy among mortals disappear.


Both Leo’s poem and his schedos describe how his teaching duties have
wearied him and how he longs for the patriarch of Constantinople to
relieve him from his labors among “the tribes of young children” (poem,
line 8). In the poem, he addresses his appeal to the heavenly patron of the
school, Saint Paul. From earlier sources we know that Saint Zotikos
founded the orphanage of the capital city, probably in the fourth century,
but that the emperor Justin II rededicated the institution to Saints Peter
and Paul in the late sixth century when he built a splendid church for the
Orphanotropheion.17 Peter gradually receded in importance, and by the
twelfth century sources often connected the Orphanotropheion with Saint
In the prose schedos, on the other hand, Leo refers directly to the
supervisor of his school, the director of the Orphanotropheion of
Constantinople.19 As in the poem, so also in the prose schedos, Leo men-
tions only Paul the apostle as the patron of the school where he was
teaching. These two instructional texts, thus, provide additional evidence
that by the twelfth century Paul had emerged as the sole patron saint of
the Orphanotropheion.
Leo’s poem opens by describing youths in a contest (toÁw §n èm¤ll˙
n°ouw); line 9 refers to weaving contentious words, an expression which
clearly refers to Leo’s work in writing schede.20 Why were schede con-
tentious and the children of the orphanage involved in contests?

Theophanes 1.244.
Vie de St. Cyrille le Philéote, chap. 47.4-6 (pp. 229-31). See also Basil Pediadites identi-
fied as a teacher sxol∞w grammatik«n toË PaÊlou, in Browning (1963), 20-22.
For the office of orphanotrophos, see Miller (1994) 99-104, and Guilland (1965) 205-21.
Vassis (1993-94) 9-10, and notes 33 and 34.

Several instructional poems, similar to Leo’s poem presented here,

demonstrate that grammar schools of Constantinople held some form of
student contests in connection with schede. In two eleventh-century
poems, Christopher of Mytilene and John Mauropous, later metropolitan
of Euchaita, referred to students engaged in schede competitions.21
Moreover, Giuseppe Schirò published an anonymous poem, also from
the eleventh century, which invoked heavenly assistance for two children
participating in a schedos contest.22 More recently, Robert Browning
cited a nine-line verse composition in Marcianus graecus XI.31 which
called on St. Paul to reward the victor in a grammar and schedos compe-
tition. Since Paul was the sole patron of the Orphanotropheion, this sche-
dos contest surely took place in the orphanage of Constantinople.23 In
view of such references to schede contests at grammar schools in the
eleventh and twelfth centuries, we can safely assume that Leo’s arduous
duties included training students to contend in such events.
In both his poem and his prose schedos, Leo emphasizes how difficult
he found working with the children at the orphanage. Leo compares his
duties to the slavery of the Hebrews in Egypt when they labored in mak-
ing bricks for Pharoah (Exod. 1:14). It is not clear why Leo considered
his work with the children so difficult. Perhaps he had discipline prob-
lems. We know from the frank letters of a thirteenth-century metropoli-
tan of Naupaktos, John Apokaukos, that among the orphans at his epis-
copal school, some were difficult to control.24
Leo’s schedos also offers some new information regarding the
Orphanotropheion’s staff organization. Leo claims to have worked at the
school for more than twenty years. He began his cursus honorum in hum-
ble positions, but at the time of writing this schedos, he held some sort
of supervisory position (§fore¤an), a post he attained after having served
in other important offices. Although Leo did not mention specific offices,
his schedos clearly reveals that there were several ranks of instructors at
the Orphanotropheion.
In the prose schedos, Leo addresses his appeal that he be assigned a
post outside the Orphanotropheion to the institution’s director, the
orphanotrophos. Leo pleads with the director to obtain a promotion from
the patriarch of Constantinople. In his funeral oration in honor of
Stephen Skylitzes, Prodromos also described the patriarch as involved in
deciding promotions on the teaching staff of the Orphanotropheion,

Schirò (1949) 13 (Christopher of Mytilene) and 18, note 21 (John Mauropous).
Ibid. 27-28.
Browning (1976) 32 (verses reproduced from Marcianus gr. XI.31, folio 277v.).
Apokaukos, ep. 27 (pp. 85-86) and ep. 100 (pp. 150-52).

although he also mentioned that the emperor had made the final decision
to appoint Skylitzes head of the teaching faculty at the orphan school.25
In both the poem and the prose schedos, on the other hand, Leo
viewed the patriarch as playing the key role in personnel decisions at the
Orphanotropheion. In neither text does the author refer to the emperor,
even though we know from many lists of state officials that the orphan-
age director was ranked as a member of the imperial bureaucracy. From
other sources, it appears that the orphanotrophos dealt primarily with
financial and legal issues and functioned as an imperial magistrate. The
teachers of the orphanage school, however, received their right to teach
from the local bishop, in the case of Constantinople, from the patriarch.
Thus, according to Theodore Prodromos, the patriarch confirmed
Stephen Skylitzes’ promotion to a high teaching post at the
Orphanotropheion by anointing Stephen with holy chrism.26
In the prose schedos, Leo addresses his immediate superior. the
orphanage director, as dikaiodotes and orphanotrophos. During the
twelfth century, the dikaiodotes had evolved into one of the leading
judges of the imperial bureaucracy.27 Several other sources of the twelfth
century reveal that orphanotrophoi also held important judicial posts. An
oration of Theodore Prodromos addressed Alexios Aristenos as both
orphan director and nomophylax, a post which by the twelfth century
included judicial duties.28 According to a speech by Niketas Choniates,
the orphanotrophos John Belissariotes had excelled in the study of law.29
Leo’s schedos, thus, provides additional evidence that the men who
served as directors of the Orphanotropheion of Saint Paul had extensive
legal training in Roman/Byzantine law and often filled high-ranking
judicial posts at the same time they supervised the orphan home and
Both these teaching texts offer internal evidence that Leo wrote them
for the students to present in public schede contests. In his poem, Leo
specifically mentions that he is not addressing the children who were
participating in the competition nor his colleagues who were either spec-
tators or coaching other young contestants. Rather, he is offering a verse
prayer to the school’s patron, Saint Paul. Although he implores Saint
Paul to present his plea to the patriarch, the flattering references to the

Prodromos, “Monodie” 9.
Prodromos, “Monodie” 9. See also Criscuolo (1975) 378-79 and 387 note 37.
ODB 624.
Prodromos, “Eisiterios” (PG, 133, cols. 1268-74) not only mentions Alexios Aristenos as
holding the office of nomophylax and orphanotrophos, but the speech stresses Aristenos’ role
as magistrate.
Choniates 1.151.

head of the church in Constantinople suggest that in fact the patriarch

was present at this academic contest. In the case of the prose schedos, on
the other hand, it seems that only the orphanotrophos attended the event.
Another twelfth-century source reveals that high officials sometimes
attended these student contests. In one of his orations, Constantine
Manasses described a contest for grammar students which took place in
the presence of the orphanotrophos and the emperor Manuel I (1143-
80).30 Like Leo and Theodore Prodromos, Manasses also taught in the
grammar schools of Constantinople and composed a number of extant
schede.31 If the emperor presided over some of these events, it is not sur-
prising that the patriarch also attended grammar competitions held in the
Byzantine capital, as Leo’s poem suggests.

Mannases 181.
Browning (1976) 26-27.
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John W. Nesbitt

In 1991 Stephan Borgehammar published a well-researched, stimulating

book entitled How the Holy Cross Was Found.1 Borgehammar was inter-
ested in reconstructing Gelasius of Caesarea’s account, in his lost Church
History, of Helena’s discovery of the cross at Jerusalem. Accordingly he
was led to consider whether Alexander the Monk’s Historical Treatise on
the Finding of the Cross might contain, in the section dealing with
Helena and her travels to Jerusalem, some traces of Gelasius’s text. In the
end he concluded his objective was beyond reach because “the edition is
very unsatisfactory, leaving room for hesitation about individual phras-
es.”2 Borgehammar’s assessment is just. The edition to which he refers is
the one printed in PG, a text originally edited and published by J. Gretser
in his De cruce Christi of 1600.3 Gretser’s edition is based (as I under-
stand matters) upon: a) a Munich manuscript of the 16th century; b) a
manuscript owned by the humanist and Jesuit, Andreas Schott; and c) a
manuscript of Grottaferrata.4 The Munich manuscript is corrupt, the
Schott manuscript has never been identified, and the Grottaferrata text is
now lost.5 Such is the state of research on the text after some 400 years.
The Historical Treatise occupies some 31 columns in the PG edition
and may be fairly described as a “World Chronicle”. It commences with
a discussion of the Divine Logos and proceeds to a listing of the occa-

Borgehammar (1991).
Borgehammar (1991) 25.
J. Gretser, De cruce Christi, II (Ingolstadt: 1600) 1-52; eadem editio Opera Omnia, II
(Regensburg:1734) cols. 1-30 (notes cols. 31-6). The latter was the source of the text reprint-
ed in PG 87.3, cols. 4016-76 (Helena’s recovery of the cross is found at cols. 4061-64). The
PG also prints a condensed version, cols. 4077-88. The “edition” published in 1913 by P. C.
Pennacchini is simply a re-publication of Gretser’s text: see Pennacchini’s Discorso storico
dell’invenzione della Croce del monaco Alessandro (Grottaferrata: 1913) 7-75. The full title of
Alexander Monachus’s Treatise, as it appears regularly in manuscripts, is LÒgow flstorikÚw
per‹ t∞w eÍr°sevw toË tim¤ou ka‹ zvopoioË StauroË.
Schott collated the manuscript in his possession with the manuscript preserved at
Grottaferrata. In the notes to his edition Gretser distinguishes between “Cod. Bav.”, “Cod.
Sch.”, “Sch.”, and “Cod. Crypt. Ferr.”. The Munich manuscript used by Gretser is of the 16th
century and has the shelf number ms. gr. 271.
H. G. Opitz tried to locate the Grottaferrata manuscript which Gretser mentions, but he
was unsuccessful. Opitz (1934) 539.

sions on which the cross is pre-figured in the Old Testament. The author
continues with a narration of Christ’s life and historical events beyond
Christ’s death (in particular, persecutions of Christians) to the end of the
reign of Constantine I. Then follows: a) Cyril of Jerusalem’s “Letter to
Constantius” of 350/351 regarding an appearance of the cross over
Jerusalem; and b) a lengthy eulogy of the cross. The Historical Treatise
was a popular text; a new editio princeps would involve (either in whole
or in part) some forty manuscripts. Our goal here is fairly modest. It is
our intention to offer an edition of the section of the Historical Treatise’s
account dealing with Helena’s discovery of the cross. The edition incor-
porates prior editions and adds ten more manuscripts that have been
selected, for the most part, because of their age and general reliability.
We have included later manuscripts in order to give an idea of the range
of variations within the manuscript tradition. After presenting our edition
of what might be considered the culminating section of the Historical
Treatise, we shall then turn to larger questions, such as the date of the
Treatise’s composition, the author’s intent and his anticipated audience.


Am Milan, Ambrosiana Library, gr. A 63 inf. (11th century)

B Oxford, Bodleian Library, Auctarium E.2.6 (12th century)
BN1 Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, Ancien gr. 1454 (10th-11th
BN3 Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, Coislin 306 (16th century)
Bu Bucharest, gr. 595 (13th century)
L Athos, Lavra D 78 (11th century)
M Monte Cassino, gr. 431 (11th century)
P Patmos, gr. 257 (12th century)
T Thessalonica, Vlatadon gr. 6 (12th century)
V Vatican, gr. 504 (1105)


Gr PG 87.3, col. 4061, line 19-col. 4064, line 25

Penn. Pennacchini, 59, line 6-61, line 27
GH Georgii Hamartoli Chronicon in: PG 110, col. 620, line 12-
col. 621, line 25


Metå taËta ép°steilen ı basileÁw tØn •autoË mht°ra

El°nh n tØn éji°painon ka‹ yeofil∞ efiw ÑIerosÒluma metå
grammãtvn ka‹ xrhmãtvn éfyon¤aw prÚw tÚn fer≈numon
Makãrion, tÚn t∞w Afil¤aw §p¤skopon, §p‹ énazhtÆsei toË §ndÒjou
5 stauroË ka‹ ofikodomª t«n èg¤vn tÒpvn, aÈt∞w afithsam°nhw t∞w
basil¤dow, faskoÊshw Ùptas¤an tinå ye¤an •vrak°nai,
keleÊousan aÈtª tå ÑIerosÒluma katalabe›n ka‹ toÁw èg¤ouw
tÒpouw efiw f«w égage›n xvsy°ntaw ÍpÚ t«n énÒmvn ka‹ éfane›w
genÒmenouw, §p‹ tosoÊtouw xrÒnouw. MayΔn d¢ ı §p¤skopow
10 éfikom°nhn tØn basil¤da, sunagagΔn toÁw t∞w §parx¤aw
§p¤skopouw metå t∞w deoÊshw tim∞w épÆnthsen aÈtª. EÈy°vw d¢
parek°leuse to›w §piskÒpoiw tØn zÆthsin toË poyoum°nou jÊlou
poiÆsasyai. ÉAporoÊntvn d¢ pãntvn per‹ toË tÒpou ka‹ êllvn
êllvw §j Ípoc¤aw dihgoum°nvn, ı t∞w pÒlevw §p¤skopow pãntaw
15 parekãlei ≤sux¤an êgein ka‹ spoudaiÒteron eÈxØn Íp¢r toÊtou

1. Metå] d¢ add. VGH | ép°steilen] ép°stilen M aneteilen T | tØn] om. BuGr |

•autoË] aÈtoË V || 2. tØn éji°painon ka‹ yeofil∞] om. GH | éji°painon] ajiepenon T
| yeofil∞] yeofile› AmT yeofhl∞ M yeÒsepton BN1 || 3. éfyon¤aw] éfyon¤an BN1
| fer≈numon] om. BuGr || 4. tÚn t∞w Afil¤aw §p¤skopon] tÚn t∞w pÒlevw §p¤skopon BN1
ÑIerosolÊmvn MGr tÚn t∞w èg¤ou pÒlevw V || 4-5. toË §ndÒjou stauroË] toË tim¤ou
stauroË B toË zvopoioË jÊlou toË §ndÒjou stauroË BN1 BN3P toË zvopoioË jÊlou
Gr || 5. aÈt∞w] toËto add. BN1 BN3PGH toË add. T | afithsam°nhw] §thsam°nhw M
traithsamenhw T || 6. basil¤dow] basile›dow M ka‹ add. V | faskoÊshw] fãskousan
M | tinå] om. AmBuGr post ye¤an trsp. BN1BN3 | •vrak°nai] •orakenai M || 7. aÈtª]
aÈtØn AmGH | katalabe›n] katå labe›n BN1 || 8. xvsy°ntaw] xosy°ntaw M |
énÒmvn] paranÒmvn M nom«n T || 9. genÒmenouw] genãmenouw M | §p‹ tosoÊtouw
xrÒnouw] §p‹ tosoÊtou xrÒnou GH || 10. éfikom°nhn] éfhkom°nhn BLT BN3 | basil¤da]
basile¤da M || 10-11. sunagagΔn toÁw t∞w §parx¤aw §p¤skopouw] sÁn t∞w §parx¤aw
§piskÒpoiw Gr | §parx¤aw] §parxe¤aw TV || 11. metå t∞w deoÊshw tim∞w] om. Gr |
épÆnthsen] épÆnthsan M épÆnthse Gr ÍpÆnthsen GH | aÈtª] tª basil¤di BuBN1VGr
| EÈy°vw] Euyeow T || 12. parek°leuse] parek°leusen B parekeleÊsato BuBN1Gr
pareskeÊasen MT pareskeÊase V | to›w §piskÒpoiw] toÁw §piskÒpouw BVGH | poy-
oum°nou] pepoyhm°nou BN1 poyeinoË GH || 13. poiÆsasyai] §p°trecen add. BN1 | toË
tÒpou] toÊtou GH || 13-14. êllvn êllvw] êllon êllo B êllou êllow M êllou
êllo PTV êllou êlla GH | êllvn êllvw §j Ípoc¤aw] êllow éllaxØ ÍpÚ c¤aw BN1
|| 14. dihgoum°nvn] dihgoum°nou GH | pÒlevw] pÒleow M || 15. parekãlei] para¤nh M
| êgein] aghn T | spoudaiÒteron] spoudaivt°rvn B spoudeot°ran BN3MPTV
spoudaiot°ran GH ||

t“ Ye“ prosf°rein. ToÊtou d¢ genom°nou eÈy°vw §de¤xyh yeÒyen ı

tÒpow t“ §pikÒpƒ, §n ⁄ Âdruto t∞w ékayãrtou da¤monow ı naÚw ka‹
tÚ êgalma. TÒte ≤ bas¤lissa tª basilikª aÈyent¤& xrvm°nh,
sunagagoËsa pl∞yow polÁ texnit«n ka‹ §rgat«n §k°leusen §k
20 bãyrvn énatrap∞nai tÚ musarÚn ofikodÒmhma ka‹ tÚn xoËn
pÒrrv pou éporrif∞nai. ToÊtou d¢ genom°nou, énefãnh tÚ ye›on
mn∞ma ka‹ ı tÒpow toË Kran¤ou ka‹ oÈ mÆkoyen tre›w stauro‹
kexvsm°noi. ÉEpimel«w d¢ §reunÆsantew eron ka‹ toÁw ¥louw.
ÉEke›yen loipÚn émhxan¤a ka‹ yl¤ciw kat°labe tØn bas¤lissan,
25 §pizhtoËsan po›ow êra e‡h ı DespotikÚw staurÒw. ÑO d¢ §p¤skopow
diå p¤stevw tØn diãkrisin ¶lusen. Gunaik‹ går érrvstoÊs˙ t«n
§mfan«n ka‹ épegnvsm°n˙ ÍpÚ pãntvn ka‹ tå teleuta›a
pneuoÊs˙ prosagagΔn •kãteron t«n staur«n, tÚn zhtoÊmenon
eren: mÒnon går ≥ggisen ≤ skiå toË svthr¤ou stauroË tª
30 ésyenoÊs˙, eÈyÁw ≤ êpnouw ka‹ ék¤nhtow ye¤& dunãmei

16. prosf°rein] prÚw f°rein BN1 | genom°nou] genam°nou MT | eÈy°vw] om. MV || 16-
17. ı tÒpow] ante yeÒyen trsp. GH post §piskÒpƒ trsp. BN1MV || 17. t“ §pikÒpƒ] t«n
§piskÒpvn M | Âdruto] ∏druto BL ¥druto BN3 | da¤monow] ÉAfrod¤thw add. VGH ||
18. bas¤lissa] bas¤leissa M | basilikª] basileike› M basilhkh T | aÈyent¤&]
aÈyente¤& AmBBN1 | xrvm°nh] maxom°nh P || 19. pl∞yow] pliyow T | polÁ] poll«n
BuGr t«n add. M | texnit«n] te add. Am texnhtvn T || 20. énatrap∞nai] katå
straf∞nai BN1 anatrapinai T énaskaf∞nai V || 20-21. tÚ musarÚn-éporrif∞nai]
tÚn t∞w da¤monow naÚn Gr | musarÚn] mussarÚn V | ofikodÒmhma] ”kodÒmhma BN1 ||
21. pou] poË BMBN1 | éporrif∞nai] épÚ rifÆnai BN1 ka‹ add. BBuBN3Gr | d¢] om.
AmGr | genom°nou] genam°nou TGH | ye›on] ye›oon BN3 || 22. oÈ] mØ BuGr | mÆkoyen]
mÆkon M || 23. kexvsm°noi] kexosm°noi M kaixvsmenoi T §xvsm°noi GH | ÉEpimel«w]
§pimelow T §p‹ mel«w BN1 | §reunÆsantew] diereunÆsantew GH | eron] hron BMT |
¥louw] ilouw T || 24. §ke›yen] PrÚw oÂw BN1V | loipÚn] om. AmB post émhxan¤a trsp.
BN1 | émhxan¤a] pollØ add. GH | kat°labe] kat°laben B BN1MT | bas¤lissan]
basil¤da BuMGr bas¤lleissan M | êra e‡h] ín e‡h AmB BN1 ara hei T | e‡h] ∑n
BuBN3Gr || 25. DespotikÚw] basilikÚw Am || 26. diå] metå GH | diãkrisin] émfi-
bol¤an BuGr diãfisin V | ¶lusen] ¶luse AmBuBN3LTGr | Gunaik‹] GunaikØ T |
érrvstoÊsª] arrvstousi T || 27. §mfan«n] §pifan«n AmBuGrGH | épegnvsm°n˙]
apegnvsmen˙ T | teleuta›a] teleutea T || 28. prosagagΔn] prÚw agagΔn BN1 |
•kãteron] ßkaston Bu V Gr •kãtervn M | t«n staur«n] tÚn staurÚn M | staur«n]
staurÒn P | tÚn] tÚ BN3PVGH || 29. eren] ere AmBN3PGH hren MT | mÒnon] …w
add. BuGr | går] post ≥ggisen trsp. BuGr | ≥ggisen] ≥ggise BuGr | stauroË] om. BuGr ||
30. ésyenoÊs˙] yanoÊs˙ BuGr | eÈyÁw] eÈy°vw BN1MTV om. BuGr | dunãmei]
=vsye›sa add. M ||

paraxr∞ma énepÆdhse megãl˙ tª f≈n˙ bo«sa ka‹ dojãzousa

tÚn YeÒn. ÑH d¢ bas¤lissa ÑEl°nh metå xarçw megãlhw ka‹ fÒbou
énelom°nh tÚn zvopoiÚn staurÒn, m°row m°ntoi sÁn to›w ¥loiw
énekÒmise prÚw tÚn pa›da: tÚ d¢ loipÚn glvssÒkomon érguroËn
35 poiÆsasa, par°dvke t“ §piskÒpƒ t∞w pÒlevw efiw mnhmÒsunon
pãsaiw genea›w. Ka‹ yesp¤sasa §kklhs¤aw gen°syai §n t“ zvopoi“
mnÆmati ka‹ §n t“ èg¤ƒ Golgoyò ka‹ §n tª Bhyle¢m §n t“ sphla¤ƒ,
¶nya ı KÊriow ≤m«n ÉIhsoËw XristÚw tØn katå sãrka g°nnhsin
Íp°meine, ka‹ §n t“ ˆrei t«n ÑElai«n ¶nya ı KÊriow eÈlogÆsaw toÁw
40 mayhtåw énelÆfyh. Ka‹ êlla pollå poiÆsasa §n ÑIerosolÊmoiw
én°strece prÚw tÚn pa›da. ÑO d¢ metå xarçw aÈtØn Ípodejãmenow,
tØn m¢n toË tim¤ou stauroË mer¤da §n xrusª yÆkh époy°menow
par°dvke t“ §piskÒpƒ efiw tÆrhsin, §niausia¤saiw mnÆmaiw
•ortãzein tØn énãdeijin toË stauroË prostãjaw. T«n d¢ ¥lvn
45 toÁw m¢n efiw tØn fid¤an perikefala¤an énexãlkeuse, toÁw d¢ én°mije
t“ salibar¤ƒ toË ·ppou aÈtoË, ·na plhrvyª tÚ =hy¢n ÍpÚ toË
Kur¤ou diå toË profÆtou l°gontow ÑEn tª ≤m°r& §ke¤n˙ ¶stai tÚ §p‹
tÚn xalinÚn toË ·ppou ëgion t“ kur¤ƒ Pantokrãtori (Zacharias 14: 20).

31. paraxr∞ma énepÆdhse] énepÆdhsen paraxr∞ma BN1V | énepÆdhse] énepÆdhsen

BMP anephdeisen T | tª] ti T om. GH | bo«sa ka‹] om. AmBuGr | ka‹] om. B ||
32. bas¤lissa] bas¤leissa M | ÑEl°nh] om. BuGr | megãlhw] om. Am Bu || 33.
énelom°nh] énelvm°nh M | zvopoiÚn] om. GH | m°ntoi] m°n ti AmV men ti T menti
BN1 BN3 | ¥loiw] hluw T || 34. énekÒmise] énekÒmhsen BM anekomisen T
énekom¤sato GH | tÚ d¢ loipÒn] t“ d¢ loip“ Am tv d¢ lupon T | érguroËn]
érgÊreon Am BN1MV érgurÚn BLT | par°dvke] par°dvken BBN1T par°doken M ||
36. pãsaiw] ta›w add. AmM | §kklhs¤an] §kklhs¤aw BN1 || 37. t“] to T | Golgoyò]
Golgoyã M | tª] èg¤& add. BN1 | Bhyle¢m] Biyle¢m MT | §n t“ sphla¤ƒ] en to sphlev
V om. BuGr || 38. ≤m«n ÉIhsoËw XristÚw] om. BuGr || 39. Íp°meine] Íp°meinen B BN1
BN3MPV upeminen T | §t°xyh BuGr | ˆrei] ˆri M | ÑElai«n] Ele«n T || 40.
énelÆfyh] énele¤fyh B | pollå] ple›sta A | pollå kalå] katory≈mata BN1 | §n
ÑIerosolÊmoiw] om. BuVGr || 41. én°strece] én°strecen BMTV | tÚn] •aut∞w add. B
| Ípodejãmenow] épodejãmenow BN1 || 42. §n] om. GH | époy°menow] yemenow T || 43.
par°dvke] par°dvken BBN1MV | §niausia¤saiw] §niausia›sew (corr.: §niausia›aiw) B
§niausi°aiw BN3L eneausieaiw T | mnÆmaiw] mnhmew T || 44. énãdeijin] anadijin T ||
45. perikefala¤an] per‹ kefala¤an BN1 perikefalhan T | énexãlkeuse] §xãlkeuse
AmBGH énexãlkeusen BN1 MPV exalkeusen T | én°mije] én°mijen BBN1 MTV || 46.
salibar¤ƒ] silibariv T xalin“ V salbar¤ƒ GH || 46-47. =hy¢n-profÆtou] ÍpÚ toË
profÆtou Zaxar¤ou diå toË Kur¤ou GH || 47. ÑEn tª ≤m°r& §ke¤n˙] om. T | §p‹] ÍpÚ
M || 48. tÚn] om. BuGr | tÚn xalinÚn] tÚn xalin«n M t“ xalin“ GH | Pantokrãtori]
Pantokrãtvri BM


Afterwards the emperor [Constantine] despatched his praiseworthy

and God-beloved mother Helena to Jerusalem with letters and money
in abundance for the bishop of Ailia, by name Makarios, in order to
search for the glorious cross and erect buildings upon the holy sites,
the empress herself having made the request, asserting that some
divine vision appeared, commanding her to go to Jerusalem and to
bring to light the holy places buried by the impious and become hid-
den from sight, up to her own day. The bishop, learning of the com-
ing of the empress, assembling the bishops of his province, met her
with due honor. At once she ordered the bishops to make a search for
the longed-for wood. Since all were at a loss concerning the place [of
its burial] and from feelings of uneasiness began describing an array
of different things, the bishop of the city ordered all to affect silence
and in earnest offer prayer to God on behalf of this. Upon doing so the
place by the will of God was revealed to the bishop, in which was sit-
uated a temple and cult statue of the unclean daimon. Then the
empress, using imperial authority, gathering together a very great
quantity of builders and workers, ordered the foul building to be over-
thrown to its foundations and to cast away the dust far off from there.
Upon this being done, there came to light the divine monument and
the place of Golgotha and not far off three buried crosses. Diligently
searching they also found the nails. From whence therefore despair
and anxiety gripped the empress, who demanded which was the cross
of the Lord. The bishop through faith resolved the problem. For there
was a woman (one of the leading citizens) in ill-health and all
despaired of her chances. And while she was breathing her last [the
bishop], bringing each of the crosses, found the answer. For it
required only the shadow of the salvific cross to approach the sickly
woman for the motionless and limp patient at once through divine
power to jump up, crying with a great voice and glorifying God.
Empress Helena with great joy and fear having taken up the lifegiv-
ing cross carried off a portion with the nails for her son. She had made
for the remainder a silver casket that she gave to the bishop of the city
for a remembrance to all generations. And she decreed that churches
be built in the form of lifegiving remembrances on Holy Golgotha and
in Bethlehem in the cave where our lord Jesus Christ submitted to a
birth according to the flesh, and on the Mount of Olives where the
Lord upon blessing his disciples ascended. And so after doing many
other good things in Jerusalem she returned to her son. Having
received her with joy, he placed the piece of the precious cross in a

gold box; this he gave to the bishop for safekeeping, decreeing that
the appearance of the cross be celebrated with annual commemora-
tions. Some of the nails he had forged for his helmet, whereas others
he had added as studs to his horse bridle, in order that he might fulfill
what was said by the Lord through his prophet, to wit “On that day
shall there be holiness upon the horse bridle unto the all-powerful
Lord” (Zachariah 14: 20).

Before we can set this text into an historical context, we must first try to
fix the date at which Alexander the Monk was active.6 We begin by not-
ing that Alexander the Monk may have authored two extant texts: the
Historical Treatise and an Encomium of the Apostle Barnabas. The edi-
tor of the latter work, Peter van Deun, observes that in the manuscripts
the text “is attributed to a certain Alexander, monk at the monastery of
St. Barnabas near Salamis.”7 It was written at the urging of the priest and
“keeper-of-the-keys” of the saint’s sanctuary and was read out in the
presence of the metropolitan of Salamis. In van Deun’s opinion, based
upon internal references, the Encomium was written sometime about the
middle of the sixth century.8 The Encomium is relatively easy to date,
the Treatise is difficult to date. And so one would like to use the
Encomium to date the Treatise, but one may do so only if there is com-
pelling evidence that the two texts derive from the hand of the same
author. Such a pre-condition is lacking, but it is nonetheless worthwhile
to note one parallel. I do not refer to the obvious fact that both works
detail the invention of relics: the Encomium with the invention of the
remains of St. Barnabas during the reign of Zeno (474-491) and the
Treatise with the discovery of the wood and nails of the cross during the
reign of Constantine the Great. I am alluding to opening statements. In
the introduction to the Encomium, the author, Alexander the Monk,
observes that the priest who asked him to write the Encomium was the
scion of a well-educated family. In contrast Alexander is of very humble
origins (“the poorest of men”) and must balance his want of education
against the proposal that he compose a panegyric of Barnabas. For this
reason he has been inclined to request exemption from obedience,
“shrinking from this duty.” He asks, rhetorically, “How can such a sorry
wretch as I, drowned by countless afflictions, swim across the apostolic
sea?”9 Let us now compare these statements with the proem of the

For a discussion of the various dates proposed for Alexander’s career see the Introduction
to Peter van Deun’s edition of Laudatio Barnabae apostoli 16.
Laudatio Barnabae apostoli 15.
Laudatio Barnabae apostoli 21.
In my opinion the phrase, which I have translated as “by countless afflictions” (ÑÍpÚ
mur¤vn pay«n), is to be understand in the sense of “countless illnesses”.

Treatise. As in the case of the Encomium, the writer has received a

request from an ecclesiastical superior to write a composition, in this
case an historical essay on the finding of the life-giving cross. Upon
receipt of the request the author “was exceedingly agitated...I shrank
from the undertaking as it is way beyond my ability; such a work is bet-
ter realized through others than through me. For we do not possess the
educational grounding and lack experience of such pursuits from our
training. Truthfully we are ignorant not only in language but also in
knowledge on account of the lengthy hold on us of diseases (pay«n).”
Although Byzantine authors were fond of self-deprecation, it seems to
me that the similarity of phraseology in the two introductory statements
is too close to be a matter of coincidence and may be an indication that
the author of the Encomium and the author of the Treatise were one and
the same person. I am suggesting that, like Mozart, Alexander the Monk
plagiarized himself. It is doubtful that someone else plagiarized him, for
who would want to appear as an ignorant hypochondriac?
Are there any references in the Treatise which either support or con-
tradict a sixth-century date? As Father M. van Esbroeck has pointed out,
one finds a terminus post quem in a passage where the author castigates
Origen in terms which reproduce virtually word for word the first of fif-
teen anathemas pronounced against Origen slightly before the council of
553 concerning belief in the pre-existence of souls.10 In all honesty, one
can not point to another passage and say that here is the terminus ante
quem. In order to establish an upper date one needs to begin by examin-
ing the whole of the text which Gretser printed and determining which
parts are to be attributed to Alexander’s pen. In his Introduction the
author states that it is his intention “to compose a historical narrative on
the finding of the life-giving cross, the all-holy and all-revered cross on
which our lord Jesus Christ allowed himself to be stretched out, where-
by he destroyed the power of the devil and the tyranny of death and
bestowed on those believing in Him unknowable salvation.” I accept the

Esbroeck (1979) 107. The text of the anathema, published by Diekamp (1899) 90, reads:
E‡ tiw tØn muy≈dh proÊparjin t«n cux«n ka‹ tØn taÊt˙ •pom°nhn terat≈dh épokatãs-
tasin presbeÊei, énãyema ¶stv. The text of the Treatise, as published by Gretser (4020A),
reads: ....mani≈dhw ÉVrig°nhw §blasfÆmhsen oÈsi≈dh tinå proÊparjin cux«n ka‹ tØn
taÊt˙ •pom°nhn terat≈dh épokatãstasin gravd«w... A number of manuscripts have,
instead of oÈsi≈dh, muy≈dh. Cf. Cyril of Scythopolis’s Life of Euthymios (E. Schwartz,
Kyrillos von Skythopolis [Leipzig: 1939] 39-40: diemãxeto genna¤vw tØn parÉ aÈto›w
muyeuom°nhn t«n no«n proÊparjin ka‹ tØn taÊt˙ •pom°nhn terat≈dh épokatãstasin
diasÊrvn panto¤vw én°trepen). Price (1991) 36 has translated this section, which deals with
Cyril’s struggles with a group of Origenists in the region of Caesarea, as follows: “he [Cyril]
combated courageously their myth of a preexistence of minds, he completely refuted, and with
ridicule, the consequent monstrosity of a general restoration.”

author at his word and therefore reject the notion that he copied out and
appended to his composition Cyril of Jerusalem’s letter to Constantius
about the appearance of the cross over Jerusalem. Alexander was not
concerned with the post-Constantinian history of the cross and indeed the
opening lines of Cyril’s narration (at 3.1-4) totally contradict portions of
Alexander’s story of Helena’s adventures in Jerusalem. The relevant sec-
tion of Cyril’s letter reads as follows: ÉEp‹ m¢n går toË yeofilestãtou
ka‹ t∞w makar¤aw mnÆmhw Kvnstant¤nou toË soË patrÚw, tÚ svtÆrion
toË stauroË jÊlon §n ÑIerosolÊmoiw hÏrhtai, t∞w ye¤aw xãritow t“
kal«w zhtoËnti tØn eÈs°beian t«n épokekrumm°nvn èg¤vn tÒpvn
parasxoÊshw tØn eÏresin: “ the days of your Imperial Father,
Constantine of blessed memory, the saving wood of the cross was found
in Jerusalem (divine grace granting the finding of the long hidden holy
places to the one who nobly aspired to piety)....”11 In Cyril’s account,
there is no mention of the identity of the person who found the cross, but
it is specified that the person who discovered “the long hidden holy
places” was a man. Additionally, Alexander was not a mere copyist. He
was an historian. He was not a great historian, but he told his story in his
own way and for this reason I submit that Cyril’s letter represents noth-
ing more than a later addition to Alexander’s original text. The same, I
think, can be said of the concluding portion of the text which Gretser
printed, the Encomium of the Cross. The author does not say in his open-
ing statement that he includes an Encomium and, again, if we take the
author at his word, we must assume that Alexander’s Treatise properly
ends with Constantine’s death. As in the case of Cyril’s letter, the
Encomium is a later addition and I submit that what Gretser’s text repre-
sents (the Treatise, the Letter, and the Encomium) is a festal dossier. At
some date, a cleric or monk brought the three pieces together in order to
have available a small library of pertinent sources for quotation in ser-
mons delivered on the feastday of the Elevation of the Cross and the
feastday of Saints Constantine and Helen.12 In sum, the Encomium plays
no role in the task of determining the date at which Alexander was active.
To fix the date of Alexander’s text we must rely solely on the materials
which extend from the Introduction to Constantine’s demise.

I quote here, with minor modifications, the translation of McCauley and Stephenson
(1970) 232. For the Greek text see Bihain (1973) 287.
A. Kazhdan (1987) 229 has written: “Were we to assume that Alexander the Monk wrote
around 800...his opuscule would be a natural culmination of...interest in the cross...his pane-
gyric of the life-giving cross and of its cosmic ubiquity...matches well the trends of this time.”
Were we to assume that Alexander wrote the Encomium of the Cross, one would have reason-
able grounds for advancing a date of circa 800. Without it the best evidence for a ninth-centu-
ry date of composition falls away. On the other hand its presence suggests that the period when
the festal dossier was compiled might be as early as circa 800.

Within these confines, does the author develop topics which better
reflect a sixth-century milieu than a later one? I would say most emphat-
ically “yes”. There is nothing in this text which involves arguments for
or against Iconoclasm. There is nothing which leads one to suspect that
the Arabs have seized the Christian East. On the contrary, there is good
reason to believe that the author lived in a period before the rise of Islam.
Alexander’s overall theme is Salvation and accordingly some of the spe-
cific topics which he takes up are of a theological bent; but since he is
writing an historical treatise, the main focus is on historical events, par-
ticularly events which unfolded in the Holy Land. “For us and for our
Salvation Christ made the heavens slope and he descended...and
dwelling in the womb of the holy, glorious and ever-virgin Mary...the
Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.”13 The author then
commences to narrate the events of Christ’s life on earth: His birth in
Bethlehem, the journey of the Magi, the flight of the Holy Family into
Egypt, the return to Nazareth, and Christ’s baptism by John.14 Passing
over Christ’s miracles the narrator proceeds directly to the crucifixion.
“For our Lord Jesus Christ willingly suffered for us, true God and true
man, there being two natures in Him, admitting of no separation or divi-
sion. For on the cross and in the grave the economy of the two natures
remained undivided, in which is known our one and only Lord Jesus
Christ, the only begotten Son and Word of the living god.”15 He further
states that “the Lord died truthfully for us and he was crucified in the
flesh, and not make-believe....”16 The author interweaves into his account
of biblical history events of a political order. He alludes to Pompey the
Great and discusses the careers of two members of the Hasmonean
Dynasty: Aristobolus II, and Hyrcanus II. He speaks of Antipater, Herod
the Great, Archelaus and Cleopatra. Although Alexander’s discussion of
theology and history is admittedly banal, it nonethless allows us to form
an idea of the author’s intention and audience. His readers (or listeners)
are, I suggest, humble pilgrims. For their sake the author has incorporat-
ed into his Treatise materials which provide a brief regarding the history
of Palestine and the theology of the crucifixion. In this manner he sup-
plies the background necessary for a full appreciation of the holy sites at
Jerusalem. If this view is correct, then it would seem to me quite reason-
able to propose as terminus ante quem the occupation of the Holy Land

Gr 4025C.30-35 (and John 1: 14).
Gr 4032B-4033B.
Gr 4034D.
Here at Gr 4036B.13-14 I have read the Greek somewhat differently. The passage seems
to depend on Cyril of Jerusalem’s Catechesis XIII.37.

by the Persians and Arabs during the reign of Heraclius (610-641), a con-
clusion which accords quite well with the dates proposed for the compo-
sition of the Encomium of Barnabas.
Let us now conclude by examining in some detail Alexander’s narra-
tive regarding Helena’s finding of the cross. The purpose here is to com-
pare Alexander’s narration with prior accounts, to see in what ways it is
similar or varies and, following that, to suggest what purpose Alexander
had in mind in writing his specific version of Helena’s invention. We
shall proceed with the first task by summarizing each section of the
Treatise’s version and listing within the section the versions of earlier
writers regarding the same events.


Alexander the Monk: Constantine and Helena share joint responsiblity

for initiative. Constantine sends his mother to Jerusalem to identify
the location of the cross and build churches; Helena is inspired to the
same task by a divine vision.
V(ita) C(onstantini): Constantine orders the construction of the Church
of the Holy Sepulchre. Helena visits the Holy Land and initiates con-
struction of various churches. No mention of cross.17
Ambrose of Milan: Helena goes to Jerusalem and visits. The Spirit
inspires her to search for the wood of the cross.18
Gelasius of Caesarea (reconstruction): (Spurred by divine visions),
Helena travels to Jerusalem (“in order to lay hold of the holy places
and seek out the venerable wood of the Cross”).19
Rufinus: “Helena...was alerted by divine visions and traveled to
Jerusalem (divinis admonita visionibus, Hierusolyma petit).”20
Socrates: Helena, summoned by dreams, goes off to Jerusalem.21
Theodoret: Helena, now aged, travels to Jerusalem with letters for
Bishop Makarios from Constantine.22 In these letters Constantine

Eusebius, De vita Constantini at III.25 and at III.42-3. See the translation and remarks of
Cameron and Hall (1999) 132, 137, 291-292.
For Ambrose’s account, see his De obitu Theodosii, cap. 40-51.
Under the rubric Gelasius of Caesarea I either paraphrase or directly quote
Borgehammar’s own paraphrase of Gelasius’s narration, as set forth on pages 54-55. The
parentheses are Borgehammar’s (see Borgehammar, 53) and indicate places “which may
derive from Gelasius, but are poorly attested ....” Borgehammar’s reconstruction rests on
Rufinus’s Church History, Socrates’s Church History, Gelasius of Cyzicus’s Church History,
and Theodoret’s Church History.
The translation is from Amidon (1997) 16. We have quoted Amidon’s translations
throughout. For the text see Rufinus, p. 969.13-14.
Sokrates Kirchengeschichte, p. 55.13-14.
Theodoret, Kirchengeschichte, p. 63.20-21.

directs Makarios to clear the area of Christ’s tomb and to erect on the
spot a church.


Alexander the Monk: Helena, met by Makarios, orders the bishops to

search for the wood.
Gelasius of Caesarea (reconstruction): Helena inquires of inhabitants of
the town where Christ was crucified.
Rufinus: “[Helena] traveled to Jerusalem, where she asked the inhabi-
tants where the place was where the sacred body of Christ had hung
fastened to the gibbet (atque ibi locum, in quo sacrosanctum corpus
Christi patibulo adfixum pependerat, ab incolis perquirit).”23
Socrates: Helena searches zealously for the tomb of Christ, where buried,
he arose.24


Alexander the Monk: God reveals the place to dig, an area where there
was situated a pagan temple and cult statue. She gathers workmen and
they clear the site. Three crosses are found and the nails. No mention
of the titulus.
Ambrose: Helena goes to Golgotha and has the ground opened where
three gibbets are found, the nails and the titulus.
Gelasius of Caesarea (reconstruction): the location is revealed, a place
where there was a statue of Venus; workmen topple “the polluted
structures” and, upon excavating, bring to light three crosses.
Rufinus: the location is “indicated to her by a sign from heaven (locum
caelisti sibi indicio designatum)”; beneath a statue of Venus set there
(simulcrum in eo Veneris fuerat defixum) are uncovered, in a jumble,
three crosses and the titulus.25
Socrates: those opposed to Christianity had covered with earth the site of
Christ’s passion and established a temple there with a cult statue. The
situation becomes clear to Helena. She has the statue toppled and the
earth cleared. The cross is uncovered in the tomb, along with the
crosses of the two thieves, and the titulus composed by Pilate.26
Theodoret: “When [Helena] saw the area where the passion had
occurred, she immediately commanded that the abominable temple be
knocked down and the statue be carted off”.27

Rufinus, p. 969.14-15. Amidon (1997) 16.
Sokrates Kirchengeschichte, p. 55.15-16.
Rufinus, p. 969.16-22. Amidon (1997) 16.
Sokrates Kirchengeschichte, p. 55.18-21; and p. 56.1-7.
Theodoret, Kirchengeschichte, p. 64.3-6.


Alexander the Monk: confronted by three crosses Helena wonders which

cross was the one on which Christ was crucified. Makarios solves the
problem. He approachesa lady of rank who is close to death. It
requires only the shadow of one (the true) cross to fall near the
woman and at once she is cured (see Acts 5: 15: the sick await Peter,
hoping that at the least his shadow will fall upon them).
Ambrose: the identity of the true cross is guaranteed by the presence of
the titulus attached to it.
Gelasius of Caesarea (reconstruction): With the empress, Makarios visits
a noble lady who is gravely ill. He brings all three crosses. He prays
and then touches the woman in vain with two crosses. As soon as the
shadow of the third draws near she is cured.
Rufinus: the titulus is of no help. Accompanied by the empress,
Makarios, bringing along all three crosses, visits a woman of distin-
guished position who is near death. He touches her with all three
crosses, but only the true cross cures her.
Socrates: the titulus plays no role. Makarios seeks a sign from God and
God sends one. “And the sign was such”. A certain woman of the dis-
trict was near death. Makarios arranges that she receive the touch of
all three crosses. When touched by the first two she shows no
improvement but when she receives the touch of the third cross, she
is healed.28
Theodoret: confusion reigns over the identity of the true cross. Makarios
solves the problem. He has a woman who is near death touched by the
three crosses: it requires only the approach of the true cross and the
lady is cured.29


Alexander the Monk: Helena reserves a portion of the true cross and the
nails for Constantine. She has a silver casket made for the remainder
and gives it to Makarios. She has churches built on Golgotha, in
Bethlehem, and on Olivet. Constantine places the piece of cross in a
gold box and gives the box to the bishop, ordering the day of the
cross’s discovery to be annually commemorated. Some of the nails are
added to his helmet and others to his bridle.
Ambrose: Helena finds the nails: from one she has made a bridle and
from the other a diadem.

Sokrates Kirchengeschichte, p. 56.10-18.
Theodoret, Kirchengeschichte, p. 64.12-17.

Gelasius of Caesarea (reconstruction): Helena builds a church at the find-

spot of the cross. She searches for the nails and finding them she has
several inserted into Constantine’s helmet, and others are smelted and
mixed with metal of his bridle. She returns with a portion of the cross
for Constantine, but leaves behind the remainder, which is placed in a
silver casket and given to Makarios.
Rufinus: Helena has a church built at the site of the discovery of the
cross. The nails still adhered and these she brought to Constantine.
From some he has made a bridle and with othershe outfitted himself
with a helmet. “As for the healing wood itself, part of it she present-
ed to her son, and part she put in silver reliquaries and left in the
place; it is still kept there as a memorial with unflagging devotion
(ligni vero ipsius salutaris partem detulit filio, partem vero thecis
argenteis conditam dereliquit in loco, quae etiam nunc ad memoriam
sollicita veneratione servatur).”30
Socrates: “The mother of the emperor had a splendid house of prayer
built on the site of the sepulchre (called “New Jerusalem”).... She left
behind there a portion of the cross enclosed in a silver casket (yÆk˙
érgurò) as a memorial for those wishing to observe [it] (to›w
flstore›n boulom°noiw), the remainder she despatched to the emper-
or.” Helena also finds the nails and sends them to Constantine. He has
them fashioned into bridlebits (plural: xalinoÊw) and a helmet.
Helena has other churches built: one at Bethlehem and another on the
mount of the ascension.31
Theodoret: mention of the nails and their disposition. Helena has some
nails placed in the imperial helmet; the remainder she had made into
a horse bridle in order to fulfill the ancient prophecy of Zacharias. She
has a portion of the cross sent on to Constantinople and the rest placed
in a silver casket which is given to the bishop of the city, requesting
that he watch over these “memorials of salvation”. She has churches
of great workmanship constructed.32

The invention of the cross involves three different traditions. We have

been following only one, and so before we proceed, we might take a
moment and reflect upon the other two. As Drijvers observes, the begin-
ning of the fifth century saw the emergence of two new versions of the
finding of the cross. Both are of Syrian origin and are reworkings of the

Rufinus, p. 970.24-25. Amidon (1997) 17.
Sokrates Kirchengeschichte, p. 56.19-23, p. 57.1-15.
Theodoret, Kirchengeschichte, p. 64.18-23, p. 65.1-9.

older Helena version.33 One is the “Protonike” legend: a story in which

the central character, Protonike, said to be the wife of emperor Claudius
(41-54), converts to Christianity and visits Jerusalem where she discov-
ers the true cross in the sepulchre, hands it over to James, and builds a
church over the tomb. This version was known at first only in Syriac,
then later in Armenian. The second is the“Judas Cyriacus” legend: a ver-
sion in which Helena goes to Jerusalem and orders an assembly of the
Jews. Among them is a certain Judas who is brought before her and inter-
rogated. He asks God to show him the place where the cross is buried.
God gives him a sign and he uncovers three crosses, one of which
restores a dead man. Helena provides the cross with a mount and encas-
es it in a casket. She builds a church on Golgotha and Judas converts.
Judas, now Cyriacus, finds the nails for her; she has bridles made from
them. This retelling, popular in the Middle Ages because of its anti-
Jewish flavor, was read in many languages, the earliest versions of which
are in Syriac, Greek, and Latin.34 The fifth-century Byzantine historian,
Sozomen, knew of the Judas Cyriacus legend: “Some say that a certain
Hebrew who lived in the East had prior knowledge [of the location of the
cross] from paternal records....”35 Sozomen rejects the legend, declaring
it more likely that divine matters are revealed through “signs and
dreams”, than through records of the past. We may reasonably assume
that Alexander the Monk had knowledge of this legend. Borgehammar
has observed that two unusual words are to be found in Alexander’s text:
a) glvssÒkomon (the silver casket in which Helena has the cross
encased); and b) salibãrion (the bridle fashioned from the nails of the
cross). Both these words are found in a Greek manuscript of Sinai relat-
ing the legend of Judas Cyriacus.36 Like Sozomen, Alexander rejected the
Judas Cyriacus tradition. It is not difficult to understand why: one of his
objectives is to give full and sole credit for the discovery of the cross to
Constantine and his mother.
We see this in the way Alexander has crafted his narration. In the
Introduction he has Constantine send his mother to Makarios with letters

J. W. Drijvers (1992) 147.
For the latest edition in Syriac of the Judas Cyriacus legend and translation into English,
see Drijvers and Drijvers (1997). Recently Feiertag (2000) has affirmed the Syrian origin
(Antioch?) of the Judas Cyriacus legend, based upon its anti-Jewish elements.
Sozomenus, Kirchengeschichte, p. 48.5-9. Sozomen wrote about the middle of the 5th
century. He relied on Rufinus’s Church History and for this reason we have not listed his work
in the summaries above.
Borgehammar (1991) 24 and note 56. For the Greek text see E. Nestle (1895) p. 330.18
and p. 331.17. The word salibãrion also occurs in Romanos the Melode’s Cantica, Hymn
39, section 22, line 5.

and money for the purpose of uncovering the cross and erecting church-
es on holy places. Alexander has borrowed the phrase “with letters”
(metå grammãtvn [Alexander]; ToÊtoiw grãmmasin [Theodoret]) from
Theodoret (p. 63.20), as well as the notion of Constantine’s participation
in the cross’s discovery. The latter states that Constantine had a letter
composed in which he directs Makarios to clear the area where Christ
was entombed and to build on the site a church. In a second letter he
speaks of the financial arrangements for the construction. In other words,
Constantine knows where Christ’s tomb is located and hence, by impli-
cation, where the cross is to be found. All that is required is for Helena
to go to Jerusalem and seek it. On the other hand, there was a strong tra-
dition, beginning with Ambrose (395), that Helena, aroused to action by
dreams, traveled to Jerusalem on her own initiative. To accommodate
this version, Alexander simply grafted it on (though awkwardly) to his
initial statement: “the queen herself, having made the request, asserting
that some divine vision appeared, commanding her to go to Jerusalem....”
From this point until almost the very end, Helena occupies center stage.
She finds and identifies the cross and is reponsible for the building of
churches on Golgotha, in Bethlehem, and on Olivet. Constantine reap-
pears in an interesting context. Helena returns to her son and
Constantinople bearing a piece of the true cross. Upon placing it in a gold
box and giving the relic to the bishop of the city, Constantine decrees that
the appearance of the cross be celebrated with annual commemorations.
Since the geographical setting of Alexander’s remark is Constantinople,
we may reasonably infer that Alexander is attesting that in his own day
(the sixth century) the feast of the Cross was being celebrated at the capital.
At base Alexander’s Treatise is a work of pilgrimage literature. If any-
one doubts the validity of Scriptures—of Christ’s birth, crucifixion, and
ascension—they need only visit Jerusalem and its environs. All the
important sites connected with the unfolding of salvation are marked by
holy structures.37 The cross exists. It was prefigured in the Old
Testament. It became hidden after Christ’s death. Pagan rulers came and
went. But now, through the efforts of Constantine and Helena, it can be
seen, if not touched.38 But the miracle of the infirm woman, related in the
various accounts of Helena’s discovery, including Alexander the Monk’s,

I briefly touch here on aspects of pilgrimage which have been well and fully exploited
by others: see e. g. Hunt (1982) 83-106.
In the days of the pilgrim Egeria (381-384), it was possible on Good Friday to approach
the cross, observe it directly, and kiss it. See Egeria, p. 137: “Thus all the people go past one
by one. They stoop down, touch the holy Wood first with their forehead and then with their
eyes, and then kiss it....”

makes it clear that one may expect benefits (a cure of physical afflic-
tion?) from “only the shadow of the salvific cross”. Propinquity is sufficient.
In concluding I would observe that Alexander’s Treatise differs from
previous accounts of Helena’s discovery of the True Cross in length.
Nevertheless the Treatise is a coherent example of pilgrim propoganda.
It is clearly meant to entice people to undertake a trip to Jerusalem and
to explore the sites where the drama of Salvation occurred and where tes-
timony in Gospel accounts can be visually affirmed. In the same visit the
infirm might find physical, as well as spiritual, comfort. Since it is pil-
grimage-driven, I would say it is reasonable to postulate that the Treatise
was written before the reign of Heraclius and the disruptions to pilgrim-
age traffic which his rule witnessed.
Alexander’s emphasis on the joint responsibility of Constantine and
Helena for the discovery of the cross raises an interesting possibility
about the date of their sainthood. Some thirty years ago Laurent pub-
lished a seal (poorly known) of the seventh century depicting on the
obverse a representation of a saint holding a globus cruciger who is iden-
tified on the reverse as St. Constantine.39 The seal indicates that by at
least the late seventh century Constantine had become a saint. In my
opinion, one of Alexander’s goals was to promote the cult of Saints
Constantine and Helena and it was for this reason that he joins the two
together and emphasizes their equal credit for the discovery of the cross.

Laurent (1972), no. 1922.
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George T. Dennis

Some years ago Nikos Oikonomides showed me an early fifteenth centu-

ry Greek text he was preparing for publication, a scurrilous bit of writ-
ing, very earthy and very amusing, directed against an individual whose
name was downgraded from Katablattas to Skatablattas. Professor
Oikonomides believed that, if we are to understand the Byzantine people,
we should read more than their religious, literary, or legal writings. We
should find out what made them angry and, perhaps more important,
what made them laugh. And so, the slanderous little pamphlet was pub-
lished, together with a French translation and commentary. 1 In the course
of our conversation I referred to some letters of Michael Psellos which
featured a wandering monk named Elias and which, albeit under a more
pedantic veneer, were also very earthy and amusing. He strongly encour-
aged me to translate and publish them. And that is exactly what I present
in these pages, although I regret that it is in a memorial volume rather
than a living Festschrift.
Of the letters of Psellos presented below, nine mention the monk Elias
by name; the tenth portrays an unnamed friend who so resembles the
wandering monk that it seems reasonable to include it. Since older edi-
tions of the Letters are still available and a new, critical edition is in the
first stages of preparation, I have not, with the exception of Letter 10,
reprinted the Greek text here. 2 Limitations of space also had to be con-
sidered. Still, I have read through the manuscripts again and have made
a few, minor changes, to be noted suo loco. Translating these letters,
written in the eleventh century of our era but in an idiom dating to fifteen
hundred years before that, can be daunting. I think I have more or less
correctly rendered his often convoluted thought and expression into pre-
sentable English, but I am still uncertain about several passages.3 I have
appended some notes to aid the reader in understanding the letters, but I
have left a more extended commentary to a future publication of his
entire correspondence. In the meantime, though, I think it important, as

Canivet and Oikonomidès (1982-3).
About a projected new edition, see Papaioannou (1998).
I am indebted to Professors E. Papaioannou and P. Magdalino for their helpful sugges-
tions concerning the translation.

did Professor Oikonomides, that these few letters be made available to

scholars and to everyone interested in the civilization we refer to as Byzantine.
The central figure in these letters is a monk, Elias, probably his
monastic name. All that we know about him is contained in these letters.
His surname seems to have been Kroustalas (Krystalas), which is rare in
the extant sources. It is found, coincidentally, as the family name of
another monk, John Kroustalas, a popular public reader for whom Psellos
has the highest praise, but there is no indication that the two were relat-
ed.4 In reading any work of Psellos, of course, we must always be aware
of his love of hyperbole and his subordination of fact to literary effect.
This is obviously the case with his presentation of Elias. Nonetheless,
this monk is not a fictitious character. 5 He is clearly a real person for
whom Psellos has a great deal of affection and whose company he gen-
uinely enjoys. The letters must be read with that in mind; we must, as it
were, stand next to the addresees as they received these letters, presum-
ably, from the hands of Elias himself.
Psellos does not name the monastery, if any, in which Elias was ton-
sured and to which community he belonged. He was, simply put, a wan-
dering monk with no fixed abode, of which there were not a few in
Byzantium. He wandered, so these letters tell us, to Syria, through Asia
Minor and down into Greece and the Peloponnesos, as well as the streets
of Constantinople. The purpose of his journeys, so it seems, was to raise
money to support himself, his mother, and a large number of relatives. To
assist him Psellos wrote letters of introduction commending him to
important personages, particularly several thematic judges. In exchange
for a financial contribution, they will, so Psellos assures them, be great-
ly entertained by this gifted monk, a talented musician, comedian, and
mimic with a very broad and diversified repertoire.
Psellos cannot resist comparing this Elias with his biblical namesake. 6
The fiery chariot conveyed the prophet to heaven, whereas this Elias can-
not get off the ground, so strong are his earthly ties. This Elias does not
appear to be running away from some Jezabel and he dines more bounti-
fully than the widow with her oil and barley meal. In fact, he does not
seem to be imitating the prophet at all. Moreover, his understanding and
practice of the monastic virtues, especially chastity, greatly amuse
Psellos and, presumably, those to whom he addressed these letters. It has
been pointed out that the prime characteristic of Elias is earthiness and

Gautier (1980-82). Psellos also wrote to a protonotary named Elias, but there is no con-
nection with our Elias: Karpozilos (1980).
Ljubarskij (1978) 74-79.
1 Kings: 17 - 2 Kings: 2.

he has been called a Rabelaisian monk.7 How much of what Psellos wrote
about Elias is based on fact and how much on talk is not clear, but it does
make for an interesting and, despite some exaggeration, credible story.
Elias, however, was much more than a convivial extrovert and con-
noisseur of bordellos. Psellos valued his scribal skills; he could write
rapidly and beautifully as well as correctly. One would expect him, like
all known friends of Psellos, to have been well educated. He could hard-
ly have copied the letters, much less understood them, with their classi-
cal allusions and literary affectations, had he not received some educa-
tion. Still, in Letter 9, Psellos recalls that he employed circumlocutions in
dictating the letter so that Elias would not understand what he was saying.
The dating of these letters can only be approximate. If Letter 1 was
written about 1067 or soon thereafter, we can assert that the monk was
well into his wandering career at that time, but that is about all we can
assert. More thorough research on all the letters and their addressees is
needed before we can propose any dates.
Our knowledge of the men to whom these letters were addressed is
also limited.
Letter 1 is addressed to the judge of Thrakesion. In the eleventh cen-
tury the chief administrative officer of a theme (province) was the judge,
but the extent of his authority is not clear; apparently it was concerned
with civilian matters, not military. 8 The judges to whom Psellos wrote
were, like himself, well educated members of the civil aristocracy.
Thrakesion was a very prosperous theme in Western Asia Minor, named
after a body of troops from Thrace settled there. 9 Its capital and, pre-
sumably, residence of the judge may have been Chonai, perhaps Ephesus.
Letter 1 gives Sergios as the name of the judge. Letter 5, also addressed
to the judge of Thrakesion, does not give a name. Other letters sent to
that official, although no name is given, are K-D 61, 66, 150, 151, 248,
and one ed. by Karpozilos (see n. 4). In two letters (Sathas 47, 51) the
name of the judge is recorded as Xeros.
The Lower or Southern Themes (tå Katvtikã) included the themes
of the Peloponnesos and Hellas, as is clear from other letters (Sathas 32,
K-D 154). 10 Other letters sent to that official are Sathas 26, 32, 33, 34,
134, 135, 141, 147, K-D 55, 69, 70, 74, 86, 93, 154. Letter 4 was
addressed to Nikephoros, who held the high dignity of sebastophoros, but
who cannot be identified any more closely.

Ljubarskij (1978) 79.
ODB 1078.
De Thematibus 124-6; ODB 2080.
Eustathii Thess., 316.10; LBG (2001), s.v.

The judge of Opsikion was the recipient of Letters 7 and 8. Opsikion,

whose name is derived from Latin obsequium, was one of the four orig-
inal themes set up in Asia Minor, but subsequently limited to the north-
western area with its capital at Nicaea. 11 Two letters (Sathas 29, 190) give
the name of the judge as Zoma (Zvmç, Zvm∞). Other letters sent to the
judge of Opsikion are: Sathas 29, 43, 77, 190, K-D 81, 99, 100, 107, 108,
116-120, 140, 142-144, 155, 187, 200, 243, 258.
Two versions of Letter 9 are preserved in the Barberini manuscript
(cod. Vat. Barb. gr. 240). The first is addressed to a frequent correspon-
dent of Psellos, the Caesar John Doukas, brother of the emperor
Constantine X Doukas (1059-67). 12 The second was dictated by Psellos
and written down by Elias who, so it seems, personally handed it to the
sebastos Constantine, the nephew of the patriarch (Michael Keroularios)
and a close friend and correspondent of Psellos. 13 Constantine held a
number of influential offices as well as prestigious titles: droungarios,
megas droungarios, proedros, protoproedros, magistros, sakellarios, epi
ton kriseon, sebastos, genikos. Letters addressed to him are: Sathas 1, 45,
46, 83-86, 117, 157, 174, 184, 186, K-D 31, 211, 214.
The anonymous addressee of Letter 10 was obviously a close friend
of Psellos who entertains him with an account of the conversation, or
monologue, provided by a mutual friend, perhaps the monk Elias. Since
the vocabulary may be of some interest, the Greek text is presented in an


Kurtz and Drexl (1941) = K-D: Letters 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

Sathas (1876) = Sathas: Letters 2, 3.
Westerink (1951) 43-5 = Westerink: Letter 1.
Gautier (1986) = Gautier: Letter 1.

De Thematibus 127-30; ODB, s.v.
See Polemis (1968) 34-41.
See Ljubarskij (1978) 62-69.


1. To Lord Sergios, Judge of Thrakesion.

This new Elias, my most illustrious and beloved brother, is not being
sent on a journey up to heaven. For he is not so reckless as to try the
fiery chariots, but he does travel around every place under heaven in
hopes of finding repose for his soul.1 He has divided the whole inhab-
ited world into two parts. By his reckoning, half of it consists of
mountains, caves, and deserts. The rest contains groves, meadows,
pleasant gardens, and open spaces for riding horses. He first tried out
the first half. But, since he did not feel comfortable there, he moved
to the other half. Still, he did not get there without a struggle. Even
here he had to pass over the wooded glens and first descend into deep
chasms but, with his eyes fixed upon his goal, he paid no heed to
whatever stood in his way. He has left behind the villages cowering in
fear after experiencing the weapons of the enemy or, rather, which
barbarian hands had plundered.2 He makes his way to Thrakesion, not
yet under siege. It is not so much your Eden that he loves as you who
cultivate and protect it. Neither is it the beauty and gracefulness of
Thrakesion that he prizes, for the man is not a lover of graceful
objects but of those made of gold.
If the summer were somehow suddenly to sprout gold, then
show the crop to the man so he might reap his beloved harvest. But if
this cannot be done, then open up your golden soul to him. It is indeed
pure gold and has never sounded a false note as if mixed with baser
metal; it has been rubbed alongside many gold testing stones and has
always been proven pure, very pure. 3
This much I enjoin upon you — a teacher has the right to give
orders to his student — do not accord him special reverential treat-
ment because of his habit. If, however, he maintains his self respect,
you in turn would not be wrong in accommodating yourself to his
grave demeanor. But if he should change his behavior, then you
should change your tune. Do not be afraid of this Elias. He cannot call
down fire from heaven or, after pouring on water, can he miraculous-
ly ignite a fire, even though he may himself be cheerfully consumed
by another sort of fire. 4

Elias is said to have been taken up to heaven in a fiery chariot: 2 Kings 2: 11. ‘Repose’
recalls Matthew 1: 29 and 12: 43.
This probably refers to Turkish raids in eastern Asia Minor in 1067: Psell.Chron. 7.67;
See Herodotus 7.10.1.
See 1 Kings 18: 31-38; 2 Kings 1: 10.

I swear by your holy soul that he is very clever and can do any-
thing, more noble deeds as well as worse ones. He is not totally sunny
nor is he totally cloudy. But he gives the impression of being both. He
is a man with two faces. He can be Dorian and Phrygian at the same
time, diatonic and enharmonic.5 He can be Greek and barbarian, a real
gentleman and, at the same time, quite indecorous. Right now he
chants the songs of David, but on the flip side he may suddenly take
up the flute of Timothy.6 He speaks with every voice, in keeping with
the riddle of the Sphinx, and he changes into every shape as did
Proteus the Pharian. 7 He is a creature who assumes every kind of
form, more complicated than Typhon.8 He is an enchanting melody,
adapting himself to the times and the events. At one moment he is a
lion who has relaxed his shaggy frown; at another he dances off with
the apes. At one time he will cast his eyes down like Heraclitus and
bewail human vanity; at another he will pretend to laugh like
Democritus.9 And, if you ask him, he will alter the appearance of his
garments and transform himself into any shape at all.
This great good fortune, then, is yours. The man for whom you
would have gone about hunting and searching has invited himself and
you now have him with you. For my sake get to know this multifac-
eted man.Human nature is not unrelenting and untiring in facing every
trial, but it requires some cheer and playfulness. Indeed, when you
feel the need to come down to this level, you ought not to cast about
for the players of the lyre or the flute, but before all else enjoy this
multiform man. If you pay a little something as a harbor fee, you will
find anchorage for the ship of your soul and, after a nice rest, you may
once again put out to sea.

[Ed. Westerink (1951) 8; Gautier (1986) 27; from cod. Laur. San Marco
303, f. 209v-210].

Dorian and Phrygian were types of flute music. From one to the other was a proverbial
expression for change of tone.
The songs of David are the Psalms, which monks were obliged to recite daily. Timothy,
a favorite of Alexander the Great, was a famous flutist and composer of secular songs.
The Sphinx asked travelers: What creature first uses four feet, then two feet, then three
feet? Oedipus gave the correct answer: man. The legendary Proteus was noted for his ability
to change shape.
Typhon was the hundred-headed giant struck by a thunder bolt from Zeus: Iliad 2.782.
Heraclitus despised the body and human activity. Democritus was noted for laughing at
human frivolity.

2. To the Judge of the Lower Themes.

This monk Elias had no desire to possess any earthly thing or to be
concerned about such, just as his namesake also owned nothing. 1 This
Elias wanted to liberate himself from the practical virtues, to pass
through the whole rational universe and to journey through the air to
God and to find anchorage in the ineffable harbors. This is what our
Elias wanted and he struggled very hard for it. But there was the body
he was tied to. There was his heavy burden. There was his earthly tab-
ernacle.There was the weight he was dragging. No matter how many
times he started up, they held him down. When he flew up they forced
him down again. When he jumped up they dragged him back down.
Twice he attempted it, many times in fact, but the same constraints
pulled him down. His ascent to heaven is not easy. But neither is he
able to maintain himself on earth. For he does not have only himself
to support — that would be a simple enough problem for him — but
he has his mother who relies on him and a whole tribe of relatives.
This is what motivates him to undertake long journeys. Now he
heads up north. Now he heads down south. He is split between the ris-
ing of the sun and its setting. His purpose is not to learn how far Thule
is from the British Isles or how the fabled Ocean flows around the
earth, or which Ethiopians dwell to the east and which ones are off to
the west.2 But his goal is to find safe anchorage in your harbor and
there perhaps to obtain some provisions. His life is that of a rover. Let
me also add a philosophical note. Plato is reported to have taken the
measure of Charybdis three times and to have sailed that many times
through the narrow strait of Sicily.3 But Plato ended up encountering
the Dionysiuses. He not only purchased nothing with his philosophy,
but barely escaped being sold himself and was ransomed by Annikeris
of Aegina.4 May our wanderer not meet up with that sort of hospitali-
ty but with such as Odysseus received among the Phaeacians. 5 May he
return bearing in his hands guarantees from your hand so his mother
may be brought back to life and the throng of his relatives may join in
the festive dance.

[Ed. Sathas 153; from cod. Paris. gr. 1182, f. 223 v (P); a shorter and less
reliable version is found in cod. Laur. gr. 57-40, f. 44 v-45 (L); but the title
of the addressee is found in L, not in P].

Cf. 2 Kings 1: 5 et alibi.
See Strabo, Geographica
Philostratus, Vita Apollonii 1.35.5-7.
Cf. Diogenes Laertius, Vitae philosophorum 2.86 and 3.20.
Homer, Odyssey 5.35 ff.

3. <Untitled.>
Our Elias does not come down from the sky or go up to the sky. 1 He
does not come to you from Mount Carmel, but from a stage prop,
rough and ready, wearing the tunic of a rower or a slave. Only he
would know whether he might be running away from some Jezabel. 2
At any rate, up to now he has given the impression of fleeing from
some horrible Erinys and heading for the furthest reaches of the
He took my advice about which people he should visit first and
what guides he should follow to the ends of the earth. And so he
comes to you. At the same time, he will see Coele-Syria and indeed
your holy self governing it. 4 You know what you will do. As long as
you have the man with you, hold on to him, as Aeolus did to the man
from Ithaca.5 Then, after sewing up the western winds in a bag and
presenting them to him, send him off to Libya or Asia.
Because you are busy with very serious tasks, you need some
relaxation such as he provides. Let me describe the man to you in a
more philosophical vein. There are two extremes of virtue and of
wickedness. The first is characterized by the monastic life, I mean the
monastic life which is the solitary life at its best. At the other extreme
— please do not reproach me for what I say — is the way of life asso-
ciated with taverns. This man, so as not to leave any part of these
extremes untouched, has taken the middle road. He undergoes a com-
plete transformation from both sides. Whichever of the two he wish-
es that is what he is. He will arise early in the morning with you and
sing the sacred songs. Then he will change and join you in a dance.
From the Dorian melody his voice will change to the Phrygian.6 If you
should be angered at such a transformation, he will immediately shift
back to the first mode. His eyes will remain fixed; his hands will be
gently folded on his chest. You will observe that his feet are not mov-
ing back and forth but stay together. Once again, as the tides change
in the Euripus, he will start going against the current. 7 His ambition is

2 Kings 2: 11.
Cf. 1 Kings 18: 20.42.
The Erinys were fearsome female demons.
Coele-Syria designated the Roman province in northwest Syria with its capital at
Antioch; in the late 10th and 11th centuries it was a Byzantine province under a duke. The
addressee of this letter may well be the Caesar, John Doukas, who held authority in Antioch
for several years: see Laurent (1962) 252-53); Polemis (1968) 34-39; Ljubarskij (1978) 69-74.
Homer, Odyssey 10.20-26.
See Letter 1, n. 5.
The narrow strait between Boeotia and Attica where the current was reported to change
direction seven times a day.

to be able to change shapes like the legendary Proteus. Instead, he is

taken over by lower creatures. What an imitation he can do of the
roaring of the lion, while the leaping about, so to speak, of the mon-
keys is part of his inborn nature.
Therefore, since we are downcast by nature and need something
to soothe our spirits, when your ship is just about to sink, you will find
refuge in his harbor. While it is not completely free of the sea’s swells,
it will not crush the ship. But if ... the ship’s timbers and ... securely
joined together nor anything short ... how his thoughts are very
focused and how long beforehand he prepares to repel assaults and
lets nothing get in his way. 8 Gently, then, I set the man before you. I
have shown you his serious side and clued you in on his less serious
one. But if he should step outside the bounds, then it will be up to you
to bring him back within them.
Here is a riddle. I declare that he is the one who has written this
letter. May this declaration now, in accord with Aristotle’s dictum, be
made public and not be made public. 9 Just as Aeschylus, therefore,
may this man compose a drama with many new elements and, in turn,
you will find even more that is new.

[Ed. Sathas 154; from cod. Paris. gr. 1182, f. 223 v-224].

The manuscript has several small blank spaces.
Aristotle, Epistle 6, to Philip of Macedon.

4. To the Sebastophoros Nikephoros.

If your spirits are lifted up by the mere mention of the famous names
of Greece: the Piraeeus, Sounion, Schoinous, the Gardens of the
Philosophers, Rion, Antirrion, the Thriasian Plain, Krommyonia, the
rocks of the Skeironides, other places and, for your total gratification,
going to Phaleron and returning from Phaleron and — there is no need
to list any more — it means nothing to you that this earthbound Elias
has been elevated to such great distances. 1 While he may not know
how to explain the names to you, he can convey the reality. Let him
personify that famous epigram for you: “Here is the Peloponnesus,
not Ionia” or the contrary. 2 He may indeed not know how to compose
epigrams, such as those of Archilochus or Simonides, but he would be
content, if someone might wish to do this, to have inscribed every-
where, instead of on a public monument: “He is turned in both direc-
tions, toward the rising sun and toward evening. Not only is he under
the regular signs of the zodiac but also the very unusual ones and, for
that matter, with those at the solstice”.
Get to know him, therefore, in whatever direction you may pre-
fer. Only, may you have a pleasant laugh and may you come to love
the man.

[Ed. K-D 8; from cod. Vat. gr. 712, f. 73-73v].

Most of these names occur in Strabo, Geographica.

5. To the Judge of Thrakesion.

This monk, acclaimed for his virtue and not unknown to you, has set
for himself the goal of traveling about the entire inhabited world. He
is even anxious to prowl about your Thrakesion and to become
acquainted with your illustrious and most excellent self and to receive
something from you as well as to give something. He would con-
tribute a glib tongue, a pleasant disposition, and the service he knows
how to render. In exchange, he would receive something from your
keen mind or, if you will, also from your hand. I am well aware that
there is a frown on your face, that you are refraining from laughing,
and that your soul is unmoved. But may this man make you feel com-
pletely relaxed and make you laugh and fill you with every pleasure
and delight. People like yourself who are preoccupied about very
weighty matters frequently need some humor and relaxation. This
man will provide you with an abundance of occasions for such things
and he will do so while clad in the venerable habit of a monk.

[Ed. K-D 270; from cod. Heidelberg. Palatin. 356, f. 46 v]

6. <To a thematic Judge.>1

There is a certain Elias here with us, but this Elias is just the opposite
of that one who was ‘taken up’. 2 This one is attached to the earth and
incapable of flying up above it. Still, he often kept pace with the char-
ioteers in the spectacles and was bold enough to climb up in the same
chariot with them so he could himself learn exactly how to maneuver
it and to fly up in the air. But the chariot of the Thesbite still runs
behind the Lydian and offers absolutely no competition.3 This Elias
has no fear at all of Jezabel, but bravely stands up to her and, as the
old saying goes, counterattacks with his own sallies. 4 He does not try
to avoid the forty-day journey and he does not need a widow to take
him in, for he knows how to get along with married couples. 5 Think
of him simply as an ogler of maidens, with magnificent hair after the
fashion of Priam’s son Alexander, at least his hair if not his beard. 6

In the manuscript this letter is addressed ‘To the same’(t« aÈt«), which K-D conjecture
as a reference to the Judge of the Lower Themes, but the preceding letter is inscribed: ‘to the
Judge of the Boukellarioi’ (t« krit∞ t«n Boukellar¤vn).
See 2 Kings 2: 11.
Elias was called the Thesbite (Tishbite): 1 Kings 17: 1. Comparison with the Lydian char-
iot was a proverbial expression for falling far behind.
1 Kings 19: 3.
1 Kings 17: 9-16; 19: 8; cf. Luke 4: 25-26.
Homer, Iliad 11.385.

The bread which nourishes this man is not a small measure of roasted
barley meal baked in the ashes, rather, he dines on barley cakes at a
bountiful table. 7 It is not a mere flask of oil which pours for him, but
he very generously draws from a barrel. 8 Even more marvelous!
Because he is not concerned about closing and opening heaven, he
searches out the remote corners of the earth; he quickly crawls down
into them and just as quickly comes up again, in the manner of those
giants who were originally planted there.9 Not once but many times he
raises up that nature which he had put to death. 10 To sum it up, this
Elias is quite earthbound and not at all ‘taken up’.

[Ed. K-D 93; from cod. Laur. gr. 57-40, f. 45-45v].

1 Kings 17: 12-16; 18: 45.
Above the word for barrel (piynãkhw, sic in the ms.), the scribe has added: mikrÚn
ÍpolÆnion, ‘a small vat’(for wine or oil).
The giants were fierce monsters born from the union of Tartarus and Earth. Anna
Komnene alludes to the same myth: Alexiad
Monastic profession was regarded as putting one’s worldly nature to death.

7. To the Judge of Opsikion.

After putting out from Trigleia, we sailed along the mountainous
promontory and sailing with us was the great ascetic Elias. 1 For this
reason, the sea flowed smoothly under the ship and all was full of
calm. Because of him the sea refrained from becoming rough. But he
rode the crest of many waves; his heart was throbbing and, at the same
time, his soul was swelling with rushing passions. At that moment, to
put it mildly, it was not Mount Carmel that he recalled or some other
place of retreat, but all the brothels in the city, all the taverns. 2 He
recalled how many courtesans were exercising their craft in a profes-
sional manner and how many were not so professionally qualified. 3
He was also commenting about whether a certain barmaid might not
also be making her debut on the street or a courtesan might not also
be pandering or a pimp might not also want to act as a consort. He
also compiled a catalogue of how many might be campaigning out in
the open and how many were secretly lying in ambush. Most people
found this discourse of his to be marvelous. At that moment, in fact,
the oarsmen from Syke were just about worshipping him and so were
many of the passengers, especially when he went through the names
of the courtesans at some length and ran his tongue glibly through the
catalogue. 4
As for myself, I was greatly amazed that a terrible tempest did
not fall upon the sea or that it did not become stirred up. When Jonah
disregarded a small call of Providence, the water rose up and the wild
beasts of the sea opened their jaws wide before him. 5 But nothing at
all terrible confronted this man even when he was so outrageous in
what he was thinking and saying. He did, however, offer a good solu-
tion to my problem and solved the riddle by stating that his fornica-
tion was limited to words and he denied that it ever went as far as
deeds. If, therefore, he is telling the truth, he would be evil only half
way. But if he should be lying, may the sea monster not swallow him,
for he would not spit him out again.

[Ed. K-D 97; from cod. Laur. gr. 57-40, f. 46v-47].

Trigleia (modern Tirilye) is on the Bithynian (Asiatic) coast of the Sea of Marmara. See
Janin (1975) 185-87.
Cf. 1 Kings 18: 42.
Courtesan: the Greek text has ‘female companion’.
Syke (Syge) must refer to a location on the Bithynian coast near Trigleia: see Janin
(1975) 183.
Jonah 1: 3-15.

8. To the Same Person.

A certain portion belongs to God and another to Mammon. 1 To the
first belong pure spirits and to the second natures full of passion. And
up to the present there has not been any third class.2 This monk Elias,
however, has recently invented one. He does not simply give to God
what belongs to God or to Mammon what belongs to Mammon, but he
has donated a fitting portion to both. To God he gives the monastic
habit, our holy anchor, and to Mammon he gives the powers of his
soul and the organs of his body. And so it is that while singing songs
to God he fornicates in his thoughts, behaving outrageously all day
long. Then he will turn to acts of deep piety; he weeps and straight-
way repents of his passion. Then he changes place again. He knows
only two residences, the brothel and the monastery. Going from the
former to the latter he seems like Philoktetes. From the latter to the
former he becomes another Achilles. The first has his legs incapaci-
tated while the second is described by the poet as swift footed. 3
Now, if God were actually to apportion a third lot to humans,
this would be neither the kingdom of heaven or gehenna, but it would
be something else beside these, quite distinct and independent, truly a
suitable place for him. But if no such place exists, let him stand
between paradise and the river of fire, scorched on one side, soothed
on the other. Otherwise, the division could be on alternate days, on
one day absolutely delightful but on the next all chains and scourging.
This is just how he has been accustomed to behave here. During the
day he gives himself to God but he allots the night to Satan.

[Ed. K-D 98; from cod. Laur. gr. 57-40, f. 47-47v].

See Matthew 6: 24; Luke 16: 13.
‘The present’: the ms. has ‘a certain point’ (tinÒw), but the scribe has erased two words
before that which may well have read: toË nËn, ‘now’.
Homer, Iliad 2.718-725; 1.21 et passim.

9. To the Sebastos Constantine, the Nephew of the Patriarch, by

the Monk Elias Krystalas.1
The Greeks marvel at the Muses and at the Graces, the former because
they dance in chorus around Helicon, sing hymns to their father Zeus,
and take the lead in the veneration and the love of wisdom, and the
Graces inasmuch as they are the cause of joy and pleasure for men. 2
For these reasons they likened the more venerable men to the Muses
and those more attuned to pleasure to the Graces. Now, if a person
were to possess the distinctive features of both, that is, the nature of
the Muses as well as that of the Graces, that individual would be the
most perfect and advanced in virtue.
Such a person in our own generation is this most admirable
monk.3 He displays sublime musical talent, singing a great deal and
delighting in rhythms and melodies, only not in Pieria and Helicon but
in his favorite place — for now let it remain without a name. 4 He both
bubbles over with the qualities of the Graces and showers fountains of
pleasure on those people he cares for — neither should they be men-
tioned by name in a letter. In either manifestation of both lives, I mean
that of the Muses and that of the Graces, he appears more distin-
guished than anyone else. If, then, you are interested in the Muses, he
will immediately assume a solemn mien, in accord with the images of
Xenocrates, and will play the role of the most dignified personages,
the evangelist, the bishop, and anyone else of the same status. 5 But if
you sacrifice to the Graces and are in the mood for something witty, a
pleasant laugh, some game playing, then you will marvel at this man.
He will set up his tragic stage and for hours on end will transform
himself. Now he appears as Ajax the Telemonian, now as Mithaikos
and Pataikos or the tavern keeper Sarambos. 6 There are so many facets
to the man that he is not inferior to Proteus in his changes.
I myself have often stood in admiration of the man and I swear
by your holy soul that I have greatly loved him. How else would you

B is addressed: ‘To the same’, i.e. to the Caesar John Doukas. At the bottom of f. 138v
another hand has added: diå tÚn monaxÚn ±l¤an tÚn krustalãn, followed by some illegible
writing. B 2 is addressed: toË aÈtoË t« sebast« kvnstant¤nv ka‹ énec¤v toË patriãrxou
diå tÚn monaxÚn ±l¤an tÚn krustalçn.
The Greek, dia, with the accusative, as here, usually means ‘by’, ‘with the help of’, which
best seems to fit the context. It can also convey the idea of ‘about’, ‘concerning’, ‘for’.
Hesiod, Works and Days 2; Theogonia 1-7.
t∞ kayÉ ≤mçw geneç ı yaumasi≈tatow B2 to›w kayÉ ≤mçw ı yaumãsiow B.
Pieria in Thessaly and Helicon in Boeotia were sites sacred to the Muses. ‘His favorite
place’and the unnamed people in the next sentence must be some sort of private joke.
Xenocrates 70-71.
See Plato, Gorgias 518b.6.

phrase it? He has just now performed a much needed service for me
with his exquisite and rapid handwriting. He then turned about and
switched to songs and harmonious tunes. And next — how could I not
be amazed at this?— he clothed himself in a tunic and other garments
and assumed a great variety of roles with his posturing and mimicry.
By your holy soul, this man is fully deserving of your attention and
favor. For since human life takes so many forms and, as Euripides
reminds us, we are moved and preoccupied according to our fortunes,
so that on some days we are downcast and on others more cheerful,
this man will present himself to you in the guise suitable for every
shape and circumstance of life.7 He will serve you not only in the most
exalted matters but just as readily in lowly and base ones. Not only
will he be prepared to write, but he will also bathe you, gather up your
bedding, saddle your horse and bring it to you, and he will do all the
other chores which may please his lord. Such is the man who comes
to you. If he should find you in a gloomy mood, he will right away
display such dejection of soul as to rival yours. But if he finds you
laughing and joking, he will laugh and joke with you.
Allow yourself to be transformed, then, along with this individ-
ual, changing your personality the way he changes his. March straight
ahead when he marches straight ahead. Go off to the side when he
goes off to the side. If my words strike you as mysterious and very
imaginative, do not wonder. 8 I have been speaking in a veiled manner.
For he was listening with both ears while I was dictating this letter.
For my part, though, I spoke like a Cretan to Cretans, at the same time
employing intricate circumlocution, but I have still made clear what I
had in mind. 9

[Ed. K-D 212; from cod. Vat. Barb. gr. 240, f. 138 v-139 (B). Another ver-
sion is found on f. 185v-186 (B2); since it seems closer to the archetype,
I have followed the second version in my translation, noting only the
more important variant readings].

Euripides, Hippias 701. The words, ‘We are moved’ and ‘This man will present’, are
omitted in B.
Instead of ‘You as mysterious’, B has ‘mythical’.
In antiquity the Cretans had a reputation for telling lies, thus this proverbial expression.
Instead of ‘In mind’, B has ‘on my tongue’.

10. <Untitled.>
Our good friend has arrived here, my most beloved and illustrious
brother, as though coming from Egypt, as though from Ethiopia, as
though from India itself. 1 His travels have taken him to every city,
every country, every language. Instead of a large shipment of mer-
chandise he arrived with a full cargo of emotion and high spirits;
instead of a lot of baggage he brought his tongue brimming over with
amazing tales. How he found lodging in the village of Byridoi. 2 How,
settling in the place for a few days, he learned all about it, everything
in the place, everything surrounding it, the vineyards, the vast fields
of wheat, the rivers flowing into it, the vapors arising from them, what
the air above your head is like, how the village is adjoined, how it is
divided. What the men are like.What the women are like. Which ones
twist the wool and which ones use the shuttle on the loom.
Then, as I was just barely applying the brakes to his tongue, he
slipped away and moved off to Herakleia and, as though contemplat-
ing the Heraklean mouth of the Nile, he inundated me with a stream
of words. 3 How the fortress has been relocated and about the metrop-
olis in it. How it drinks from marvelous fountains. How it is soothed
by the westerly wind more than by the others. This is how he diverts
himself. Unable to deal with this torrent of words, I pretended to fall
asleep. But all of a sudden he thundered from the earth. He would not
let me miss hearing even about Rhaidestos. 4
And so, if he has filled your ears with such urbane discourse,
you may deal with it. For me, though, he has completely sated my
soul with all his tales. He took me on a tour throughout the west. He
crossed verbally over the Adriatic itself to the land of the Italians, the
plains of Campania, the twofold Alps, the Apennine mountains, the
Ligurian Sea.5 Then, having left these behind and having stood me by
the pillars of Hercules and Dionysius, he moved his discourse around
to you. 6

The ‘good friend’is not named but the remarks about his travels and incessant talking
remind one of Elias. The ‘friend’gives the appearance of having journeyed to distant lands
whereas, in fact, he has merely been visiting places very close to Constantinople. But he
describes them in admiring detail as though they were far off, exotic cities. As if that were not
boring enough, he goes on to discuss the personality and even the kitchen utensils of the
Byridoi (tå Bur¤dou, tå Bur¤dvn) was a small port a few kilometers southwest of
Constantinople: Janin (1964) 444.
Herakleia (modern Eregli) was a city on the Sea of Marmara not far from Constantinople.
On the Herakleian mouth of the Nile, see Heliodorus, Aethiopica 1.1.1.
Rhaidestos (modern Tekirdag) was a small city on the north shore of the Sea of Marmara.
See Strabo, Geographica
The straits of Gibraltar and Sicily.

As amazing as the thundering, as the crashing falls, as the

cataracts of the Nile may be, he did not leave one detail about you
unrecorded.7 How your right hand was completely immune to bribes.
Your nobility of mind, your generosity and upright way of life. Then
he stepped down and described your table, your manners, your behav-
ior, your laughter. What kind of large pot you have, what kind of gob-
let, what kind of platter, the pot stand, the soup ladle. Among your
cups one finds the beaker, the ivory one, the so-called adolescent, the
one fashioned of horn, the one with finger-like handles, the pitcher
shaped one, the cube shaped one, the rustic wooden one. Your manner
of drinking and toasting your friends. And the wines! How you
decline the Phalerian because it stuffs the head and you prefer the
Chian which sets the liver on fire. 8 How the servant mixing the bowl
pours your cup and gently places it in your hands.
After he furnished me with a minute account of your drinking
party, he was all set to provide more details about the activities which
followed it. I realized what a swarm of words that would produce.
And so, I feigned a deep sleep and in that way got rid of the man. But
may he show up again, even many times, and say more than he has
already said. And for you, may all else be well. But do not extend your
right hand so far that your left hand is not aware of it. 9 Do not harvest
in a way so fruitless that you cannot have some barley grains left over
for yourself. 10

[Ed. K-D 9, and in Appendix below; from cod. Vat. gr. 712, f. 73 v-74

On the cataracts and falls of the Nile, see Herodotus 2.17.
See also Psell. Or. min.14.143; 16.54.
Cf. Matthew 6: 3.
Cf. Luke 12: 18-20.


10. <énep¤grafow>
ÉAf¤keto ≤m›n ı kalÒw, f¤ltate ka‹ per¤blepte édelf°, …w §j AfigÊptou, …w
§j Afiyiop¤aw, …w §j ÉInd¤aw aÈt∞w, pãsaw m¢n pÒleiw, pãsaw d¢ x≈raw, pãsaw
d¢ gl≈ssaw §mporeusãmenow. éf¤keto g°mvn yumoË ka‹ fronÆmatow ént‹
5 megãlhw fort¤dow, ént‹ poll«n égvg¤mvn tØn gl«ttan aÈtoË kom¤zvn plÆrh
yaumas¤vn dihghmãtvn, …w kat°luse m¢n efiw tÚ xvr¤on Burid«n, …w ≤m°raw
tinåw t“ tÒpƒ §naulisãmenow ±kr¤bvse pãnta, ˜sa §n toÊtƒ, ˜sa p°rij, tåw
émp°louw, tå purofÒra ped¤a, toËw efisbãllontaw potamoÊw, tåw §ke›yen
énapnoãw, ıpo›ow Íp¢r kefalØn <ı> éÆr, ˜p˙ tÚ xvr¤on sun∞ptai, ˜p˙
10 mem°ristai, ¥tiw t«n éndr«n ≤ fÊsiw, ¥tiw t«n gunaik«n, t¤new m¢n afl tÚ
¶rion pl°kousai, t¤new d¢ afl tª kerk¤di xr≈menai prÚw fistÒn.
ÑVw dÉ oÔn mÒliw aÈt“ tØn gl«ttan §p°sxomen, eÈyÁw §jolisyÆsaw
aÈtomole› prÚw ÑHrãkleian. ka‹ Àsper tÚ ÑHraklevtikÚn stÒma toË Ne¤lou
fidΔn kat°klus° me t«n lÒgvn t“ =eÊmati, …w én–kistai tÚ pol¤xnion, ¥tiw
15 ≤ §n toÊtƒ mhtrÒpliw, …w p¤nei yaumas¤vn phg«n, …w éne›tai zefÊrƒ
mçllon dØ t«n én°mvn t«n êllvn ka¤ §stin aÈt“ paidikã. §gΔ d¢ mØ f°rvn
tØn =Êmhn t«n lÒgvn Ípn≈ttein prosepoihsãmhn: ı d¢ brontÆsaw éyrÒon
épÚ t∞w g∞w oÈd¢ t∞w ÑRaidestoË me éf∞ken énÆkoon.
Efi m¢n oÔn ka‹ tØn sØn ékoØn t«n éstik«n dihghmãtvn peplÆrvken, aÈtÚw
20 ín efide¤hw: §mo‹ d¢ tØn cuxØn proskor∞ pantÚw épe¤rgastai dihgÆmatow. §pe‹
d° me pantax∞ periÆgage t∞w •sp°raw, diabibãsaw t“ lÒgƒ tÚn ÉAdr¤an aÈtÒn,
tØn ÉItal«n x«ran, tå Kampan«n ped¤a, tåw dittåw ÖAlpeiw, tå ÉAp°nnina
ˆrh, tÚ LigustikÚn p°lagow, toÊtvn éf°menow ka‹ prÚw ta›w stÆlaiw me
stÆsaw ta›w ÑHhrakl°ow ka‹ Dionus¤ou, §p‹ s¢ tÚn lÒgon perikuklo›.
25 Baba‹ t«n bront«n, t«n KatadoÊpvn, t«n toË Ne¤lou katarrakt«n.
oÈd°n soi t«n èpãntvn katal°loipen émnhmÒneuton: tØn dejiån …w pantãpasin
édvrÒlhptow, tØn t∞w gn≈mhw eÈg°neian, tÚ filÒtimon, tØn genna¤an
proa¤resin. e‰ta dØ kataba¤nvn §j°fras° soi tØn trãpezan, tÚ t∞w dia¤thw
e‰dow, …w diait–hw, …w gel–hw, potapÚw m°n soi ı fipnol°bhw, ıpo›on d° soi tÚ
30 kupell¤on, ıpo›ow ı pinak¤skow, ı xutrÒpouw, ≤ §tnÆrusiw, …w t«n pothr¤vn
sou tÚ m¢n ¶kpvma, tÚ d¢ §l°faw, tÚ d¢ ¶fhbow, tÚ d¢ =utÒn, tÚ d¢ daktulvtÒn,
tÚ d¢ kãlpiw, tÚ d¢ kuboeid°w, tÚ d¢ kissuboeid°w, …w p¤noiw, …w prop¤noiw to›w
f¤loiw ka‹ …w t«n o‡nvn tÚn m°n Faler›non paraitª plhroËnta tØn kefalÆn,
tÚn d¢ X›on proairª tÚ ∏par §pixeil¢w poioËnta purÒw, p«w §pixe› soi tÚ
35 kÊpellon ı tÚn krat∞ra kirn«n, p«w ±r°ma to›w daktÊloiw §nt¤yhsin.

9. ı add. Kurtz || 14. kat°kluse K-D kat°luse K || 16. dØ K-D d¢ K ||

22. kampan«n K-D kapan«n K | ép°nnina K-D ép°nina K || 31. dak-
tulvtÚn K-D daktulvgÒn K || 34. soi K-D s‹ K ||

ÉEpe‹ d° soi §leptolÒghse tÚ sumpÒsion, §boÊleto d¢ ka‹ tØn metå taËta

§jakrib«sai diatribÆn, sm∞now §gΔ lÒgvn §nteËyen ır«n bayÁn Ïpnon
ÍpokrinÒmenow oÏtvw éphllãghn toË éndrÒw. éllÉ otow m¢n ka‹ aÔyiw ≤m›n
parag°noito ka‹ pollãkiw toËto, ka‹ e‡poi ple¤ona œn efirÆkei: so‹ d¢ tå m¢n
40 êlla ¶xoi kal«w, tØn d° ge dejiån mÆte tosoËton §kte¤noiw Àste mØ laye›n tØn
éristerån mÆyÉ oÏtvw sunagãg˙w Àste mãthn mØ dÊnasyai kénteËyen §pilipe›n
soi tå êlfita.

40. §kte¤noiw K-D §nte¤noiw K

cf. Plato. Resp. 411c.6.
cf. Heliod. Aeth. 1.1.1.
Herod. 2.17.
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John Duffy and Emmanuel Bourbouhakis

The cult of St. Menas, an Egyptian martyr whose feastday is celebrated

on November 11, led to the development of one of the most popular pil-
grimage centers of the early Middle Ages. It was located in the Egyptian
desert southwest of Alexandria and Lake Mareotis and consisted of a
large complex of buildings whose full extent was brought to light by the
excavations of C. M. Kaufmann in the opening decade of the last centu-
ry.1 Sophronius of Jerusalem in the early seventh century described the
saint’s shrine as “the pride of all Libya”. 2 Many examples of St. Menas
flasks, image-bearing clay ampullae for carrying blessed water from the
shrine, have been found throughout the territories of the Byzantine
Empire and further afield, thus bearing witness to the far-flung fame of
the saint and his influence. 3
In addition to the physical traces of the cult we have a collection of
miracle accounts, attributed in part of the Greek tradition to Patriarch
Timothy of Alexandria (380-384), though there is not a shred of evidence
to support the ascription apart from a manuscript title, and it hardly
deserves to be taken seriously. 4 Alongside Greek, the miracles of Menas
survive in one form or another in various other languages including
Coptic, Ethiopian, and Slavic. As far as the Greek text is concerned, there
is essentially only one serviceable printed version of thirteen miracles,
namely that published in 1900 on the basis of a single Moscow manu-
script by the Russian scholar I. Pomjalovskij. 5 Writing some ten years

Kaufmann (1910).
In the Miracles of Cyrus and John, no. 46: TÚ Mhnç toË mãrturow t°menow ka‹ tÚ prÚ
toË tem°nouw domãtion pãshw LibÊhw kay°sthke frÊagma. In the edition of N. F. Marcos
(1975), the text is on p. 351.
See the article “Menas Flasks” in vol. 2 of the ODB 1340.
A sentiment expressed long ago by H. Delehaye in an article of considerable importance
for Menas studies: Delehaye (1910) 117-150 (present point 127-8).
Zhitie prepodobnago Paisija Velikago i Timofeja patriarkha Aleksandrijskago povestvo -
vanie o chudesakh Sv. velikomuchenika Miny (St. Petersburg: 1900) 62-89. The manuscript in
question is Moscow Sinod. gr. 379 dated to the eleventh century. We should also mention
another, rather strange, printing of the first five miracles from a different Greek manuscript of
similar date. In “De Wonderverhalen van den Heiligen Menas,” R. Miedema (1918) 212-21
provides from Vaticanus gr. 866 a transcription that not only omits accents entirely but also
reproduces the myriad orthographical peculiarities of the copyist. The transcription does help
us, however, in one place; see below n. 20.

later Delehaye remarked how that Russian edition continued to remain

unnoticed.6 He also drew attention to the fact that there were quite a few
other manuscripts in existence which would be worth examining. After
the lapse of a century, however, the groundwork of collecting and com-
paring all the surviving witnesses has still not been carried out and the
absence of much basic information, therefore, imposes limits on the
ongoing discussion of these documents.
On the other hand, Delehaye himself had looked at a sufficient num-
ber of the manuscripts to determine that not all offered the same number
of miracles, noting that in some the collection was confined to the first
five. This was also the case, he added, in the menaia for November 11,
whose texts were “notablement abrégés”. 7
It is our purpose here to publish the first account, consisting of text,
translation and notes, of one of these abridged versions that were spe-
cially tailored for use in liturgical books. The manuscript witness is a lit-
tle-known synaxarion of the 12th century, formerly housed in the
monastery of St. John the Theologian on the island of Lesbos, but pur-
chased by an American bibliophile from a dealer in New York in 1947
and bequeathed to Harvard College in 1984. It is now in the Houghton
Library at Harvard University and carries the designation Ms. Typ 243H.8
The text of this six-month synaxarion, covering the feastdays of saints
from September to February, is severely truncated in its present state,
having suffered the loss of its first eleven quires. The surviving part
begins with the commemorations for November 11, i.e. with a brief
account of the martyrdom of St. Menas, followed by the short collection
of miracles.
The five miracles of St. Menas found in the Harvard copy are a rep-
resentative selection of one of the oldest and most popular genres of
Christian literature, the beneficial tale. These versions are interesting
examples of the final installment of the story of such beneficial tales and
religious literature of this type more generally. For by the tenth century
much of it was being gathered, abridged, and having its language adjust-
ed (usually up, but occasionally down) to more canonical forms and
vocabulary. In the process the original verve was often dampened and
even extinguished. One need only compare the miracle of the crippled
man and the mute woman (no. 4) with the longer, earlier version that we
have reprinted from Pomjalovskij’s edition and translated here for the

Delehaye (1910) 128.
Delehaye (1910) 128.
See John Duffy (forthcoming). For a very brief and incomplete description see also Bond
and Faye (1962) 26.

first time into English. Not only has a kind of Byzantine bowdlerization
taken place, a fact quite significant in itself, since it tells us something
about what was deemed appropriate for the audience of a twelfth-centu-
ry commemorative service, but the extreme distillation of this and the
other stories into their most salient elements has put them on the margins
of narrative; they appear less and less as vivid accounts of singular
events and rather more as illustrations of important lessons. 9
Nevertheless, they are still quite revealing, both for the changes they
have undergone and for what they preserve. Indeed a significant core of
motives and values survives from the longer into the abridged versions.
The mercantile community of lower Egypt portrayed here, with its ser-
vants, horses, and purses of gold, remained familiar to a middle
Byzantine audience. Theft and trickery amongst this class must not have
been so foreign as to render the stories implausible, at least not in the
eyes of some. Finally, the intervention of the saint in such situations,
resulting in one story at least in a sizeable donation to his shrine, reflects
the role which an immanent spiritual world was believed to play in the
daily lives of Byzantine Christians. The stories published here represent
the continued efforts to ensure the recognition of that role and the con-
sequences for those who failed to heed its lessons.

It is no surprise that the eye-catching original version of no. 4 drew comments from mod-
ern scholars. Delehaye (1910) 131 characterizes it as a “plaisante et peu édifiante histoire” and
Karl Krumbacher, in a short review of Pomjalovskij’s work ( BZ 10 [1901] 343-4) must sure -
ly have had it uppermost in his mind when he referred to the “zum Teil sehr sonderbaren und
zur Lektüre von Comtessen wenig geeigneten Wunder des hl. Menas”!


Pot¢ d° tiw éperxÒmenow proseÊjasyai §n t“ na“ aÈtoË, §d°xyh

parã tinow efiw monÆn. ka‹ §pe‹ ı ÍpodoxeÁw ¶gnv tÚn Ípodexy°nta
§gkÒlpion f°rein xrusÒn, énaståw §n m°sƒ t∞w nuktÚw fone¤&
xeir‹ toÊtƒ §p°yeto: ka‹ melhdÚn katakÒcaw efiw spur¤da §n°bale
ka‹ éph≈rhse, tØn ßv §kdexÒmenow. ka‹ ∑n loipÚn §nag≈niow …w
pÒte ka‹ poË épagãgoi §n éfane› tÒpƒ katakrËcai boulÒmenow.
Ka‹ …w §n toÊtoiw ∑n ≤ mel°th, ı ëgiow toË XristoË mãrtuw
¶fippow …w §n tãjei strati≈tou énafane‹w per‹ toË §ke›se
katalÊsantow ±reÊna j°nou. toË d¢ fon°vw mhd¢n gin≈skein dia-
bebaioum°nou, toË ·ppou épobåw efis∞lyen §n t“ §ndot°rƒ
ofikÆmati, ka‹ katagagΔn tØn spur¤da ka‹ t“ fone› blosurÚn
§mbl°caw, “t¤ §sti toËto;” fhs¤n. ı d¢ Àsper ¶kplhktow genÒmenow
ÍpÚ d°ouw to›w pos‹ toË èg¤ou pt«ma deinÚn •autÚn kat°bale.
Tå goËn katatmhy°nta m°lh ı ëgiow sunarmologÆsaw ka‹
proseujãmenow én°sthse tÚn nekrÚn efipΔn “dÚw dÒjan t“ ye“.” ı
d¢ …w §j Ïpnou énaståw ka‹ katanoÆsaw ˜sa ka‹ oÂa pãyoi parå
toË Ípodejam°nou §dÒjase tÚn yeÒn, ka‹ t“ fainom°nƒ strath-
lãt˙ eÈxaristÆsaw tØn proskÊnhsin §d¤dou. énastãntow te toË
fon°vw ı ëgiow tÚn xrusÚn épÚ toÊtou labΔn doÁw aÈt“ ¶fh “tØn
ıdÒn sou poreÊou.” tÚn d¢ fon°a §pistrafe‹w tÊcaw …w efikÚw ka‹
kathxÆsaw pros°ti, ka‹ tØn êfesin toË §gklÆmatow xarisãmenow,
ka‹ Íp¢r §ke¤nou proseujãmenow, toË ·ppou §pibåw ép°pth épÚ
t«n Ùfyalm«n aÈtoË.


There was a man once who having gone to pray at the saint’s church
was given a place to stay by a certain individual. And because the
man who received him realized that the guest was carrying gold on his
person,10 he got up in the middle of the night and set upon him with a
murderous hand. And cutting his body into pieces he put him in a bas-
ket, suspended it, and waited for morning. And then he was filled with
anxiety about when and where he might take (the remains) to hide
them in some remote place.
Now while his mind was preoccupied with these things, Christ’s
saintly martyr appeared on horseback dressed as a military man11 and
began to inquire about the stranger who had spent the night there. And
although the murderer assured him he knew nothing, the saint dis-
mounted from his horse, went into the inner part of the building and
bringing down the basket and fixing a fearsome stare on the murder-
er, he said “What is this?” And the man, going into a state of shock
from fright, cast himself at the feet of the saint like a wretched corpse.
The saint then reassembled the severed limbs and, having prayed,
he raised up the dead man, saying “Give glory to God.” While he, rising
as if from sleep and realizing the extent of his sufferings at the hands of
the man who had given him lodging, praised God, and thanking the per-
son dressed as a military officer he made obeisance to him. And when
the murderer got up from the ground, the saint took the gold from him
and gave it to the other saying “Continue your journey.” And turning to
the murderer he chastised him as was fitting and lectured him as well,
granting him pardon for the crime. Then he offered a prayer on the man’s
behalf, got on his horse and disappeared from his sight.

The Greek phrase §gkÒlpion f°rein could possibly be interpreted to mean that the man
was wearing a gold cross or some other type of phylactery. However, later in the story we are
told that the saint returned “the gold” to its owner, and that also agrees with the longer version
published by Pomjalovskij (1900) 63-5, in which the coveted object was money carried in a
purse or money-bag (balãntion).
This may be a reflection of some accounts of the saint’s earlier career which make him a
soldier. Beyond that Delehaye (1910) 135 draws attention to the fact that St. Menas as
horserider fits into a general pattern for Egyptian saints.


ÜEterow d° tiw d¤skon §j érgÊrou t“ èg¤ƒ §paggeilãmenow para-

labΔn t“ texn¤t˙ dÊo toÊtƒ d¤skouw kataskeuçsai Íp°yeto ka‹
§pigrãcai §n m¢n t“ •n‹ tÚ toË èg¤ou ˆnoma, §n d¢ t“ •t°rƒ tÚ
•autoË. kataskeuasy°ntvn oÔn t«n d¤skvn, §pe‹ xari°sterÒw te
ka‹ lamprÒterow ı toË èg¤ou §de¤knuto, t∞w §pigraf∞w mhdÉ
ıpvsoËn melÆsaw •aut“ toËton prosÆrmose.
<ToÊtou> to¤nun ka‹ katå yãlattan diå toË ploÚw tØn
pore¤an poioum°nou ka‹ §n tª nh˛ toË de¤pnou diå toË §juphre-
toËntow aÈt“ eÈtrepisy°ntow tå paratey°nta §n t“ toË èg¤ou
d¤skƒ énupostÒlvw ≥syie. metå taËta t∞w trap°zhw §k m°sou
genom°nhw ı §juphret«n aÈt“ doËlow labΔn tÚn d¤skon prÚw tÚ
§kplËnai toËton §n tª yalãtt˙ §bÊyizen. Íposure‹w dÉ ı d¤skow §k
t«n xeir«n aÈtoË, p«w ên tiw e‡poi, §n tª yalãss˙ éperr¤fh. ı
goËn doËlow sÊntromow genÒmenow ka‹ deil¤& susxeye‹w ¶ti d¢
katanarkvye‹w Ípoxaun≈saw •autÚn éperr¤fh ka‹ aÈtÚw
katapÒdaw §n tª yalãss˙.
ToËto fidΔn ı kÊriow aÈtoË §leeinologoÊmenow ¶legen, “oÈa¤
moi t“ éyl¤ƒ ˜ti zhl≈saw tÚn toË èg¤ou d¤skon prosap≈lesa sÁn
aÈt“ ka‹ tÚn doËlon. éllå so‹ kÊrie ı yeÒw mou tØn §paggel¤an
taÊthn pepo¤hmai, ˜ti §ån tÚ le¤canon ka‹ mÒnon toË paidÚw
eÍrÆsv, d¤dvmi t“ yerãpont¤ sou èg¤ƒ Mhnò ka‹ toËton tÚn
d¤skon ka‹ tØn toË épolesy°ntow diat¤mhsin.” ka‹ §jelyΔn épÚ


Another man, having promised a silver plate to St. Menas, employed

the services of the silversmith 12 and commissioned him to make two
plates for him and to engrave the saint’s name on the one and his own
on the other. When the plates had been made, the one dedicated to the
saint turned out to be more elegant and dazzling, so the man kept it
for himself, totally disregarding the inscription.
And while <he> 13 was making the journey by sea 14 his dinner
was prepared for him aboard ship by his servant and he ate the food
placed on the plate of the saint without misgivings. Later, when the
meal had been cleared away, the servant took the plate and dipped it
in the sea in order to wash it. And the plate, snatched one might say
out of his hands, fell into the sea. Whereupon the servant became ter-
rified and, seized by fear and reduced moreover to numbness, he
slackened his grip a little and he, too, fell immediately into the sea.
Seeing this, the servant’s master said in a piteous voice, “Woe to
me the wretch, for in coveting the plate belonging to the saint I have
lost not only it but my servant as well. But to you Lord, my God, I
make the following promise: if I should only find the remains of the
boy, I shall give your servant St. Menas both this plate and the value
of the one that has been lost.” And disembarking from the ship onto

The Greek reads paralabΔn t“ texn¤t˙, which, in spite of the unexpected use of the
dative, we have translated in the sense of “ to hire”; cf. Lampe’s Lexicon, meaning no. 6. Still,
it could well be the case that the participle has undergone an easy corruption from para-
bal≈n. That verb would provide a good reason for the dative and give the sense “having gone
to a craftsman”, which would have the added benefit of more closely approximating the
Pomjalovskij text, ép°rxomai efiw texn¤thn, “I am going to a craftsman”.
We have restored a missing subject, toÊtou, in the Greek.
Although the Havard version has katå yãlattan, the longer Greek version refers not to
any sea but to a lake. In the original form of the story the lake is without question Lake
Mareotis which lies between Alexandria and the nearby desert region in which the shrine of St.
Menas was located. Fraser (1972), 1, 144-6, describes the system of ports and boat travel
which would have ferried most pilgrims to the shrine of Abu Mina. The change from “lake” in
the older version to “sea” in the synaxarion illustrates an interesting element of metaphrasis,
namely, the removal or replacement of locally significant references in a bid to produce more
universal and less specifically rooted contexts. A generic reference to a “journey by sea” would
have been familiar to most Byzantine pilgrims of the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean. “The
lake” and similar references to Alexandria, when taken out of the synaxarion text, deprive the
account of local color but on the other hand enhance the sense that the saint may intervene any-
where, anytime. This in turn would be in tune with the ecumenical cult of St. Menas whose
shrines proliferated around Christendom. He became a saint that the faithful could call upon at
any time or place.
It should be noted that, in using the term metaphrasis above, we are not claiming any asso-
ciation with the specific rewriting activity of Symeon Metaphrastes. Further research, in the
first instance into the whole of the Greek manuscript tradition of these Menas stories, would
need to be conducted before any such connection could be confidently proposed.

toË plo¤ou §p‹ tØn jhrån ép°blepe prÚw tØn parãlion karadok«n
ka‹ Ífor≈menow §n Ùfyalmo›w e‰nai tÚ zhtoÊmenon, ka‹ diå toËto
égvni«n e‡pvw dunhye¤h yeãsasyai tÚ toË paidÚw le¤canon. ka‹
…w prose›xen §pimel«w e‰de tÚn doËlon §rxÒmenon épÚ t∞w
yalãsshw metå toË d¤skou ka‹ ¶frije. ka‹ krãjaw megãl˙ tª fvnª
§j∞lyon ëpantew épÚ toË plo¤ou. ka‹ …w e‰don tÚn doËlon
kat°xonta tÚn d¤skon §j°sthsan ëpantew dojãzontew ka‹
eÈlogoËntew tÚn yeÒn.
Punyanom°nvn d¢ toÊtvn maye›n tÚn trÒpon t∞w svthr¤aw
aÈtoË, diesãfhsen ı doËlow l°gvn ˜ti, “ëma t“ §naporrif∞na¤ me
tª yalãss˙, énØr eÈeidØw mey’ •t°rvn dÊo kratÆsant°w me, Àdeu-
san sÁn §mo‹ xy¢w ka‹ sÆmeron m°xri t«n œde.”


ÉAllå ka‹ gunÆ tiw éperxom°nh efiw tÚn ëgion ka‹ biasye›sa parã
tinow efiw afisxrån m¤jin tÚn ëgion efiw boÆyeian afithsam°nh, oÈ
pare›den aÈtÆn, éllå tÚn biastØn paradeigmat¤saw éblab∞
taÊthn diefÊlaje.
DÆsaw går tÚn ·ppon ı énØr efiw tÚn dejiÚn aÈtoË pÒda
±sxole›to prÚw tØn guna›ka. ı d¢ ·ppow égrivye‹w katå toË fid¤ou
despÒtou oÈ mÒnon efiw perikopØn t∞w afisxrçw m¤jevw §gegÒnei,
éllå ka‹ toËton ßlkvn katå g∞w êxriw ín tÚn toË èg¤ou naÚn
kat°laben oÈk ¶sth. aÈt¤ka går megãla ka‹ puknå §pixremet¤saw,
flkanoÁw §jÆgage prÚw yevr¤an: •ort∞w går égom°nhw, pl∞yow laoË
§ke›se sun°trexen.
ÑO d¢ toËto peponyΔw fidΔn tØn toË laoË sun°leusin, tÚn
·ppon te §p‹ ple›on égrioÊmenon ka‹ •autÚn ÍpÚ mhdenÚw
bohyoÊmenon, ptohye‹w mÆpote Ùleyri≈terÒn ti Íposta¤h ÍpÚ toË
fid¤ou ·ppou, éneruyriãstvw §n≈pion pãntvn §sthl¤teuse tÚ
•autoË énÒmhma. ka‹ eÈy°vw ı ·ppow pausãmenow ¶sth §n
≤merÒthti. ka‹ luye‹w ı §pibãthw efis∞lye prÚw tÚn ëgion, ka‹
prospesΔn §d°eto toË èg¤ou mØ peirasy∞nai ¶ti.

dry land, he looked off toward the shore with hope and trepidation to
see the thing he had asked for, and for this reason agonized whether
he might somehow catch sight of the boy’s corpse. And as he looked
carefully he saw the servant coming from the sea with the plate and
he was filled with dread. And crying out with a loud voice, everyone
came from the ship. And when they saw the servant with the plate in
his hands they all were amazed and gave praise and glory to God.
And when they asked him to find out how he was saved, the ser-
vant explained, saying, “As soon as I fell into the sea a handsome man
together with two others took hold of me and they journeyed with me
yesterday and today until we arrived here.”


But a certain woman as well, while she was on her way to the saint,
was forcibly seized by a man who wanted shameful intercourse with
her. She asked the saint for help and he did not ignore her, but mak-
ing an example of the rapist he kept her unharmed. For the man had
tied his horse to his right foot while he was busy with the woman. But
the horse grew enraged at his own master and thus not only interrupt-
ed the disgraceful act, but dragged the man along the ground and did
not stop until he reached the shrine of the saint. And straightaway he
began to whinny loudly and without interruption, drawing a crowd of
onlookers, for since it happened to be a feastday, there were many
people on hand.
And the man, having gone through this ordeal and seeing the
crowd of people who had gathered, while the horse grew wilder and
no one was coming to his aid, fearing that his horse might do him
greater harm, he denounced without a blush before all his unlawful
deed. And the horse immediately stopped and stood calm. Once
untied, the rider approached the saint and, prostrating himself, he
pleaded with him not to be subjected to further tribulation.


Ka‹ xvloË pote ka‹ •t°raw gunaikÚw élãlou paramenÒntvn §n t“

na“ toË èg¤ou meyÉ •t°rvn poll«n prÚw tÚ yerapeuy∞nai, m°shw
nuktÚw pãntvn §n t“ Ïpnƒ ésxoloum°nvn, §fãnh ı ëgiow ka¤ fhsi
t“ xvl“, “êpelye ¶ti ±rem¤aw oÎshw krãthson tÚ pall¤on t∞w
élãlou ka‹ yerapeuyÆs˙.” toË d¢ épelyÒntow ka‹ kratÆsantow
aÈtÒ, §ke¤nh spasye›sa én°kraje kategkaloËsa d∞yen toË
xvloË, ka‹ fiãyh luye¤shw t∞w gl≈tthw: ı d¢ xvlÚw afidesye¤w,
eÈy°vw én°sth fugª m°llvn xrÆsasyai. ka‹ §pignÒntew émfÒteroi
tØn §k toË èg¤ou efiw aÈtoÁw genom°nhn yaumatopoi˝an, §dÒjasan
tÚn yeÒn.

ÑEbra›ow d° tiw ¶xvn XristianÚn prosfil∞, épodhm«n efiw x≈ran

makrån pollãkiw, katel¤mpanen aÈt“ xrus¤on flkanÒn. toÊtƒ pot¢
paray°menow balãntion pentakos¤vn nomismãtvn, §mel°ta §n tª
kard¤& aÈtoË érnÆsasyai tØn parakatayÆkhn. ˘ ka‹ pepo¤hken.
ÉElyΔn går ı ÑEbra›ow ka‹ zhtÆsaw katå tÚ efivyÒw, oÈk
§d¤dou aÈt“ l°gvn “mhd¢n paray°menÒw moi tª forò taÊt˙ ì
§pizhte›w.” ı d¢ ÑEbra›ow éprosdokÆtvw toËto ékoÊsaw êllow §j
êllou g°gonen. efiw •autÚn §lyΔn fhs‹ prÚw tÚn XristianÚn
“•t°rou mØ bl°pontow, ˜rkow dialÊsei tÚ zhtoÊmenon.” ka‹ §zÆtei
diå toË èg¤ou §legxy∞nai tÚn mØ élhyeÊonta.


Once a crippled man and a mute woman were staying in the shrine of
the saint with many others waiting to be cured. 15 In the middle of the
night, while all were busy sleeping, the saint appeared to the cripple
and said, “Go while it is still quiet and take hold of the mute woman’s
cloak and you will be cured.” And having gone over and taken hold of
it, she, bereft of her covering, cried out blaming to all appearances the
cripple. And the woman was cured when her tongue became untied;
while the crippled man, feeling ashamed, immediately got up with the
intention of fleeing. And when they both realized the miracle which
had been brought about for them by the saint, they gave glory to God.

There was once a Jew who was close friends with a Christian and, as
he travelled often to distant lands, he would leave behind considerable
amounts of gold with him. On one occasion he entrusted to him a
money-bag containing five hundred nomismata, and the Christian
plotted in his heart to deny that it had been left in his care, which he
in fact did. For when the Jew came and asked (for the money) in the
usual manner, the Christian did not hand it over, saying “You did not
leave with me this time what you are asking for.” The Jew, not expect-
ing to hear this, was beside himself. When he regained his composure
he said to the Christian, “An oath will resolve the issue, without any
witnesses.”16 And he asked that the one who was lying be refuted by
the saint. 17

This is the classic type of incubation in which the invalid pilgrim spends the night inside
the shrine, hoping to encounter the saint in a dream and to obtain a cure.
The somewhat obscure “without any witnesses” may be the result of too much abridge-
ment. In other versions, Greek, Coptic and Ethiopian, some reference is made to the prohibi-
tion against Jews entering Christian churches, which the Jew in the story accepts without ques-
tion, thus further demonstrating his good faith. But the forced narrative elision, here as in other
places, sometimes leaves behind traces of the fuller account which then become irrelevant
once removed from their narrative stream. Thus, below, the servant’s abrupt reference to his
master’s order (kayΔw pros°tajaw)is the result of another such elision; in the longer version
the saint plays the role of a messenger who relays the Christian’s instructions to his wife. None
of these obscurities, on the other hand, are likely to have interfered with the edifying or cau-
tionary message of the tale.
In “Le Juif et le Chrétien: un miracle de Saint Ménas”, Devos (1960) 275-308 has published
both the Coptic and Ethiopian versions of the story together with a French translation. He
includes also a Greek version based on two manuscripts of the eleventh century, Florence Laur.
gr. XI, 9 and Athos Lavra D 50.
The protection of oaths was a feature of the cult of St. Menas; see Delehaye (1910) 131.

ÉAf¤konto oÔn …w §k sunyÆmatow efiw tÚn naÚn toË èg¤ou

Mhnç. ka‹ pareuyÁ ı XristianÚw mhd¢n melÆsaw diÉ ˜rkou tØn
ofike¤an ¶nstasin §beba¤vsen. …w d¢ toË ˜rkou épartisy°ntow
§jelyÒntew toË naoË ka‹ émfÒteroi t«n ofike¤vn ·ppvn §pibãntew,
ı toË XristianoË ·ppow katå toË fid¤ou aÈy°ntou étakt«n ∑n, ka‹
tÚn xalinÚn §ndak≈n, pikrÚn ±pe¤lei t“ §pibãt˙ tÚn yãnaton. ka‹
t°vw m¢n ¶rrice katå g∞w, diethrÆyh d¢ ésinÆw, mÒnou toË
§gxeir¤ou aÈtoË épolesy°ntow sÁn kleid¤ƒ ka‹ boullvthr¤ƒ
xrus°ƒ •n¤.
E‰yÉ oÏtvw ka‹ aÔyiw §pibåw §poreÊeto sunÒntow aÈt“ ka‹
toË ÑEbra¤ou stugnãzontow ka‹ §k bãyouw st°nontow ka‹ tØn
zhm¤an mØ f°rontow. §pistrafe‹w d¢ l°gei prÚw aÈtÒn, “§pe‹ ka‹ ı
tÒpow §pitÆdeiÒw §stin, Œ f¤ltate, épobãntew t«n ·ppvn épolãbv-
men trof∞w.” ka‹ érjam°nvn aÈt«n §sy¤ein, metå mikrÚn éten¤saw
ı XristianÒw, e‰de tÚn •autoË doËlon •st«ta kat°xonta §n m¢n tª
xeir‹ tª miò tÚ toË ÑEbra¤ou balãntion, §n d¢ tª •t°r& tØn
épolesye›san kle›da sÁn t“ §gxeir¤ƒ. ka‹ fidΔn §jeplãgh, ka‹ “t¤
toËto;” prÚw tÚn doËlon fhs¤n. ı d°, “foberÒw tiw ¶fippow,”
épekr¤nato, “§lyΔn efiw tØn kur¤an mou ka‹ §pidoÁw aÈtª tÚ
kleid¤on metå toË §gxeir¤ou sou prÚw aÈtØn e‡rhken, ‘§n spoudª
pollª épÒsteilon tÚ toË ÑEbra¤ou balãntion, ·na mØ ı énÆr sou
k i n d u n e Ê s ˙ .’ ka‹ fidoÁ labΔn toËto ∑lyon prÚw s¢ kayΔw
ÑO ÑEbra›ow perixarØw genÒmenow Íp°strece metå toË
XristianoË prÚw tÚn ëgion. ka‹ otow m¢n ±ntibÒlei baptisy∞nai
…w toioÊtou yaÊmatow aÈtÒpthw genÒmenow, ı d¢ sugx≈rhsin ≥tei
labe›n Íp¢r o tÚ ye›on par≈rgisen. émfÒteroi oÔn labÒntew
kayΔw ±tÆsanto, ı m¢n tÚ ëgion bãptisma, ı d¢ tØn sumpãyeian,
Íp°strecan ka‹ émfÒteroi efiw tå ‡dia xa¤rontew.

And so they arrived, by agreement, at the shrine of St. Menas.

And without giving it any thought the Christian immediately con-
firmed his original claim. And when he had sworn his oath, the two
men exited from the shrine and each mounted his own horse. But the
horse of the Christian became unruly against its master, and biting the
reins it threatened its rider with a bitter death. And though the horse
threw him to the ground, he remained unharmed, losing only his ker-
chief together with a key and a gold sealing device. 18
Then, getting right back on his horse, he set off accompanied by
the Jew, who was quite joyless and groaned deeply since he could not
bear the wrong done to him. And turning towards him, the Christian
says, “Since this location is suitable, my good friend, let us dismount
from our horses and have some food.” A little while after they had
started to eat, the Christian looked up and saw his servant standing
there holding the money-bag of the Jew in one hand, and the lost key
together with the kerchief in the other. And seeing this he was stunned
and said to the servant, “What is this?”And the servant answered, “A
formidable looking man on horseback came to my mistress and, giv-
ing her the key together with your kerchief, he said to her ‘Send the
bag of the Jew with all haste, lest your husband meet with danger.’
And so taking it I came to you according to your instructions.” The
Jew, overjoyed, returned with the Christian to the saint. And the Jew
prayed to be baptized, since he had witnessed such a great miracle,
while the Christian asked forgiveness for having provoked God. So
both obtained their requests, the one holy baptism, the other compas-
sion, and they went off rejoicing each to his own home.

The “sealing device” is a bit of an anomaly. Unlike the key it does not figure again in our
story. In the longer Greek version the money-bag, upon being handed over to the Christian’s
care, is sealed (balãntion beboulvm°non); he in turn locks it in his “safe” (skeÊrion) and
takes the key with him. In the Coptic version (Devos [1960] 276-7) the object lost by the
Christian is not a key, but a gold ring that he wears on his finger. This leads us to suggest that
the gold boullvtÆrion here, despite the fact that it is not worn on the man’s finger and is not
attested in this exact sense, is nothing other than a signet ring. We thank John Nesbitt whom
we profitably consulted on this point. The “elided” element will have been its use by the mes-
senger/saint to convince the woman that the instructions were truly coming from her husband.

Per‹ toË kuloË ka‹ t∞w bvb∞w

âHn tiw kulÚw §k paidÒyen ka‹ oÈk ±dÊnato oÎte to›w pos‹ peri-
pat∞sai oÎte ta›w xers‹ kamãtou §pixeir∞sai mÆte ÍpÚ fiatroË μ
épÚ ofloudÆpote ényr≈pou ¶xvn boÆyeian. ékoÊsaw d¢ ka‹ aÈtÚw
parå pantÚw ényr≈pou tåw yaumatourg¤aw toË èg¤ou Mhnç,
parekãlesen ka‹ épÆgagon aÈtÚn §ke›se.
ÉIdÒntew aÈtÚn ı ˆxlow §yaÊmasan. eren d¢ §ke› ka‹
guna›ka bvbØn mØ lalÆsasãn pote. par°menon d¢ émfÒteroi §ke›
afitoËntew tØn ‡asin. xron¤saw d¢ ı ênyrvpow ka‹ mØ fiaye¤w,
±ganãkthsen katå toË èg¤ou l°gvn, “…w yevr«, ëgie toË yeoË,
pãnta ì ≥kousa per¤ sou ceud∞ efisi ka‹ oÈk élhy∞.” tª nukt‹ d¢
§ke¤n˙ parefãn˙ t“ kul“ ı ëgiow ka‹ l°gei aÈt“, “diå t¤ ±ganãk-
thsaw katÉ §moË, Œ ênyrvpe; t¤ se kakÚn §po¤hsa; éll’ §pe¤per …w
l°geiw édunat« se fiãsasyai, efi mØ poiÆs˙w ˘ l°gv soi, oÈ mØ
fiayªw efiw tÚn afi«na.” < . . . >. l°gei aÈt“ ı ëgiow, “efi y°l˙w ÍgiØw
gen°syai, êpelye mØ nooËntÒw tinow ka‹ fyãson tÚ str«ma t∞w
gunaikÚw t∞w bvb∞w ka‹ koimoË met’ aÈt∞w, ka‹ lambãneiw tØn
Diupnisye‹w d¢ ı kulÚw §yaÊmasen, dokÆsaw ˜ti §mpa¤zei μ
peirãzei aÈtÚn ı ëgiow. ka‹ e‰pen §n •aut“, “t¤ poiÆsv oÈk o‰da:
∑lyon zht«n tØn ‡asin toË s≈matÒw mou ka¤, …w fa¤netai, efiw
porne¤an me §laÊnei ı ëgiow, mãlista efiw tÚn naÚn aÈtoË. ka‹ §ån
toËto <poiÆsv>, foboËmai mØ xe›rÒn ti g°nhta¤ moi.”
ÉEk deut°rou d¢ fane‹w aÈt“ ı ëgiow, e‰pen aÈt“, “˘ l°gv soi
toËto po¤hson.” éganaktÆsaw d¢ ı kulÚw e‰pen prÚw tÚn ëgion,
“ëgie toË yeoË, mØ dunãmenÒw me fiãsasyai, efiw porne¤an me
§pitr°peiw •autÚn §mbale›n: toiaËta¤ efisin afl t«n èg¤vn didaxa¤;
μ §mpa¤zeiw moi;”
Pãlin d¢ kay’ Ïpnouw §mfanisye‹w e‰pen aÈt“ ı ëgiow, “˜per
e‰pÒn soi po¤hson, ka‹ tÒte lambãneiw tØn ‡asin.” ı d¢ diupnisye‹w

[Longer version of no. IV] 19


There was once a man, crippled from childhood, who could neither
walk on his feet nor undertake any task with his hands; and there was
no help to be had from doctors or anyone else. And he, too, hearing
from everyone about the miracles of St. Menas, asked (some people)
and they brought him there.
And seeing him, the crowd marvelled. And there he also found
a mute woman who had never uttered a sound. And both of them
stayed there seeking a cure. And after having spent some time there
and receiving no cure, the man lost his patience with the saint and
said, “As I see, holy man of God, everything I heard about you is a lie
and untrue.” So that night the saint appeared to the cripple and said to
him, “Why are you upset with me, man? What harm have I done you?
But since, according to you, I am unable to cure you, if you do not do
what I tell you, you will remain uncured forever.” <. . .> 20 The saint
said to him, “If you wish to be whole, when no one is watching go to
the mute woman’s bed and sleep with her and you will have your
When he woke up the cripple was amazed, for he had the
impression the saint was having fun with him or tempting him. And
he said to himself, “I do not know what I should do; I came looking
for a cure for my body and, as it appears, the saint is forcing me into
fornication, and that in his very shrine! And if I should <do> 21 this, I
fear something worse may happen to me.”
So appearing a second time, the saint said to him, “Do what I tell
you.” And taking it badly, the cripple said to him, “Holy man of God,
because you are not able to cure me you encourage me to cast myself
into sexual depravity. Are these the teachings of the saints, or are you
toying with me?”
Appearing once again to the man in his sleep the saint said, “Do
what I have told you and then you will have your cure.” And waking,

Pomjalovskij (1900) 73-5. As Delehaye (1910) 132 pointed out, a version of the cripple
and the mute story is found also in the miracle collection of Saints Cosmas and Damian. It is
no. 24 (pp. 162-4) in the edition of L. Deubner (1907).
The man’s response has fallen out, as already indicated by Pomjalovskij on the basis of
the Slavic version that he cites (Pomjalovskij [1900] 74). The Greek text from the Vaticanus
gr. 866 published by Miedema (1918) 221 supplies the missing part: l°gei aÈt“ ı kulÒw,
“kÊrie, ka‹ t¤ poiÆsv;”
The Slavic version, as reported by Pomjalovskij (1900) 74, suggests that the required
verb is poiÆsv.

e‰pen, “ëgie toË yeoË, ˜per §pitr°peiw poi∞sai ¶xv, ka‹ …w keleÊei
ı yeÚw ka‹ ≤ boÆyeiã sou.” e‰ta bigleÊsaw ˜pou ¶keito ≤ bvbÆ,
én°meinen ßvw o Ïpnvsan pãntew ofl §n t“ na“ ˆxloi, ka‹ énaståw
surÒmenow §p’ ˆcesin ¶fyasen tÚ str«ma t∞w bvb∞w. ka‹ piãsaw
tÚ pãlion ¶suren ka‹ §gÊmnasen aÈtÆn. diupn¤syh ka‹ épÚ toË
fÒbou tarassom°nh ≤ bvbØ §lãlhsen, “Ã b¤a, énØr ∑lyen §pãnv
ÉEke›now épÚ toË fÒbou ka‹ t∞w §ntrop∞w y°lvn kremn∞sai
•autÚn épÚ toË str≈matow ka‹ fuge›n, én°sth §n tª Àr& §ke¤n˙ …w
pãlij droma›ow. yaumãsantew d¢ ofl pãntew tÚ gegonÒw, ˜ti ka‹ ı
kulÚw én°sth dihgoÊmenow aÈto›w ëper e‰den §n Ùne¤rƒ, §dÒjasan
tÚn yeÚn ëpantew tÚn par°xonta diå t«n èg¤vn aÈtoË tØn ‡asin
to›w pçsin. ka‹ oÏtvw ép∞lyon émfÒteroi afinoËntew ka‹ dojãzon-
tew tÚn yeÚn ka‹ tÚn ëgion Mhnçn.

the man said, “Holy man of God, I will do what you instruct me to do,
as God and your beneficence bid.” And observing where the mute
woman was lying, he waited until all those in the church had fallen
asleep, then got up and dragged himself (ep’opsesin?) 22 until he
reached the mute woman’s bed. And taking hold of her covering he
pulled it off and stripped her. The mute awoke and, shaken by fear,
cried out “Rape! A man has come on top of me!”
He, meanwhile, out of fear and shame wishing to throw23 him-
self off the bed and to flee, got up at that moment like a sprightly
youth. And everyone there marvelled at this event, since the cripple
stood up and told them what he saw in his dream, and they glorified
God who provides cures for all through his saints. And they both left
praising and glorifying God and St. Menas.

We cannot make sense here of the phrase §pÉ ˆcesin.We could expect the text to describe
the manner in which the cripple physically made his way along the ground. Paul Magdalino,
therefore, may be right when he suggests to us that the meaning might be “on the face”, i.e.,
face down or prostrate.
I.e. kremn¤sai (from earlier krhmn¤sai).
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Stamatina McGrath


The vita of Elias of Heliopolis is a unique Life among those we find in

hagiographical collections and synaxaria. It is unique not because of the
various elements comprising the Life itself—the themes of apostasis,
persecution by the Arab/Muslim authorities and martyrdom are common
enough in the hagiography of eighth to eleventh century Syria-Palestine.
What is striking is the author’s choice of language, saint and setting to
communicate his moral lesson. The author chose to write in Greek—even
substituting terms for Arab officials with anachronistic Byzantine
terms—at a time when that language was increasingly displaced by
Arabic among the communities of the region. In the story Elias suffered
martyrdom defending his Christian faith, not out of fervent desire to wit-
ness his religion, as in the case of a number of accounts from this peri-
od1, but because of professional jealousy and soured relations with his
former employer. Elias’ cult seems to have remained localized in
Damascus and the surrounding areas as there is scant evidence of this
saint in martyrologies of the region and no entry for him in the
Synaxarion of Constantinople.
The reader of this vita is left to ponder the choice and motivations of
the author in regards to his selection of saint. It seems likely that the gen-
eral audience for this didactic story would be a lay community, most cer-
tainly in Syria-Palestine at a time when Christianity was challenged by
the Islamic faith and an increasingly dominating Arab culture. The author
may have chosen to write Elias’ story in Greek, hoping to prove that this
language was still an integral part of his community’s history and culture
(although this does not explain how he intended his audience to under-
stand it unless he relied on the active mediation of a knowledgeable
priest or reader). If indeed the vita is an eleventh-century composition
the use of Greek may coincide with the resurgence of the Byzantine pres-
ence in the general region.

See S. Griffith, “The Arabic account of ‘Abd al-Mas¬Ω an-Na™r®n¬ al-Ghass®n¬”, Le
Muséon 98 fasc. 3-4 (1985) 334; Hoyland (1997) 384.

The version of Christianity that Elias may have subscribed to is also

a problematic issue. Born in a small Syrian community it is possible that
he was a monophysite. Evidence to this fact would be his inclusion in the
thirteenth-century Martyrologion of Rabban Sliba, identified by scholars
as a monophysite document.2 However, this evidence is not solid since
the lines between orthodox and monophysite were frequently blurred and
one could occasionally see crossovers between the two.3 The collection
of texts within which Elias’ Life was preserved is orthodox, a fact that
reveals little about Elias’ specific religious preference. There is no inter-
nal evidence within the Life of Elias to support either his identification
as an orthodox or monophysite Christian. It is most likely that Elias’ vita
appears in both traditions because it was particularly pertinent to the
experiences of the Christian community in the region, rather than
because it championed the monophysite or orthodox cause.
The Life is a valuable source of social history for eighth-century
Syria. Elias, born in Heliopolis/Baalbek to a pious Christian family of
very modest means, was trained in carpentry from an early age, a pro-
fession that was well suited for the forested area in which he lived.4 There
is no mention of his father in the vita, only his mother and two brothers
with whom ten-year-old Elias traveled from Baalbek to Damascus in
search of a better life. The decision-making authority in Elias’ family
seems to have been shared between his mother and older brother,
although, the mother remains a shadowy background figure with no
direct voice of her own. In Damascus the saint was employed in the serv-
ice of a Syrian5 carpenter, who with the aid of his Arab patron, aposta-
tized from Christianity and became a Muslim. The vita paints the picture
of a vital community in which professional mobility was possible
between geographic, cultural and religious boundaries and relations

Elias’ feast day, commemorated on February 4 and February 1 respectively, appears in a
tenth-century Palestino-Georgian ecclesiastical calendar as February 4 and the thirteenth cen-
tury martyrology of Rabban Sliba as February 1. See G. Garitte, Le Calendrier Palestino-
Géorgien du Sinaiticus 34 (Xe Siècle), Subsidia Hagiographica 30 (Brussels: 1958) 151; and
P. Peeters (1908) 174.
Peeters (1908) 134.
The vita states that he was trained in the use of “medium-sized pieces of wood”, not in
large-scale wood construction. Later it is specified that he made packsaddles for camels in
Damascus and that he repaired the wooden tools of the farmers in Baalbek. His training
appears to have begun before the age of ten, when he first moved to Damascus. A.
Papadopoulos-Kerameus, SullogØ palaist¤nhw ka‹ suriak∞w ègiolog¤aw, I, Pravoslavnyj
Palestinskij Sbornik XIX. 3 (=57), (Petersberg 1907) 45.
What the anonymous author means by “Syrian” here is probably a member of the native
population of Syria-Palestine who spoke Aramaic and was apt to adopt Arabic after the sev-
enth century conquest. S. Griffith, “Stephen of Ramlah and the Christian Kerygma in Arabic
in Ninth-century Palestine,” The Journal of Ecclesiastical History 36.1 (1985) 23.

between employer and employee were casual, similar to those among the
members of an extended family group. Elias’ carpentry tasks must not
have included service at a feast, but the youth’s services were called upon
by his employer. This appears to have been an extension of Elias’ duties
as an apprentice/assistant, suggesting a very close relationship between
employer and employee that extended to the social realm.6 While serv-
ing at the birthday celebration Elias came in contact with Muslims who
sought to convince him to join their religion. Although he refused, the
boy was tricked into removing his belt or zunn®r7 during a dance. As
Christians were required by law to wear their belts in a distinctive man-
ner the removal of Elias’ zunn®r was taken as a sign of apostasis and
conversion to Islam and the youth was later accused by the partygoers of
having recanted his newly acquired Islamic faith—a capital crime under
Islamic law.8 Elias’ Syrian employer initially offered protection, but
when Elias’ family attempted to remove the boy from his service out of
fear of the Muslim community and redeem his pending wages the Syrian
refused payment and threatened to report the youth’s ‘conversion’ to the
Islamic authorities. By family decision, Elias returned to Baalbek where
he stayed for eight years. After that time it was deemed safe for him to
return to Damascus and open his own business, but his old employer rec-
ognized him and asked him to join his workshop. When Elias declined,
the Syrian with the aid of his Arab patron’s son brought charges against
him. Regardless of enticements, torture and imprisonment, Elias remained
before the authorities steadfast in his Christian faith. After refusing
numerous opportunities to recant Elias was executed.
Miracles immediately followed the death of the saint. A bright star
shone at the place where his dead body was crucified, and there were
reports of visions of the saint in and around Damascus. Fearing that these
reports would inflame the faith of the Christians who might attempt to
venerate Elias as a saint, the Islamic ruler ordered the incineration of
Elias’ remains. As further evidence of Elias’ sanctity, his body remained
unharmed by the fire. Still, the corpse was dismembered and thrown into

One can see this family-like intimacy in the behavior of the Syrian the day after the birth-
day party, who offered Elias protection from the pressures of his Arab friends on the under-
standing that Elias continued to work efficiently. The accusation by Elias’ family that the youth
had not received wages for a whole year further exemplifies the lax relations and presumed
trust between the Syrian employer and Elias. When Elias attempted to open his own shop eight
years later, his former Syrian master tried to restore the relationship and employ Elias once
more and it was only when he was rejected that he brought charges against the saint.
See, Translation, footnotes 42 and 43.
J. Kraemer, “Apostates, Rebels and Brigands”, Israel Oriental Studies 10 (1980) 36-48
and M. Ayoub, “Religious Freedom and the Law of Apostasy in Islam”, Islamochristiana
[Journal of the Vatican Secretariat for Non-Christians] 20 (1994) 75-91.

the river Barad®. Parts of his corpse were recovered by pious Christians
and venerated in secret, while the saint continued his miracles through
healings and intercessions on behalf of the faithful.
The chronology of the saint can be reasonably determined based on
the internal evidence of the vita. The anonymous author states that the
saint was martyred in the year 6287.9 This would coincide with the year
779 of the Byzantine era or the year 795 of the Alexandrian era.10 The
scholarly opinion on the matter is divided with valid arguments present-
ed on both sides.11 The evidence in favor of the year 779 is in my opin-
ion more convincing but not entirely secure. The Arab caliph identified
in the vita is al-MaΩd¬ (775-85), and the years of his rule fit well with the
year of Elias’ execution. However, the text mentions al-MaΩd¬ only to
identify the emir of Damascus, MuΩammad, not to state that the events
in the saint’s life took place during his caliphate. Most likely
MuΩammad, the emir of Damascus, was MuΩammad ibn-Ibr®Ω¬m
(739/740-801), a relative of al-MaΩd¬, whose emirate covers both possi-
ble martyrdom dates.12 Another figure identified in the vita is al-LaytΩ
(Leithi), who appears in the role of eparch and judge.13 He may be iden-
tified with al-LaytΩ ibn ‘Abd al-RaΩm®n al-FaΩm¬, a renowned Islamic
jurist who journeyed to Damascus in the years 777/78 and may have
stayed for a year or so in the city. In this case, al-LaytΩ could have been
the judge of Elias’ case, but the title of eparch does not fit based on our
knowledge of the jurist’s career. Strictly speaking, as eparch, al-LaytΩ
would have been not only the supreme authority on judicial matters, but
also commander of the police force and prisons, and regulator of the
city’s commercial and industrial activities.14 These duties would be
beyond the scope of the responsibilities of a visiting legal authority in
eighth-century Damascus.

Papadopoulos-Kerameus (1907) 55.
V. Grumel, La Chronologie (Paris: 1958) 249-250.
Among others Ch. Loparev, “Vizantijskie zitija svjatych VIII-IX vekov”, Vizantinskij vre-
mennik 19 (1912) 36-40; I. Sevcenko, “Constantinople Viewed from the Eastern Provinces in
the Middle Byzantine Period, Harvard Ukranian Studies 3/4, pt. 2 (1979/80) 712-747 argue
for the year 795 and Hoyland (1997) 365; V. Grumel, “Elia il Giovane, santo, martire a
Damasco”, Bibliotheca Sanctorum, vol.4 (Rome: 1964) 1046; Dumbarton Oaks Hagiography
Database Project (DOHP), Introduction, edd. A. Kazhdan and A.-M. Talbot, “Elias of
Heliopolis” (Washington, DC: 1998) 68-69 for the year 779.
Ibn- ‘As®kir, Mukhtasar T®r¬kh Dimashq, ed. Sak¬na al-SΩiΩ®b¬ (Damascus: 1990) 21:
340-42. I wish to acknowledge Prof. Irfan Shahid who provided the references for MuΩammad
and al-LaytΩ for the DOHP in 1998.
According to the history of Ibn- ‘As®kir (Ibn- ‘As®kir (1990) 21: 246-55) al-LaytΩ visit-
ed Damascus in the year 777/78; see also EI 2, art. “Al-LaytΩ ibn ‘Abd al-RaΩm®n al-FaΩm¬,
Abu’l H®ritΩ”, 5:711-12 A. Merad.
On the title of eparch and for bibliography, see ODB 705.

The date of composition of the vita is more difficult to discern than

the precise chronology of the martyrdom. The author does not seem to be
writing close to the date of Elias’ execution, and he does not provide
statements indicating he was an eyewitness or had spoken personally to
eyewitnesses regarding the saint and his life. There are no individuals
identified by name in the vita beyond Elias, the two Arab officials and
the caliph. The vita itself survives in a tenth/eleventh-century manuscript
containing a collection of saints’ lives from Egypt, Palestine and Syria as
well as some ascetic writings.15 Several references in the text suggest that
this vita was not an original composition of the author but was rewritten,
perhaps from a shorter narrative, and expanded to include a number of
episodes emphasizing demonstrations of Elias’ faith before his Muslim
captors and the saint’s posthumous miracles.16 If the original shorter ver-
sion of the Life was written in Syriac or Arabic, the author took pains to
remove any such evidence from his text, leaving a nicely flowing Greek
narrative. There are no rhetorical figures or classical allusions in this
vita. The overall evidence suggests a date of composition between the
beginning of the eighth and the end of the eleventh-century AD.17
The author of the vita of Elias is anonymous. There are no indications
as to his ethnicity or origin, but based on the limited geographic circula-
tion of information regarding the Life of St. Elias, it is likely the author
was a native of Syria-Palestine. By his own admission he has written two
other saints’ lives. Based on the author’s remarks in the introduction of
Elias’ Life, it is probable that these other narratives also dealt with mar-
tyrdoms of Christian saints. The author’s concern over spiritual issues
regarding the faithful in general implies that his responsibilities may
have centered on a secular community rather than a monastic establish-
The Christian communities in Syria-Palestine no doubt felt the pres-
sures of adjusting to a well-established and powerful Islamic rule that
expanded its authority by the growing use of the Arabic language in the
administration and the increasing appeal of Islamic religion and culture.18
Christian converts to Islam were released from the obligation to pay poll
tax according to ‘Abd al-Malik’s tax reform of 685.19 In the seventh cen-

For the Vita of Elias of Heliopolis, see Devreesse (1945) 303 (10th c.) ff. 238-249, with
partial edition by F. Combefis, Christi martyrum lecta trias (Paris: 1666) 155-206, and com-
plete edition by Papadopoulos-Kerameus (1907) 42-59.
See Translation, notes 30, 37 and 52.
See also Devreesse (1945) 286-88 and DOHP Introduction (1998) 69.
Schick (1995) 159-178.
D. Dennett, Conversion and the Poll Tax in Early Islam (Cambridge, MA: 1950) 45-8.

tury apocalyptic text of Pseudo-Methodius there was great concern with

voluntary Christian conversions to Islam.20 The same sentiment is echoed
in other contemporary sources.21 Without a doubt the combination of eco-
nomic and social pressures made apostasy from Christianity an attractive
alternative for many members of the community. The vita of Elias
belongs to the literature produced in the region for the purpose of shoring
up the faith of the Christian community and instructing its members of
the dangers of close association with Christian apostates and Muslims.
Elias’ story offers a unique glimpse of the social pressures experienced
by Christians and their efforts to maintain their culture and religion under
Islamic rule.

G.J. Reinink, “Pseudo-Methodius und die Legende vom römischen Endkaiser”, in
W.Verbeke, D. Verhelst, and A. Welkenhuysen, edd., The Use and Abuse of Eschatology in the
Middle Ages (Leuven: 1988), 104; also G.J. Reinink, “Ps.-Methodius: A Concept of History in
Response to the Rise of Islam”, in Av. Cameron and L.Conrad, edd., The Byzantine and
Islamic Near East I. Problems in the Literary Source Material (Princeton, NJ: 1992), 159, 178,
Hoyland (1997) 343.


February 1.22
Memorial regarding the account of the martyrdom of the holy great
martyr Elias the Younger23, who came from Helioupolis24 and suffered
martyrdom in Damascus25.

1. We have already refuted the arguments or disbelief of the many

regarding the holy great martyrs, having cleansed the faithful from
impiety in our two previous accounts26. Now, in this one as well, the
third one after the others, we start by announcing to all those who
have even a small hope of salvation as comfort and encouragement
the forgiveness that is always bestowed upon sinners.

2. For it is written in the gospel of Luke27 that “A Pharisee invited” our

Lord Jesus Christ “to dine with him, and he entered the Pharisee’s
house and reclined at table. Now, there was a sinful woman in the city
who learned that he was at table in the house of the Pharisee. Bringing
an alabaster container of ointment, she stood behind him at his feet
weeping and began to bathe his feet with her tears. Then she wiped
them with her hair, kissed them, and anointed them with the ointment.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this he said to himself,
‘If this man were a prophet, he would know who and what sort of
woman this is who is touching him, that she is a sinner’. Jesus said to

Concerning the saint’s feast date, see the bibliography listed in the Introduction, footnote
2. See also BHG 578-9.
For the manuscript and editions of Elias’ vita, see the Introduction, footnote 15. I wish to
thank A.-M. Talbot and P. Magdalino for making valuable comments on the present transla-
Heliopolis/Baalbek, a city in Syria between the mountains of Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon,
was captured by the Arabs in 637. ODB 909-10.
Damascus, a city in southern Syria and metropolitan bishopric of Phoenicia Libanensis,
was held by the Persians between 612 and 628 and then fell to the Arabs in 635. ODB 580.
Beyond what is stated here nothing is known of these two previous accounts mentioned
by the anonymous author.
The long quotation that follows is from Luke 7: 36-50. The selection of this text in the
context of the anonymous author’s didactic scope of forgiveness of sins and salvation is not by
chance and follows a long tradition in Syriac theological writings beginning with the works of
Ephaim the Syrian (4th century). For complete analysis of this theme in the works of Ephraim
see, S. Brock, “The Sinful Woman and Satan: Two Syriac Dialogue Poems”, Oriens
Christianus 72 (1988) 21-62; B.P. Robinson, “The Anointing by Mary of Bethany”, Downside
Review (April 1997) 99-111; and H. Hunt, “The Tears of the Sinful Woman: a Theology of
Redemption in the Homilies of St. Ephraim and His Followers”, Hugoye: Journal of Syriac
Studies [] vol.1, no.2 (1998) par. 1-38.

him in reply, ‘Simon, I have something to say to you.’ ‘Tell me,

teacher,’ he said. ‘Two people were in debt to a certain creditor; one
owed five hundred denarii, and the other owed fifty. Since they were
unable to repay the debt, he forgave it for both. Which of them will
love him more?’ Simon said in reply, ‘The one, I suppose, whose larg-
er debt was forgiven.’ He said to him, ‘You have judged rightly.’ Then
he turned to the woman and said to Simon, ‘Do you see this woman?
When I entered your house, you did not give me water for my feet, but
she has bathed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You
did not give me a kiss, but she has not ceased kissing my feet since
the time I entered. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she
anointed my feet with ointment. So I tell you, her many sins have been
forgiven; hence, she has shown great love. But the one to whom little
is forgiven, loves little.’ He said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’ The
others at table said to themselves, ‘Who is this who even forgives
sins?’ But he said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in
peace.’” For even though the woman was a sinner, as you heard, if the
benevolent Jesus forgave her her many sins because of those tears and
the anointing with ointment do you not believe that the sins great or
small of these neomartyrs28 would be forgiven because of their many
afflictions and the sacrifice of their own blood? You judge, those of
you who calculate like Pharisees, if neomartyrs will be forgiven their
sins. We know according to the other evangelists, and most clearly in
[the gospel] by Matthew29, it is not fitting to create troubles for our
soul that is now like that woman, for they know that she performed a
good deed.

3. And indeed this great neomartyr before us30, did not act like we do
to the poor among the saints, sharing in their sufferings through good
deeds, but he himself rose up on his own when he anointed his very
own blood like ointment on His body, for the burial of our great God

By emphasizing the term “neomartyr” in place of “martyr” the author seems to focus on
the praise of those who have suffered for their faith at more recent times rather than the mar-
tyrs of the early Christian era. This focus is consistent with the author’s didactic message
regarding apostasy and forgiveness of sins stated in the opening paragraphs of the Life.
Cf. Matthew 26: 10.
ı proke¤menow ≤m›n m°gaw neomãrtuw..., a term usually reserved for readings delivered
on the feast day of a saint [see the Life of Paul of Latros in T. Wiegand, Milet 3. 1. Der Latmos
[Berlin: 1913) 105 and the Life of Loukas the Younger of Stiris in D. Sophianos, ÜOsiow
Loukçw . ÑO b¤ow toË ıs¤ou Loukç toË Steiri≈tou [Athens: 1989] 159). It is not clear from
the introduction to this Life that it was written on the occasion of the saint’s feast, but the inclu-
sion of this term may suggest this is a trace from another text containing Elias’ vita copied by
the anonymous author of the present text.

and Savior Jesus Christ31. For this reason Christ will say now, as he
did then, “Amen, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in
the entire world, what he has done, just like her, will be said in his
witness”32. But let us in no way be reproached like that Pharisee when
we invite Christ, or rather when Christ invites us [to His feast] to eat
bread in His Church, His all holy and life giving body, and says [to
us] as if speaking to him [Pharisee], “And you did not give a drink, ‘a
cup of cold water’33 as it is written, to him who stood upon the road
of martyrdom in the name of my disciple. While these, the neomar-
tyrs, wiped down together with the feet the entire flesh with tears and
streams of blood. You did not give me the kiss of love of one anoth-
er, while they even laid down their souls on behalf of their faith. You
did not anoint my head with the oil of benevolence and charity for
those who are of the same descent, while their heads were cut off with
swords for me34. For this reason it is said, ‘Their sins are forgiven,
although they are a great many, for they have loved much, rather than
yours who in vain boast to love through words only’”35.

4. That which he did in his witness will be proclaimed to the entire

world. I will write down at once what he did, calling upon his [Elias’]
grace and drawing inspiration from the most Holy Spirit as I open my
mouth.36 I intend to narrate his story, for many desire to hear it in its
fullness37 with eager attention, without preference for intricate infer-
ences and eulogistic re-workings, but rather the events as they hap-
pened in simple phrases38, so that through its persuasiveness and hope-
fulness the present story may cause every pious and god-loving soul
to rejoice and to delight with the gladness with which it ought be glad,
for this one, the son of our homeland, was not dead and came to life
again, but was living and died for the hope laid up in store in the heav-
ens. For this reason, having made the distinction, I will start from the

Cf. Matthew 26: 12.
Cf. Matthew 26: 13.
Matthew 10: 42.
Cf. the section from “And you did not give...” to “... their heads were cut off with swords
for me” and Luke 7: 44-6.
Cf. Luke 7: 47.
Cf. Ephesians 6: 19.
§ntel°steron, a further suggestion that a shorter Life of the saint may have been avail-
able prior to the composition of the present text.
The intent to write a hagiographical account in simple language for the benefit of a wider
audience is a theme attested in other Lives of saints as well, see the Life of Blasios of Amorion
in AASS , Nov. IV, 658, and the Life of Theodore of Studios in PG 99: 236.

beginning and from thence I will narrate all his shifts of fortune with
all truthfulness.

5. This holy neomartyr and contender of Christ, Elias, descended from

the most pious native born citizens of Helioupolis of Second
Phoenicia39 near mount Lebanon40, from Christian upbringing and
lowly means, and pursued a craft which they call carpentry, working
with medium-sized pieces of wood. He, along with his poor mother
and two brothers, leaving Helioupolis, his homeland, migrated to
Damascus that was a great metropolis, in which he hoped to live an
easier life. When he arrived there he hired himself out to a certain
man, who was Syrian in descent, but a client and attached to one of
the Arabs. Thereupon he continued in his service two years, making
his living in the same craft. By the influence of the devil and the con-
sent of the Arab, the client Syrian renounced the faith of Christ, but
persevered making his livelihood in his craft.41 Being a child, Elias,
the one who is now a great martyr, ignoring the designs of the Devil,
remained hired out in his trade to the apostate.

6. A short time later the Arab, the patron of the apostate, died after
engaging his son in marriage. Thereafter his son had a male child and
with the exhortation of his fellows he celebrated the birthday of his
son, preparing a feast. While the feast was taking place and the apos-
tate was feasting, they called upon Elias, the great martyr, for service.
Elias was about twelve years old. He served them, joking and rejoic-
ing with them at the feast, inasmuch as he was an innocent child. The
dinner guests, along with the patron of the apostate, turned to the mar-
tyr and said, “Where are you from child? For we see you to be clever
and willing to share our joy.” The apostate responded taking on the
reply, “He is hired out to me in my craft, and as you can see he is
good.” Laying hold of him separately they said to the saint, “If you
want child, you too can renounce your Christian faith and can become
just like us, continuing with your master no longer as a hired servant,
but as a son.” Immediately the saint replied, “You have gathered here

Probably Phoenicia Libanensis, administrative district from the time of Diocletian to the
Arab conquest. After the Arab it was incorporated into the much larger province of Damascus.
Mountain range between western Syria and the Mediterranean coast.
The client-patron relationship appears as a particularly dangerous one for Christians who
aligned themselves with Muslim masters [Hoyland (1997) 339]. Conversion to Islam among
the Christian population was an increasingly greater problem in Christian communities after
the Arab conquest, especially in the second part of the eighth century [Hoyland (1997) 342-7].

to feast, not to offer public speeches. Stop saying these things to me.”
They responded, “Meanwhile, come eat with us.” Approaching with
guilelessness and eating the saint continued to serve them, when some
stood up from the dinner and began dancing, and taking hold of the
saint they persuaded him to dance with them. What is more, banding
together they loosened the saint’s belt42 and threw it to the side at that
time so that it would not prevent the body from easily being drawn to
dance. Then the dinner of evil preparation came to an end.

7. After the night passed, the holy great martyr Elias got up in the
morning. Since all the dinner guests had slept together at the house,
he girded his own belt according to the custom of the Christian com-
munity43, and after washing his face he departed the house and was on
his way to pray to God. One of those still under the influence of the
evening’s intoxication, called out and said, “Elias, where are you
going?” The saint responded, “I am going to pray.” Taking up the con-
versation another one said to the saint, “And did you not deny your
faith late last night?” The saint disdained these words, and without
even turning around to the speaker went to prayer; and then returning
from there he arrived at the workshop and there found the apostate.
And the apostate said to him, “Indeed, Elias, if I had not prevented our
companions, they would have caused you grief today because they
say you denied Christ last night. But work and be without fear.” The
saint was amazed to hear these things, and kept quiet for a short while,
then during the time of the mid-day meal, leaving the workshop he
went to his brothers, and narrated to them what had happened to him.
By decision of his older brother along with his mother they went to
the apostate and said to him, “Man, behold our brother has been work-
ing for you for a year and has not received any portion of his wages
from you. Give us our fair portion and our brother will depart from

Removing one’s belt appears as a symbol of apostasy in a story about a deacon from
Edessa who renounced Christianity by proclaiming his faith in MuΩammad and removing his
zunn®r in public. This account appears in the Chronicle of pseudo-Dionysios of Tell MaΩr∂
(also known as the Chronicon Zuqn¬n): see Hoyland (1997) 337-8. For another example of
removal of the zunn®r as an indication of change of faith see Tritton (1970) 118-9.
The custom of wearing the zunn®r in a distinct Christian fashion is recorded in the so-
called “Covenant of ‘Umar I” attributed to caliph ‘Umar ibn al-KΩattab (634-44). An expan-
sion of ‘Umar’s covenant in the Kit®b ul Umm specified “You <Christians>shall wear the
zunn®r above all your clothes, cloaks and others, so that it is not hidden”: Tritton (1970) 12-4.
See also Hoyland (1997) 364 and C.E. Bosworth, “The ‘Protected Peoples’ (Christians and
Jews) in Medieval Egypt and Syria”, in Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of
Manchester 62.1 (1979) 16 (rp. Variorum Reprints in C. E. Bosworth, The Arabs, Byzantium
and Iran [Brookfield: 1996]).

your service, for we have decided to send him back to Helioupolis,

our homeland.” The apostate said in response, “You are not due out-
standing wages from hiring out the child. But neither will I release the
child to leave my service, as he has apostatized from your Christian
faith, and I have witnesses against him.”

8. Thereupon, a disputation took place between the two, with the saint
narrating those things that were said during the evil dinner on the one
hand, and the apostate asserting obstinately that he would lead away
the saint to the ruler, on the other. At that time, the saint’s brothers
gave up his wages they had been demanding, and having apparently
appeased the apostate, and taking the saint with them his brothers
said, “Brother, we agree that you should return to Helioupolis, our
homeland, and live there working to make a living as best as you can
for some time, until this conversation is forgotten. For we are fearful
lest seeing you here the apostate might again be stirred up and cause
trouble. He has turned to such behavior since he desires to have you
as his slave.” Having pacified [the apostate], the saint then returned to
Helioupolis, and made a living working in his own homeland for eight
years. After considering these years [to be sufficient time] he jour-
neyed down to Damascus. When his brothers being in agreement with
each other on the matter said to the saint, “By this time a period of
eight years has passed and has caused the apostate to forget the
thoughts he had about you. For since you left his service we have
encountered and met him by chance many times and he has said noth-
ing to us about you. Now, we are in agreement that you should not be
separated from us, especially since this causes our mother sorrow. But
though you are young in age, for you have just completed your twen-
tieth year and you have only begun growing a beard, rely on your craft
like a man. Open a workshop and live in Damascus with us.”

9. The saint was persuaded, and the thought becoming deed, he devot-
ed himself in his workshop to producing and selling packsaddles for
camels. When the apostate leaned this and harboring envy against the
saint, for he lived nearby the workshop, he came to the saint and said
to him, “Friend, where have you been these years? Why do you cen-
sure me when I have come to you today? But come now and work
with me again becoming my partner.” The saint replied smiling, “You
have wronged me [in the past], having deprived me of my wages, do
you wish to wrong me again?” The apostate was vexed by these words
and said to the saint, “Indeed, I have wronged you allowing you to
remain in your faith after you renounced it.” Addressing the son of the

deceased Arab, his patron, whose evil banquet has already been
described, he [apostate] said to him, “Do you not witness that this
Elias apostatized, denying Christ that evening?” He replied, “Yes.”
The apostate then said to the saint “Let us take him before the

10. Dragging the saint by the hand he brought him before a certain
Leithi45 by name, with the young man [son of the deceased Arab
patron] supporting his testimony that events had occurred thus. The
eparch questioned the saint if those things said about him were true.
He replied, “In no way, may it never be that I would renounce the faith
in which I was born. But I confess Christ and venerate him as being
the God of heaven and earth and sea.” The eparch said, “Let it be con-
ceded that you had never renounced [your faith], but because you
were presented [before the court], we encourage you to apostatize and
come to the religion of the Arabs, and you will enjoy every honor
from us.” The saint responded, “May it never be that I would do such
a thing. For I am a Christian, descended from Christian ancestors, and
I am ready to die for my faith.” The eparch said, “As the witnesses
have brought charges against you, I accept the testimony against you
and insist that you renounce [Christianity] because it is not at all pos-
sible to permit those who once and for all have accepted our religion
[to return to their former faith].”46 The saint replied, “You are the
judge and may accept however you like my accusers, but I tell you
more fervently that I am a Christian and I will deliver my body to you
(if it is necessary), so as to show that my faith is not forced but vol-

11. The judge commanded that the saint be stripped and flogged, until
(he said) through force he should admit the denial of which he was
accused. Stripping the holy great martyr and stretching him out with
ropes they beat him with thin rawhide whips, until his blood streamed
down. He [saint] implored the judge to stop those who were beating
him, letting out a small cry of entreaty, submissively begging for the

The Byzantine term “eparch” is inappropriate for a Muslim official, but suggests some-
one who had supreme judicial and perhaps administrative duties in the city of Damascus.
Possibly al-LaytΩ ibn-Sa’d ibn- ‘Abd al-RaΩm®n (712/713-791/792), celebrated Egyptian
jurist. For references see the Introduction, notes nos. 12 and 13. According to the history of
Ibn- ‘As®kir, al-LaytΩ visited Damascus in the year 777/78. It is possible that he was still in
Damascus in 779 and may have been the highest judicial authority examining the case of Elias.
Apostasy from Islam could be punishable by death. For bibliography on Muslim views
of this matter see the Introduction, footnote no. 8.

mercy of the judge. The judge replied, “What is it, young man? If you
wish, deny Christ and walk away.” The saint responded, “I did not call
upon your benevolence for this, so that I may renounce [my faith], but
so that you may take pity upon my tender youth and human nature and
release me allowing me to remain steadfast in my faith, that I have
practiced and inherited from my ancestors.” The judge said, “Do not
think you will be released from this trial if first you do not deny the
Christ in whom you believe.” The saint said, “It remains then for you
to command the beating and for me to be beaten.” These were the
great martyr’s very own words to the judge, “From you the giving [of
the beatings], for me the enduring [of the lashes]. Behold, I am pre-
senting myself to you having become as hard as a diamond.”

12. Then the judge being enraged with the saint’s response, added
many more floggings to his [sentence], and placing him in irons he
ordered that he [Elias] be dragged by his feet to prison. Then the holy
martyr was dragged, and as the ground beneath him met the wounds
he had acquired from the flogging extending from head to waist, it
tore the flesh that was soft, because of his youth, at the same time.
Shut in [prison] he lay in pain because of his wounds. The report
announcing the events about the contender spread out quickly
throughout the entire city, and the saint’s brothers went to him weep-
ing and exhorting him to submit to the sufferings for Christ’s sake.
The great martyr of Christ, Elias, looking up to the heavens said con-
soling his brothers, “Have faith, my brothers, that I will not shame
you, nor shall Christ’s faith be insulted through me. But I shall endure
whatever else I must suffer. I also confess to you about one statement
that I uttered to the judge calling upon his benevolence that I shall
never again appeal to him, but to no other than my Lord Jesus Christ,
our true God. I will call upon him and he will be my aid. I will nar-
rate to you now that which I saw in a vision during the preceding
night. I saw myself sitting in a bridal chamber, in a place of honor,
while another chamber was prepared for me interwoven with different
flowers and wreaths were hanging for me. Turning around I saw a
black Ethiopian47 standing near me showing me a cross and threaten-

The association of black Ethiopians with demonic visions is commonplace in Byzantine
hagiography. See ODB 733. For some specific examples see, the Life of Theophano, in E.
Kurtz, Zwei griechische Texte über die hl. Theophano, die Gemahlin Kaisers Leo VI (St.
Petersburg: 1898) 11; the Life of Elias Spelaiotes in AASS, Sept. III, 865; the Life of
Constantine the Jew in AASS, Nov. IV, 641; the two versions of the Life of Athanasios of Athos
in J. Noret, Vitae duae antiquae sancti Athanasii Athonitae (Turnhout: 1982) 59 and 169.

ing me with death, while swords and fire and many other terrors were
roaring against me. I laughed at him. I was rejoicing (as it seemed to
me) sitting and delighting in the flowers of the wreaths. Now I say to
you, my brothers, that whether they crucify me, or burn me with fire,
or if I had to suffer everything at the same time, nevertheless, I pro-
claim to you that I prefer to suffer everything on behalf of that hope,
which I have in Christ, and see myself in great joy and fervent faith,
and [for this reason] I am pained little and suffer [little] from these
lashings. And now do not weep for my sake, but having done a good
deed go in peace.” The prison guard approached them rebuking the
brothers of the saint and he cast everyone out of the prison saying, “I
have been commanded not to let anyone visit the saint, neither is he
allowed to have any sort of care, but only if he renounces [his faith]
he will be released, or will continue to suffer torture if he remains

13. After a few days they brought forth saint Elias bound in irons to
the judge Leithi. Looking upon the saint he said, “Young man, since
you are being questioned, for the sake of peace, you should renounce
Christ and walk away. What will be your profit, if you die and
descend into Hades?” The saint responded with confidence and said,
“I am a Christian and I have told you: From you [come] the beatings,
and from me [comes the endurance] to be beaten.” Then he [Leithi]
commanded again that he [Elias] be beaten by strong men with
rawhide whips. And as soon as the beatings commenced, because the
flesh was rotten, it was filled with secretions and poured forth a great
deal of pus, and also worms fell out and a foul smell spread around.
The judge, unable to bear the sight of the rotting flesh, commanded
that the saint be thrown upon the ground on his face, and to be beat-
en with rods from his lower back to his feet on both sides, hoping
either to prevail over the brave contender or to kill him. The saint was
beaten for a long time, and he did not let out a single sound to the
judge, but rather he strengthened himself calling upon our Lord Jesus
Christ. He [Elias] amazed the judge, for he [Leithi] said that,
“Previously when he was tortured a little he called upon our mercy,
now, [while being tortured] in a greater degree he did not even turn
our way.” Indeed, there is nothing more steadfast than he who is pre-
pared to suffer everything.

14. Therefore, he ruled against him that he [Elias] should be dragged

again to prison. Then, while the saint was being dragged, the crowd of
people from the market gathered and some trampled on him while

others spat at him, and others still threw at him the garbage they found
discarded in the marketplace. While confined [in prison] that night, he
was suffering all over his body. Then he witnessed around him what
appeared as a flood of light, and (as the prison guard related to some
individuals) voices of chanters resounded from the light. For no one
conversed with him [Elias] at any time after he was imprisoned for the
second time. Only during his presentation at the tribunal and at times
when he was being taken [out of prison] one of the neighbors who
happened to be there might speak to the martyr, and yet when pre-
sented [at the tribunal] saint Elias confessed having seen Christ
anointing him and strengthening him for the contest.

15. Then Leithi went to Mouchamad, who was tetrarch and ruler48
being the nephew of Maadi (the king of the Arabs),49 and expounded
in its entirety the sudden change of the saint’s fortune and those things
that he [Leithi] showed him [Elias] in his desire to prevail over him.
In amazement the ruler commanded the saint to be presented and this
was done. Then the ruler said, “Young man, Leithi recounted to me
your story and I reproached him, for subjecting you to so much. But I
will speak on your behalf, and take off my clothes and dress you in
them, honoring you for the dishonor you have suffered. I will provide
you with a horse and chariot and gold and a beautiful maiden for your
wife. Only be persuaded by me today and become a co-religionist
with us.” The saint responded, “You have both agreed to contrive to
my destruction. For one offers torture and threats, while the other
offers flattery and distinctions. Therefore, ruler, listen now: I am a
Christian and I do not accept the honors which you put forth, that I
might receive only once I have been deceived and have denied
Christ”. The ruler said, “Do you perchance think that after the beat-
ings you will be released, and for this reason you remain steadfast?
Know then that a command has come down from Maadi that all
accused of this crime, namely those who convert to the faith of the
Arabs and then immediately convert back again to Christianity, must
be imprisoned, and if then, in spite of exhortations, they do not apos-

The use of the term “tetrarch” in place of the Arabic term “caliph” is anachronistic.
This is most likely MuΩammad ibn-Ibr®Ω¬m (739/740-801), a relative of al-MaΩd¬ by
virtue of his descent from the Hashimite House from which the Abbasid rulers also claimed
descent. MuΩammad was emir of Damascus under both al-MaΩd¬ and H®r‚n al-RasΩ¬d and
also called imam (religious leader). Cf. the Introduction, note no. 12. Concerning al-MaΩd¬
(775-85), ‘Abbasid caliph and father of H®r‚n al-RasΩ¬d, see H. Kennedy, The Early Abbasid
Caliphate (London: 1981) 95-110.

tatize from the faith of Christ, they should be put to death.50 Now, as
you have already been charged, if on the one hand we convince you,
that is well; but if we do not, know that we will put you to death with
many tortures.” The holy Elias said in response, “I saw all these
things of which you speak in a night vision.Truly, I was decapitated
and crucified and burned, and I have prepared myself to suffer all this
willingly so that I might sit in the bridal chamber and the chambers
may be interwoven with flowers and that I may be crowned with
unsullied wreaths. Therefore, do what you command and begin
whence you wish.”

16. Then, while the saint was standing there, two of the ruler’s sons
entered at that place, and being informed of the reason for the confin-
ing irons and the lashings and turning around to the saint with sympa-
thy and mercy, by way of flattery they spoke to the saint swearing ter-
rible oaths, which those who take a solemn oath in the religion of
Moameth [MuΩammad] exchange among themselves. If only he would
deny the name of Christ, they promised to receive him as their own
brother and to hold him in very high honor and campaign together with
him, and to also register his name in their kingly books. He [Elias]
stood without trembling, sneering at them. Then, the ruler commanded
Leithi, the eparch, to take the saint and return him to the same tortures,
until he either was released having apostatized or was put to death if
he remained unchanged. It was the season of winter, and the month of
January. Thrusting him away from the ruler’s presence, he [Leithi]
took him to a place called Prasina51, and he commanded him to stand
naked before the tribunal until, he said, he thought further about him.

17. Then, since his [Elias’] constitution was not able to withstand the
icy cold suffering, and as already after the violence of nakedness he
was led away to prison again in the same manner as before, and there
having no comfort or warmth, there the saint suffered in turn and a
great affliction overcame him as part of his martyrdom. His belly was
chilled by the cold and became ill with dysentery and the great

See note no. 46.
Prasinã was most likely the Umayyad palace known as al-KΩadr®’ (“the Green One”)
built in the seventh century by Mu ‘awiya (661-680) and used as a prison by the Abbasids. See
R. Hillenbrand, “La Dolce Vita in Early Islamic Syria: The Evidence of Later Umayyad
Palaces” in Early Islamic Art and Architecture, ed. Jonathan M. Bloom [The Formation of the
Classical Islamic World, vol. 23] (Burlington: 2002) 335; EI 2 art. “Dimashk”: 2:280 N.

endurance of the saint was seen in all things. For his constitution
acted against him and he was outwardly swollen. Those around him
took no heed, and the duration [of his anguish] was neither quick nor
short, but was stretched out to forty days. Carrying him as if he were
dead they tossed him upon any beast of burden they could per chance
get hold of, took him to the courthouse and threw him down as though
he were a loathsome unburied corpse, and none of the faithful dared
approach him. And then the very same prison guards, returning the
saint back to prison again, abandoned him to be submerged into the
very same misery.

18. A claim is made about him [Elias], that on the first of February,
that is one day before the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, that
having died upon that day he went to the Lord. But putting off [the
narration of] the day of his death, we will fill in the remaining [events
of his life].52

19. While the saint was still in prison and exhausted with terrible suf-
ferings, certain individuals were sent by the ruler to prison to the mar-
tyr, intending to deceive him. The emissaries were from the ranks of
the most persuasive Arabs, who induced the great martyr with rheto-
ric and flattery. They demonstrated nothing else other than to prove
the martyr even braver in his suffering. By an incredible miracle the
contender rose up, and in a sudden turn of events by the almighty
God, he girded his own belt and washing his face he sat in prison as
though having suffered nothing, being entirely fresh in the face and
rejoicing in his soul. While he was in this state, the prison guards
arrived and brought the saint, walking in irons, to the tribunal. A man
seeing the saint with a fresh face said to Leithi, “This one has received
food and for this reason he did not take notice of the tortures.” Then
Leithi commanded that after the saint was stripped twelve swords be
presented in the hands of soldiers to surround the contender and the
soldiers to swing them around, as if to terrify the martyr, and seeming
to want to strike him and cut him down. At this point arrived a certain
great old logothete53 sent by the ruler, honored by the entire nation of
the Arabs for his facility in debate. Approaching the saint he encour-

It seems that there is a natural end to the events of Elias’ Life, possibly the end of a short-
er version of the Life upon which the anonymous author expanded to include a more extensive
trial and posthumous miracles of the saint.
It is unclear which exact Arab official title is inferred here for the Byzantine office of
“logothete”, but it seems it must have been some type of senior adviser.

aged him, exhorting him to say only one word and then to be released
to go wherever he pleased. Bringing forth a moneybag filled with
much gold he showed it to the holy martyr saying, “We will provide
you with this as compensation for the maltreatment and tortures
which you suffered. Take it and go.” He [Elias] bent his head forward
and striking [it] with his hand and greatly reviling and blaming the
foolish old man he sent him away.

20. Leithi then said to the saint, “Wretch, behold I have placed around
you clubs and swords surround you. I will not cease beating you with
the clubs and striking you with the swords, until I see you breathing
your last breath, and then cutting your head off I will hang you upon
a cross, and finally, after burning you with fire I will throw [your
corpse] into the river’s current so that there will be no remembrance
of you upon the earth.”54 Leaning toward the ear of one of the soldiers
he commanded him to strike with his sword and to slice at the shoul-
der of the saint, so that (he said) becoming fearful he [Elias] would be
cleared [of the charges] by renouncing his faith. The soldier attacked
him with demonic boldness, and said, raising up his sword, “Wretch,
we have been commanded to cut you down. Say the word and save
yourself.” The saint said nothing, but only through a hand gesture he
assented to be cut to pieces. Bringing down the sword, the soldier
made contact with the saint’s shoulder striking him hard. Then the
saint turned to the East, as if gazing at Christ his judge and bending
his knees and resting both hands upon the earth, he stretched out his
neck. The eparch, angered by the willingness of the saint command-
ed that he be beheaded. Then the sensible ones among the soldiers
withdrew their swords, unwilling to behead the saint because of his
faith, and when the eparch called upon them to strike him [Elias]
down, they arranged payment [among themselves] twenty silver coins
for him who would cut down the saint. One of the Persian [soldiers]
taking this sword with both hands struck at the saint on the neck and
cut him through with the third strike.

21. As the saint lay slaughtered like a lamb, one of the notables came
by who had not yet been informed about the holy neomartyr Elias, and
inquired about the execution. Learning that he was killed for his faith,

Later, in paragraph 25, the reason given for burning Elias’ body is the fear that stories of
his miraculous appearances would spread through the city. Here, however, the anonymous
author includes the burning of the saint’s body as part of the original punishment.

he was amazed, and wanting to see what appearance he might have

had, he bent down and taking hold of the saint’s hair he raised the
saint’s face and turned it toward himself. Behold, he saw the saint’s
face as though he were still alive and it was very radiant. Sighing he
said, “It is a great thing to die for your faith. This one did not die, but
lives.” Then the judge commanded that the body be dragged and hung
outside the gates in the garden. He ordered that the gate of the garden
be closed so that the saint’s body would be guarded securely, so that
none of the Christians would be able to approach and take from it
some kind of blessing. At the same time the executioners washed the
place where he was beheaded and gathering up the soil they threw it
in the great current of the nearby Chrysorrhoes river55. Nevertheless,
the holy neomartyr Elias continued to hang from the cross from the
first of February of the year six thousand two hundred and eighty
seven56 for fourteen days.

22. Nor did the Lord abandon his contender un-rewarded, but glori-
fied him with many manifestations proclaiming his death honorable.
And many narrated afterward the things they witnessed. While he was
still hanging from the cross, some said they saw a radiant lamp shin-
ing brightly over his head, while others [said they saw] a most bril-
liant star, greatest in relation to the circle of the moon, which had
never before appeared, except since the time when the holy body of
the young neomartyr was hung at that place. As some others relate,
even until now this same star appears at that place during the same
time of the year, at the very place of the holy burial of the saint57,
demonstrating and reminding us that “the death of his saints is honor-
able before the Lord”58.

23. And another native of Helioupolis, known to the holy great mar-
tyr, who had not yet learned of the fate that befell the saint, went down
to Damascus for business purposes. While on the road near or little
more than fifteen markers from the metropolis he saw the holy great

Chrysorrhoas/Barad®, a perennial river flowing from the eastern slopes of Anti-Lebanon
through the northern section of Damascus. EI 2 art., “Barad®”: 1:1029-1030 N. Elisseéf.
The year 6287 corresponds with the year 779 of the Byzantine era and the year 795 of the
Alexandrian era. See our comments in the Introduction.
The statement that a star appeared annually at the place of Elias’ “burial” is problematic,
as there was no official resting place for the saint—after being subjected to fire his remains
were thrown into the river Barad® and recovered only in part by some faithful Christians.
Psalm. 115: 6.

martyr Elias coming before him, alone, dressed in white clothing and
illuminated by radiant glory and riding on a white horse. The saint
said to his fellow countryman, “Greetings, dear friend.” Turning, the
countryman said, “Master Elias?” The saint responded, “It is I.” The
countryman said, “Indeed, had you not addressed me first, I would not
have recognized you. For I see you are in a different station and posi-
tion from the one I knew in the past. Will you then come to us at the
village as was your habit to make our ploughs in accordance with your
profession as a carpenter?” Then the saint said, “Enter Damascus and
there you will be told about my affairs.” And immediately the saint
disappeared. Astounded the countryman went away amazed at how he
saw the saint, and how he had immediately disappeared. At any rate,
reaching the gate outside Damascus, he turned toward the cross of the
saint and recognized him hanging. He asked some locals whom he
encountered there leaving the city, and said. “Brothers, is this not
Elias from Helioupolis, the carpenter?” They responded, “Yes, it is he,
and after having suffered many things for Christ for days he was exe-
cuted and hung as you see.” Then the countryman shouted out with
amazement, “By God, who sanctified him [Elias], today, two hours
ago, I encountered him face to face sitting on a horse draped in white
clothing and he said these words to me.”

24. While the conversation was still taking place he saw some of the
faithful passing by and bowing down their heads before the saint’s
cross, and sealing their faces with the sign of the cross. One of them
arriving there and learning about the countryman’s experience, nar-
rated that, “I, too, will tell you what God has revealed yesterday, glo-
rifying his young holy great martyr. I am a neighbor of a certain Arab,
and during the night I heard my neighbor calling upon his household
and saying in the language of the Arabs, ‘Get up and see what these
Christians are doing to the executed and crucified one.’ And raising up
his household made inquiries to learn what had happened. And he
said, ‘I had been looking out of the window for some time and I saw
that the Christians had hung a great lighted chandelier above the head
of the crucified one, and after gathering up their priests and monks
they have assembled choirs around his cross and they were chanting
singing hymns of his trials. But I also saw Elias himself chanting with
the choirs of children and addressing them. And the executed one
chanted along with the choirs as if he were living. This is not a trick
of the Christians, but [was accomplished by] the power of God, who
is showing us that this executed one has achieved great glory having
been killed for his faith.’ Then while the Arab was narrating these

things to his household, he leaned out to see and could no longer see
anything. Coming to his senses he said, ‘Verily, it is not possible these
were deceits of men, since the surrounding guards prevent any man
from approaching day or night.’”

25. Then the Arab went to Leithi, the eparch of the city, and narrated
[the events] secretly. He, upon hearing the story commanded, that
before the story of these visions spread, the saint’s body should be
taken down from the cross and burned with fire, so, he said, that
Christians may not take it and build churches and perform feasts cel-
ebrating his memory. Then the guards took down the body of the saint
and splitting the wood of his cross and laying it underneath, then plac-
ing the body upon it, and placing above it other flammable wood they
set it on fire. And the flame rose up to a great height in the sky, but
the most sacred body remained unburned, I think because of the say-
ing written by David, “The just shouted out and the Lord listened to
them”59, and “The Lord guards all their bones, not one of them will be
shattered.”60 But the shameless ones, sinning badly, placed another
heap of firewood, greater than the first, and the flame on the one hand
rising up to the sky was enveloped in the conflagration, while on the
other hand the body was preserved as were the bodies of the three
holy children in the furnace (for neither did this one venerate an out-
door phantom), as they did not bend their knee to the Persian images.61
Again for the third time the guards threw more than thirty loads of
vine branches in the conflagration, but accomplished nothing new by
doing these things but burning the body only slightly. Later, growing
weary and cutting the body in pieces they threw it in the great current
of the nearby river, so that in this too the martyr could join in chanti-
ng, as David says, “We have been through fire and rain, and you have
taken us out to recover.”62 Then the guards were in amazement.63

Psalm. 33: 18.
Psalm. 33: 21.
cf. Dan. 3: 1-23.
Psalm. 65: 12.
There are some parallels between the martyrdom of Elias and those of Abo of Tiflis,
‘Abd-al Mas¬Ω, Anthony RuwaΩ and Romanos the neomartyr that would be worth exploring
further, especially in determining the hagiographical tradition to which all these stories belong.
The Vita of Abo of Tiflis is found in I. Abuladze, ed., Monuments de la Littérature
Hagiographique Géorgienne Ancienne I et II , vol. 1 (Tbilisi: 1963-67) 46-81. For the vita of
‘Abd-al Mas¬Ω, see the Introduction, note 1. Concerning Anthony RuwaΩ, see P. Peeters, “S.
Antoine le néomartyr”, Analecta Bollandiana 31 (1912) 410-450 and for the life of Romanos
see P. Peeters, “S. Romain le néomartyr (+ 1 mai 780) d’apres un document géorgien”,
Analecta Bollandiana 30 (1911) 393-427. I wish to thank Beate Zielke for the references to
Abo of Tiflis and Anthony RuwaΩ.

26. After this the holy and great martyr appeared to many of the Christ
loving brethren in Damascus revealing to them where some of his
scattered holy limbs, that Christ had preserved, were carried by the
current. Looking carefully for them, they took them and keep them
not openly, but anointing them with perfumed ointment they honor
them in secrecy, so that the saint’s relics may not be consigned again
to obliteration by being recognized. And thereafter the saint exhibited
the great strength of his spiritual energy, having the grace of the Holy
Spirit embedded in his relics and providing cures, and appearing to
those who appeal to this saint. For he fixes his gaze [Elias?] upon his
master and the angel and has the keenest ministering spirit in heaven
sent out for service64. And the lord rejoiced with his service through
visions and appearances. And accordingly, [Elias] “by faith offered”
himself to God as “a greater sacrifice”65 like Abel over Cain, through
tortures and death and fire and water, through which it was witnessed
that he is just, with God himself also witnessing in His gifts that hav-
ing died in faith he [Elias] still speaks. Like each of the saints enu-
merated in chapters in the bible faithfully, we too calling upon him
with faith, will find him an aid in every sorrow, speaking and dissem-
inating grace, and interceding constantly on the behalf of his Christian
co-religionists and fellow servants, in Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom
[is due] glory and power along with the eternal Father and the most
Holy Spirit unto eternity. Amen.

There appears to be a corruption in the transmission of the text at this point based on the
content and structure of this sentence.
cf. Hebr. 11: 4.
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Eric McGeer

“Un empereur doit faire la guerre, comme Basile Ier, ou écrire sur la
guerre, comme Léon VI” — so wrote Paul Lemerle in his essay on the
military encyclopedias produced during the reign of Constantine VII.
True to the example of his father, Constantine saw it as his duty to pro-
mote the revival of military science by collecting and copying treatises
on warfare in its various aspects, yet he also aspired to lead his armies on
campaign in person, in the pattern of his grandfather and founder of his
dynasty. Although Constantine was never to realise his ambition to
accompany his soldiers in the field, his place in the history of Byzantine
military literature is assured, and his reign as sole emperor (945-59)
stands out as the pivotal stage in the wars against the Arabs during the
tenth century. After ousting his Lekapenid co-rulers with the support of
military aristocrats whose fortunes were intertwined with his own, prin-
cipally the members of the Phokas family, Constantine rewarded his
allies by elevating them to the high command and placing the resources
of the empire at their disposal. The regulation of the soldiers’ properties,
the changes in the military administration, the improvements in training,
tactics and equipment, and the increased recruitment of foreign merce-
naries combine with the renewed interest in military theory to demon-
strate the intensification of the Byzantine military effort during the reign
of Constantine VII. At the time of the emperor’s death in November 959,
the Byzantines stood poised to achieve a series of landmark victories —
the recovery of Crete, the conquest of Cilicia, and the capture of Antioch
— which would establish them as the dominant power in the eastern
Mediterranean for the next century.
Byzantine supremacy along the eastern frontiers did not come about
easily or automatically, however. In fact, through much of Constantine’s
reign the Byzantines lurched from one defeat to another, none more glar-
ing than the failure of the expedition sent to take Crete in 949.1 The sting
of this disaster, painful to an emperor who had staked the prestige and
divine sanction of his dynasty on the success of this venture, was com-
pounded by the humiliations visited upon the Byzantines by a new adver-
sary whose rise to power coincided almost exactly with Constantine’s

The lists recording the mobilisation and rates of pay for this expedition have now been
edited by Haldon (2000) 201-352.

assumption of sole authority. This was Sayf al-Dawla, Hamdanid emir of

Aleppo from 944 until his death in 967, reviled in the Greek chronicles
as the ‘foul’ or ‘impious Hamdan,’ who in the spirit of the djihad led
yearly raids into Byzantine territory, seizing booty and prisoners and
scoring some notable successes against the foremost Byzantine com-
manders of the time.2 Much more significant than the material gains and
losses resulting from these campaigns were the reputation and propagan-
da value which the Muslim emir acquired from his exploits against the
infidel, and the corresponding damage to Constantine’s image as the
divinely appointed defender of the Christian realm.3 The Byzantine
response to the challenge posed by Sayf al-Dawla was therefore not con-
fined to the battlefield; it also involved staging triumphs and ceremonies
to promote the aura of imperial victory,4 and bolstering the morale of the
‘host beloved by Christ’ sent forth to fight against a foe singled out as
the archenemy of the Christian faith.
Two harangues attributed to Constantine VII record the appeals and
the incentives, spiritual and worldly, by which the emperor sought to
rouse the martial ardour of his men. Both were composed as circulars to
be read out to the soldiers of the eastern armies, and both refer directly
to Sayf al-Dawla as the enemy they must confront. The first, published
by Hélène Ahrweiler, comes from the early stages of the Byzantine-
Hamdanid conflict when Sayf’s reputation was on the rise.5 The second,
published by Rudolf Vári, was composed at the moment when the tide
had turned decisively in favour of the Byzantines.6 What follows is a
translation and discussion of the two harangues which will set them in
their historical context and explore them as sources for the study of mil-
itary policy and ideology during the reign of Constantine VII.
The two speeches are preserved in a single codex, the Ambrosianus B
119 sup., one of the major collections of military works assembled dur-
ing the tenth and early eleventh centuries.7 The Ambrosianus has been
studied in detail by C.M. Mazzucchi whose analysis clarified a number
of points relating to the origin of the manuscript and the chronology of
Constantine’s speeches.8 From the dedication extolling the military

The course of these wars is traced by Canard (1951) 715-863; Vasiliev (1935-1968) II.1
311-80. The élan and skill of Sayf’s leadership were at their best in the 956 campaign: Howard-
Johnston (1983).
The poems of Mutanabbi memorably convey the drama and spirit of Sayf’s campaigns:
see Canard (1973).
McCormick (1986) 159-78.
Ahrweiler (1967) 393-404 (Greek text on pp. 397-9).
Vári (1908) 75-85 (Greek text on pp. 78-84).
Dain (1967).
Mazzucchi (1978) 276-92, 310-16.

achievements of Basil the parakoimomenos and from the presence of

several works on naval warfare, Mazzucchi concluded that the manu-
script was commissioned by the eunuch and courtier Basil Lekapenos
sometime between his return from his successful eastern campaign in the
autumn of 958 and June of 960, when the large force under Nikephoros
Phokas set sail for Crete, an expedition which the ambitious Basil had
apparently hoped to lead.9 An inventory of the manuscript’s contents
shows that the parakoimomenos had reserved a section for works of mil-
itary oratory. The first is a sixth-century manual known as the Rhetorica
militaris10, which is followed by a collection of military speeches
(Conciones militares) drawn from the ancients (Xenophon, Flavius
Josephus, Herodian), and the two harangues of Constantine VII.11
The attachment of the imperial harangues to this small anthology of
military rhetoric has some bearing on the study of the two speeches, par-
ticularly the second. It is evident that they were included as contempo-
rary models of the protreptikoi logoi, or exhortations, outlined in the
Rhetorica militaris, and therefore underwent slight revisions to give
them the faceless character proper to literary exemplars. In three places
in the second speech, the copyist replaced the name of a Byzantine com-
mander with the elliptic ı de›na (‘so and so’) or a generic plural,12 put-
ting us at one remove (at least) from the oration as composed by
Constantine or drafted for him by an official.13
The art of inciting men to battle is as old as the Iliad, and the power
of oratory to inspire soldiers could be used to great effect by ancient
commanders, as shown by an Alexander or a Caesar.14 The ability to
rouse the courage of their soldiers with the spoken word ranked high
among the desirable attributes of Byzantine generals, who could pad
their repertoires with the pithy sayings and beaux gestes of illustrious

Mazzucchi (1978) 292-5, 302-3; Basil’s interest in the documents pertaining to the 949
expedition is noted by Haldon (2000) 236-8. On Basil’s life and career, see Brokkaar (1972);
Bouras (1989).
Ed. Köchly (1856); see also Dain (1967) 343-4, and Hunger (1978) II 327-8. Only a por-
tion of the text is preserved in the Ambrosianus; the full text is found in the Laurentianus LV,
4, the great military manuscript copied during the reign of Constantine VII. Once thought to
be anonymous, the Rhetorica militaris in fact forms part of a larger work attributed to Syrianus
Magister: see Zuckerman (1990) 209-24 (in which a forthcoming edition of Syrianus’s text is
Dain (1967) 364.
Cf. Mazzucchi (1978) 303-4, esp. note 110.
It is possible that Theodore Daphnopates had a hand in the composition of the second
speech, as the parallels between this work and the final portion of Theophanes continuatus,
which Daphnopates is thought to have written, suggest; see below, note 79.
Alexander the Great’s use of oratory, with its dramatic effects of timing, variation of tone
and emotion, and performance, is discussed by Keegan (1987) 54-9.

commanders recorded in the military handbooks.15 On a more formal

level, as with other branches of rhetoric, the technique of composing and
delivering military orations was well established, following the design
and examples laid out in the aforementioned Rhetorica militaris. The for-
mulaic nature of these set pieces, however, should not obscure the valu-
able function ascribed to them by Byzantine tacticians. The Strategikon
of Maurice (ca. 600) records brief instructions on the ‘useful role’ of the
cantatores, heralds ‘who before the clash of arms should say a few words
of encouragement [tina ... protreptika] reminding the soldiers of previous
victories.’16 The author of the De velitatione (ca. 970) instructs the com-
mander to deliver a speech ‘sweet as honey’ to his men to stir their
courage before they close with the enemy,17 and in his second harangue
Constantine himself praises a commander who made effective use of
‘inspiring speeches’ (logois protreptikois) as he led his forces on a suc-
cessful raid into the regions of Tarsos.18 In a broader sense, the orations
read out to the army also formed, along with acclamations, official salu-
tations, and daily religious rituals, an integral part of the imperial propa-
ganda which affirmed the army’s special status, its loyalty to the emper-
or, and the ideals for which it fought.19
A reading of Constantine’s speeches reveals the influence of the
Rhetorica militaris, a work he certainly knew,20 and of his father Leo VI’s
Taktika (extensively reworked during Constantine’s reign), in which the
contents suitable to an address to soldiers are summarised as follows:

XII. 70. We think that the role of the so-called cantatores is appropri-
ate at the time of battle. These are the men who incite the army with
speeches, offering advice, repeating their message, and summoning it
to battle. Such a task should be performed, if possible, by men from
among the soldiers themselves or their officers. The officers select
those men who are eloquent and capable of addressing the army, for

E.g. Leonis Tactica II.12; Sylloge tacticorum, sections 76-102.
Strategikon II.19, VII A.4.
Dagron, Mihaescu (1986), chapter XXIII.20-31, with comments on 284-6.
The speeches put in the mouths of emperors or commanders lend dramatic effect to the
narratives of campaigns and battles: see Theophanes (Mango and Scott) 436, 439 (recycled in
Theophanes continuatus 478.7-18), 441, 442-3, 448; De Creta capta I.59-70, 73-100, II.140-166, IV.45-52, 54-
; Leo the Deacon 12.5-13.10, 21.12-23, 72.23-74.12, 130.19-131.12. Speeches of Arab leaders to their
men, as recorded in Byzantine sources, make an interesting contrast: Karapli (1993).
Koutrakou (1993) 350-86. The salutation recited by the emperor to his soldiers, recorded
in the third of the three campaign treatises prepared by Constantine, should be taken in con-
nection with our two harangues: Haldon (1990) Text C.466-473, and commentary 284-6.
Constantine recommends that the text of Syrianus Magister, to which the Rhetorica mil-
itaris belonged, be included in the imperial campaign baggage: Haldon (1990) Text C.196-204, and
commentary 210-12.

the sharing of hardship and the toils of war make the listeners more
receptive to fellow soldiers who accompany them.
XII.71 The cantatores should say such words of encouragement as
these to the army facing battle: first, they should remind them of the
reward of faith in God, of the emperor’s benefactions, and of previous
successes; that the battle is for the sake of God and for the love of
Him and for the whole nation; moreover, that it is for their brethren of
the same faith and, as it may be, for their wives and children and their
fatherland; that the memory of those who earn distinction in wars for
the freedom of their brethren remains eternal; that this struggle is
against the enemies of God, and that we have God as our ally, Who
holds the power to decide the outcome, whereas the enemy, as unbe-
lievers, have Him set against them; and thinking of anything else in a
similar vein, [the cantatores] should stimulate morale. This sort of
address, delivered at the right moment, can rouse spirits mightily,
more than any amount of money can.

These themes all appear, in greater or lesser measure, in both of

Constantine’s circulars, shaped to the circumstances of the moment. He
was also the heir to the distinction his father had drawn half a century
earlier between the Christian empire and the realm of Islam, now mani-
fest in the struggle between the heroic defenders of Christian Byzantium
and the forces of Sayf al-Dawla along the eastern frontiers.21 Yet despite
the derivative character of the two harangues, they are more than mere
rhetorical exercises or a pastiche of clichés. They refer to contemporary
events, they bear witness to the changes in Byzantine military policy dur-
ing the 950s, and they shed light on the question of morale and motiva-
tion in the armies of the time. Most importantly, they display the image
which Constantine VII — an emperor ever mindful of the precariousness
of imperial power and succession — sought to promote among his sol-
diers, and how he hoped to translate military success into confirmation
of the divinely sanctioned legitimacy of his dynasty.

We come now to the translations of the texts themselves.22 The first

harangue can be divided into five main sections:

On these and other passages of the Taktika, and Leo VI’s reaction to the Arabs, see
Dagron (1983), esp. 224-32; Dagron, Mihaescu (1986) 161-2, 284-6.
I have taken into account the (minor) corrections made to Ahrweiler’s Greek text by
Mazzucchi (1978) 296 note 83, and by Sevcenko (1992) 187 note 49 (who also lists correc-
tions to Vári’s edition of the second harangue). I wish to thank Alice-Mary Talbot and Paul
Magdalino for reviewing the translations and suggesting a number of improvements.

1) introduction praising the army’s recent victories which have won

fame throughout the empire;
2) exhortation to the soldiers, emboldened by their victories and by
their faith in Christ, to fight even more eagerly against the enemies
of God;
3) dismissal of Sayf’s boasts and posturing as a bluff concealing his
fear and weakness in the wake of his defeat;
4) expression of the emperor’s longing to be with his soldiers in per-
son, among the truly virtuous and worthy;
5) administration of an oath to imperial officials to submit accurate
reports of the army’s actions and to identify the soldiers and offi-
cers deserving of rewards.

Ahrweiler proposed that the speech should be dated to the years 952-3,
but Mazzucchi’s arguments for an earlier dating must be accepted.23 The
recent (pr≈hn) triumphs over the Hamdanids which the emperor lauds in
section 1 are without question those achieved by Leo Phokas, strategos
of Cappadocia, during the spring and summer of that year. The first was
his assault on the small fortress of Buqa when he succeeded in taking
Nasir al-Dawla prisoner and inflicting heavy losses on the enemy; the
second, and more spectacular feat of arms, came in October 950 when
Phokas’s forces ambushed Sayf al-Dawla’s army as it returned laden with
plunder from a raid into Byzantine territory.24 These achievements were
all the more praiseworthy since they offset the failure of the expedition
to Crete the year before, but for our purposes it is significant to note that
the Byzantines initially chose to exploit their success not with military
action but with the prompt offer of a truce and exchange of prisoners.
This offer, however, was defiantly refused by Sayf, who vowed instead
to avenge his defeat by resuming his raids into the realm of the infidel
with even greater zeal.25 This truculent rejection of terms, raising the
prospect of further defensive campaigns against Sayf, lies behind
Constantine’s lengthy disparagement of the Hamdanid emir’s bluster and
theatrics in section 3 (roughly a quarter of the speech), which follows the
appeals to his soldiers in section 2 to return to the struggle against the
enemy with the confidence derived from their victory and their hope in
Christ. The correspondence between this sequence of events and the con-
tents of the speech places its composition and delivery late in the year 950.

Mazzucchi (1978) 296-8.
Canard (1951) 763-70; Vasiliev (1935-68) II.1 341-6; Dagron, Mihaescu (1986) 301-6.
Mutanabbi’s poems recounting the 950 disaster are replete with Sayf’s promises of
revenge: Vasiliev (1935-68) II.2 308-14.
Theophanes continuatus 271.1-2, Skylitzes 137.55-6 (Basil I); Leo the Deacon 53.19-54.4.

Commanders returning from campaign held reviews before disband-

ing their armies to take stock of their manpower and equipment, to
apportion plunder, and to confer promotion and rewards for valour. Basil
I had conducted such ceremonies, and the historian Leo the Deacon
records that at the end of the 964 campaign, Nikephoros Phokas brought
his army back to Cappadocia and dismissed the soldiers with gifts and
rewards, bidding them return in the spring with their weapons and hors-
es in good condition.26 We may assume that Constantine’s speech was
read out in a similar scene, as the soldiers disbanded for the winter and
received instructions on their mobilisation for the campaign the follow-
ing spring.


1. As I receive word of the surpassing renown of your exploits, men,
I do not know what words of praise from the emperor’s tongue I shall
now fashion for you. What great things I have heard about you, and
what great tidings have been brought back to me through the reports
of my faithful servants, for they have given me accurate information,
they have given me a true account of your valour, the amount of
courage, the amount of zeal, the amount of spirit you have displayed
against the enemy, and how you were embroiled in combat not as if
against men but as if triumphing over feeble women, succeeding not
as in battle or in war, but rather dealing with them as though it were
child’s play, even though they were mounted on horses whose speed
made them impossible to overtake,28 even though they were protected
by equipment unmatched in strength, equipment unmatched in crafts-
manship, and lacked nothing at all of those things which bring secu-
rity and cause astonishment. But since they were without the one
paramount advantage, by which I mean hope in Christ, all of their
advantages were reduced to nothing and were in vain. And so, saith
the Lord, their carcasses were for an example on the face of the field,
like grass after the mower, and there was none to gather them29. With
confidence in this hope, and after entrusting your souls to it, you have
set up such trophies as these against the enemy, you have striven for
such victories as these, which have reached every corner of the world,
and have made you famous not only in your native lands but also in

The title and first letter are missing in the manuscript, for reasons explained by
Mazzucchi (1978) 303-4.
The great speed of the horses ridden by the Bedouin was frequently remarked upon by
Byzantine observers: cf. McGeer (1995) 238-42.
Jeremiah 9: 22

every city. Now your wondrous deeds are on every tongue, and every
ear is roused to hear of them.
2. I still want you men, my peculiar people30, my strength and my
indomitable might, emboldened by this faith, to fight against the
enemy more eagerly than before. I know without a doubt that you will
fight more eagerly, for the very nature of affairs teaches me. The man
who has engaged his adversary and won does not afterwards regard
him as he did before but, once having dispelled all the fear31 which
troubled him before the trial, he goes to the attack with great boldness
against an opponent now clearly perceived for what he is. All the
more so with regard to the enemy — we know that they will not come
back with the same zeal now that they have sampled your bravery, but
will hold back and look warily, and they will guard against suffering
the same fate as before. What now inspires courage in you assuredly
drives fear into them. Therefore have no fear, my men, have no fear,
fill your souls with zeal and show the enemy who rely on the help of
Beliar or Muhammad what those who put their faith in Christ can
accomplish. Be the avengers and champions not only of Christians but
of Christ Himself, Whom they wickedly deny. What then? Do men
know that those who fight on their behalf are rewarded, and will
Christ not stretch forth His hand to those girded for battle against His
foes? He is our ally, men, Who alone is strong and mighty in battle32,
Whose sword is sharpened like lightning33, Whose weapons are drunk
with the blood34 of those set against Him, Who breaks bows35 and
makes strong cities a heap36, Who brings low the eyes of the over-
weening37 and teaches the hands of those who hope in Him to war38,
makes their arms as a brazen bow, and gives to them the shield of His
salvation39. And so let us put all our hope in Him, and instead of our
whole panoply let us arm ourselves with His cross, equipped with
which you have lately made the fierce soldiers of the Hamdanid the
victims of your swords, and the others whom, like the Egyptians long
ago, you consigned to the waters40.

Exodus 19: 5
Reading ëpan tÚ d°ow ˜ prÚ t∞w pe¤raw.
Psalm 23: 8 (LXX)
Deuteronomy 32: 41
Deuteronomy 32: 42
Psalm 75: 3 (LXX)
Isaiah 25: 2
Isaiah 5: 15
Psalm 17: 30, 34 (LXX)
Psalm 17: 34-35 (LXX)
The accounts of the 950 campaign record that the last phase of the battle took place along
the shores of Lake al-Hadat.

3. We have heard that the men whom the foul Hamdanid had, the ones
in whom he invested his hopes, were his whole arm and might. You
who have so easily routed those so brave, how will you appear to the
ones left behind who are unfit for war, who are utterly terrified and
intimidated? The words of the holy Isaiah are not inappropriate to
them, they that are left shall be as a fleeing fawn, and as a stray
sheep, he says41. In truth, the Hamdanid has no power. Do not believe
in his skills and wiles — he is afraid42, he is devious, and without a
reliable force, in mortal fear of your onslaught and driven back head-
long by it, he is trying to put fear in your minds with ruses and decep-
tions. One moment he proclaims that another force is on its way to
him and that allies have been despatched from elsewhere, or that from
another quarter a vast sum of money has been sent to him, while at
other times he has exaggerated rumours spread about for the conster-
nation of his listeners. All of this is the product of a deeply frightened
mind, not of a confident one, for if he were truly confident he would
not resort to these tricks and ruses. Now that he is at a loss for real
strength, he is falling back on artful devices. Do you not see how the
king of beasts, the lion, on account of his innate superiority, knows no
ruses nor devises tricks? Laying aside such worthless trifles, and con-
fident in his natural strength, he goes straight for his adversary. The
fox, by contrast, and cowardly creatures like him who lack true
strength, seeks refuge in cunning, hunts with craft, and with craft tries
to escape being hunted. Were it possible to look into the mind of the
Hamdanid, then you would see how much cowardice, how much fear
oppresses it, and how as he hears of your power and regards your
onslaught with apprehension, he knows not what will become of him
and where to turn, even though he is putting up a bold and confident
front. And so do not let these actions trouble you43, my people, pay no
heed to his theatrics, but with confidence in Christ rise up against the
foe. You know how virtuous it is to fight on behalf of Christians, and
how much glory the man who does so achieves for himself. This is more
profitable than all wealth44, more praiseworthy that all other honour.
4. What great yearning possesses me, what great desire inflames my
soul, I am now consumed by the matter, I dream of those days, I
would much prefer to don my breastplate and put my helmet on my
head, to brandish my spear in my right hand and to hear the trumpet

Isaiah 13: 11.
Reading deilÒw for deinÒw.
Reading mØ taËta oÔn Ímçw.
Reading pantÚw ploÊtou kerdale≈teron.

calling us to battle, than to put on the crown and the purple, to wield
the sceptre, and to hear the imperial acclamations. For the latter are
given by God in the ways that He knows, and often to those who are
not worthy, whereas the former are for those only who love virtue, for
those only who esteem glory before pleasure. It is not for no reason
that I have sent out my officials to these places, but because I wanted
to use them as my eyes. I shall now bind them with an oath and turn
my address to them.
5. I therefore administer this oath to you in the name of God and upon
our person and life, that you will esteem nothing before our love, or
to say it better, before goodness and truth, but that you will inform
Our Majesty about all events, just as each of you has the virtue and
will to do. Better yet, you will keep written records, so that when you
come here you may tell us, in order that we will look with favour upon
the men and deem them worthy of our praises and rewards. The strat-
egoi who command the smaller themes will be transferred to larger
ones45, while the strategoi of larger themes will be honoured with
gifts and other recompense, whereas the commanders of the tagmata
and other units who fight courageously will be rewarded in proportion
to their deeds, some to become tourmarchs, others kleisourarchs or
topoteretai. Not only these men, but also the rest, members of the
common soldiery who display the traits of valour, will receive their
due reward46. But we who now receive information through you about
each soldier will soon not have you or any other witness to these men,
but our eyes alone, and when we are present in person and beholding
for ourselves the valour of each man, we will ourselves present
awards to the combatants47.

The victory which prompted Constantine’s harangue had restored much

needed prestige to his régime, and it appears to have been exploited for

In other words, the commanders of the small frontier zones, known as the “Armenian
themes” (first attested during Constantine’s reign), will be promoted to command of the larg-
er, long established themes lying to the interior. On this new distinction between “large” and
“small” themes, see Oikonomides (1972) 345-6; Haldon (1990) 251.
The novel of Nikephoros Phokas dealing with the Armenian themes refers to abandoned
military lands being given as rewards to soldiers who had distinguished themselves in battle:
McGeer (2000) 86-9. Other rewards will have included cash donatives, promotions, gifts, and
the division of spoils: Haldon (1984) 307-18, 328-37, and note 1016.
The gifts bestowed by the emperor and the protocol of such an occasion can be
inferred from a passage in the third of Constantine’s three campaign treatises: Haldon
(1990) Text C.502-511.

its propaganda value far out of proportion to its actual gains.48 It also kin-
dled the emperor’s desire to take part in a military expedition, as he
declares in the concluding portion of his address, and thus to emulate his
grandfather Basil I who had led his armies to victory against the
Paulicians and Arabs in the campaigns recounted in the Vita Basilii.
Commentators have tended to take Constantine’s declaration as more
wishful than realistic; but one purpose of this paper will be to demon-
strate that he fully intended to go on a campaign when the right opportu-
nity presented itself.49 Subsequent events were to conspire against the
emperor’s reprise of dynastic glory, however, for the promise of Leo
Phokas’s victory soon evaporated as Sayf al-Dawla made good his
threats and went on to enjoy his greatest period of success between 951
and 956.50 Yet Constantine did not renounce his ambition to accompany
his army on campaign. As we shall see, he would revive this project in
his second harangue.
Ironically enough, the nearly unbroken string of triumphs won by
Sayf during the early 950s proved to be his undoing. A recent paper by
Jonathan Shepard has shown how the aims and methods of Byzantine
policy along the eastern frontiers shifted during the reign of Constantine
VII.51 The emperor initially pursued a policy that was defensive in pur-
pose, directed primarily towards the regions of the Caucasus and the
Armenian principalities controlling strategic areas along the upper
Euphrates, and designed to deny passage to Arab raiders seeking to break
into central Anatolia. Only when the raids of Sayf al-Dawla proved too
much for local Byzantine defensive forces to handle, and when his
intransigence ruled out a diplomatic rapprochement, did Constantine
decide to turn the full might of his armies against the Hamdanids and
their bases along the southeastern frontiers. The transition which Shepard
traces, from a policy of containment to one of outright conquest, is
reflected in our two speeches. Where the first was addressed to a local
theme commander and his men in recognition of a successful defensive
action, the second is to an army rigorously selected and trained for offen-
sive operations, reinforced by units transferred from the western
provinces of the empire and by contingents of foreign mercenaries, and

Cf. the triumphant note struck in the poem composed for Romanos II in 950, in light of
Leo Phokas’s recent victories: Odorico (1987) 68-9, 76-80, 91-2, and the comments of
Sevcenko (1992) 170 note 8.
It was at about this time that Constantine began to assemble the materials for his second
treatise on imperial expeditions to the east: Haldon (1990) 52-3.
Canard (1951) 770-93.
Shepard (2001); see also idem (2002).

succoured from on high through the prayers of holy men and the miracle-
working power of the most sacred relics. It displays the full deployment
of the empire’s military strength for a war in which the aims were no less
than the subjugation and annexation of the Muslim territories in Cilicia
and northern Syria.
The following summary will help to establish the background of the
second harangue and its points of interest:

1) introduction expressing the emperor’s desire to address and inspire

his soldiers, his children with whom he is united in body and soul;
2) his appointment of loyal, competent commanders to select and
train the most courageous soldiers for the coming expedition;
3) the emperor’s joy that the army is now ready for battle, and his
solicitation of prayers from monks and holy men for the soldiers’
4) earlier successes owed more to chance than to courage, but this
select body of men is urged to display its valour to the imperial
officials accompanying the army;
5) the emperor’s readiness to bring his son on a future campaign
should inspire the soldiers, as should a series of recent successes
against the Hamdanids and their allies;
6) the soldiers are urged to show their courage and martial prowess to
the foreign contingents present in the ranks;
7) the emperor encourages a spirit of comradeship between the sol-
diers of the eastern and western armies brought together for this
8) the emperor’s love for his soldiers, his despatch of holy water sanc-
tified by contact with the True Cross and relics of the Passion, and
his prayers for the army’s safe conduct and return.

The events leading up to the occasion for which the speech was com-
posed can be retraced from a number of allusions in sections 2, 4, and 5.
The remarks on the undeserved successes of earlier years and the purge
of the army’s ranks noted in section 4 hearken back to Constantine’s dis-
missal of Bardas Phokas after the rout of the Byzantine army at the bat-
tle of Hadat in October 954 and his promotion of Nikephoros Phokas to
supreme command in 955. The Greek chronicles all record the swift revi-
talisation of the army under Nikephoros’s direction, which brought a
series of impressive victories during the late 950s, in contrast to its dis-
mal performance under the incompetent Bardas.52 The painstaking

Theophanes continuatus 459.13-460.12; Skylitzes 241.4-18; Zonaras III 492.15-493.13; see also
Dagron, Mihaescu (1986) 275-80.

process of selection and training of the soldiers to which Constantine

refers throughout sections 2 to 4 is fully in keeping with the methods
employed by Nikephoros to develop battleworthy armies, as is the
increasingly conspicuous presence of foreign soldiers in the the army’s
ranks, a feature noted by contemporary Greek and Arab observers alike.53
References in sections 5 and 7 to recent military activities can be col-
lated with contemporary sources to bring the background of the harangue
into sharper focus.54 Two of the campaigns mentioned, a foray into the
region of Tarsos led by Basil Hexamilites and an expedition to southern
Italy led by Marianos Argyros, took place in the year 956;55 reference to
a more recent campaign clarifies the date and occasion of the speech. At
the end of section 5, Constantine extols ‘the host despatched a short
while ago to Mesopotamia with the patrikios so-and-so’ which inflicted
a crushing defeat on the Hamdanid force sent to oppose it. The com-
mander in question was John Tzimiskes, who as patrikios and strategos
of Mesopotamia took an army into the area of Amida in June of 958 and
routed an enemy force commanded by Sayf al-Dawla’s lieutenant Naja
al-Kasaki.56 Later that summer, a second Byzantine army under the com-
mand of the parakoimomenos Basil Lekapenos joined Tzimiskes’s forces
for an assault on Samosata. This combined army took the town in less
than a day, and went on to annihilate another Hamdanid force, led this
time by Sayf himself, near the fortress of Raban in October or November
of 958.57 As Mazzucchi noted, the emperor’s commendation of his ‘most
worthy servants’ (yerãpontew, in section 2) is a generic plural masking
the original reference to Basil Lekapenos. It was upon receiving word of
Tzimiskes’s successful operations in June, and as Lekapenos’s forces
prepared to embark on the second phase of the campaign in August or
September, that Constantine sent his address to be read to the soldiers
under the command of the parakoimomenos.
The setting of the second harangue does much to account for its
impassioned tone, for the sense that the decisive moment is now at hand
pervades the speech and lends the emperor’s appeals an urgency and
anticipation not found in the first harangue. The contrast begins with the
structure of the piece which, with its introductory greeting, selection and
elaboration of Scriptural passages, and concluding doxology, follows the
pattern of a homily and presents the emperor in a more exalted relation
to his soldiers. Where in the first harangue Constantine had addressed his

See below, note 81.
The discussion follows Mazzucchi (1978) 299-303, esp. notes 102 and 110.
See below, note 83.
Vasiliev (1935-68) II.1 362-4; Canard (1951) 793-6.
Theophanes continuatus 461.9-462.4.

men as ‘my peculiar people’ (Exodus 19: 5), an appellation likening the
special status of the army with the covenant between God and the people
of Israel,58 he forges closer bonds of unity and kinship between army and
emperor in the second. Beginning with a citation from John 3: 16 (‘for
God so loved the world...’) Constantine goes on to declare that out of
love for his soldiers he gives to them his whole being, mixes his flesh and
blood with theirs, and considers his body and soul one with theirs. His
words recall a number of passages in the New Testament, such as
Ephesians 5: 30 (‘for we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of
His bones’), Romans 12: 4-5 (‘for as we have many members in one
body ... so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one mem-
bers of another’), and the lengthier passage in I Corinthians 12: 12-27
which portrays Christ as one body whose parts are all the Christians, and
expresses the unity of the parts acting in harmony for the good of the
whole. Speaking as Christ’s regent on earth, Constantine frames his
address in terms emphasizing the parallel between Christ and Christians,
emperor and army, and enjoining the army as an aggregate of different
parts to strive as one body for the same goal. His appeal to the soldiers
as his ‘beloved children’ echoes the words of Paul, who addressed the
Corinthians in the same way, and reinforces the image of the soldiers
being the emperor’s flesh and blood; but it also confers upon him the
paternal authority to admonish them as his sons, to reassure them of his
concern for their welfare, and to expect their obedience.
In his role as sovereign and father, Constantine is at pains to assure
his men that he has done all humanly possible to secure their success on
the battlefield, and that his officials have faithfully carried out his
instructions to prepare a select force made up of proven soldiers and offi-
cers. His efforts, however, have not been restricted to earthly measures,
for his solicitude has also led him to invoke the aid of higher tutelary
powers through the prayers of monks and holy men. Imperial requests for
prayers are are found in official correspondence, such as the following
letter attributed to Symeon the magistros and addressed to the monastic
communities of Olympos, Kyminas, Latros, and Athos.59 The letter solic-
its the monks’ prayers for the armies gathering for battle against Sayf al-
Dawla, and is worth presenting in full:

Koutrakou (1993) 416; see also Haldon (1990) Text C.453-454, and commentary 242-3.
Darrouzès (1960) 146-7; although the editor puts this letter between 963 and 967, it must
surely date from Constantine’s reign. By 963 the Byzantines were pounding at Sayf’s gates,
not the other way around, as the situation is presented in Symeon’s letter. Another letter seek-
ing prayers for a force on its way to Calabria (idem 148) may refer to Marianos Argyros’s expe-
dition in 956: see below, note 83.

I know that I have become a provider of toils and troubles to you, my

most honoured fathers, writing continually and enjoining you to offer
prayers and entreaties to the Lord. But when this labour is for the
safety of Christians, I am sure that it is not an unwelcome task but one
you perform with pleasure. Since we have once again been informed
that an expedition of the impious Hamdan is now at our gates and that
our armies, with the help of God, are about to confront him in battle,
we call upon your piety to raise your holy hands to God with greater
earnest and to entreat His goodness not to turn His eyes away from
His people nor on account of our sins to allow the impious to defile
His holy name, but to remember his compassions, for they are from
everlasting and to strengthen his chosen people, so that again He may
be glorified upon the rash and hostile soul of Pharaoh and we may
sing a hymn of victory and a song of thanksgiving to thy name glori-
fied for eternity. We have at the same time written to the most holy
and divinely beloved metropolitan of Kyzikos so that he too may
direct you to offer your devout prayers and entreaties on behalf of

The supplication of divine intercession through the prayers of monks and

holy men is but one aspect of the spiritual comforts the emperor sought
to provide for his army. In his first harangue Constantine had called upon
his soldiers to place their hope in Christ and ‘to arm themselves with His
cross’. The cross was, of course, the pre-eminent symbol of salvation and
victory, the stavros nikopoios long cherished by Byzantine armies, and it
had particular relevance for Constantine VII whose dynastic propaganda
emphasized his association with Constantine the Great.60 But the power
of the cross and the presence of Christ, abstract in the first speech, are
now communicated physically to the soldiers by the emperor’s despatch
of holy water sanctified by contact with the fragments of the True Cross
and the relics of the Passion. The combination is significant, since the
symbol of imperial victory was now accompanied by the symbols of the
triumph over death and the redemption from sin. The soldiers were to be
anointed with the holy water to ‘invest them with divine power from on
high’ and to ‘furnish them with confidence and might and domination
against the enemy’, in other words, to strengthen them in body and soul
and to protect them in battle.61

Cheynet (1993); Luzzi (1991); Markopoulos (1994); Thierry (1981).
On the translation and use of relics in this period, see Mergiali-Sahas (2001); Kalavrezou
(1994), James (2001), Flusin (1999), and Barker (1993). See also McCormick (1986) 237-52,
on the rituals of purification before battle.

The list of Passion relics which Constantine gives in his harangue is

of particular interest. It comes nearly two centuries before the invento-
ries of relics in pilgrim itineraries and other sources begin to appear,62
and it is the first list to identify a set of relics which at an unknown time,
and in unknown circumstances, were grouped with the True Cross and
the Lance, both known to have been transferred to Constantinople in the
early seventh century. As to the location of the relics mentioned in the
speech, we know from the De cerimoniis that by the mid-tenth century
three fragments of the True Cross were kept in the palatine chapel of the
Theotokos tou Pharou.63 Where the other relics were kept at this time is
not stated, but as the Mandylion was deposited in the chapel of the
Pharos upon its arrival in Constantinople in 944, it is most likely that the
Passion relics were stored there.
The gift of holy water is also offered in compensation for the emper-
or’s absence. As a final incentive to his men, however, Constantine
announces that success in the coming expedition will prepare the way for
him and his son to accompany the army on a future campaign ‘as fellow
cavalrymen, fellow infantrymen, and comrades in arms.’ He thus reiter-
ates the promise made in his first harangue, but I would argue that the
favourable military situation and the accompaniment of his son, co-
emperor, and heir Romanos, now of an age to go on campaign, set the
stage for the realisation of a grander purpose. The Vita Basilii records
that Basil I took his eldest son and heir Constantine with him on the
expedition to Syria in 878 so as to instruct the young man in the art of
war and to inure him to the hardships of campaigning. The account of the
campaign goes on to list the towns and fortresses brought under imperi-
al control, and concludes with the triumph celebrated by Basil and
Constantine upon their return to the City.64 This triumph is described at
length in the third treatise on imperial expeditions, composed about the
year 95865, and appears to have furnished the script which Constantine
wished to follow upon returning with his son from a tour of the frontier
in his grandfather’s footsteps. The first triumph held in Constantinople

Cf. the studies of the contemporary Limburg Staurothek by Sevcenko (1994), Bouras
(1989), and Koder (1989). The most recent survey of the relics of the True Cross and of the
Passion in Constantinople is in Durand, Lafitte (Paris: 2001) 20-36; see also Gould (1981)
Haldon (1990) Text C.487, with comments on the protocol for display of the True Cross in
military processions, 245-7 (with further references); on the Theotokou tou Pharou, see
Jenkins, Mango (1956); Janin (1969) 232-6; Kalavrezou (1994) 55-7.
Theophanes continuatus 277.18-279.13; see also Lemerle (1973) 104-10.
Haldon (1990) Text C.724-807, with commentary 268-85; see ibid. 52-3 for the date of the trea-
tise. The problem of legitimation was not unknown to Basil I: see McCormick (1986) 152-7.

during Constantine’s reign was staged largely to prop up the sagging rep-
utation of his dynasty; another celebrated the combined achievements of
Tzimiskes and Lekapenos in 958;66 but a triumphal entry of his own
would have made manifest the divine sanction of his rule and, much
more importantly, helped to secure the succession of Romanos.
Constantine was old and infirm by 958, and as events were to prove, not
long for this world. The spectre of assassination, regency, usurpation,
and palace coups which hung over his dynasty could hardly have set his
mind at ease as he contemplated the prospects for his own son’s uncon-
tested accession to power. Now, on the brink of success against the
Muslim archenemy, the opportunity beckoned to go to war at the head of
his army and to embody the legitimating principle of imperial victory.
That Constantine did in fact intend to go to Syria in 959, an intention
which the victories won by Tzimiskes and Lekapenos could only have
affirmed, is supported by evidence from three sources.67 But as the dirge
composed for the emperor laments, ‘I set my foot upon strange ground ...
and right away I must begin an even stranger journey’ — death inter-
vened on 9 November 959, and his plans to lead his armies on campaign
came to nothing.


1. To speak to you often, even without a proper occasion, is my heart’s
desire and dear to me, just as to be deprived of conversing with you is
in my judgement distressing and painful. For I do not so love and
cherish my soldiers and deem you worthy of every address and salu-
tation as not to carry out this very act in writing to you, whom the sole
eternal and immortal sovereign has in His boundless compassion
granted to me as my legacy, a host assembled by God, and the most
excellent share of the lordly inheritance; but to exhort your good will
and obedience with my tongue is most pleasing of all to me and eager-
ly sought, while to teach and instruct you in the art of war through my
words, and, as to courage, to make those so inclined more brave, and
to inspire the more sluggish and to rouse them to boldness and hardi-
ness is familiar to me and has become more pleasing than all enjoy-
ment and all delight. The sacred words of the holy Gospel, wishing to
express the greatness of God the Father’s love for mankind, say For
God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son68 unto

McCormick (1986) 159-67.
Skylitzes 246.66-247.83; McGeer (2000) 82-5; Sevcenko (1969-70) 213, 214, 221.
John 3: 16.

death, whereas I give not my only begotten son but my whole being,
in body and soul, and I link and mix my flesh with your flesh and my
bones with your bones, and I consider each one of my limbs united
with and of common origin with you, and my very soul, one though it
is, I distribute and divide among all of you, and I want my host assem-
bled to be made animate and to be brought alive by me in the part that
is mine. Children, whom I have begotten through the Gospel69 and
implanted in the inheritance of God70, whom God has raised to matu-
rity and brought to the full measure of youthful vigour, accept the
present exhortation issued to you from the very depth of my soul and
the hidden chambers of my heart. For my heart and my flesh, in the
words of the psalmist David among the prophets, hath rejoiced
exceedingly71 in you. How indeed could one not exult and rejoice and
be gladdened when God has bestowed upon His inheritance such
armies, such a courageous and valiant host, such champions and
defenders of the Byzantines? Many times through written memoranda
have we roused you to courage, very often have we given you our
guidance, yet we have no surfeit of communication with you. Why is
that? In our wish to present the zeal and ardour and warmth of our
yearning for you, we do not take this moment lightly, as not to take up
the wings of a dove and to come to rest72 among you, and to display
our affection for you.
2. Now, as if unsatisfied with our previous endeavours and judging
them meagre in comparison to the fiery heat of our love for you, we
have despatched to you these men, whom we have come to regard as
the more excellent of our servants, the most obedient, the most loyal,
the most worthy, distinguished by wisdom and experience, and held
by us in greater esteem than the others, so that you can see that after
wrenching them away from the seat of our affections and our heart we
have set them over you as your leaders and commanders.73 Their first
task is to pick out the most courageous and valiant among you and to
separate these men from the others so that your virtue will not remain
unnoticed and unremarked because the cowardice of the latter has
overshadowed and obscured your courage, and they will replace them
with the men whom they choose. With this kind of preparation, selec-
tion, toil, and painstaking effort, let them bring our Christ-loving tag-

cf. I Corinthians 4: 14-15.
cf. Exodus 15: 17.
cf. Psalm 15: 9 (LXX)
cf. Psalm 54: 6 (LXX)
Generic plurals covering the original reference to Basil Lekapenos.

mata and themata to a stronger and better state, so that by their repute
alone they will intimidate their adversary.
3. Since we have learned through despatches from the same most
illustrious men and our most worthy attendants that in accordance
with my command, or rather in accordance with the inclination and
influence of God, they have already rejected all that is useless and
unsuited to war, while the valiant and serviceable element that bears
the brunt of battle they have selected and set aside for combat, that
they have exercised all their diligence and care, and unceasing toil,
with regard to your battle order and worthiness, and that these ser-
vants of Our Majesty are about to take you, now that you are equipped
and prepared, to embark on campaign and to set out against the enemy
in the areas where they have been assigned by Our Majesty, our joy
has been increased a thousand-fold. Suffused with tears and delight at
the same time, we have considered ourselves unworthy of offering
prayers of supplication to God, and after appealing to the most vener-
able and saintly fathers who dwell in mountains, and in dens and in
caves of the earth74 and enjoining them to offer prayers of supplica-
tion, we have appointed them to pray incessantly and unstintingly on
your behalf; but we have also directed those in the churches of the
City guarded by God and the pious monasteries to perform the same
task, so that as the entreaty of all those holy men rises up to the ears
of the Lord God of hosts and is blended and united with your fervour
and trust in us, the route before you may be easy and smooth75. And
so, since we take courage from the providence and help of our benev-
olent God, from the sacred prayers of the holy and hallowed fathers,
and from your praiseworthy bravery and audacity, accept our exhor-
tation as though from an affectionate father who has ardent affection
for you and is occupied every day with his innumerable cares for your
4. Children faithful and beloved, army sacred and assembled by God,
now, if ever, the time has come for your bravery to be displayed, for
your audacity to be made known, for your praiseworthy courage to
become clear to all. For even if many times in past years you fought
bravely against the enemy and prevailed against them, some of these
exploits were accomplished by accident and by unstable and capri-
cious chance, others by design and skill decorated by the name of
courage but recognised as cowardice in fact. The deeds of the brave
were not clearly remarked, nor were those of the cowardly discerned,

Hebrews 11: 38.
Reading p¤stei for p¤ptei, and éprÒskoptow for éprÒskopow.

but your actions were dimmed and hidden as though in a welter of

confusion, a moonless night, or a battle in the dark. Since the process
of selection which has now taken place through our most faithful ser-
vants and genuine attendants has made manifest the courage and val-
our of each one of you, while those men previously hidden and
ignored because of envy (I cannot speak other than truthfully) can
come forward into the light, and the courage, the audacity, and the
endurance of each one of you have been acknowledged, and you have
been picked out for selection like pure wheat, whereas the others, just
as the tares grown with the wheat76, have been cast away and let loose,
show your irresistible onslaught against the enemy and your hardi-
hood. Advance against them, and advance without wavering, not
skulking and withdrawing to the rear, but drawn up in the front
ranks.77 You have as witnesses of your courage the representatives of
Our Majesty who are taking my place. You have them to arouse your
zeal with their words and deeds. Show them the most noble and
steadfast determination innate in you. Let them see your sturdy arms
fighting against the enemy, let them marvel, and let them glorify God
for it. For wholly devoted to you, as one entering and dwelling in
your hearts, so greatly have I been moved and stirred by love and
yearning for you that, with God’s approval and sanction, I have pre-
pared and readied myself to accompany you on campaign and to be
convinced by my own eyes of what in times past I used to learn and
hear by report.
5. If, then, there is any longing in you to see us and our son as your
fellow cavalrymen, fellow infantrymen, and comrades in arms, con-
firm this longing now by your very deeds, strengthen the love in your
hearts for us by your exploits, so that, invigorated and emboldened by
your heroism, your victories and dominance against the enemy, and
by your unconquerable monuments of triumph, I may become more
eager to embrace the idea of taking part with you on campaign. For
earlier, some rumour concerning the most impious Hamdanid and the
Christ-hating Tarsiots was going around, to the effect that they are
brave and have acquired a host invincible in war, wherefore out of ter-
ror and weakness you avoided engaging them in combat; but this is
not now the case, for as you yourselves know, some time ago so-and-

Matthew 13: 29-30.
Perhaps echoing Theophanes continuatus 459.13-460.12, especially where the chronicler
relates that the reformed armies of Nikephoros Phokas ‘neither hid themselves, indulged in
pleasures, nor turned in flight, as had been their habit beforehand...’.

so78 was sent out with the rest of the strategoi against the lands and
fortresses of the accursed Tarsos and penetrated deep within their ter-
ritory, and after arming his host with the utmost zeal and inspiring
speeches, the kind of campaign he conducted and the number of offi-
cers79 and the huge host of Tarsiots he took prisoner has not escaped
the notice of any of you. Moreover, the host despatched a short while
ago to Mesopotamia with the patrikios so-and-so80 and the others,
which descended on the valiant and unbeatable — as was thought —
corps of the Hamdanid’s army and effortlessly subdued it, will no
doubt convince your souls to become more bold and more confident
in combat with the enemy.
6. The great and widespread report of your courage has reached for-
eign ears, to the effect that you have an irresistible onslaught, that you
possess incomparable courage, that you display a proud spirit in bat-
tle. When several contingents of these foreign peoples recently joined
you on campaign, they were amazed to see with their own eyes the
courage and valour of the other soldiers who performed heroically in
earlier expeditions; let them now be astonished at your audacity, let
them marvel at your invincible and unsurpassable might against the
barbarians.81 Be for me the wonder and amazement of the nations, and
the might and strength of our people. Brace your souls, strengthen
your arms, sharpen your teeth like wild boars, let no one attempt to
turn his back to the enemy, as the man who takes this thought into his
mind will soon give up his own life. Let your heroic deeds be spoken
of in foreign lands, let the foreign contingents accompanying you be
amazed at your discipline, let them be messengers to their compatri-

Constantine refers to the naval battle and raid conducted by Basil Hexamilites, patrikios
and strategos of the Kibyrrhaiotai, in September/October 956, during which he defeated an
Arab fleet and ravaged the environs of Tarsos, taking many prisoners: Theophanes continua-
tus 452.20-453.19; Vasiliev (1935-68) II.1 360; Mazzucchi (1978) 299-301. A ray of light after a
series of demoralising defeats at the hands of Sayf, this otherwise minor success was celebrat-
ed with a triumph in Constantinople: McCormick (1986) 165-6.
ıpÒsouw ... ka˝taw: ka˝thw is an Arabic word, listed by E.A. Sophocles and Du Cange
(ka˝tow), which also appears in the account of Hexamilites’s raid in Theophanes continuatus
(453. ): cf. the parallel passages noted by Mazzucchi (1978) 300 note 102. On the unresolved

question of Theodore Daphnopates’s authorship of the last book of Theophanes continuatus,

see Darrouzès, Westerink (1978) 6-10.
i.e. John Tzimiskes; see note 56 above.
The presence of foreign soldiers in Lekapenos’s army is confirmed by a poem of Abu
Firas who records his encounter with a Khazar warrior during the battle at Raban; the com-
mentary preceding the poem states that in preparation for the campaign Constantine sought
soldiers from the Bulgars, Russians (Rhos), Turks (Hungarians), and Franks: Vasiliev (1935-
68) II.2 368-70; see also McGeer (1995) 200-201.

ots of your triumphs and symbols which bring victory, so that they
may see the deeds you have performed.
7. We say this both to the Christ-loving and divinely assembled armies
of the East and to the forces from Macedonia and Thrace which have
joined you on campaign. This we declare and make known: these men
too have been your comrades in arms and companions, and they have
demonstrated their valour in war on many occasions. When82 they
were sent to Longobardia, they won victories against the enemy —
take our word for it that they mastered and subdued those who
opposed Our Majesty.83 And so, as servants and soldiers of one realm
and emperor, eagerly undertake the present campaign with them, dis-
posed towards them as brothers and tending like fathers to their safe-
ty. They have been sent to share your labours, and they have become
your partners in dangers and heroic exploits.
8. In addressing this to you all, as to my vitals and my limbs, and
speaking to you through the present letter, I have placed my trust in
Christ the true God, the sole immortal king, and I am bolstered by the
hope that you will not dishonour my expectation of you, that you will
not extinguish my hopes, that you will not dull my consideration, that
you will not debase your service; but because as true and most faith-
ful servants and subjects of Our Majesty, as sturdy and invincible
champions of the Byzantine people, you have now shown this kind
and this degree of courage and all manner of audacity and valour, we
will embrace you as victors appearing as triumphant conquerors
against the enemy and receive you with joyful acclamations as you
return. We will kiss your bodies wounded for the sake of Christ in
veneration as the limbs of martyrs84, we will pride ourselves in the
defilement of blood, we will be glorified in you and your valorous
accomplishments and struggles. So that you may know how much I
am on fire in my soul for you, that I am completely consumed, that I
burn all over as I devote my exertions to your salvation and to pros-

Reading ≤n¤ka for ≤l¤ka.
Referring to the expedition (which included contingents from Thrace and Macedonia)
sent to southern Italy in 956 under the command of Marianos Argyros, anthypatos patrikios
and strategos of Calabria and Longobardia. Argyros succeeded in regaining control of Naples
and Salerno in 956 and campaigned against the Arabs until a truce was arranged in 958:
Theophanes continuatus 453.20-454.21; Vasiliev (1935-68) II.1 371-8; von Falkenhausen (1978)
39, 83-4, 132. On Argyros’s career, see Vannier (1975) 30-2.
In kissing the wounds of his soldiers Constantine is perhaps recasting himself as
Constantine the Great, who ‘kissed Paphnoutios and other confessors on their eyes that had
been gouged out and their limbs that had been mutilated in the persecution, receiving a bless-
ing from them’: Theophanes (Mango and Scott) 36.

pering you85, behold, that after drawing holy water from the immacu-
late and most sacred relics of the Passion of Christ our true God86 —
from the precious wooden fragments [of the True Cross]87 and the
undefiled Lance88, the precious Titulus89, the wonder-working Reed90,
the life-giving blood which flowed from His precious rib91, the most
sacred Tunic92, the holy swaddling clothes93, the God-bearing winding
sheet94, and the other relics of His undefiled Passion95 — we have sent
it to be sprinkled upon you, for you to be anointed by it and to garb
yourselves with the divine power from on high. For I trust in my true
God and Saviour Christ, that just as He restored and endowed the
human race with life through the blood and water which flowed from
His precious rib, so will He through the sprinkling of this holy water
quicken and restore you and furnish you with confidence and might
and domination against the enemy. Christ, the creator of the ages and
upholder of all creation, our true God, Who is worshipped and glori-
fied with His eternal Father and with the life-giving Spirit of the same
nature, Who strengthens feebleness and invigorates the lowly, Who
engulfed the army of Pharaoh in the depths of the sea and saved the
lowly people96, Who alone is lofty and master, Who sits upon the
cherubs97 and looks upon low things98, Who girds the sword99 for the

Psalm 67: 19 (LXX)
épomur¤santew: in other words, the condensation was rubbed from the relics (or the reli-
quaries) with a cloth; this extract was called myron, or holy oil.
t«n te tim¤vn jÊlvn: on the history of the True Cross in Constantinople, see Frolow
(1961) 73-94, 238, and no. 143; Durand, Lafitte (2001) 20-4, 61-6.
t∞w éxrãntou lÒgxhw (cf. John 19: 34): known to have been in Constantinople since 614;
see Sevcenko (1994) 290-1; Durand, Lafitte (2001) 24.
toË tim¤ou t¤tlou (cf. John 19: 19): a rare attestation of the Titulus, which is absent from
the table of relics in Durand, Lafitte (2001) 32-3, and from the inventories in Gould (1981)
toË yaumatourgoË kalãmou: the reed by which the sponge was held up to Christ on the
cross (cf. Mark 15: 36); but note that kalamos is also the word used for the mock sceptre put
in Christ’s hands by the Roman soldiers (cf. Matthew 27: 29), and the rod used by the Roman
soldiers to beat Christ (Mark 15: 19).
John 19: 34; see Durand, Lafitte (2001) 67-8.
toË pans°ptou xit«now: Christ’s tunic for which the Roman soldiers cast lots; cf. John
19: 23-24.
t«n fler«n spargãnvn (cf. Luke 2: 7, 12): kept in the High Altar in Hagia Sophia accord-
ing to the De cerimoniis; see Vogt (1935/40) vol. 1, part 1, 11; vol. 2, 61, and Durand, Lafitte
(2001) 68.
t∞w yeofÒrou sindÒnow (cf. Matthew 27: 59, Luke 23: 53): not to be confused with the
Mandylion. Cf. Durand, Lafitte (2001) 87.
Conspicuous by their absence from the list are the Crown of Thorns and the Sponge; on
these relics, see Durand, Lafitte (2001) 55-60, 87.
cf. Psalm 17: 27 (LXX)
Psalm 79: 1; Psalm 98: 1 (LXX)
cf. Psalm 112: 6; Psalm 137: 6 (LXX)
Psalm 44: 3 (LXX)

mighty in war and provides help from on high to those who call upon
Him, Who resists the proud100, Who brings sinners down to the
ground101, Who instructs hands to war102, Who makes the arms of them
who hope in Him as a brazen bow103, Who has given the shield of sal-
vation104 to pursue the impious enemies until they are consumed105,
Who girds strength for war106, Who beats down all that rose107 against
those who fight for Him, beating them small as dust before the wind108,
may He in His infinite and ineffable goodness and in His immeasura-
ble and incomprehensible compassion watch over you with mercy and
favour, may He look upon you from above with a kindly eye. May He
prepare your route before you; He Himself will send His angel and He
will guide your journey109, and may He help to surround you with
hosts of angels and to keep you safe from harm at the hands of the
enemy, so that through His power and might you may have upon your
return to us in victory and triumph praise everlasting in memory of
men, remaining indelible and spoken of from generation to genera-
tion, so that you may cause Our Majesty to be joyful and to rejoice in
your achievements, and to be embellished by your heroic deeds
through the intercession of the immaculate Mother of God, His moth-
er, and all the incorporeal angelic powers, and the saints who have
served Him from eternity and been martyred for His sake. Amen.

It remains to offer some thoughts by way of conclusion. One is that

Constantine’s two speeches are of greater historical interest than has usu-
ally been supposed. They are rare examples of formal imperial military
rhetoric which, although based on long established models, nevertheless
have an immediacy and intensity which set them apart from most
Byzantine orations. They present the time-honoured images and themes
of imperial propaganda, but these acquire an added significance when
viewed against the insecurity of Constantine’s reign and the problem of
dynastic legitimacy he had to contend with. They cast further light on a

cf. Proverbs 3: 34.
cf. Psalm 146: 6 (LXX)
Psalm 17: 34 (LXX)
Conflating Psalm 17: 30, 35 (LXX)
Psalm 17: 35 (LXX)
Psalm 17: 37 (LXX)
Psalm 17: 39 (LXX)
Psalm 17: 40 (LXX)
Psalm 17: 42 (LXX)
John Tzimiskes likewise called for ‘an angel to be given to him who would go ahead of
the army and guides its way’ as he prepared to go to war against Svendoslav in 971: Leo the
Deacon 129.6-7.

little known project which Constantine ultimately did not achieve, but it
would now appear that his efforts to compile military manuals and trea-
tises on imperial expeditions were more than just didactic or antiquarian
in purpose.
The two harangues also present valuable evidence on the subject of
religion and morale in the Byzantine wars against the Hamdanids. There
can be no doubting the force of the emperor’s appeals to his soldiers to
fight against the infidel with the conviction that they were fighting on
behalf of Christ’s people; but we should take into account what the
harangues do not say before we adduce them as evidence for the concept
of holy war in tenth-century Byzantium.110 Nowhere does the emperor
proclaim that these wars are fought at God’s command or at the behest of
the Church, or that death in battle confers instant spiritual reward to the
fallen soldier. The wars are fought in defence of the Christian realm, not
to propagate the Christian faith, and there is no word in the speeches that
the goal of the wars is the recovery of a sacred place or object. The need
to match their Muslim foes on the level of ideology as well as in the
physical contest of battle certainly escalated the religious motivation of
Byzantine armies during the tenth century, but as Nicolas Oikonomides
observed, “when religious differences were at stake, the arguments and
the propaganda would change accordingly, but this would be a difference
in intensity, not a basically different approach”.111

Kolia-Dermitzaki (1989), (1991); whether one agrees or disagrees with her conclusions,
it must be acknowledged that her work has led Byzantinists to examine the question of war in
Byzantium in greater depth and detail; cf. Laiou (1993), Kolbaba (1998), and Haldon (1999)
13-33. For an examination of popular attitudes to war, see the interesting study of Trombley
Oikonomides (1995) 86.
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Denis F. Sullivan
with a reprint of the Greek text edited
by Hilda van den Berg


The Byzantine military treatise known under the Latin title De obsidione
toleranda provides an instructional handbook, using a precept and his-
torical precedent approach, for a general officer in command of a city
under siege. It was first edited by Melchisédech Thévenot (with Ph. de
La Hire) in 16933 from inferior manuscripts 4; his edition was translated
into French by E. Caillemer5. The text was next fully edited only more
than 250 years after Thévenot from the best manuscript witnesses by
Hilda van den Berg 6. Her text is reproduced here with an annotated
English translation.
A terminus ante quem for the composition of the treatise, as van den
Berg noted in her introduction, is provided by its inclusion in two manu-
scripts, Vaticanus graecus 1164 and Barberinianus 276, the former dated
to the early 11th century or possibly late tenth, the latter to the early 11th
century. Internal references in the treatise place the terminus post quem
as the early 10th century. The anonymous author refers (64:8) 7 to the
xeiros¤ fvnon, a device mentioned by Leo VI (886-912) as a recent
Byzantine invention 8; he also employs the term la›sa (50:6, 57:3,
74:18) for a siege shed (testudo), a usage which Eric McGeer has shown
to be 10th-century 9. Anonymous mentions (78:9-10) an Arab siege of

For many years the highlight of the summer in Washington, D.C. was the presence of
Nikos Oikonomides at Dumbarton Oaks. It is with a profound sense of sadness that I find this
piece published in a memorial volume to him and not in a birthday Festschrift.
I am most grateful to Professor Elizabeth Fisher who has read the Introduction and sec-
tions of the translation and offered a number of valuable suggestions.
Veterum Mathematicorum Athenaei, Bitonis, Apollodori, Heronis, Philonis et aliorum
Opera (Paris: 1693) 317-30.
van den Berg 34: “e codicibus deterioribus”; Rochas d’Aiglun (1872) 200 comments: “Le
texte tel que l’ont publié Thévenot et Lahire est extrêmement incorrect”.
Caillemer (1872) 199-253.
Anonymus de obsidione toleranda (Leiden: 1947).
References are to van den Berg’s page and line numbers.
Leo VI, Taktika XIX:57.
E. McGeer (1991) 129-40.

Thessalonike, almost certainly that of 904 and, given the author’s lack of
any further comment on it, presumably still memorable and close to the
date of composition. Following Martin 10, van den Berg also plausibly
dates the reference to the capture of Kitros by the “most cruel
Bulgarians” (52:8-11) during the period 913-924 when they frequently
invaded Byzantine territory; the author’s characterization of the
Bulgarians suggests recent and perhaps personal experience. Thus a date
of composition in the first half of the tenth century is probable.
The situation is, however, complicated by the fact that the anonymous
10th-century author is presumably drawing on a lost source, called by A.
Dain the Antipoliorceticum11. Dain edited 12, in an article apparently
unknown to van den Berg, a short untitled text found in Ambrosianus B-
119-Sup. (Gr. 139), which he called Mémorandum inédit sur la défense
des places and whose compilation he dated to the second half of the tenth
century. It consists of brief extracts which closely parallel in sequence
and content the De obsidione toleranda, but with differences which led
Dain to conclude that the two texts derive independently from a lost
source. I provide an English translation of the Mémorandum as an appen-
dix to this Introduction; items 11, 12, 13, 16, 23, and 26 contain the mate-
rial not found in the De obsidione toleranda. Based on the two extant
texts Dain suggested that this lost source consisted of two main sections,
a discussion of various means of defending against a siege, and a series
of historical accounts of famous sieges. He dated13 this Antipoliorceticum
in a wide range between Theodosius II (408-450) or his immediate suc-
cessors and Constantine VII (913-959). One might add that the De obsid -
ione toleranda contains a reference (50:16-21) to the Persian siege of
Caesarea in 611. If this notice was in the Antipoliorceticum, which, given
the date 611 and the unique information on the siege the notice provides
(i.e. that the Persians entered the city through a tunnel under the walls),
seems likely though not certain, it would bring the lower limit for that
text to the early seventh century.
This situation, then, leaves the date of many statements in the De
obsidione toleranda uncertain. Dain commented that the 10th-century
author did not simply paraphrase an older model, but inserted personal
remarks;14 some of these are clear, as noted above; others may be less so.
The traditional nature of such texts and the continuity of both offensive
and defensive siege techniques further complicates identification of

Martin (1854) 327-28; van den Berg 3.
Dain (1967) 349-50 and 366-67.
Dain (1940)124-27.
Dain (1967) 350.
Dain (1967) 359.

specifically 10th-century practice and innovation. Thus in the absence of

a verifiable tenth-century date for specific material, the reader should
keep an open mind.
We know virtually nothing of the 10th-century author or of the author of
the Antipoliorceticum. The De obsidione toleranda refers (61:9-10) to
another treatise which the author claims to have written “On Torch [Signals]”
(Per‹ fan«n), but which author, if either, is responsible is not clear.15


van den Berg edited the text from three manuscripts, Vaticanus graecus
1164 (V), Barberinianus 276 (P) and Escorialensis Y-III-11 (E). She
noted in her introduction scholarly consensus on these three as the source
of all other copies and considered V and P independent witnesses, but E
as copied from V, and thus used E only in the final sections where V has
lost folios (from 92:1). The manuscripts are plagued by numerous lacu-
nae and van den Berg often suppleted the text from parallel sources or
logically from the context. Her suppletions have been translated here in
angle brackets with indication of the source. With two exceptions (noted
with “DS”) all suppletions and emendations are taken from her appara-
tus or appendix. Through the kindness of Fr. George Dennis I have been
able to examine mss. V and P in microfilm and I consider the printed edi-
tion carefully done. van den Berg also provided an extensive register of
Byzantine and classical fontes and parallel passages; I have in general
noted fontes only when not included in her exhaustive list. Where the text
is virtually a verbatim quotation from an earlier source, the translation is
italicized. I have benefited here from P. A. Brunt’s translation of Arrian16,
H. St. J. Thackeray’s translation of Josephus 17, and W. R. Paton’s trans-
lation of Polybius 18, although I have generally attempted a more literal
rendering as well as adjusting to differences in the text of the De obsid -
ione toleranda.


The treatise is written to a “general” (strathgÒ w), who is directly

addressed in the vocative (“o general”) on two occasions (45:14, 98:14);
the Greek title has “How a general . . . must withstand the siege . . . .”
Two other instances indicate specifically that “the general” must take

So Dain (1967) 350.
Arrian, with an English translation (Cambridge, MA: 1976-1983).
Josephus, The Jewish War with an English translation (Cambridge, MA: 1927-28).
Polybius, Histories (Cambridge, MA: 1922-27).

certain actions (54:10, 55:6), a usage found in ten instances in the

M é m o r a n d u m, indicating that this approach was in the
Antipoliorceticum. The text is not focused on a single city, but considers
various alternatives: the presence or absence of islands to provide food,
specific needs of cities on the sea, the presence or absence of terrain use-
ful for ambushing the enemy, cities with and without tunnels under the
walls, etc. There are two references to the Bulgarians, their capture of
Kitros mentioned above and one on enemy ambush techniques (“The
Bulgarians customarily do this” 62:17) suggesting the 10th-century
Anon.’s particular concern with the Balkans.
Dain described the organization of the treatise as “malheureusement
vague”19. This is perhaps overly pessimistic; while not tightly compart-
mentalized, there are some basic categories. The author begins with
generic encouragement not to capitulate when a siege threatens, since the
enemy is only human and susceptible to various problems. He then deals
with the issue of providing immediate necessities, first if food supplies
are abundant, then in cases of scarcity, and continuing with possible
evacuation of noncombatants, organization of craftsmen, and the impor-
tance of inventiveness20, again citing conditions of abundance and rec-
ommending provision of various commodities and raw materials, and
concern for the water supplies. He then considers fortification issues:
repair and raising of walls, securing tunnels, adding loopholes to walls,
digging ditches, securing them with palisades and filling them with
water; securing the “brachiolion” (a kind of defensive jetty) if on the
coast, constructing bridges over the ditches, and positioning chevaux de
frise, caltrops and warning bells. He then examines “personnel” issues:
oversight of the watch, capital punishment for deserters, training in
weapons use, organization of army units and their leaders, training for
enemy attacks by simulation. He then considers action in the face of the
imminent arrival and subsequent presence of the enemy: securing flocks
and herds or if necessary slaughtering them for the meat, destroying non-
essential animals which would deplete supplies, reaping the fields and
bringing in livestock and people, ambushing the enemy if they are pro-
ceeding in disarray, poisoning rivers, lakes and wine containers, coordi-
nating ambushes with friendly forces inside as well as outside the city
and carefully estimating the time of such an ambush, using clear signals
to allow friendly forces back in while excluding the enemy, setting fire
to enemy siege machines, waging pitched battles and attacking the
enemy’s homeland, attacking enemy foragers, fighting in relays when the
enemy does so, providing defenses against battering rams and siege

See Dain (1967) 359.

sheds, and using mats, new walls and ditches to defend breached portions
of walls. Two final sections are dominated by use of lengthy historical
examples. The first advocates the use of counter stratagems against overt
enemy operations, with emphasis on inventiveness, as exemplified by
Archimedes, to create them and adds encouraging comments on the
weakness of contemporary enemies who could not do what Alexander
did at Tyre and Gaza or Titus at Jerusalem. The second deals with covert
enemy operations, citing Alexander’s capture of the rocks of Sogdiana
and Chorienes, the text ending abruptly in the midst of that example.


The precepts in the treatise are generally presented in the form “it is nec-
essary” (de› or xrÆ) followed by an infinitive or simply by an infinitive
with de› or xrÆ in ellipsis 21. In some instances this is accompanied by an
explanation introduced by “in order that” (· na) or “for” (gãr ). Another
major feature of the treatise is citation of historical examples to support
the recommendations. In the first half these are usually brief and serve to
reinforce a suggestion either positively or negatively. For example, the
proposal (50:11-13) to raise the height of the walls even while under
enemy fire is given credence by citing Josephus, who did the same at
Jotapata. The proposal to secure any tunnels in the walls (50:14) is fol-
lowed by three examples of the negative consequences of failing to so. In
at least one case examples are used to show the weakness of a tentative
recommendation. At 65:3, after suggesting an attack on the enemy’s
home territory to force them to lift a siege, the text continues: “But then
this has often ruined many.” The example of the failure of Hannibal’s
attack on Rome in an attempt to lift the siege of Capua is cited with addi-
tional historical parallels. In two instances a rationale for the examples is
specifically stated. At 84:10-17 the author notes as encouragement that
no contemporary enemy forces could mount the kind of sieges brought
by Alexander at Tyre and Gaza and Titus at Jerusalem, followed by
lengthy citations of those sieges. At 98:4ff he indicates that he uses the
examples to show that even the most clever enemies can be resisted by
those under siege and that contemporary enemies are weaker than those
of the past. Then, advocating the necessity of carefully guarding against

The treatise mentions “inventiveness” (§ p¤ noia) again at 48:1, 78:3, 84:11 and perhaps at
As these are addressed, as noted above, to a general officer, one might speculate that the
author is also one himself or a compiler writing with the support of a general or emperor.

covert enemy operations, he cites at length Alexander’s unexpected

method of capturing the rocks of Sogdiana and Chorienes 22.


The treatise is in the tradition of didactic military manuals stretching

back to Aineias Tacticus’ (4th-century BC) How to Survive under Siege.
While that treatise, despite its traditional title, covers considerably more
than siege defense, it does provide specific advice on protecting walls
and gates, dealing with incendiary devices, detecting and thwarting sap-
pers, etc. and does so with frequent use of historical examples to corrob-
orate its recommendations 23. The 3rd-century BC compendium
(MhxanikØ sÊntajiw ) of Philo of Byzantium 24 includes a Poliorkhtikã
with detailed instructions on constructing city defenses, and with recom-
mendations on preparations for and defensive actions while under siege,
including some similar to ones found in the De obsidione toleranda (e.g.,
lists of commodities, digging three defensive ditches, etc.). The late 6th-
century Strategikon of Maurice 25 (Book X:3) provides brief but detailed
instructions for siege defense which are largely repeated with some addi-
tions in Leo VI’s (early 10th-century) Taktika26 XVI:46-66. Some of
these find parallels in the De obsidione toleranda, e.g., concern for sup-
plies for the estimated time of the siege, evacuation of those useless for
siege defense in cases of scarcity, use of heavy mats hung over the bat-
tlements to defend against stones from enemy stone throwers, and mat-
tresses and sacks filled with chaff or sand to defend against rams, etc.
The contemporary 10th-century anonymous Sylloge tacticorum, Chapter
53 (“What the besieged general must do”), drawing in part on Leo’s
Taktika, includes similar recommendations regarding provisions of sup-
plies, evacuation of the noncombatants, dividing the army into units,
fighting in relays, hanging heavy mats from the battlements, using sacks
of chaff or sand against rams, using xeiros¤ fvna, digging counter exca-
vations against sappers with subsequent use of fire and smoke in an

On the possible source of these siege descriptions, already present in the
Antipoliorceticum, in an earlier compilation of historical extracts, see Dain (1967) 349, with
an opposing view in van den Berg 21-22.
See Whitehead (1990). He estimates (38) that historical precedents constitute one-third
of Aineias’ treatise.
For the text with French translation see Y. Garlan, Recherches de poliorcétique grecque
(Paris: 1974) and for partial English translation, A. W. Lawrence, Greek Aims in Fortification
(Oxford: 1979) 89-99.
For the text see Maurice Strategikon; for English translation see Dennis (1984).
For the complete text see PG 107. A new edition and translation is in preparation by Fr.
George Dennis.

earthen jar, etc. The De velitatione27 (ca. 975), Chapter 21 (“The siege of
a fortified town”), instructs a general to provide food supplies for four
months or more, insure that there is water in the cisterns, employ coor-
dinated night attacks, destroy anything outside which might be useful to
the enemy, and to use diversions to get supplies into the besieged city,
while indicating that the topic has been covered in greater detail by pre-
vious writers on tactics and strategy. Yet at the same time each of these
seven treatises contains seemingly unique items; in the De obsidione
toleranda these include use of human excrement against siege sheds and
use of sacks filled with beans to absorb ram blows, etc. The precise rela-
tionships of these common and unique elements awaits further scholarly


Mémorandum inédit sur la défense des places, ed. A. Dain (1940) 124-27.
This brief text begins virtually each item with ˜ti , presumably the abbre-
viated version of ÉIst° on ˜ti (“Be aware that”) found frequently in the
De administrando imperio 28 and the De cerimoniis 29, often used in mar-
ginal notes and as a formula of transition. The same formula is also found
in the “table of contents” and a number of chapter headings in the Sylloge
tacticorum and in the so-called Strathgikå paragg° lmata30. Angle
brackets indicate Dain’s additions to the text, square brackets my own
additions for clarity.

1. [Be aware] <that it is necessary> especially in this situation to call

upon the invincible power of God.

2. [Be aware] that it is necessary to suspend [regular] commerce in

wheat and other foodstuffs in time of siege, and that the general order
those who have them to sell all at a moderate price, keeping for them-
selves only what they need for a specified time.

See Dennis (1984) 223-27.
See J. B. Bury, “The treatise De administrando imperio”, BZ 15 (1906) 517-77, specifi-
cally 538-39.
See J.B. Bury, “The Ceremonial Book of Constantine Porphyrogennetos”, English
Historical Review, 209-27 and 417-439, specifically 223 with n. 41 and 428 and Haldon (1990)
J.-A. Foucault, Strategmata (Paris: 1949) 110-120.

3. [Be aware] that it is necessary for the general in a timely manner to

train the workmen who are useful to a besieged city, namely engi-
neers, siege machine operators, builders, arms manufacturers, rope
makers and the others <and> to gather and support them with promis-
es of payment and make them quite eager.

4. [Be aware] that it is necessary to prepare cheiromaggana31 and pro-

jecting beams <able> to throw heavy stones from the battlements.

5. [Be aware] that it is necessary to provide many arrows and to cut

notches in them and thus to shoot them at the enemy.

6. [Be aware] that when the enemy are present nothing prevents
increasing the height of the wall during the night, and devising laisai32
(laÛ ssãw ) to intercept the missiles of the enemy.

7. [Be aware] that it is necessary to search out the tunnels and secure
them; for through these many cities have been captured.

8. [Be aware] that it is necessary to put in place numerous bow-bal-

listas and to ward off the enemy with them. Likewise it is also neces-
sary to dig ditches and make them deep.

9. [Be aware] that <it is necessary> if the city is by the sea to bind
together masts of large ships and large poles, and to attach these to the
wall and by means of these to blockade ships approaching the wall.

10. [Be aware] that it is necessary to hang bells on the battlements so

that should the guards be negligent [the bells will] give warning of the
secret attack of the enemy.

11. [Be aware] that it is necessary at night for the watches to be close-
ly arrayed and to rouse one another with trumpets.

12. [Be aware] that it is necessary to close the taverns lest through
drunkenness the troops be enervated in time of battle.

On the term see footnote 34 of the text.
On the term see footnote 48 of the text.

13. [Be aware] that it is necessary for the general to order that no one
abandon his section of the wall in time of war, nor be fearful of sud-
den rumors coming from another part of the city which some cowards
or traitors are spreading.

14. [Be aware] that it is necessary that a deserter in this situation be

punished by the general.

15. [Be aware] that it is necessary for the general to train the archers
and the javeliners and the other engineers so that when necessity calls
they are ready to perform their duties.

16. [Be aware] that it is necessary for there to be officers on each part
of the wall and for elite troops to be distributed everywhere, especial-
ly where an attack is expected.

17.[Be aware] that it is necessary for the general to tour the wall with
valiant soldiers and to give aid to a section in difficulty.

18. [Be aware] that it is necessary to put large stone weights on the
battlements and heavy poles, sharp at the end, so the soldiers can ward
off machines being advanced.

19. [Be aware] that it is necessary to train the [troops] to control the
fears that come at night, as if the enemy were present, in order that
being trained in simulated attacks, they are not thrown into confusion
during actual [assaults].

20. [Be aware] that it is necessary to have bells and at their sound for
the troops to arm themselves as if on [a verbal] signal.

21. [Be aware] that it is necessary for the general, dividing up his
forces, to also make sudden sallies against the enemy. It is necessary,
however, to guard against enemy ambushes and ruses.

22. [Be aware] that it is necessary for the gates to be securely guard-
ed and to give a password to the soldiers, which they might use when
returning and be recognized by those at the gates. For there is fear lest
somehow the enemy escape notice entering together with our own
troops who are being pursued.

23. [Be aware] that it is necessary for the gates to have a gate hidden
above vertically, and this of iron, and to bring this down vertically, in
order that when the enemy are attacking and it is suddenly let down
they may be killed.

24. [Be aware] that it is necessary to order those going out on sorties
that no one proceed to seize spoils before the complete defeat of the

25. [Be aware] that it is necessary for the general to prepare in

advance against enemy machines many pine torches, pitch, tow,
brushwood; and to divide up the troops, some for battle, some for
burning the machines.

26. [Be aware] that it is necessary that water be prepared in advance

in large containers over the whole wall, but especially where the
machines of the enemy are expected; for there is fear lest by using fire
the enemy may destroy the planks on the battlements.

27. [Be aware] that it is necessary to order the troops not to lose heart
at the shouting of the enemy.

28. [Be aware] that it is necessary to order [the troops], crouching

down in the face of a multitude of missiles, to cover themselves with
their shields and withdraw until <the [enemy’s] quivers> are empty,
but to leap first against those putting up ladders to ward them off with
their own instruments.

29. [Be aware] that it is necessary to lock the women in their homes
and not allow their weeping to weaken the spirit of the fighting men.

30. [Be aware] that when the wall is being sapped by the enemy, if the
general should be ignorant of the location of the tunnel, it is necessary
for him to place on a continuous straight line bronze plates (let these
be thin like pots and similar such things) over a long distance and to
put his ear to these and listen. For they will echo the sound [of the dig-
ging] outside. And so it is necessary to dig directly opposite and sta-
tioning men with axes to fight those within when they meet there. It
is necessary, however, also to dig a large tunnel where the sap is, in
order that should the enemy burst in en masse they may be killed.

31. They say that Archimedes, when Syracuse was besieged, devised
the following among other practices. After measuring inside the wall
from the foundations to the height of a man he packed [this level] with
holes a palm’s breadth in size on the outer facade. Stationing archers
at these and shooting through them he rendered the attacks of the
enemy useless.

32. [Be aware] that it is necessary for the general to be concerned not
only with the position in great difficulty, but also to secure that posi-
tion where he does not fear the enemy, perhaps due to the strength of
the place. For many cities have been taken at unexpected positions
because they were not continuously secured by the general, for exam-
ple Sardis by Antiochus and the Sogdian rock by Alexander.


ENDNOTE: As the volume went to press the publisher concluded that the anticipated photo-
graphic reproduction of van den Berg’s text was not feasible, and the text was reset. In proof-
reading the reset version I was able to correct a few minor typographical errors in the original.
E DITOR’S NOTE: Notice is hereby made that Brill alone is responsible for any and all typo-
graphical errors resulting from the reprinting of the van den Berg text.




ÜOti oÈ de› épagoreÊein tÚn poliorkoÊmenon, kín xrÒnon polÁn

6 épeil∞i ≤ poliork¤a: μ går oÈx ımonoÆsousin afl t«n §xyr«n
dunãmeiw prÚw •autåw μ perispasmo¤ tinew perip°soien katå tØn
t«n §xyr«n x≈ran ÍpÚ t«n ımÒrvn §xyr«n. *** gen°syai dÉín 2
9 ka‹ s¤tou spãnin ka‹ loimikåw diay°seiw §fÉ •n‹ tÒpvi ple¤v
xrÒnon poll«n dunãmevn §pimenous«n, μ ka‹ tÚn érxhgÚn toË
stratoË ênyrvpon ˆnta ka‹ dunãmenon ÍpÚ poll«n ka‹ t«n
12 tuxÒntvn afiti«n édunat∞sai kayÒlou paye›n ti.
˜yen to¤nun sÁn Ye«i de› prÒ ge t«n êllvn èpãntvn ëma 3
t«i éggely∞na¤ soi, Œ strathg°, tØn t«n §xyr«n épok¤nhsin,
15 e‡te diÉ aÈtomÒlvn e‡te diå kataskÒpvn, §n miçi ≤m°rai, efi du-
natÒn, proeutrep¤sai m¢n tØn érkoËsan dapãnhn † t∞w parastã-

V P1 1 tÚn om. P1 3 §pithdeÊmasin P1 7 possis suspicari perip°soien <ín>

sed cf. praef. p. 39 8 t«n §xyr«n] §xyr«n P1 || lac. indicavi; vox dÉ post
gen°syai probat non solum „sperari potest” vel tale quid, sed plura ex-
cidisse 9 spãnin Thev.: spãnhn V P1 12 kay˜lou V; sed p. 51, 22 et
§ 218 kayÒlou V P1 16 v. append.

9–10 cf. Plb. II, 31, 10 loimik∞w diay°sevw §mpesoÊshw aÈto›w; Urb.-
Maur. XII, 8, 22, 7 (Vari ad Leonis Tact. XI, 31) de› énÒsouw ka‹ kayaroÁw
§pil°gesyai tÒpouw efiw êplhkta ka‹ mØ xrÒnon polÁn §ndiatr¤bein §n •n‹
xvr¤vi . . . . . diå tÚ mØ loim≈ttein tÚn stratÒn.; Syll. Tact. 22, 2 mhd¢ §p‹
pollåw §n to›w aÈto›w tÒpoiw diatr¤bein ≤m°raw tØn stratiån xrÆ, diå tåw §k
t∞w sÆcevw §pisumbainoÊsaw loim≈deiw nÒsouw 13–p. 46, 3 cf. Urb.-Maur.
X, 3, 1 (Scheffer) = Leon Probl. X, 10 p«w de› ént°xein tÚn poliorke›syai
prosdok«nta xron¤vw; (xron¤vw om. Probl.) xrØ t«n énagka¤vn efiw épo-
trofØn front¤sai, ˜son o‰de tÚn §xyrÚn §jarke›n (§jarxe›n Scheffer) xrÒnon
§p‹ t∞i poliork¤ai: ka‹ efi m¢n eÈpore› tosaÊthw épotrof∞w, ¶peitã ge k.t.l.
v. ad. p. 46, 20–47, 2, fere item Leo, Tact. XV, 47, Syll. Tact. 53, 1 polior-
ke›syai d¢ parå t«n polem¤vn ı strathgÚw Ífor≈menow trofåw prÚ pãn-
tvn sugkomiz°tv prÚw xron¤an érkoÊsaw poliork¤an: trof«n d¢ mØ eÈpo-
r«n k.t.l. v. ad. p. 46, 20–47, 2

16 dapãnh—alimenta, commeatus; cf. e. g. Leon Tact. XX, 63 ˜tan mØ

to›w strateÊmasi tå §pitÆdeia ka‹ tåw énagka¤aw trofåw proeutrep¤shiw,
tÒte ka‹ polem¤vn xvr‹w ≤tthyÆshi. ≤ går spãniw ka‹ ¶ndeia t∞w dapãnhw
ka‹ toÁw strati≈taw ka‹ toÁw ·ppouw §kluy∞nai paraskeuãsei; ibidem


How the general of a city under siege must withstand the siege and
with what sort of methods to defend against it1.

[Be aware] that 2 there is no need for the besieged [general] to capitu-
late, even if the siege threatens to be a lengthy one. For either the
enemy forces will have disagreements with one another or some dis-
tractions may occur against the enemy’s land from their hostile neigh-
bors. <One may hope that 3> a scarcity of wheat and pestilential con-
ditions may occur when large forces remain in one place for a long
time, or even that the leader of the army may always suffer some
mishap, as he is human and subject to incapacitation due to multiple
accidental causes 4.
For this reason then, with God, when the movement 5 of the
enemy is announced to you, o general, either from deserters or spies,
in one day, if possible, it is necessary above all else to prepare suffi-
cient provisions for ~ the extent ~ [46] of the time of the siege, per-

For a brief summary in English see E. McGeer, “Byzantine Siege Warfare in Theory and
Practice”, in I. Corfis and M. Wolfe (eds.), The Medieval City under Siege (Woodbridge, Eng.:
1995) 123-31, spec. 126-27; idem, ODB I:611.
On this formula, [ÉIst° on] ˜ti , see above in the appendix to the Introduction.
van den Berg’s (hereafter vdB) suggested addition; she notes that it is likely even more
has been lost.
Cf. Polybius VI:24:7: édÆlou går ˆntow ka‹ toË poi∞sai ka‹ toË paye›n ti tÚn
≤gemÒna (“it being unclear what the commander may do or what may happen to him”).
épok¤ nhsiw. Literally “departure” (from their own territory).

46 § 3–8 ( THEV. p. 317, 14–30)

sevw † toË t∞w poliork¤aw xrÒnou, •jamÆnou tuxÚn μ ka‹ §niautoË,
oÈ t«n strativt«n mÒnon, éllå ka‹ t∞w épomãxou ≤lik¤aw, efi
¶xoi éfyon¤an ı tÒpow ka‹ oÈd¢ ¶fyasan ofl §xyro‹ katå tÚn 3
parelyÒnta §niautÒn, Àsper e‡yistai to›w poliorke›n §y°lousi,
purpol∞sai tåw x≈raw.
4 efi d¢ §ndeØw t«n énagka¤vn §st¤n, ka‹ oÈd¢ ≤ §ktÚw x≈ra 6
eÈyhne› to›w karpo›w oÈd¢ n∞soi parãkeintai dunãmenai tØn
¶ndeian paramuye›syai, μ efis‹ m°n, ofl d¢ §xyro‹ yalassokrate›n
5 §lp¤zontai ka‹ kvlÊein tØn parakomidÆn, xrØ tÚn s›ton ka‹ tØn 9
kriyØn ka‹ pçn e‰dow Ùspr¤ou tÚn §n ta›w époyÆkaiw ımoË to›w
§mpÒroiw ka‹ to›w plous¤oiw épometre›n ka‹ …r¤oiw épotiy°nai
ka‹ paradidÒnai tØn toÊtvn dianomØn t«i t∞w pÒlevw §piskÒpvi 12
ka¤ tisin •t°roiw t«n xrhs¤mvn, toË dioike›n ßkaston mhnia¤an
dapãnhn katå tÚn §kteyhsÒmenon tÊpon, tÚn perileify°nta laÒn,
6 {t«i t∞w ofik¤aw despÒthi,} kÆrugmã te poie›n Àste toÁw mØ ¶xontaw 15
t«n §gxvr¤vn ple›on ≤mer«n triãkonta s›ton épogrãfesyai
7 prÚw aÈtÒn: e‰ta parakal°santa tå d°onta prÚw tÚn kairÚn tÚ
pl∞yow, …w ofl m¢n tØn metoik¤an •to¤mvw ßlointo, svtÆrion oÔsan 18
émfot°roiw ka‹ lusitel∞, ofl d¢ tØn Íp¢r t∞w patr¤dow êmunan,
8 thnikaËta toÁw épomãxouw, oÂon g°rontaw, ésyene›w, pa›daw, gu-
na›kaw, prosaite›w, ka‹ {to›w} mhd¢n sunteloËntaw to›w ¶ndon diå 21

V P1 10 tÚn] t«n P1 fort. tÚ? an tå? 10–11 lege t«n §mpÒrvn ka‹ t«n
plous¤vn 11 an §n …r¤oiw? 13–15 v. append. 15 ofike¤aw V corr. V1
21 prosaite›w] incertum utrum haec forma pro prosa¤taw Anonymo attri-
buenda sit an librario (Roos, Berl. Phil. Wochenschrift 36 (1916), col. 95);
prosaite›w in Strat. paragg. f. 157r E quoque invenitur || {to›w} delevi;
cf. p. 47, 5–6: toÁw Thev. Roos

10–11 cf. Philon. „V” p. 86, 37–39 (agitur de alimentis, quae obsidionis
tolerandae causa conservanda sunt) sunãgein d¢ taËta de› parå t«n mage¤rvn
ka‹ t«n fidivt«n chf¤smati peribãllontaw 12–13 cf. Leon. Tact. XV, 63
(§ 62 de aquae distributione agitur, v. ad. p. 49, 13–16) ımo¤vw ka‹ §p‹ t∞w
êllhw dapãnhw summ°trvw ëpanta g¤nesyai, Syll. Tact. 53, 4 v. ad p. 49,
13–16 20–p. 47, 2 cf. Urb.-Maur. X, 3, 1 (Scheffer) = Leon. Probl. X, 10
(v. ad p. 45, 13–46, 3) ¶peitã ge tØn êxrhston ≤lik¤an §kbãlai §k toË Ùxu-
r≈matow prÚ t∞w t«n §xyr«n parous¤aw, oÂon guna›kaw, g°rontaw, ésyene›w
ka‹ paid¤a (pa›daw Scheffer), ·na to›w §n dunãmei oÔsin ≤ eÍriskom°nh
dapãnh §jark°shi, fere item Leo, Tact. XV, 47, Syll. Tact. 53, 1 (v. ad
p. 45, 13–46, 3) trof«n d¢ mØ eÈpor«n flkan«n toÁw m¢n ésyene›w ka‹
g°rontaw pa›dãw te ka‹ guna›kaw prÚ t∞w t«n polem¤vn §fÒdou §n Ùxuro›w
ka‹ énepibouleÊtoiw proekpemp°tv xvr¤oiw.

XVIII, 106 §xr«nto d¢ dapãnhi k°gxrvi. Hanc vocem, quae eo sensu saepe
legitur apud scriptores tacticos, neque Du Cange neque Soph. memorat.
Idem valet dapanÆmata

haps six months or a year, not for the soldiers alone, but also for those
who are noncombants due to age, if the place should have an abun-
dance and the enemy did not arrive at the end of the year6 to burn the
fields7, as is customary for those wishing to conduct a siege.
If there is a lack of essentials, and the land outside is not
abounding in fruits and there are no islands nearby which can allevi-
ate the deficiency, or there are [such islands] but the enemy is expect-
ed to control the sea and hinder transport, it is necessary to measure
out together with the merchants and the wealthy wheat and barley and
every type of legume from among the [items] in the warehouses 8 and
to store [them] in granaries 9 and to entrust the distribution of these to
the bishop of the city and to some other good citizens, in order that
each of the people remaining may control provisions for a month 10
according to an edict to be made public and to make an announcement
that those inhabitants who do not have more than thirty days of wheat
should register with him; then to encourage the populace as to what is
necessary in the crisis so that one group may readily choose reloca-
tion as a salvation and benefit for both groups, others defense of the
fatherland; then to lead out of the city and to send to another location
the noncombatants, namely old men, the ill, children, women, beg-
gars11, and those who contribute nothing to those within on account of
[47] their own needs, so those within may be secure and those [leav-

I.e. late August in the Byzantine calendar.
Cf. below 59:1.
The text here presents two difficulties. First vdB prints tÚn §n ta›w époyÆkaiw, but notes
an alternate ms. reading for initial article, t«n, while suggesting as possible conjectures tÚ and
tã. The phrase presumably refers in some sense to the preceding list of commodities and,
accepting t«n , I so translate. Caillemer (1872) 202, however, rendered “le functionnaire pré-
posé aux entrepôts,” but in the absence of a specific title this seems unlikely. Second vdB prints
the dative to›w §mpÒroiw ka‹ to›w plous¤ oiw , but in the apparatus suggests reading a genitive
(with époyÆkaiw ?). The preceding ı moË would seem to require a dative (cf. below 96:19) and
presumably the owners (the merchants and the rich) are working personally with the general or
his designate to record what has been taken for later reimbursement (cf. below 49:2-6). The dis-
tinction here between “warehouse” and “granary” is perhaps between private and public stor-
age; see Teall (1977) 203-04 who paraphrases “cereals were to be taken from the apothecae of
the merchants and the wealthy and placed in public granaries.” For a slightly different view see
G. Millet, “Apothécarius”, BZ 30 (1930) 430-39, spec. 435. Dain’s (1940) Mémorandum inédit
124 no. 2 indicates that the general should stop regular commerce in foodstuffs during the siege
and encourage those who possess such supplies to sell at a moderate price, retaining only what
they need for themselves. On measurements in granaries see also Sullivan (2000) 267 n. 51.
Here tÚ …r¤ on(Latin horreum); for the various spellings see G. W. H. Lampe, A Patristic
Greek Lexicon (Oxford: 1961) at ˜rion .
I follow here vdB who translated (Appendix 103) “ut unusquisque eorum, qui in urbe
relicti sunt, ipse victum unius mensis administret,” noting the reference below (49:15) to dis-
tribution of water (memetrhm° nvw ka‹ toËto t“ la“ xorhge›n, Àsper oÔn ka‹ tÚn s›ton). She
deleted t“ t∞w ofik¤ aw despÒt˙ as a marginal gloss on dianomÆn in line 12 and suggested that
tÚn perileify° nta laÒn might also be deleted. The text remains uncertain.
These “beggars” appear to be an addition to the lists in the parallel sources cited by vdB.

47 § 8–13 (THEV. p. 317, 30–318, 10)

t∞w ofike¤aw xre¤aw §jãgein t∞w pÒlevw ka‹ efiw êllhn x≈ran
§kp°mpein prÚw tÚ ka‹ toÁw ¶ndon perifulaxy∞nai ka‹ aÈtoÁw
3 mØ épol°syai, ·na mØ t«n §xyr«n §pikeim°nvn énagkasy∞iw 9
toÊtouw to›w §xyro›w prodoËnai, Àsper ka‹ ÉAxaiÚw ı basileÊw:
toÁw d° ge êllvw §ndee›w m¢n ˆntaw, dunam°nouw d¢ tÚ koinÚn | 10
6 »fele›n diå t«n ofike¤vn pÒnvn, oÂon érmatopoioÊw, mhxano- p. 318 Thev.
poioÊw, magganar¤ouw, fiatroÊw, xalke›w, selopoioÊw, xalinopoioÊw,
tzaggar¤ouw, =ãptaw, sxoinopoioÊw, skalobãtaw, kvpopoioÊw,
9 ofikodÒmouw, naÊtaw, kalafãtaw, érxit°ktonaw, muloxarãktaw,
éstronÒmouw prÚw diãgnvsin sunteloËntaw Ídãtvn ka‹ én°mvn
forãn, ka‹ toÊtvn toÁw gennaiot°rouw, proslambãnesyai ka‹
12 sugkrote›n mçllon ka‹ periyãlpein, ·na ofl m¢n érmatopoio‹ diÉ 11
˜lhw nuktÚw ka‹ ≤m°raw pon«si per‹ tå ¶rga, oÂon ésp¤daw,
sag¤taw, spay¤a, kass¤daw, ofl d¢ xalke›w per‹ jifãria sagit«n 12
15 ka‹ t«n kontar¤vn ka‹ =iptar¤vn ka‹ xe›raw sidhrçw èrpãzein
dunam°naw ti t«n §ktÒw: ımo¤vw ka‹ êlla ßtera ka‹ ı kairÚw 13
épaite› ka‹ ı lÒgow proÛΔn dhl≈sei: poik¤lhw går oÎshw ka‹
18 polueidoËw t∞w t«n polem¤vn §pino¤aw (≤ går xron¤a tribØ o‰den
§fÉ •kãsthw ≤m°raw ka‹ Àraw ‡dia §pithdeÊmata ka‹ mhxanåw

F 4 cf. praef. p. 14

V P1 2 §kp°ptein P1 3 énagkasye‹w P1 5 lege êllouw || exspectaveris fort.

épomãxouw vel tale quid pro §ndee›w, sed cf. Strat. paragg. (v. praef. p.
32 v. 10–13) toÁw d¢ épÒrouw ka‹ mhd¢n diå t∞w t°xnhw bohye›n dunam°-
nous épodi≈kein k.t.l. 6 érmatopoioÊw (fabros armorum) Meursius s.v.
magganãriow: èrmatopoioÁw V értopoioÁw P1; item v. 12; cf. v. 12–14 et p.
49, 17 7 lege sellopoioÊw 8 skalobãtaw Meursius s.v.: skalvbãtaw V P1
11 malim forçw || paralambãnesyai P1; cf. p. 56, 14 12 èrmatopoio‹ V
értopoio‹ P1; v. ad v. 6 14 sag¤taw] per unum t semper (v. 14; p. 49, 17;
p. 50, 2 et 4; p. 56, 2) V P1, ut nesciam an id ipsi Anonymo attribuendum sit
15 =iptar¤vn v. append. || sidhrçw Thev.: sidhråw P1 sidçw V 17 an
épaitÆsei? cf. p. 48, 6, 8, et 10

17–p. 48 1 cf. Leon. Tact. Epilogum, 72 poik¤lhw oÎshw t∞w parå t«n
§nant¤vn §gxeirÆsevw ka‹ diãforoi ofl trÒpoi t«n éntegxeirÆsevn Ùfe¤-
lousi g¤nesyai:

8 quid hic valeat skalobãthw, nescio; „funambulus” Du Cange s.v., quod

non quadrat; „one who goes up a ladder, funambulus” L. and Sc. 9 kala-
fãthw — sartor navis vel picator; cf. verbum Batavum „kalefateren” 14 spa-
y¤on = spãyh — gladius; in lingua, quae dicitur koinÆ, huius modi verba
vim diminutivam saepe perdidisse monet Costas, p. 69; cf. Psaltes § 399
|| jifãrion = lÒgxh — cuspis, spiculum

ing] not be harmed themselves, lest when the enemy presses you be
compelled to surrender them to the enemy, as did Achaeus the king12.
But as to those who are otherwise needy, but are able to provide com-
mon benefit through their own labors, namely arms manufacturers13,
engineers14, siege machine operators 15, doctors, bronzesmiths, saddle-
makers16, bridlemakers, shoemakers 17, tailors 18, ropemakers19, ladder
climbers20, oarmakers21, builders, sailors, caulkers 22, architects23, mill
stone cutters24, astronomers who contribute to discerning the move-
ment25 of waters and winds 26, both take the more accomplished among
them to help [you] and moreover organize and support them27, in order
that the arms manufacturers may toil all day and night at their work,
namely, shields, arrows, swords, helmets, but the bronzesmiths at
points28 for arrows and spears and javelins 29, and grappling irons 30
which can seize things outside. Likewise the circumstances <will 31>
demand other things as well and the treatise will make them clear as
it proceeds. For since the inventiveness of the enemy is varied and
many faceted (for prolonged experience knows for each day and hour
how to invent appropriate methods and machines), [48] there is a need

Achaeus of Sardis in Lydia, besieged by Antiochus III, 215-14 BC. See Oxford Classical
Dictionary, 3rd ed. (Oxford: 1996) 6. The text appears to reflect a section of Polybius no
longer extant; the siege is described by Polybius VII:15-18, but this aspect of it does not
appear. The same siege is also mentioned briefly below at 98:22.
ı érmatopoiÒw. Here, in view of the list below, ‘arms manufacturers’generally; see LBG
s.v., citing this passage. On such private approaches to arms manufacture see Haldon (1999)
131, 141 and 328 n. 8 and idem (2000) 291.
ı mhxanopoiÒw. Translation of the term is difficult; Prokopios (De aed. I:1:50) and
Agathias (V:8) use it of Anthemios of Tralles the “chief expert” connected with the building of
St. Sophia, whom Agathias (V:6:3) includes among those who “apply geometrical speculation
to material objects and make models or imitations of the natural world” (see ODB 1:109). Just
below (48:2-5; see the related note) the mhxanopoio‹ are associated with various types of
artillery and cranes, but the corrupt text makes the nature of the relation uncertain; presumably
fabrication rather than operation. The term appears in three instances below (87:3, 89:18,
94:24) in the citations from Arrian of the “engineers” who accompanied Alexander; on the lat-
ter see Bosworth (1980) 241.
ı magganãriow . Given the preceding mhxanopoio‹ and their role described just below
(48:2-5), I take the magganarioi here to be operators rather than fabricators of the siege
machines; cf. the term in the De cer. 310:19 and 312:11 of the operators of the starting gates
in the Hippodrome. In other instances, however, the term appears to be also used of “engi-
neers,” e.g. Leo VI, Taktika XV:35: diÉ § pino¤ aw t«n sunÒntvn soi magganar¤ vn ka‹
§ pithde¤ vn éndr«n . . . .
ı sel( l)opoiÒw. An apparent hapax, not on the TLG(E).
ı tzaggãriow . Cf. De cer. 494:10: . . . · na •n‹ •kãstƒ bãntƒ ¶ xvsi tÚn komodrÒmon
aÈt«n, ı mo¤ vw ka‹ tzaggãrionand see ODB 3:1889-90 at “Shoemaker” and 3:2135 at
ı =ãpthw . On tailors see ODB 3:2007.
ı sxoinopoiÒw. An apparent hapax, not on the TLG(E). Dain’s (1940) Mémorandum
inédit 124 no. 3 has sxoinoplÒkow which is attested elsewhere.
ı skalobãthw . Literally “ladder climber.” Du Cange, Glossarium, s.v. gives

48 § 13–19 ( THEV. p. 318, 10–24)

§pinoe›n) poikilvt°raw de›tai ka‹ nhptikvt°raw éntikatastãsevw:
14 ofl d¢ mhxanopoio‹ per‹ † tåw mhxanåw kinoËn tå ¶rga †, oÂon
tetrar°aw, magganikå ka‹ tåw legom°naw ±lakãtaw ka‹ xeiro- 3
mãggana, ¶ti d¢ ka‹ kera¤aw dunam°naw l¤youw bare›w prÚ toË
15 te¤xouw épÚ t«n §pãljevn =¤ptein: ka‹ =ãptai per‹ §pil≈rika
ka‹ kamalaÊkia pax°a, efi deÆsei, ént‹ kass¤dvn, ka‹ kvphlãtai 6
16 per‹ tØn pleustikØn ka‹ naumax¤an, ka‹ ofikodÒmoi: toÊtvn går
ka‹ mçllon ≤ t°xnh xrei≈dhw: §piskeuãsousi går tå kataponoÊ-
mena m°rh t«n teix«n ÍpÚ toË t«n kri«n diaseismoË μ ka‹ 9
17 ßtera ényÉ •t°rvn kataskeuãsousin: efi d¢ xre¤a toÊtvn e‡h, ka‹
18 efi d¢ ≤ pÒliw e‡te ka‹ ≤ §ktÚw x≈ra éfyon¤an ¶xei karp«n, 12
ka‹ dunatÒn §stin prokatalabe›n tØn t«n §xyr«n ¶fodon ka‹
tå prÚw xre¤an efisagage›n, mØ §noxle›n tå ¶ndon mhd¢ t∞w pÒlevw
19 tinåw metoik¤zein, ·na mØ dusxrhstÆsousin ofl f¤loi: éllÉ efi m¢n 15
e‡h xrÆmata toË dhmos¤ou, lambãnein §j aÈt«n ka‹ §jvne›syai
mØ mÒnon s›ton ka‹ kriyØn ka‹ o‰non ka‹ ˆspria ka‹ turÚn ka‹
kr°aw ka‹ ¶laion ka‹ k°gxron, éllå ka‹ s¤dhron ka‹ xãlkvma 18
ka‹ êrmata ka‹ p¤ssan Ígrån ka‹ jhrån ka‹ ye›on êpuron ka‹

V P1 2 v. append. 3 tetrar°aw magganikå V, w exp. V1, tetrar°aw. magganikå P1, non

liquet utrum punctum expungendi an interpungendi causa positum sit; v. append. ||
±lakãtaw Meursius: efilakãtaw V P 1 per iotacismum; cf. Du Cange „±lakãth machi-
na bellica versatilis: sic dicta forte, quod ±lakãthw seu coli speciem referret”, ubi nos-
trum locum affert, et L. and Sc. et Pape s.v. 5 =ipte›n V 6 kamalaÊkia] cf. Du
Cange s.v. kamelaÊkion et locum infra allatum || kass¤dvn scripsi: kassi V kass¤daw
P1 8 §piskeuãzousi P1; cf. v. 6 et 10 11 èli°vn v. append. 14 tå ¶ndon] toÁw ¶ndon
mavult Roos || an <§k> t∞w pÒlevw? 19 êrmata scripsi: ërmata V P1; item p. 49, 17;
v. ad p. 47, 6

4–5 cf. Philon. „V” p. 91, 34–35 épÚ kerai«n l¤youw meg¤stouw éfi°ntaw 17–
p. 49, 1 praeter alia etiam o‰non, ¶laion, ˜pla, s¤dhron, xalkÒn, p¤ssan, ye›on,
stupp¤on, dçidaw ad obsidionem tolerandam parata habere iubet Philo, „V” p. 89, 46

1 nhptikÒw videtur hoc loco significare prudentem; cf. L and Sc. et Pape s.v. nÆfv
et Leon. Tact. XV, 18 Ùl¤gon xrÒnon énapaÊou ka‹ sÊntomon, ·na nÆfhiw prÚw tå
èrmÒzontã soi diatãgmata || éntikatãstasiw cf. Leon. Tact. XV, 11 xaun≈teroi . . .
prÚw éntikatãstasin ka‹ kindÊnouw—ad resistendum periculaque obeunda omis-
siores (Migne) 5 §pil≈rikon—tunica loricae superiniecta 6 kamalaÊkion—capitis
tegumentum; Hypoth. 14, 16 legitur p›lon ÉArkadikÚn §piy°menow, unde Parecbol.
12 (f 145 v E) factum est kamalaÊkion érkadikÚn periballÒmenow.

of a more varied and more prudent defensive response. And the engi-
neers ~ <should toil at 32> their work33 ~, namely tetrareai, magganika,
and the so-called elakatai and cheiromaggana34, and still more the
projecting beams 35 which can cast heavy stones from the battlements
in front of the wall. And the tailors [should toil at] making surcoats 36
and thick felt caps 37, if there is need, instead of helmets, and the oars-
men at seaworthiness and battles at sea. And the builders: for their
skills are needed even more; for they will repair the parts of the wall
destroyed by the shaking of the rams or even will build one thing to
replace another. But if there is need of them, also fishermen.
But if the city or even the land outside it has an abundance of
fruits, and it is possible to anticipate the enemy’s incursion and to
bring in what is needed, do not disturb internal arrangements or relo-
cate anyone out of the city, in order that your friends not be troubled.
But if there are state funds 38, take them and purchase not only wheat
and barley and wine and legumes and cheese and meats and oil and
millet, but also iron and bronze and arms and wet and dry pitch and
native sulphur39 and [49] tow and flax and hemp, pine-wood torches,

“Funambulus,” i.e. a “tight-rope walker,” and cf. Sopater, Scholia ad Hermogenis status, ed.
C. Walz, Rhetores Graeci, vol. 5 (1835; rp. Osnabrück: 1968) 22:25: oÂon ÙrxhstikÆ,
skalobatikÆ: atai d° efisi ceudotexn¤ ai, ˜ti t° low oÈd¢n § pãgousin (? acrobatics). Teall
(1977) 204, however, plausibly suggests that here these must be the equivalent of the modern
“steeplejack”; perhaps also “roofers.”
ı kvpopoiÒw. An apparent hapax, not on the TLG(E).
ı kalafãthw . Teall (1977) 205 notes that the term for “ship’s caulker” is post classical
and apparently an Arabic derivative. See also V. Christides. “Two Parallel Naval Guides of the
Tenth Century,” Graeco-Arabica 1 (1982) 94: “kalafat¤ zv, kalafãthw (to caulk a ship,
caulker) are loanwords from the Arabic qalafa” and ODB 2:1091.
ı érxit° ktvn. On the distinction between “architect” and “engineer” see Sullivan (2000)
154 n. 9 with further bibliography.
ı muloxarãkthw . See Du Cange, Glossarium, s.v. “Lapidum molarium caesores.” While
the mill stones are presumably to be used for grinding grain, it is worth noting that Leo VI,
Taktika XV:54 mentions mÊloi l¤ yinoi among objects to be hung from the walls to smash lad-
ders put up by the besiegers.
Accepting forçw for forãn .
On weather prediction as an aspect of warfare in the tenth century see Haldon (1990) 211
n. (C)199 with reference to this passage and the so-called “Heron of Byzantium”, Geodesia
11:90ff (in Sullivan [2000]).
See Teall (1977) 205-06 who notes the remarkable range of specializations given here
and suggests a possible connection to the formation of guilds.
tÚ jifãrion . For the term see McGeer (1995) 206 and Kolias (1988) 195.
tÚ =iptãrion . Also below (as tÚ =iktãrion ) 50:1 and 56:5 = tÚ ékÒntion. Cf. Leo VI,
Taktika VI:7 and see Haldon (1975) 32 and Kolias (1988) 186-87.
≤ xe›r sidhrç. Cf. Thucydides 4:25:4, 7:62:3, 7:65:1 and below 69:8, 82:14 and 18, and
vdB’s tentative addition.
Supplying pon«si as above 47:13; so vdB (Appendix 104).
I seclude tåw mhxanåw kinoËn as a gloss, retaining per‹ tå ¶ rgaon the parallel of 47:13

49 § 19–26 ( THEV. p. 318, 24–38)

stupe›on ka‹ linãrion ka‹ kanãbion, dçidaw, mallÒn, bambãkion, l¤na,
xÒrton, êxuron: efi d¢ épe¤h m¢n toË dhmos¤ou xrÆmata, e‰en d° tinew 20
3 §n eÈpor¤ai xrhmãtvn, éfaire›syai §j aÈt«n ka‹ poie›n tØn §j≈-
nhsin, ka‹ t«n brvs¤mvn pipraskom°nvn, ˜sa mØ efiw épotrofØn
strativt«n dapançtai, épÚ t∞w toÊtvn sunagom°nhw tim∞w §k-
6 plhroËn tÚn éfairoÊmenon xrusÒn: t«n går strativt«n ı dhmÒ- 21
siow frontie› t∞w épotrof∞w ka‹ t∞w tim∞w ka‹ t∞w toÊtvn
dapãnhw: …saÊtvw ka‹ toË sidÆrou ka‹ t«n êllvn efid«n. 22
9 paragg°llein d¢ ka‹ pçsi toË efisãgein frÊgana, jÊlon tÚ érkoËn 23
efiw m∞naw ©j e‡te ka‹ efiw §niautÒn. ka‹ §ggrãfouw ésfale¤aw 24
toÊtvn ßneken ßkaston épaite›n, toË efiw kefalØn timvre›syai
12 tÚn §ntÚw t∞w …rism°nhw proyesm¤aw §ndeç toÊtvn eÍriskÒ-
menon. …saÊtvw ka‹ front¤zein ka‹ t∞w toË Ïdatow éfyo- 25
n¤aw ka‹ §mpiplçn toÁw Ùmbrod°ktaw ka‹ tå égge›a pãnta ka‹
15 memetrhm°nvw ka‹ toËto t«i la«i xorhge›n, Àsper oÔn ka‹ tÚn
s›ton, efi span¤zei toËto. efisãgein d¢ ka‹ tå prÚw kataskeuØn 26
érmãtvn, oÂon skoutar¤vn, menaul¤vn, sagit«n, san¤daw ka‹
18 neãkia ka‹ † kriãnh †, efi efis¤, ka‹ tosaËta, ˜sa dÊnatai §jar-

V P1 1 lege kannãbion; per unum n hab. V P1 etiam in Apollodori Poliorceticis (cf. praef.
p. 13), p. 159, 5, ubi recte Paris. Suppl. gr. 607 || mallÚn V: primum l expunxit Vx
malÚn P1 || linå V P1; malim l¤non; an gravius corruptum? linãrion enim iam
memoratum est; sed fort. inter voces stupe›on et kanãbion linum (linãrion), post
mallÚn et bambãkion linteum (l¤na) significatur 6 går om. P1 9 toË cf. § 110.
10–13 §ggrãfouw—eÍriskÒmenon cf. p. 55, 6–8 17 érmãtvn scripsi: èrmãtvn V
P1 v. ad p. 48, 19 || menaul¤vn v. append. || sagit«n v. ad p. 47, 14
18 kriãnh] nusquam alibi inveni; Du Cange s.v.: „vide in neãkion”, ubi nostrum
locum affert, de significatione autem tacet

13–16 cf. Urb.-Maur. X, 3 (p«w de› ént°xein tÚn poliorke›syai prosdok«nta

xron¤vw) Scheffer . . . . . efi d¢ ka‹ épÚ kinst°rnaw §pid¤dotai tÚ pÒsimon Ïdvr μ
épÚ pleyroË, m°trvi tin‹ ka‹ dioikÆsei g¤nesyai <tØn dianomØn> (ex Leon. Tact.sup-
plevi), fere item Leo, Tact. XV, 62; Syll. Tact. 53, 4 . . . tam¤ai d¢ toË s¤tou ka‹ t«n
énå tØn pÒlin brvs¤mvn pãntvn ka‹ aÈtoË dØ toË Ïdatow ¶stvsan, ín êra katå
tØn pÒlin Ídãtvn μ ka‹ freãtvn mØ e‡h dac¤leia, doxe¤oiw d° tisi ka‹ kinst°rnaiw
tÚ pÒton perikle¤oito: t∞w går poliork¤aw §p‹ ple›ston parataye¤shw §pimetre›syai
de› tÚ Ïdvr

18 vneãkia Du Cange s.v. praeter locum nostrum affert Parecbol. (Strathg. paragg.)
f 157 E, praef. p. 32, v. 17–18, et ibid. jÊla efiw magganik«n kataskeuØn ka‹ neãkia
ple›sta proapot¤yesyai , de significatione tacet; Soph. non memorat; legitur etiam
Paragg°lmata poliorkhtikã (Pseudo-Heron de machinis bellicis) p. 206, 7, ubi
R. Schneider, Abhandl. d. Göttinger Gesellsch. d. Wissensch. N. F. XI (1908–9), red-
dit verbo „Äste”, Martin in calce p. 326 „troncs de jeunes arbres”

wool, cotton40, linen41, fodder, chaff. If monies are not available from
state funds, but there are some individuals who are financially well
off, requisition from them and make the expenditure; when the food-
stuffs which are not expended for the support of the soldiers are sold,
from the price collected for these reimburse the money requisitioned.
For state funds will take care of the support of the soldiers and the
price and their provisions. Likewise also the iron and the other cate-
gories. Also order everyone to bring in firewood, fuel sufficient for
six months or even for a year; and demand written assurances con-
cerning these [items] regarding each person so that the one found
lacking them within the defined time period will suffer the death
penalty. Likewise also have concern for abundant supply of water and
fill the cisterns 42 and all the containers and by specified measure sup-
ply it as well to the people, likewise also wheat, if this is scarce. Bring
in also what is needed for fabrication of arms (namely shields,
menavlia43, arrows), boards and saplings 44 and ~ cornel trees45 ~, if

above. vdB (Appendix 104), however, suggests: “Fortasse <tå> tåw mhxanåw <tåw t«n § xyr«n
épo> kinoËnta ¶ rga,” while noting Roos’suggestion of secluding kinoËn tå ¶ rga.
On these obscure terms for specific types of artillery, see Haldon (2000) tetrareai 273-74
(“The weapon appears to be a traction-powered counterweight device, or trebuchet”), mag -
ganika 275 (“it remains unclear as to whether the term magganika refers simply to ‘other
machines’, or to something more specific”), elakatai 276-77 (“most probably . . . a frame-
mounted tension weapon which could discharge both arrows and stones”) and cheiromaggana
275 (a “bow-ballista”) and 277; idem (1999) 136-37. See also below 56:8-9 and n. 84.
≤ kera¤ a. Cf. below 74:9-10 and 82:3, 6. The latter passage (Archimedes’ defense of
Syracuse, cited from Polybius VIII:5) is the locus classicus for such devices. On the crane see
E. W. Marsden, Greek and Roman Artillery: Technical Treatises (Oxford: 1971) 51 and Haldon
(2000) 276.
tÚ § pil≈rikon. On this padded coat see Haldon (1975) 34, Kolias (1988) 58-61, and
McGeer (1995) 70.
tÚ kamalaÊkion , or kamelaÊkion . On this protective felt cap which covered the back of
the neck and ears see Haldon (1975) 38, Kolias (1988) 85-87 with notes 68-69, McGeer (1995)
62, and for illustrations Sullivan (2000) figs. 3, 5, 12, 13, 17, 22, etc.
tÚ dhmÒsion. On the term as state treasury, fisc, see ODB 1:610.
tÚ ye›on êpuron. The same phrase for native or elemental sulphur is used by John
Malalas (Ioannis Malalae Chronographia, ed. I. Thurn [Berlin: 2000] 331:43ff) of the incen-
diary employed in 518 by Marinos against Vitalianos.
tÚ bambãkion . Teall (1977) 204 notes that during the tenth century cotton “was put to
military use in the fabrication of a pullover or “duffel” worn by both footsoldiers and cat-
aphracts.” For additional references see his note 11 and add McGeer (1995) 61-62 and Kolias
(1988) 56-57.
On linen production in Byzantium see ODB 2:1231 and Kolias (1988) 57.
≤ Ùmbrod° kthw. DuCange, Glossarium, s.v. gives “Aquae pluviae receptaculum” and
cites Meursius for “cisterna”. An apparent hapax, not on the TLG(E).
On the menavlion, a heavy thrusting spear, see McGeer (1995) 210.
tÚ neãkion . See on the term McGeer (1995) 64 and Sullivan (2000) 173 n. 9.
For kriãnh reading krãneiai (DS). On its use for spears cf. the Praecepta militaria
I:119-21 (in McGeer [1995]): tå d¢ m° naula . . . épÚ neak¤ vn dru«n μ kranei«n and Kolias
(1988) 193.

50 § 26–37 (THEV. p. 318, 38–319, 3)

k°sein Àste ¶xein ßkaston ékontistØn §fÉ •kãsthw ≤m°raw =iktãria
d°ka ka‹ toÁw tojÒtaw énå pentÆkonta sagit«n toÁw d¢ konta-
27 rãtouw toÁw §k xeir«n maxom°nouw énå kontar¤vn p°nte: §gxa- 3
rãttein te tåw sag¤taw …w ín mØ kataxr«ntai kayÉ ≤m«n taÊtaiw
28 ofl pol°mioi. éyro¤zein d¢ ka‹ klhmat¤daw ka‹ b°rgaw fite˝naw μ
murrin¤aw prÚw po¤hsin lais«n t«n Ùfeilous«n sk°pein toÁw 6
§n ta›w mhxana›w §fest«taw.
29 e‰ta §piskeuãzein tå te¤xh ka‹ §fistçn tåw mhxanãw, efi ka‹
30 mØ ÍchlÚn e‡h, ÍcoËn aÈtÒ. pollãkiw går ka‹ t«n polem¤vn 9
poliorkoÊntvn oÈk éporÆseiw §poikodome›n ka‹ ÍcoËn tÚ te›xow,
31 Àsper ÉI≈shpow §po¤hsen. toË går OÈespasianoË kukl≈santow
tå ÉIvtãpata otow g°rra propetãsaw efiw Ïcow polÁ par°teine 12
tÚ te›xow.
32 ka‹ toÁw ÍponÒmouw d¢ énereunçn ka‹ ésfal¤zesyai: diÉ aÈt«n
går ple›stai pÒleiw §pibouleuye›sai ÍpÚ tØn §jous¤an g°gone 15
33 t«n §xyr«n. l°getai går tØn megãlhn Kaisãreian diå t«n Ípo-
34 nÒmvn lhfy∞nai. t«n går Pers«n xron¤ai poliork¤ai per‹ aÈtØn
§ktrib°ntvn ka‹ ≥dh énazeugnÊntvn kunãrion diå t«n ÍponÒmvn 18
épÚ t∞w pÒlevw prÚw toÁw P°rsaw efis°frhsen, tin«n d¢ §pidiv-
jãntvn aÈtÚ aÔyiw Àrmhse prÚw ∂n §jvrmÆkei ıdÚn <ka‹ oÏtvw>
35 prÒjenon épvle¤aw t∞i pÒlei g°gonen: katÒpin | går aÈtoË §pipo- 21
36 reuy°ntew ofl P°rsai e‡sv t∞w pÒlevw §n°peson. éllå ka‹ Neãpoliw
37 ≤ §n ÉItal¤ai diå t«n ÍponÒmvn lhfy∞nai l°getai. tåw d¢ Su-
rakoÊsaw diå t«n ÍponÒmvn §ggÁw §lye›n toË prodoy∞na¤ fasi, 24

F 10–13 §poikodome›n—te›xow cf. Ios. III, 171–174 (III, 7, 10): T, Wesch. p. 339,
4–14, ubi narrantur, quae Anon. hic contracta et mutata suis verbis memorat 16–22
cf. praef. p. 17–18 22–23 Neãpoliw – l°getai cf. praef. p. 18 23–p. 51, 2 tåw d¢
SurakoÊsaw—ÑRvma¤oiw cf. praef. p. 15

V P1 1 =iktãria v. append. ad p. 47, 15 2 sagit«n v. ad p. 47, 14 4 sag¤taw v. ad

p. 47, 14 6 murrin¤aw scripsi: murrinn¤aw Thev. murrix¤aw V murix¤aw P1 || lais«n
scripsi: laist«n V P1; cf. p. 57, 3 et § 175; la›sa e.g. etiam Paragg. poliork. (cf.
in calce p. 49 ad neãkia) p. 199, 14; 207, 17 etc. 8 efl ka‹] lege ka‹ efi 9 malim
Íchlå . . . aÈtã 10 éporrÆseiw P1 || §poikodomoËn
P1 12 propetãsaw scripsi:
propetãseiw V P1; textum mutavit etiam E , sed incertum quid voluerit 15 lege
gegÒnasi, quod fort. etiam voluit Ex 18 kunãrion scripsi: kunãr∂ i V kunãriow
P1 nunãrion (sic) Thev. 20 Àrmhse Ex, ut vid., Thev.: Àrmise V P1 E, ut vid. ||
<ka‹ oÏtvw> supplevi; an ırm∞san pro Àrmhse? ka‹ suppl. E x 21 épole¤aw P1 24
§gÁw P1

2 énå cum gen. vim distributivam habet; multa exempla apud Soph. s.v. 5 b°rgai—
virgae. 6 la›sa—vinea, „Schirme aus Flechtwerk”, „Rollwände” (Schneider 1.1.)
„espèce de tortue de guerre” (Martin 1.1.)

there are any, and whatever else can suffice [50] so that each javelin-
er has 10 riktaria46 each day and the archers 50 arrows, but the spear-
men who fight hand-to-hand 5 spears. And cut notches in the arrows 47
so that the enemy cannot use them against us. Gather also brushwood
and willow branches or myrtle for making laisai48 which are useful for
covering men standing at the siege-machines.
Then repair the walls and place machines [on them], and if49 they
should not be high, raise them. For oftentimes when the enemy are
besieging you will not be at a loss to build up and raise the wall, as
Josephus did. For when Vespasian encircled Jotapata Josephus by
spreading out wicker barriers 50 extended the wall to a great height.
Search out and secure the tunnels, for through them very many
threatened cities have come 51 under the power of the enemy. For great
Caesarea is said to have been captured through the tunnels 52. For when
the Persians had become exhausted by a long siege around it and were
already starting to decamp, a puppy came out of the city to the
Persians through the tunnels, and some of them pursued it as it ran
back to the passage by which it exited <and so 53> it became the agent
of destruction54 for the city. Moreover Naples in Italy is said to have
been taken through the tunnels55. And they say the Syracusans came
close to betrayal through the tunnels, [51] the traitors communicating

I.e. “javelins”, see above n. 29.
Caillemer (1872) 205 comments that the arrows would shatter on striking and thus not be
reusable. The same recommendation is found in Dain’s (1940) Mémorandum inédit 124 no. 5:
De› sag¤ ttaw •toimãzesyai pollåw ka‹ taÊtaw xarãttein . On this and with other examples
see Kolias (1988) 218 and n. 32.
On the 10th-century laisa (la›sa), a protective screen or shed and these woods see
McGeer (1991) 135-38 and for illustrations Sullivan (2000) figs. 2 and 20.
Accepting ka‹ efifor efi ka¤.
The text here has g° rra (“wicker screens”) for Josephus’ drÊfaktoi “fences” which the
latter describes as covered with raw oxhides. These were to protect the workers building the
stone extension of the wall from enemy fire.
Accepting gegÒnasi for g° gone.
vdB (17-18) connects with the Persian siege of Caesarea in Cappadocia in 611 (cf.
Theophanes, Chronographia 299:31ff; Vie de Théodore de Sykeon ed. A-J. Festugière [Brussels:
1970] cp. 153; and see W. Kaegi, “New evidence on the early reign of Heraclius”, BZ 66 [1973]
308-30, spec. 322-23). The description of the discovery of the entrance through the mines is not
found in other sources and suggests use of a source no longer extant. It is also at variance with
Sebeos (see R. W. Thomson et al., The Armenian History attributed to Sebeos [Liverpool: 1999]
64) who says the Christians left the city and it was then surrendered by the Jews.
vdB’s suggested addition.
Also below at 58:11. Cf. George the Monk, Chronicon (ed. C. de Boor, 2 vols. [Leipzig:
1904; rp. Stuttgart: 1978, with corr. by P. Wirth]) I:456:17, et al.
Besieged by Belisarios in 536; Prokopios BG I:9-10. For other examples of such tunnels
see Theophanes, Chronographia 374:20-23 where Justinian II is said to have gained entry into
Constantinople diå toË égvgoË and Leo the Deacon, Historiae libri X, ed. C. B. Hase (Bonn:
1828) 45:23 where Leo Phokas is said to escape from Constantinople diå t«n ÍponÒmvn toË
te¤ xouw. See also John Kinnamos, Epitome, ed. A. Meineke (Bonn: 1836) 275:9-10: ≤ d¢ diå
t«n § j ¶ youw aÔyiw ÍponÒmvn § p‹ tØn pÒlin toËto pro˝hsin .

51 § 37–45 ( THEV. p. 319, 3–19)

t«n prodÒntvn tå t∞w pÒlevw diÉ aÈt«n ımiloÊntvn to›w

3 éllå ka‹ tojÒtidaw puknåw kataskeuãzein, ·nÉ §j aÈt«n éorãtvw 38
katatitr≈skvntai ofl Ípenant¤oi, ka‹ e‡pote ka‹ kl¤makaw §pi-
ye›nai peiraye›en, prÚ toË §panab∞nai t«n §pãljevn to›w justo›w
6 katatrvy«si ka‹ épokrousy«si. diÉ œn ka‹ mçllon ı sof≈tatow 39
ÉArximÆdhw perieg°neto t«n polem¤vn, tojÒtisi katapukn≈saw tÚ
te›xow † ka‹ éfan«w diÉ aÈt«n traumat¤zvn m°xri t∞w stereçw
9 g∞w toÁw poliorkoËntaw ÍpÚ t«n §n ta›w tojÒtisi kayhm°nvn. †
prÚw §p‹ toÊtoiw ka‹ tåw tãfrouw ÍporÊssein ka‹ eÈrut°raw 40
poie›n lÄ pÆxevn, efi ı tÒpow épaite›, efiw plãtow ka‹ efiw bãyow
12 …saÊtvw: efi d¢ ka‹ dÊo μ ka‹ tre›w §gxvre› g°nvntai, <taÊtaw 41
ÙrÊssein> §mpiplçn te aÈtåw Ïdatow strathgik≈teron: §p‹ d¢ 42
to›w xe¤lesin •kãsthw xarak/vmata poie›n ka‹ teleuta›on prote¤-
15 xisma dunatÚn {prÚw tÚ mØ eÈxer«w plhsiãzein toÁw §xyroÁw
t«i te¤xei} prÚw tÚ mØ eÈx°reian ¶xein toÁw §xyroÁw plhsiãzein
t«i te¤xei: efi går §p‹ polÁ bãyow ≤ tãfrow Íporuge¤h, dusxer«w 43
18 ín kataxvsyÆsetai parå t«n Ípenant¤vn: ka‹ mãlista ˜tan 44
oÈk ¶sti prosdÒkimow summax¤a, pl∞yow d¢ mçllon §xyr«n §lp¤-
zetai, ka‹ oÈd¢ flppe›w ≤ pÒliw μ tÚ froÊrion <¶xei> dunam°nouw
21 •pit¤yesyai metå t«n pez«n.
efi d¢ yalãsshi diaz≈nnutai kayÒlou μ merik«w, † §pimele›syai 45
de› toË braxiol¤ou, kín efiw bãyow §p‹ polÁ §pekte¤netai, eÍr¤skein

F 6–9 diÉ œn—kayhm°nvn pertinere ad Plb. VIII, 5, 6 (7, 6 Hultsch, Schw.) (in
Excerptis Ant., cod. T et apud Anonymum § 221 servatum) iam vidit Müller 2 p. LXII;
cf. ibi katepÊknvse trÆmasi tÚ te›xow. Errat autem Anon. dicens hostes usque ad
solum stabile repelli; agitur enim apud Plb. de oppugnatione e mari 10–15 tåw
tãfrouw—dunatÚn cf. Plb. X, 31, 8 tãfroi går ∑san tritta¤, plãtow m¢n oÈk ¶lat-
ton ¶xousai triãkonta phx«n, bãyow d¢ penteka¤deka: §p‹ d¢ to›w xe¤lesin •kãsthw
§p°keito xarak≈mata diplç ka‹ teleuta›on prote¤xisma dunatÒn.
V P1
1 an prodidÒntvn? || diÉ aÈt«n Roos dubitanter, quod fort. etiam voluit Ex: diå t«n
V P1; cf. p. 50, 14 et § 101 3 tojÒtidaw scripsi: toj¤tidaw V P1; cf. v. 7 et ad v. 9 ||
kataskeuãzhn V 4–5 §piy∞nai P1 8–9 v. append. 1
9 tojÒtisi Thev.: toj¤ti V P1
10 ÍporrÊssein P1 V primum r expunxit V || tãfrouw ÍporÊssein cf. v. 17 et
§ 176 12 g°nvntai] malim gen°syai, sed nescio an Anonymo attribuendum sit
12–13 <taÊtaw ÙrÊssein> supplevi 15–16 {prÚw—te¤xei} delevi; cf.
§ 359; prÚw—te¤xei v. 16–17 del. Ex 16 plhsiãzhn V 17 tãfrow Íporuge¤h
v. ad v. 10 20 <¶xei> supplevi, quod ante ka‹ oÈd¢ suppl. Thev. i. m., ¶xh post froÊrion
supplevisse vid. Ex 22–p. 52, 4 suspicor fort. post braxiol¤ou v. 23 excidisse ka‹ t∞w

23 braxiÒlion—propugnaculum

the city’s situation to the Romans through them 56.

But also construct numerous loopholes 57 so that the enemy can
be wounded invisibly from them and if they also attempt to put up lad-
ders, before they mount the ramparts they can be wounded and driv-
en back with spear-shafts58. The most wise 59 Archimedes thereby was
even more successful against the enemy, having packed the wall
thickly with loopholes ~ and invisibly wounded <and repelled 60> the
besiegers right down to the solid ground through them with men posi-
tioned at the loopholes. ~
Moreover in addition to these actions also dig ditches and make
them wider than 50 cubits, if the terrain demands it, the same in width
and depth. Let there be two or three if possible, <dig them61> and fill
them with water in military fashion. On the banks of each construct
palisades and finally an outwork 62 able to prevent the enemy from
having an easy opportunity to approach the wall. For if the ditch is
dug to a great depth, it will be difficult for the enemy to fill it in. Do
this especially whenever no allied aid is anticipated, but rather a mul-
titude of enemy is expected, and the city or fortress <has63> no caval-
ry able to fight with the infantry.
But if [the city] is completely or partially girded by the sea, ~ it
is necessary to have concern for the brachiolion64 <and the sea beside
it65>, even if the [sea] reaches a great depth, to find [52] beams and

Presumably the siege by M. Claudius Marcellus in the Second Punic War (so vdB
Introduction 15), although the information given here is not preserved in the extant text of
For illustrations of the development of the loophole in Byzantine fortifications see C. Foss
and D. Winfield, Byzantine Fortifications: an Introduction (Praetoria: 1986) 243 Fig. 104.
tÚ justÒn. On the term see Kolias (1988) 191 and n. 3.
The same superlative is again used of Archimedes below at 78:16.
Translating one of vdB’s suggested additions (Appendix 105) ka‹ épokrouÒmenow,
although as she notes one might then have expected diå t«n . . . kayhm° nvn.
vdB’s suggested addition.
tÚ prote¤ xisma. On the “outwork” see A. W. Lawrence, Greek Aims in Fortification
(Oxford: 1979) 276-79 and cf. John Kaminiates, De expugnatione Thessalonicae (ed. G.
Böhlig [Berlin: 1973]) 8:2:3: <tÚ te›xow> . . . t“ ¶ jvy° n te proteix¤ smati tÚ ésfal¢w pãn-
toyen sunthroËn.
vdB’s suggested addition.
tÚ braxiÒlion or braxiãlion . Literally “bracelet,” presumably a short wall projecting
into the sea to prevent access to beaches at the junction of land and sea walls; see M. and M.
Whitby, Chronicon Paschale 284-628 AD (Liverpool: 1989) 173 n. 464, C. Mango,
Nikephoros I: Short History (Washington D.C.: 1990) 182 n. 22 and Theophanes (Mango and
Scott) 494. For a similar wall defending the Thracian Chersonese - tÚn égk«na toË te¤ xouw
tÚn m° xri toË bãyouw § ktetam° non in Agathias, Historiarum Libri Quinque, ed. R. Keydell
(Berlin: 1967) 192:16-17 - see G. Greatrex, “Procopius and Agathias on the defenses of the
Thracian Chersonese”, in Constantinople and Its Hinterland, ed. C. Mango and G. Dagron
(Aldershot: 1995) 125-29.
vdB’s suggested addition.

52 § 45–51 ( THEV. p. 319, 19–34)

te dokoÁw μ katãrtia plo¤vn ka‹ desme›n taËta ta›w êkraiw ka‹

plãgia ke›syai poie›n épÚ toË braxiol¤ou …w §p‹ tÚ p°lagow
§kteinÒmena, ·na e‡pote ka‹ éponÆjasyai boulhye›en metå t«n 3
46 ·ppvn, proskroÊontew §n aÈto›w épopn¤gvntai. † ka‹ plo›a ka-
47 tãfrakta kataskeuãzein. ka‹ §p‹ toË prÚw tØn yãlassan m°rouw
toË te¤xouw tojÒtaw suxnoÁw §fistçn ka‹ ékontiståw ka‹ sfen- 6
doniståw nuktÚw ka‹ ≤m°raw, …w ín e‡rgvsi tåw t«n polem¤vn
48 §fÒdouw, † §peidØ ka‹ tÚ K¤trow §nteËyen •ãlv: •nÚw går t«n
§gxvr¤vn §ktÚw t∞w pÒlevw §kkleisy°ntow kéke›yen efiselhluyÒtow 9
ofl »mÒtatoi BoÊlgaroi oÈ xalep«w §ke›yen épopnijãmenoi efis-
°dusan §ntÚw † ka‹ pãntaw êrdhn éne›lon.
49 kataskeuãzein d¢ ka‹ gefÊraw §n ta›w tãfroiw §k jÊlvn dru˝nvn 12
fisxur«n ka‹ pax°vn sumblhtåw prÚw tÚ ént°xein t«i bãrei t«n
flpp°vn, plãtow §xoÊsaw sÊmmetron, ·nÉ ıpÒtan §n nukt‹ e‡te ka‹
≤m°rai katå t«n polem¤vn §jorm«si, mØ suntr¤bvntai ka‹ kin- 15
dÊnou para¤tioi to›w strati≈taiw g¤nointo, ˜per toÁw ofikÆtoraw
50 t∞w Do *pÒlevw paye›n sumb°bhke: t∞w går gefÊraw suntribe¤shw
sumpesÒntew ofl f¤lioi ***, ofl êlloi d¢ memenhkÒtew t∞w tãfrou 18
§ktÚw Ípoxe¤rioi to›w §xyro›w §g°nonto ka‹ dusyum¤an to›w peri-
lo¤poiw t«n polit«n efirgãsanto épogn«na¤ te t∞w svthr¤aw
51 §nteËyen. efi går ka‹ ÉAn¤baw poliorkoÊmenow ÍpÚ ÑRvma¤vn ka‹ 21

F 8–11 §peidØ—éne›lon cf. praef. p. 18 21–p. 53, 2 ÉAn¤baw—dÊnamin cf. Plb.

I, 19, 12–13 ÉAnn¤baw . . . . Àrmhse per‹ m°saw nÊktaw §k t∞w pÒlevw, ¶xvn tåw
jenikåw dunãmeiw. x≈saw d¢ formo›w éxÊrvn sesagm°noiw tåw tãfrouw ¶laye toÁw
polem¤ouw épagagΔn ésfal«w tØn dÊnamin .

V P1 prÚw toÊtvi yalãsshw vel tale quid, et pro éponÆjasyai v. 3 legendum esse épÚ
<t«n ne«n prÚw tØn pÒlin (vel tÚ braxiÒlion)> nÆjasyai; pro ta›w êkraiw v. 1 malim
tåw êkraw (accus. partis) 2 plãgia ke›syai] plake›syai P1 8–11 épopnijãmenoi
v. 10 absurdum est; fort. éfikÒmenoi? Sed veri simile non est id in épopnijãmenoi
mutatum esse; an éponhjãmenoi? Id etiam coni. Roos et hab. Ex (nh in ras.). Praeterea
§ke›yen v. 9 et 10 satis definitum non vid., si pertinet ad mare, quo fit ut ante §peidØ
v. 8 aliquid excidisse suspicer 9 §kkle¤syentow Thev. §gkleisy°ntow VP 1 11 êrdein
P1 12 kataskeuãzhn V 16 g°nointo P1 17 d pÒlevw, spatio 6 fere litt. vacuo
relicto, signo corruptelae addito i. m. V P 1; fort. DomitiopÒlevw? cf. Claudii Ptolemaei
Geographiam (rec. C. Müller 1883–1901), V, 7, 5 cum annotatione Mülleri. An DoÊlvn
pÒlevw vel DoulopÒlevw? cf. Pape s.v. || suntribÆshw P1 18 sunpesÒntew P1
|| lac. indicavi; ofl ≥dh §n aÈt∞i ˆntew épepn¤ghsan m°n vel tale quid excidisse
vid. 20–p. 53, 3 v. append. 21 efi går ka‹ cf. p. 58, 10 et § 118; v. append. ||
ênebaw V; semper per unum n hab. V P1 (p. 60, 5; § 119, 135), ut fort. ipsi Anonymo
attribuendum sit

masts of ships and to bind these at the ends and to cause them to lie
horizontally stretching from the brachiolion to the open ocean, in
order that if the [enemy] might intend to swim from <the ships to the
city66> on their horses, bumping against these they will drown. ~ . . .
and prepare decked ships67. And on the portion of the wall toward the
sea station numerous archers and javeliners and slingers night and
day, so that they may ward off the enemy attacks. ~ . . . when Kitros 68
was taken in that way; for when one of the inhabitants was shut out of
the city and entered from there, the most savage Bulgarians, swim-
ming69 without difficulty from there, slipped in ~ and totally slaugh-
tered everyone.
Construct as well bridges over the ditches, made of strong and
thick oak, capable of withstanding the weight of the cavalry, the width
appropriate to the length, so that whenever by night or even day the
soldiers sally forth against the enemy, the [bridges] may not be
crushed and become another cause of danger to the men; this is what
the inhabitants of Do< . . . >polis 70 suffered; for when a bridge was
crushed some of their friends falling <in were already drowned 71>,
others avoiding the ditch came into enemy hands and brought despair
upon the rest of the citizens who as a result lost hope of their salva-
tion. For72 if Hannibal when besieged by the Romans and [53] being

vdB’s suggested addition.
tÚ plo›on katãfrakton . Tå plo›a katãfrakta occur at Thucydides I:10:4; L. Casson,
Ships and Seamanship in the Ancient World (Princeton: 1973) 88 explains these as “complete-
ly fenced in,” i.e. by a raised deck above and, at the sides, by a leather screen which went
around the ship. He further notes (116 n. 63) that Polybius uses the term for all warships larg-
er than a trireme. For a contemporary reference to katãfraktai n∞ew (“decked ships”) see
Constantine Porphyrogenitus De administrando imperio, ed. G. Moravcsik, trans. R. Jenkins,
rev. ed. (Washington, DC: 1967) 21:53. Below at 90:9 the text has Arrian’s phrase naËw
katafrãjantew where the reference is almost certainly specifically to the protective screen.
The apparent lacuna here leaves the purpose of the ships unclear, but, given the decks, pre-
sumably to station troops or siege machines on.
Byzantine Kitros was on the site of ancient Pydna (see ODB 2:1131-32 and add the ref-
erence in Kekaumenos [ed. G. G. Litavrin, Sovety i Rasskazy Kekavmena (Moscow: 1972)]
260:10). Martin (1854) 327-28, followed by vdB (Introduction 3), plausibly suggests that the
otherwise unknown siege was recent (i.e. in the reign of Constantine VII (912-59), given the
sentiment expressed in “most savage” (»mÒtatoi). vdB (Introduction 16, 18) takes a similar
view, noting particularly the frequent Bulgarian incursions 913-924.
Accepting éponhjãmenoi for épopnijãmenoi .
The name of the city cannot be restored with any certainty.
vdB’s suggested addition.
vdB notes (Appendix 105) that while the following ought to pertain to the necessity of
building bridges, it does not and perhaps something has dropped out. Her suggestions include
inserting here after “§ nteËyen,” Efi d¢ mØ ¶ sti jÊla, •t° roiw tis‹ kexr∞syai de›, “But if there
is no wood, it is necessary to use something else.” She suggests as one alternative inserting går
at 53:3 before dunatÒn.

53 § 51–55 ( THEV. p. 319, 34–41)

m°llvn t∞w KarxhdÒnow Ípanaxvre›n, formo›w éxÊrvn sesag-
m°noiw tåw tãfrouw x≈saw ¶layen ésfal«w épagagΔn tØn dÊnamin,
3 ka‹ dunatÚn ka‹ toÊtoiw ént‹ gefÊraw kexr∞syai: éllÉ oÔn diå 52
tÚ mØ épollÊein tÚ êxuron èrmÒzei front¤da y°syai t«n ge-
6 prÚw §p‹ toÊtoiw §piskeuãzein ka‹ † tzipãta † §ktÚw t«n tãfrvn 53
ka‹ d∞la m¢n poie›n to›w ≤met°roiw, êgnvsta d¢ to›w §xyro›w.
§pirr¤ptein d¢ ka‹ tribÒlouw kuklÒyen sxoin¤oiw §jhrthm°naw, ·nÉ 54
9 ıpÒtan §jormçn m°llvsin ofl §ntÚw katå t«n Ípenant¤vn, eÈxer«w
éfairoËntai toÊtouw.
kremnçn d¢ ka‹ k≈dvnaw §ktÚw t«n promax≈nvn, ·nÉ e‡pote 55

V P1 1 m°llon P1 || KarxhdÒnow] debet esse ÉAkrãgantow, sed incertum est utrum is

error Anonymo attribuendus sit an librario; recte scriptum est p. 60, 6 et § 110, ubi
eadem obsidio memoratur 3–4 diå tÚ] dia V 4 épolÊein P1 6 §piskeuãzein v.
ad § 165 || tz¤pa (vel tzipãton, si recte parojutÒnvw scriptum est) nusquam alibi
inveni; Du Cange s.v. nostrum locum affert et videre iubet s.v. tzÆpa, sed quod ibi
legitur „membrana, vena, musculus, pellicula”, hoc loco non quadrat. Ante hanc vocem
signum aliquod (corruptelae?) supra versum posuit Ex, cf. ad p. 56, 10 et § 98 7
poi∞n V 8 §pir¤ptein P1; scil. §p‹ to‹w tz¤pasi (vel tzipãtoiw)? =¤ptein tribÒlouw
legitur e.g. Iul. Afric. I cap. 18 v. 52 sqq.; Leon. Probl. IV,7; Leon. Tact. XIV, 45 et 85;
in recensione Constantiniana Leonis Tact. XI, 8 et 15; Syll. Tact. 22, 5 11 pro-
maxÒnvn P1

8–10 cf. Urb.-Maur. XII, 8, 6 (Vari) tribÒlouw énadedem°naw lepto›w sfhk≈masi

ka‹ §n ¥lvi sidhr«i épokratoum°naw diå tÚ •to¤mvw sunãgesyai aÈtãw:, item Leo,
Probl. XII, 8 et Leo, Tact. VI, 27 (ubi . . . diå lept«n sfhkvmãtvn), Syll. Tact. 38,
12 tribÒliã te sidhrç diå t«n legom°nvn sfhkvmãtvn épodedhm°na ¥loiw sidhro›w
prÚw tÚ =aid¤vw aÈtå =¤ptesyai ka‹ aÔyiw sunãgesyai; Leon. Tact. XIV, 45 §ãn
tiw tribÒlouw sidhrçw ésumfan«w =¤chi prÚw Àran §n sfhk≈masin épodedem°naw
efiw tÚ •to¤mvw sust°llesyai metå tØn xre¤an, fere item Leo, Probl. IV, 7 ex Urb.-
Maur. IV, 3, 2; Urb.-Maur. XII, 8, 22, 1 (Vari) ¶jvyen tãfron poie›n. . . . ¶jvyen d¢
taÊthw tribÒlouw, item Leo, Probl. XII, 41 et Leo, Tact. XI, 15; tr¤boloi apud scrip-
tores tacticos saepe memorantur; eas describit Procopius, De bello Gothico III, 24
11–p. 54, 4 cf. Syll. Tact. 22, 6 k≈dvnaw sxoin¤oiw éphvrhm°nouw, …w ín t«n §p‹
kataskop∞i toË stratop°dou pemfy°ntvn polem¤vn diå t«n efirhm°nvn tribÒlvn
μ Ùrugmãtvn dielye›n fisxusãntvn ékrib∞ tØn toÊtvn gn«sin ofl k≈dvnew to›w toË
stratop°dou par°jvntai fÊlajin; Incert. script. II (p. 10, 3 sqq.) =ãbdouw mikråw
§n t∞i g∞i phgnÊtvsan: ka‹ k≈dvnaw efiw sxoin¤a dedem°nouw t«n =ãbdvn
épaivre¤tvsan kÊklvi pantÚw toË xãrakow, ˜pvw ofl lanyãnontew pol°mioi μ
katãskopoi tåw b¤glaw peritugxãnontew to›w toioÊtoiw eÈkÒlvw §pigin≈skvntai.

3–4 diå tÚ cum inf. = ·na cum coniunct. vel opt.; multa exempla apud Soph. s.v.

about to retire from Carthage 73, by filling the ditches with baskets
packed with chaff safely led away his forces undetected, it is also pos-
sible to use these instead of a bridge. And so it is fitting to give
thought to the bridges in order not to waste the chaff.
Moreover in addition prepare also barbed chevaux de frise 74 out-
side the ditches and make them known to our men, but conceal them
from the enemy. Throw all around also caltrops 75 tied on ropes, in
order that whenever those within are going to sortie out against the
enemy, they easily remove these.
Also hang bells 76 on the outside of the battlements, so that if [54]

As vdB notes, apparently an error for Acragas; the same siege is mentioned below at 60:6
and 63:15.
tÚ tz¤ paor tÚ tzipãton . On the term see McGeer (1995) 166 and Haldon (2000) 228-29
with n. 90.
ı tr¤ bolow. For this spiked implement for maiming horses and men see the description
in Prokopios, BG III:24:16-18.
ı k≈dvn. vdB cites parallels for this use of bells in the Sylloge tacticorum and Incert.
script. II. Dain’s (1940) Mémorandum inédit 124 no.10 makes the same recommendation. For
similar use to protect a military camp see the De velitatione, in George Dennis, Three
Byzantine Military Treatises (Washington, DC: 1985) 262:27. Generally on bells see ODB

54 § 55–58 (THEV. p. 319, 41–320, 2)

ka‹ layra¤vw §piy°syai meletÆsvsi ka‹ mØ yeaye›en parå t«n
frour«n, émeloÊntvn ‡svw μ ka‹ prodidÒntvn μ ka‹ ÍpÚ toË
skÒtouw mØ kayorçn sugxvroum°nou, diå toË parÉ aÍt«n épote- 3
loum°nou ktÊpou a‡syhsin poi«si t∞w t«n polem¤vn §piy°sevw.
56 oÈd°pote går ëma pãntew ımonoÆsousi prÚw prodos¤an ofl fÊlakew,
oÈd¢ pãlin §n •n‹ ka‹ t«i aÈt«i kair«i prÚw bayÁn Ïpnon kat- 6
enexy«si, ka‹ mãlista §ån k°rketa ka‹ parak°rketa §pinohy∞i,
êlla m¢n per‹ pr≈thn fulakØn t∞w nuktÒw, êlla d¢ per‹ deÊteran,
ka‹ ßtera per‹ tr¤thn. 9
57 ka‹ aÈtÚw d¢ diÉ aÍtoË ı strathgÚw §n ta›w •orta›w §forçn
de› tåw b¤glaw, efi dunatÒn, ka‹ kayÉ •kãsthn nÊkta, mÆ ti éme-
58 loÊmenon parÉ aÈt«n lãyoi. tåw går SurakoÊsaw mhd°pote 12
lhfy∞nai dunam°naw diå tØn toË ÉArximÆdouw eÈmÆxanon sof¤an,
§pithrÆsantew ofl ÑRvma›oi kairÒn, ˜te •ortØn ∑gon ofl SurakoÊsioi,
aÈtomÒlou toËto aÈto›w dia|safÆsantow ˜ti yus¤an êgousi pan- 15
dhm‹ ofl katå tØn pÒlin §fÉ ≤m°raw tre›w ka‹ to›w m¢n sit¤oiw Ùl¤gon

F 12–p. 55, 5 tåw går SurakoÊsaw—épokte¤nantew cf. Plb. VIII, 37, 2–10, in solo
cod. T,Wesch. p. 326, 13–328, 3, servata, ex quibus sumpta sunt, quae hic multis omis-
sis et mutatis narrantur 15–p. 55, 1 aÈtomÒlou—dacile›; Plb. VIII, 37, 2, Wesch.
p. 326, 13–16, metå d° tinaw ≤m°raw aÈtomÒlou diasafÆsantow k. t. l.: Suda s.v.
Lito›w, mayΔn dÉ §j aÈtomÒlou diasafÆsantow—dacile›, §poliÒrkei

V P1 [T] 1 layr°vw P1 3 kayorçn scripsi: kayor«n V P1 || aÍt«n scripsi: aÈt«n V P1

[Suda] 10–11 aÈtÚw—de› cf. p. 60, 15–17; nominativus ergo ipsi Anonymo deberi videtur;
aÈtÚn . . . tÚn strathgÚn Ex (aÈtÚw . . . ı strathgÚw E) 10 aÍtoË scripsi: aÈtoË
V P1 || §fodçn P1 11 nÊktan P1 12–p. 55, 2 anacolouthon,1
quod propter longi-
tudinem sententiae non offendit 13 toË] tØn V corr. 1
V om. P1 14 SurakoÊsioi
Thev.: surãkou V P1 15 diasafÆsantew T corr. T || yusiai T •ortØn Suda, cf.
v. 14 15–16 pandhm‹] pãndhmon T B.-W. Suda 16 ofl katå—tre›w om. Suda ||
tre›w] ≥dh tre›w ÉArt°midi T B.-W. || m¢n om. Suda || s¤toiw T || Ùl¤gvn V lito›w
T B.-W. Suda; fort. Ùl¤goiw? cf. dacile› p. 55, 1

10–11 cf. Syll. Tact. 53, 1 mãlista d¢ §n ta›w . . . . . •ortas¤moiw nuj‹n ésfalestãtaw
˜ti mãlista poie¤syv tåw fulakãw:

1 meletçn—conari, moliri; item § 93; cf. e. g. Leon. Probl. VII, 1 (ex Urb.-Maur.
VII, I, 1) prÒ ge èpãntvn xrØ tåw parå t«n §xyr«n meletvm°naw §n°draw §reunçn;
Urb.-Maur. X, 3 (Scheffer) §k toÊtou går oÈd¢ eÈkairoËntew stãsin melet«sin, fere
item Leo, Tact. XV, 56; Urb.-Maur. ibid. ˜tan ka‹ prosrÊesya¤ tinew to›w §xyro›w
melet«si, fere item Leo, Tact. XV, 60; Cecaum. rizÄ efi §mel°thsen §ke›now yanat«sa¤
se; non invenitur apud Du Cange et Soph. 7 k°rketa—„circitationes, circae, excu-
biae, vigiliae” (Du Cange) „patrol” (Soph.); parak°rketa—„excubiae post priores”
(Du Cange) 11 b¤gla—vigilia

ever the [enemy] attempt to attack secretly and are not seen by the
guards, who are perchance careless or even traitors or also on account
of darkness cannot see, [the bells] due to the noise they cause make
one aware of the enemy’s attack. For never yet have all guards agreed
on treason nor again at one and the same time have they fallen into a
deep sleep, and especially if patrols and counterpatrols 77 are planned,
some at the first watch of night, others at the second, still others at the
And the general himself must personally oversee the watches
during festivals, if possible, and each night, lest any negligence on the
part of the guards go undetected. For the Syracusans were never able
to be taken due to the ingenious wisdom of Archimedes; the Romans
watched for an opportunity and when the Syracusans were celebrating
a festival a deserter informed them that the entire population of the
city was celebrating a sacrificial festival for three days and were eat -
ing little food [55] because it was scarce, but they were drinking wine

tÚ k° rketon. On this term for a system of mobile surveillance see Dagron (1986) 215 n.
1 and McGeer (1995) 78. The compound (tÚ parak° rketon) I do not find on the TLG(E).

55 § 58–63 ( THEV. p. 320, 2–15)

xr«ntai diå tØn spãnin, t«i dÉ o‡nvi xr«ntai dacile›, taxÁ d¢
klimãkvn dÊo sunteyeis«n, §g°nonto kÊrioi t«n pÊrgvn. efiw 59
3 går toÁw pÊrgouw ±yroism°noi diå tØn yus¤an ofl m¢n ékmØn
¶pinon, ofl dÉ §koim«nto pãlai meyuskÒmenoi. diÚ ka‹ ¶layon
aÈtoÁw épokte¤nantew.
6 ka‹ ésfãleian d¢ épaite›n tÚn strathgÚn ëpantaw, ·na e‡ tiw 60
lipe›n peiraye¤h tØn tãjin plhg«n êneuyen μ êllhw eÈlÒgou
afit¤aw, efiw kefalØn timvre›tai katå toÁw per‹ lipotaj¤ou nÒmouw
9 parå t«n palai«n §kteyeim°nouw, o„ tÚn lipotãkthn t∞i §pi-
yanat¤vi kated¤kazon cÆfvi ka‹ diå toËto pçsan tØn ofikoum°nhn
Ípoxe¤rion pepoiÆkasin. efi går t«i toioÊtvi §pitim¤vi peridee›w 61
12 e‰en ofl strati«tai, oÈk ín ßlointÒ pote ékleç yãnaton épen°g-
kasyai dunam°nouw eÎkleian to›w •aut«n pais‹ ka‹ épogÒnoiw
katalipe›n μ ka‹ •auto›w tÚ z∞n peripoiÆsasyai diå t∞w §p‹
15 toË met≈pou épokatastãsevw. ı m¢n går tå n«ta de¤jaw t«i 62
§xyr«i dusxer«w ín diafÊgoi tÚn yãnaton, ı d¢ genna¤vw én-
tikataståw ka‹ §autÚn ¶svsen ka‹ gennaiÒthtow ka‹ éndre¤aw
18 §karp≈sato dÒjan.
metå d¢ tÚ per‹ toÊtvn pãntvn kal«w front¤sai xrØ gumnãzein 63
ëpantaw efiw •kãstou ¶rgou §pithdeiÒthta, efiw tÚ tojeÊein sun-

F 1–2 taxÁ—sunteyeis«n: Plb. VIII, 37, 3, Wesch. p. 327, 4 2–4 efiw går—
meyuskÒmenoi; Plb. VIII, 37, 9, Wesch. p. 327, 22–328, 1 4–5 diÚ—épokte¤nantew
cf. Plb. VIII, 37, 10, Wesch. p. 328, 1–3, diÚ ka‹ . . . . ¶layon toÁw ple¤stouw aÈt«n
épokte¤nantew 20–p. 56, 3 efiw tÚ—xrÆsimon: Urb.-Maur. I, 1 (Vari, Scheffer), quod
caput inscribitur p«w de› gumnãzein tÚn kayÉ ßna êndra §n ta›w mel°taiw (Scheffer),
1, fere item Leo, Tact. VII, 4, sed Anonymum haec ex ipso Urb.-Mauricio sumpsisse
vel ex eo intellegitur, quod Leo non hab. verba e‡te =vmaÛst‹ e‡te persist¤ et hab.
to›w §p‹ ·ppvn Ùxoum°noiw pro to›w §f¤ppoiw

1 tØn om. Suda || d¢ ofin«i T Suda || xr«ntai om. T B.-W. Suda 2 duo›n T
P1 [T] due›n B.-W. 2–3 efiw går ] ofl går §w T ofl går efiw B.-W. 3 ±yroism°noi V P1 Ts:
[Suda] ≤yroism°noi B.-W. || m¢n] §w m¢n T 4 d¢ T 6–8 cf. p. 49, 10–13 6 d¢] malim
[Urb.- de› vel d¢ de› , quia post narrationem denuo incipiunt praecepta et etiam subiectum
Maur.] accusativi cum inf. denuo memoratur; cf. § 80; 100–102; 140–141; 175; 196 et ad
110; d¢ de› etiam invenitur § 83; cf. autem § 88; 113 7 le¤pe›n V 12 ékleç scripsi:
ékle∞ Ex Thev., sed cf. §ndeç p. 49, 12; ékleoË V P1 13 exspectaveris dunãmenoi,
quod hab E x, sed Anon. vid. scripsisse dunam°nouw contagione verbi épen°gkasyai;
cf. autem praef. p. 11–13 14 katalip∞n V || •auto›w] aÈto›w P1 17 ¶svyen P1
20 •kãstou Thev.: ßkaston V P1 E •kãsthn Ex || efiw tÚ ] e‡te V P1 || tojeÊein]
tojeÊein pez∞i Urb.-Maur.

6–10 cf. Plb. I, 17, 11; Urb.-Maur. I, 8, 2 (Vari) §ån strati≈thw §n kair«i paratã-
jevw ka‹ pol°mou tØn tãjin μ tÚ bãndon aÈtoË §ãshi ka‹ μ fÊghi . . . . . keleÊomen
timvre›syai aÈtÚn kefalik«w, item Leo, Tact. VIII, 20

in large quantities. The [Romans] quickly assembled two ladders and

took control of the towers. For some of those gathered in the towers
for the sacrificial festival were still drinking, others were sleeping
long since being drunk, and so the [Romans] killed them without
being detected.
And the general must demand assurance regarding everyone, in
order that if anyone tries to leave the ranks who is not wounded or has
no other reasonable cause, he will suffer capital punishment accord-
ing to the laws regarding desertion established by the ancients 78, who
condemned the deserter to a sentence of death and for this reason con-
quered the whole world. For if the soldiers should be very fearful of
such a penalty, they would never choose to win an inglorious death
when they could leave glory to their children and descendants nor
even [choose] to secure their own life through turning tail at the front
line. For the one who has shown his back to the enemy might escape
death with difficulty, yet the one nobly standing firm has both saved
himself and harvested the glory of nobility and courage.
After giving careful thought to all these it is necessary to train
everyone for fitness at each task - shooting the bow rapidly [56] in the

On the death penalty for desertion in the face of the enemy see Digesta Iustiniani Augusti,
ed. T. Mommsen (Berlin: 1870; rp. 1963) vol. 2, no. 49:16:3-4 and generally J. B. Campbell,
The Emperor and the Roman Army 31 BC-AD 235 (Oxford: 1984) 303-05.

56 § 63–68 ( THEV. p. 320, 15–28)

64 tÒmvw =vmaÛst‹ μ persist¤: ≤ går taxutØw <ka‹> §ktinãssesyai
paraskeuãzei tØn sag¤tan ka‹ fisxur«w bãllesyai, ˜per énagka›Òn
65 §stin ka‹ to›w §f¤ppoiw xrÆsimon: ka‹ efiw tÚ bãllein eÈstÒxvw 3
66 katå toË skopoË: oÈ mØn éllå ka‹ efiw tÚ ékont¤zein tå legÒmena
=iktãria ka‹ efiw tÚ bãllein §k xeirÚw l¤youw katå t«n polem¤vn
xr∞sya¤ te ka‹ ta›w sfendÒnaiw eÈfu«w ka‹ ta›w tojobol¤straiw 6
ka‹ sk°pesyai ÍpÚ t∞w ésp¤dow μ ka‹ ßteron ka‹ •autÚn eÈlab∞
perifulãttein, p°mpein d¢ ka‹ diå t«n tetrar¤vn ka‹ t«n mag-
ganik«n ka‹ t«n lekat«n. 9
67 ka‹ † érxhgoÁw ßkasta tãgmata † kayistçn katå tÚn tÊpon
t«n xiliãrxvn, e‡per mØ e‡hsan efiw fulakØn toË kãstrou xiliar-
x¤ai, ka‹ éfor¤zein •kãstvi tãgmati tÚ ‡dion m°row katå tÚ §n 12
aÈt«i ¶rgon, éllå ka‹ §k t«n gennaiot°rvn strativt«n §pil°k-
touw proslambãnesyai de› tÚn érxhgÚn toË stratoË prÚw éna-
log¤an toË plÆyouw toË kÊklvi t∞w pÒlevw, ·na dfi aÈt«n bohy∞i 15
t«i kataponoum°nvi, ˜pouper ín kraugØ g°nhtai.
68 éyro¤zein d¢ ka‹ proapot¤yesyai §n to›w promax«si l¤youw
m°lanaw, ka‹ mikroÁw ka‹ bare›w, ka‹ dokoÁw ka‹ sthmonãria 18

F 3 bãllein eÈstÒxvw cf. Urb.-Maur. I, 1 (Scheffer) efi dÒjei ≤ sag¤tta eÈstÒxvw


V P1 1 =vmaÛst‹ μ persist¤] e‡te =vmaÛst‹ e‡te persist¤ Urb.-Maur. (Scheffer: haec

[Urb.-Maur.] verba praetermittit Vari, cum apud Leonem non inveniantur) || taxutØw Ex: paxutØw
V P1 || <ka‹> om. V P1 2 paraskeuãzei Ex: paraskeuãzein V P1 E || sag¤ttan
Urb.-Maur., sed cf. ad p. 47, 14 || énagka›on] t«n énagka¤vn Urb.-Maur. 3 §st‹
Urb.-Maur. 5 =iktãria v. append. ad p. 47, 15 7 μ ka‹]μ P1 || §autÚn om. P 1 ||
lege eÈlab«w 8 petrar¤vn P1; lectionem codicis melioris recepi; cf. p. 48, 3 cum
appendice 9 non plane liquet utrum V habeat lekat«n an lekast«n, sed vid. habere
lekat«n, quod E quoque hab.; lekan«n P1; cf. Du Cange: „lekãth, colus, ±lakãth.
Glossae Graecobarb. katå prÒsvpa toË ÍfantikoË jÊlou toË gunaikis¤mou, ‡saw
t∞w lekãthw, μ t∞w =Òkkaw” et ad p. 48, 3 10 fort. érxhgÚn •kãstou tãgmatow?
ante ßkasta fere idem signum atque p. 53, 6 supra versum posuit Ex 15 bohye› P1

12–16 cf. Urb.-Maur. X, 3, quod caput inscribitur p«w de› ént°xein tÚn poliorke›syai
prosdok«nta xron¤vw, (Scheffer) . . . . . . katamer¤sai d¢ tØn boÆyeian diÉ ˜lou toË
te¤xouw, ka‹ ¶xein êllhn dÊnamin §k perittoË xrÆsimon, ·na t«i deom°nvi m°rei,
efi xre¤a g°nhtai, bohy∞i (bohy∞i ex Leonis Tact. supplevi), fere item Leo, Tact. XV,
55; Urb.-Maur. VIII, 2 (Scheffer) §x°tv m¢n ée‹ per‹ aÈtÚn êndraw §pil°ktouw ı
strathgÒw, meyÉ œn §pikoure›n to›w kãmnousi t∞w stratiçw dunÆsetai m°resi 18
m°lanaw cf. Ios. V, 271–273 (V, VI, 3)

18 sthmonãrion; stÆmvn—temo „beam, pole” (Soph.); cf. quae annotavi ad spay¤on

p. 47, 14

Roman or Persian manner 79 (for speed causes the arrow to be

released and discharged forcefully, which is essential and suitable for
cavalry)80; and shooting with good aim at the target; and especially
hurling the so-called riktaria81; and throwing stones by hand against
the enemy; and using both slings and bow-ballistas 82 skilfully; and
covering themselves with the shield or prudently83 guarding them-
selves and someone else; firing with tetrariai and magganika and
And appoint ~ leaders for each tagma85 ~ on the model of the
chiliarchoi,86 if there should be no chiliarchiai for guarding the
citadel, and assign to each tagma its own portion of the work therein,
but the leader of the army must take picked men from the braver sol-
diers proportional to the numbers around the city, in order that with
them he may aid any [position] under attack, whenever a cry is heard.
Gather and preposition on the battlements black 87 stones, both
small and heavy ones, and beams and many thick poles88 [57] of oak,

The Roman method was to use thumb and forefinger, the Persian the lower three fingers;
see Dennis (1984) 11 n. 2 and A. Bivar, “Cavalry Equipment and Tactics on the Euphrates
Frontier”, DOP 26 (1972) 285.
Maurice, Strategikon I:1:5-8.
tÚ =iktãrion . I.e. “javelins”, see above n. 29.
≤ tojobol¤ stra. The term ball¤ straappears in Maurice, Strategikon XIIB: 6:9 and
21:13. The earliest use of tojobol¤ straappears to be Theophanes, Chronographia 384:11
(for the year 713/714). Leo VI, Taktika VI:27 indicates that the device with arrows could be
carried in a wagon. See Kolias (1988) 244-45, Haldon (1999) 135, 137, Haldon (2000) 225 line
117, 227 (line 134), 271-72, and Sullivan (2000) 189-90 n. 20.
Accepting eÈlab«w for eÈlab∞.
≤ lekãth (literally “distaff, pole”), apparently a reference to the same artillery device
mentioned earlier (48:3) as ±lakãth . On this and the preceding terms here see above n. 34 and
Dennis (1998) 100-102.
On the tãgma see ODB 3:2007. Cf. Sylloge tacticorum 54:2: TØn d¢ stratiån efiw éllã-
gia katamer¤ sai •kãstƒ te tãgmati tØn ofike¤ an épotãjai xre¤ an . . . .
ı xiliãrxhw . On the term, apparently used as the equivalent of drouggarios or taxiarch -
es, see Haldon (1999) 115 and McGeer (1995) 203. See also ODB 3:2018 at “Taxiarchos”.
vdB cites here Josephus BJ 5:6:3 where the Romans are said to blacken the stones fired
by their catapults to make them harder for the enemy to see and avoid.
tÚ sthmonãrion . The diminutive is not in LSJ or Sophocles, Lexicon; it is found once on
the TLG(E).

57 § 68–73 ( THEV. p. 320, 28–44)

pax°a ka‹ pollå drÊÛna katå tåw êkraw Ùj°a, ·nÉ ıpÒtan katar-
rify∞nai deÆseien, fÒnon §rgãzvntai ple›ston, diarrhgnÊvsin
3 d¢ oÈ mÒnon tåw ésp¤daw, éllå ka‹ tåw la¤saw.
† §y¤zein d¢ aÈtoÁw ka‹ fÒboiw nukterino›w, oÂa tÚ doke›n 69
polem¤vn §pibainÒntvn §p‹ t«n §pãljevn, † ·nÉ Œsin §ggegum-
6 nasm°noi §n ta›w kayÉ ÍpÒkrisin §piy°sesin ka‹ §n ta›w élhyina›w
xre¤aiw mØ diatarãttvntai. katalox¤zein d¢ ka‹ suntãttein tÆn 70
te pezikØn stratiån ka‹ toÁw flpp°aw, §jÒdouw te sunexe›w t«n
9 pez«n ka‹ *** tå §fÉ •kãsthi metabol∞i ¶rga <ka‹> sunyÆmata
ka‹ tÚ épÚ sunyhmãtvn Ùj°vw ıpl¤zesyai ka‹ pãlin •to¤mvw
diå toË énaklhtikoË Ípostr°fein.
12 t«n dÉ §xyr«n ≥dh plhsiãzein §lpizom°nvn, efi m¢n ÙxuroÁw 71
ka‹ dusbãtouw ¶xoi tÚ kãstron tÒpouw, §ke›se pãnta tå yr°mmata
ka‹ tå ktÆnh efisãgein metå dunãmevw époxr≈shw, ka‹ d°ndra
15 kÒptein ka‹ plãgia tiy°nai efiw k≈lusin t∞w t«n §xyr«n efisÒdou,
plØn e‡per mØ dÊnamin éjiÒxreon ofl §xyro‹ ¶xoien pezikØn μ 72
flppikØn: tÒte går oÈ xrØ pisteÊein to›w Ùxur≈masin, éllÉ efl
18 m¢n n∞soi parãkeintai t∞i x≈rai ka‹ oÈd°n ti pol°mion §ke›se
prosdokçtai, §n aÈta›w taËta §mbibãzein, efi dÉ oÔn, efiw •t°raw 73
x≈raw §japost°llein ≥, t«n §xyr«n katepeigÒntvn ka‹ taxunÒn-
21 tvn efiw tØn pÒlin katalabe›n, §pitr°pein to›w ofike¤oiw despÒtaiw
katasfãttein tå yr°mmata ka‹ tarixeÊein ka‹ piprãskein to›w
toÊtvn §nde°sin.

V P1 1–2 katarrify∞nai Thev.: katarify∞nai V P1 2 diarrhgnÊvsi Thev diar-

rugnÊvsin V diarrignÊousin P1 3 la¤saw scripsi: l°saw VP 1; cf. ad p. 50, 6 4–5
v. append. 7 diatarãttontai P1 9 lac. indicavi; potest e.g. excidisse t«n flpp°vn
poie›syai didãskein te aÈtoÁw || <ka‹> supplevi 13 §ke›sai P1 16 §xyro‹ lege
¶ndon; an mØ deleatur? 18 §ke›sai P1 19 efi dÉ oÔn v. append.

4–7 cf. Polyaen. III, 9, 32, fere item Hypoth. III, 2; Leon. Tact. XX, 195 épÚ t«n
peplasm°nvw ginom°nvn katÉ aÈt«n prosbol«n ofl strati«tai §yizÒmenoi ékatã-
plhktoi g¤nontai prÚw tå élhy∞, oÂon ceudobohye¤aw m°rouw tinÚw §pelyoÊshw
katå §t°rou, pãlin ceudoprodos¤aw, μ ceudoegkrÊmmata, μ ceudoktÊpvn ka‹
≥xvn, μ ceudoautomÒlvn, μ ceudoefÒdvn: oÏtvw går §yisyÆsontai, ka‹ oÈk
§kplagÆsontai §ja¤fnhw toÊtvn ka‹ élhy«w ginom°nvn 10–11 cf. Arr. Tact. 27,
1, fere item Urb. Tact. 8 12–14 cf. Urb.-Maur. X, 2, quod caput inscribitur p«w de›
èrmÒzesyai, polem¤vn, …w efikÒw, §n t∞i ≤met°rai x≈rai efisballÒntvn, (Scheffer)
xrØ tå énagkaiÒtera pãnta §n to›w Ùxurvt°roiw frour¤oiw sull°gein, fugadeÊein
d¢ ka‹ tå êloga t∞w x≈raw, item Müller Kriegswesen p. 128, 26–27, fere item Leo,
Tact. XVII, 84

21 katalabe›n efiw—pervenire ad

sharp at the ends, in order that whenever it is necessary to throw them,

they will wreak the greatest slaughter and break not only shields, but
also laisai 89.
~ Accustom them also to the causes of fear that come at night
such as an apparent mounting of the battlements by the enemy, ~ in
order that they may be trained by simulated attacks90 and not thrown
into confusion in real need. Divide into lochoi91 and draw up the
infantry and cavalry, [make] continuous sallies of infantry <and cav-
alry and instruct them 92> regarding the actions <and> the signals for
each maneuver 93 and [regarding] rapidly arming on signal and again
readily turning back at the [signal for] retreat.
When the enemy are expected to arrive imminently, if the citadel
has a strong position which is hard to approach, bring all the flocks
and herds there together with adequate forces, and cut down trees and
place them horizontally to hinder the enemy’s approach 94, unless the
enemy has no significant infantry or cavalry force; for then there is no
need to trust to strongholds. But if there are islands near the place and
no enemy action is expected there, ship them to these95. If not 96, dis-
patch them elsewhere or, if the enemy is pressing and hurrying to the
city to capture it, permit their owners to slaughter the flocks and salt
and sell [the meat] to those who need it.

Cf. J. Skylitzes, Synopsis historiarum, ed. H. Thurn (Berlin-New York: 1973) 463:83-87
and 92-97 who records that during a Turkish siege of Manzikert about 1050 the Byzantine
defenders dropped long sharpened beams as well as hand-held stones ( dokoÁw meg¤ staw katå
tØn bãsin Ùje›w, l¤ youw xeiroplhye›w) onto enemy plaited siege sheds (l° saw, i.e. la¤ saw)
which pierced the roofs of the sheds and overturned them, exposing those within. On the pas-
sage see McGeer (1991) 137-38.
On such training see McGeer (1995) 218-19.
Katalox¤ zein, “to distribute into lÒxoi”, “armed bands” or “companies”; cf. Sylloge
tacticorum 35:7: lÒxow går tÚ t«n deka¢j éndr«n sÊsthma l° getai kur¤ vw,
kataxrhstik«w d¢ ka‹ tÚ m° xri t«n triãkonta dÊo lÒxow kale›tai . See also below 58:7.
vdB’s suggested addition.
≤ metabolÆ. Technically an “about-face”; cf. Asclepiodotos, Tactica X:1:6, etc., Aelian,
Tactica 25:2 and Sylloge tacticorum 41:4. Given “each” here it appears to be used more gen-
On the use of such barricades by the Bulgarians against the Byzantines see McGeer
(1995) 342 and n. 15.
Cf. Thucydides II:14:1.
For the Greek here, efi dÉ oÔn = efi d¢ mØ see Sophocles, Lexicon at efi no. 9 (cited by vdB
[Appendix 106] with additional examples).

58 § 74–79 (THEV. p. 320, 44–321, 6)

74 ÍpozÊgia d¢ ka‹ ·ppouw ka‹ ≤miÒnouw ka‹ ˜sa mØ énagka›a
t«i strateÊmati diafye¤rein, §ån xrÒniow ≤ poliork¤a ka‹ sunexØw
prosdokçtai ka‹ tå kÊklvi toË kãstrou xãraki ka‹ tãfrvi ofl 3
75 §xyro‹ §jasfal¤sasyai, † prÚw tÚ mÆte §k t«n ¶jvyen dÊnamin
pareispese›n ka‹ dfi aÈt∞w katatrop≈sasyai toÁw Ípenant¤ouw
μ tÚ §nde¢w énas≈sasyai mÆtÉ §ktÚw t∞w ¶jvyen §pixvriãsanta 6
76 tå énagka›a porie›n †, pollãkiw te puknoÁw lÒxouw prÚ t«n
pul«n §fist«ntew, nuktÚw ka‹ ≤m°raw suxnÒteron toÁw proke-
kmhkÒtaw éme¤bontai, kvlÊousi tåw §piy°seiw, μ ka‹ pÊrgouw 9
77 ofikodomoËntew. efi går ka‹ summaxika‹ dunãmeiw poliorkoum°naiw
pÒlesin épvle¤aw ge|gÒnasi prÒjenoi, katanal≈sasai tå dapa- p. 321 Thev.
nÆmata poll«i pl°on, ÍpozÊgia ka‹ peritto‹ ·ppoi ka‹ ênyrvpoi. 12
78 t«n går ÑRvma¤vn poliorkoÊntvn Tãranta Borm¤klaw ı t«n
(Plb. Karxhdon¤vn naÊarxow *** efiw tÚ summaxÆsein metå dunãmevw
IX, 9, 11) ple¤sthw ka‹ mhd¢n dunhye‹w §pikour∞sai to›w ¶ndon diå tÚ toÁw 15
ÑRvma¤ouw ésfal«w y°syai tå per‹ tØn stratopede¤an, ¶layen
79 énal≈saw tØn xre¤an, ka‹ metå paraklÆsevw prÒteron §fik°syai
§kbiasye‹w ka‹ Íposx°sevn megãlvn, Ïsteron meyÉ flkethr¤aw t«n 18
¶ndon épopleËsai éphnagkãsyh.
F 13–19 t«n går—éphnagkãsyh: Plb. IX, 9, 11 apud solum Anon.
tradita. Sed Anon. haec quoque non ad verbum ex Plb. descripsisse videtur;
cf. B.-W. ad locum et F. ad § 58–59; 97–99; 106–109; 110–112; 119–
123; 136–139; 147–168. Schw. Tom. V, p. 36, etiam probat Anon. haec
memoriter ex Plb. exscripsisse et duas res tempore disiunctas inter se com-
posuisse coll. Livio, XXVI, 20, 7–11 cum Plb. X, 1, 10 et Livio XXVII, 15,
4–7. Cf. praef. p. 16
V P1 4 lege §jasfal¤zontai; cf. kvlÊousi v. 9; §jasfal¤svntai Ex, ut vid.
(litterae nt perspicuae sunt, sed de v dubito; in ras. scriptae sunt)
5 lege aÍt∞w 6 μ tÚ §nde¢w fort. ka‹ tå ¶ndon? || §ktÚw t∞w] §ktÚw to›w
V; fort, §k t∞w? an §k t«n? cf. v. 4 7 fort. por¤zein vel por¤sai? 9 lege
émeibÒmenoi 10 efi går ka‹ v. ad p. 52, 21 12 lacuna post pl°on? ,,quam
usui erant”? an ,,quam ipsi incolae”? 13 Bom¤lkaw Schw. B.-W.; incertum
utrum error Anonymo an librario attribuendus sit 14 naÊarxow Thev. B.-W.:
naÊmarxow V P1 || éfikÒmenow, poreuye‹w, metapemfye‹w vel aliud simile
ante efiw add. aut ple¤sthw in pleÊsaw mutare vult. Schw., Tom. V, p. 36;
<§pispasye‹w> efiw Lammert, Jahrb. für class. Philol. 1888 p. 622 || sum-
max¤sein P1 15 mhd¢n Schw. B.-W.: mhd¢ V mØ d¢ P1 17 xre¤an] xorhg¤an
Schw. B.-W.; cf. p. 59, 2 et ad p. 60,7 || lege éfik°syai cum Schw.
B.-W. 19 ±nagkãsyh Schw. Hultsch

7–9 cf. Leon Tact, XV, 4 (in praeceptis de urbe obsidenda) kre›tton
d¢ poiÆseiw, §ån ka‹ parå tåw pÒrtaw μ efiw tå parapÒrtia t∞w pÒlevw . . . .
parakay¤seiw tinåw strati≈taw, o·tinew tåw afifnid¤ouw katadromåw t«n
polem¤vn épokvlËsai dÊnantai, ka‹ mãlista §n ta›w nuj‹ xrÆ se tØn
toiaÊthn ¶xein ésfãleian:

[58] Destroy beasts of burden and horses and mules and what-
ever is not essential for the army, if a long and continuous siege is
expected and the enemy secures97 the area around the citadel with a
palisade and ditch ~ to prevent any force from outside stealing in and
by itself 98 putting the enemy to flight or rescuing those in need, or fur-
nishing from outside the common essentials; ~ by quite often station-
ing numerous lochoi99 before the gates, day and night quite continu-
ously relieving100 those who are tired, they hinder attacks, or even by
building towers. For if [there are] also allied forces - beasts of burden
and superfluous horses and men - they have become agents of
destruction101 for besieged cities, using up the provisions far more
<than the inhabitants themselves 102>. When the Romans were besieg-
ing Tarentum Bomilcar103, the Carthaginian admiral, <came104> with a
very large force to provide assistance, and being unable to render any
aid to those inside, since the Romans had secured their camp, he con-
sumed his supplies before he realized it. He had been constrained to
come105 in the first place by an appeal and great promises, later he was
compelled to sail away at the supplication of those inside 106.

Accepting § jasfal¤ zontaifor § jasfal¤ sasyai.
Accepting aÍt∞w for aÈt∞w.
The context and the use of § n° dra elsewhere in the treatise for “ambush” suggest that
lÒxoi here are “armed bands”, “companies.” See also above n. 91.
Accepting émeibÒmenoi for éme¤ bontai.
See above n. 54.
Translating one of vdB’s suggested additions, “quam ipsi incolae.”
Accepting Bom¤ lkawfor Borm¤ klaw, although the error may be due to the Anon. or his
Supplying éfikÒmenow .
Accepting éfik° syai for § fik° syai.
This fragment is placed at Polybius IX:9:11. As vdB notes the De obsidione toleranda is
the sole source preserving it, but does not follow Polybius verbatim. See also Büttner-Wobst
III:13 who comments: “sed est locus initio tam depravatus, ut Polybii verba enucleari vix
possint.” Walbank (1967) 9 dates the event to 211 BC and 133 notes that the Anon. has mis-
understood the situation, i.e. how would Bomilcar’s shortage of supplies affect the besieged
inhabitants, unless they had to make up any deficiencies? Livy XXVI:xx:7ff records that the
Roman garrison was in the citadel of Tarentum and the Carthaginian had been called in to cut
off their supplies; but the Romans had adequate supplies inside and the crews of the
Carthaginian fleet competed with the Tarentines for food. Livy concludes: “Tandem maiore
gratia quam venerat classis dimissa est.”

59 § 80–84 ( THEV. p. 321, 7–20)

yer¤zein d¢ de› ka‹ tåw x≈raw, kín mÆpv prÚw yerismÚn 80

¶fyasan, ka‹ proafan¤zein pçsan xre¤an prÚ dÊo μ tri«n ≤mer«n
3 diastÆmatow, oÈ mÒnon élÒgvn, éllå ka‹ ényr≈pvn, ·na ka‹ §n
toÊtvi dusyumÆsvsin ofl §xyro‹ pÒnon per‹ tØn dapãnhn Ípo-
6 manyãnvn d¢ diå t«n kataskÒpvn tØn t«n polem¤vn diagvgØn 81
efi m¢n gn«i aÈtoÁw t«i plÆyei yarroËntaw étãktvw poreuom°-
nouw, §n°draw poie›n ka‹ traumat¤zein aÈtoÊw.
9 ka‹ tå potãmia μ tåw l¤mnaw μ tå toË tÒpou fr°ata farma- 82
keÊein ka¤ tina t«n ofinhr«n skeu«n diå toË legom°nou *mou,
·nÉ ˜tan ka‹ mØ paraxr∞ma yãnoien, ÍpÚ toË xrÒnou tin¢w nÒsoiw
12 katamalakisy«si ka‹ dusyanatÆsousi. farmakeÊein d¢ de› toÁw 83
m¢n potamoÁw ênvyen t«n fvssãtvn §n ér¤stou Àrai, ·na toË
kaÊmatow §kka¤ontow tå t«n polem¤vn s≈mata †eÍr¤skon <tÚn
15 potamÚn> §klelum°na t«i kÒpvi t°leon §jafan¤shi tÚ Ïdvr
§ån d¢ ka‹ tÒpouw §pithde¤ouw sx∞i ≤ x≈ra dunam°nouw pezikØn 84
18 dÊnamin ka‹ flppikØn perifulãttein, blãptein dunam°nhn toÁw
Ípenant¤ouw ka‹ mØ d¢ sugxvroËsan aÈto›w xr∞syai éde«w t∞i
poliork¤ai, ka‹ mãlista e‡ge summax¤a poy¢n §lp¤zetai, front¤da
V P1 10 legom°nou mou spatio 5(4 P1) fere litt. vacuo, i. m. add. signo cor-
ruptelae V P1 13 malim fossãtvn 14 eÍr¤skonta? an eÍriskÒntvn?
14–15 <tÚn potamÚn> supplevi 15 kÒpvi Thev.: kÒpv Ex skop« V P1 E;
cf. p. 63,6 17 sx∞i lege ¶xhi 18 ka‹ om. P1 19 mØ d¢ lege mhd¢n; cf. ad
p. 58,15 20 post poliork¤ai fort. §n°dran §ntaËya poie›syai vel tale quid
excidit ? || summax¤a Ex Thev. i. m.: summax¤an V P1 E

1–5 cf. Urb.-Maur. X, 2, quod caput inscribitur p«w de› èrmÒzesyai

polem¤vn, …w efikÒw, §n t∞i ≤met°rai x≈rai efisballÒntvn, 1 (Scheffer) xrØ
. . . éfan¤zein dapãnaw prokeim°naw aÈt«i, item Müller Kriegswesen p. 128,
4–5, Leo, Probl. X, 7, fere item Leo, Tact. XVII, 76; Urb.-Maur. ibid. 2
xrØ poliorkoËntow §xyroË Ùxur≈mata, …w efikÒw, spoudãzein perikÒptein
tåw ¶jvyen dapãnaw, ka‹ toÁw §p‹ sullog∞i (sullogØn Scheffer) dapanh-
mãtvn pempom°nouw §nedreÊein, ka‹ §nteËyen stenoxvre›n toÁw §xyroÊw.,
item Müller Kriegswesen p. 128, 27–30, Leo, Probl. X,9 9–16 cf. Philon.
,,V” p. 103, 30–33 tÚn d¢ s›ton diãfyeiron to›w yanas¤moiw farmãkoiw,
…saÊtvw d¢ ka‹ tå Ïdata, ˜tan §gg¤svsin ofl pol°mioi.; Iul. Afric. 1,2, v. 17
farmakeÊousi tå fr°ata pollo¤.; Urb.-Maur. IX,3, quod caput inscribitur p«w
de› t∞i t«n polem¤vn x≈rai efisbale›n, ka‹ p«w ıdoipore›n ésfal«w §pÉ
aÈt∞i, ka‹ praideÊein, 7 (Scheffer) xrØ tÚn eÍriskÒmenon êrton μ o‰non
(ita Leo, Probl. o‰non μ êrton Scheffer) mØ tr≈gein μ p¤nein proxe¤rvw, efi
mØ prÒteron diå t«n afixmal≈tvn ≤ dokimas¤a g°nhtai, mhd¢ tÚ §n to›w
fr°asin Ïdvr: pollãkiw går farmãkoiw ±fan¤syhsan, item Leo, Probl.
IX, 24, fere item Leo, Tact. XVII, 68

13 fossçton—castra

[59] It is also necessary to reap the fields, even if they are not
ready for reaping, and to remove everything useful two or three days
in advance, not only livestock, but also people, in order that thereby
the enemy may become discouraged as they will have difficulty
procuring provisions.
On learning through scouts of the disposition of the enemy, if
one knows they are marching in disarray confident in their numbers,
set ambushes and wound them.
And it is necessary to poison the rivers or lakes or local wells
and any of the wine containers with the so-called < . . . >107, in order
that whenever the [enemy] do not die immediately, some may grow
weak with disease over time and die miserably. It is necessary to poi-
son the rivers upstream from the camps108 at the lunch hour, in order
that when the heat is burning the bodies of the enemy, worn out with
toil, ~ when they find <the river109> the water when drunk will totally
destroy them ~.
If the region should have 110 suitable places capable of offering
security to infantry and cavalry forces who can harm the enemy and
not111 allow them to prosecute the siege with impunity, <make an
ambush here112> and especially if allies are expected from some place,
make this [60] your greatest concern. For when our forces are hover-

The mss. do not preserve the full name of the poison, only the last three letters -mou. No
specific poison is mentioned in the parallel passages. In addition to the references to poison-
ing given by vdB, add Thucydides (II:48:2) and the comments of S. Hornblower, A
Commentary on Thucydides, Volume I: Books I-III (Oxford: 1991) 319-20. See also Whitehead
(1990) 115 for additional references to poison.
tÚ fvssçton or fossçton. On the term (Latin fossatum) see Haldon (1990) 175 and
McGeer (1995) 76.
vdB’s addition.
Accepting ¶ x˙ for sxª.
Accepting mhd¢n for mØ d°.
vdB’s suggested addition.

60 § 84–91 ( THEV. p. 321, 20–34)

85 toÊtou t¤yesyai ple¤sthn. dunãmevn går ¶jvyen ≤met°rvn éna-
strefom°nvn oÎte trofåw épÒnvw kom¤sousi xvr‹w éjiolÒgou dunã-
mevw: §ån d¢ * * * ka‹ mçllon dunhye›en μ ·ppouw μ ényr≈pouw 3
86 afixmalvt¤zein: oÎte katå tÚ dokoËn aÍto›w t∞i poliork¤ai xrÆ-
87 sontai, Àsper ÉAn¤baw katå ÑRvma¤vn §po¤hsen. poliorkoÊntvn
går aÈt«n tØn ÉAkrãganta otow summax¤aw parå t«n §n Kar- 6
xhdÒni dejãmenow * * * ka‹ tåw énagka¤aw xre¤aw t«n ÑRvma¤vn
stratop°doiw. ka‹ sun°baine toÁw poliorkoÊntaw poliorke›syai.
88 † éfor¤zein d¢ tÚn érxhgÚn toË stratoË nÊkta ka‹ ≤m°ran ka‹ 9
poie›n gn≈rimon taÊthn t«i érxhg«i t«n §ktÚw §n to›w ˆresin
énastrefom°nvn dunãmevn ka‹ katÉ aÈt«n §pit¤yesyai to›w pole-
89 m¤oiw. † sxhmat¤zesyai d¢ tÚn prÚw tØn §p¤yesin §piÒnta …w 12
êllhw ßneken xre¤aw éllaxoË metaba¤nein dianoe›tai, ka‹ tåw
ıdoÁw prokatalambãnein dfi ékribestãthw fulak∞w, …w ín mÆtiw
90 katamhnÊshi to›w §xyro›w tå bebouleum°na. katalambãnvn d¢ tÚ 15
stratÒpedon ka‹ kukl«n aÈtÚ de› tÒpon efiw fugØn eÎkairon
katalimpãnein to›w Ípenant¤oiw, ·na mÆ, pãntoyen kuklvy°ntew,
91 épognÒntew t∞w svthr¤aw m°xri yanãtou éntikatast«sin. xrhsi- 18
meÊei d¢ prÚw taËta ¥ te t«n ékontist«n ka‹ t«n tojot«n ka‹
sfendonit«n xre¤a.
F 5–8 Àsper ÉAn¤baw—poliorke›syai cf. Plb. I, 18, 9–10 Hanno ad
Hannibali Agrigenti a Romanis obsesso auxiliandum copiis e Carthagine
missis kat°sxe tØn t«n ÑErbhs°vn pÒlin ka‹ pare¤leto tåw égoråw ka‹ tØn
t«n énagka¤vn xorhg¤an to›w t«n Ípenant¤vn stratop°doiw. §j o sun°bh
toÁw ÑRvma¤ouw §pÉ ‡sou poliorke›n ka‹ poliorke›syai to›w prãgmasin.

V P1 2 komÆsousi P1 3 lacunam indicavi; fort. metå dunãmevw peirãsvntai,

ofl ≤m°teroi vel tale quid excidit? || dunhye›en cf. p. 45, 7 4 aÈto›w V P1
5 ÉAn¤baw v. ad p. 52, 21 || §po¤hsen kata =vma¤vn V transp. Vx 6–7 karxh-
dÒnh P1 7 lacunam indicavi; cf. Plb.; ka‹ ante tåw del. et ±fãniz (sic) post
stratop°doiw ins. Ex || tåw énagka¤aw xre¤aw] tØn t«n énagka¤vn xorh-
Plb.; cf. ad1 p. 58, 17 7–8 t«n =vma¤vn stratop°doiw V P1: =vma¤oiw
P1 i.m. item V , ut vid., ut varia lectio archetypi fort. fuerti to›w =vma¤oiw
stratop°doiw; malim to›w t«n ÑRvma¤vn stratop°doiw; cf. Plb. 9 d¢ malim
d¢ de›; v. ad p. 55, 6 || fort. nÊkta <μ> ka‹ ≤m°ran <t∞w §piy°sevw>? || ≤m°-
ran Thev. Ex : ≤m°ra V P1 E 11 aÈt«n fort. aÈtØn? id hab. Ex
15–17 katalambãnvn — katalimpãnein cf. p. 54, 10–11 19 ka‹ t«n tojot«n]
¥ te t«n tojot«n P1 20 sfendonist«n P1; v. app.

15–18 cf. Polyaen. III, 9, 14, fere item Hypoth. 14, 10; Polyaen. III, 9, 3,
fere item Hypoth. 32, 5; Polyaen. II, I, 4, fere item Hypoth. 45, 2 Syll. Tact.
98.2 (23, 2 Melber); Polyaen. III, 9, 2 fere item Hypoth. 45, 3, Syll. Tact.
98, 3 (23, 3 Melber); Urb.-Maur. VIII, 2 (Scheffer) . . . . kuklvye›si to›w
polem¤oiw toË kÊklou m°rouw (malim m°row) éno¤jantew pãrodon efiw fugØn
didÒnai to›w polem¤oiw kalÒn, ·na tÚ feÊgein toË m°nein te ka‹ kinduneÊein

ing outside the [enemy] will not easily bring in food without signifi-
cant force. But if <they attempt this with force, our troops113> may be
more able to capture horses or men. Nor will they prosecute the siege
as they think best, as Hannibal did against the Romans. For when the
[Romans] were besieging Acragas, after receiving allies from
Carthage he < . . . 114> and the essential supplies in the camp of the
Romans. And it turned out that the besiegers were besieged.
~ The leader of the army must determine a night and a day <for
an attack 115> and make this known to the leader of those forces hover-
ing outside in the mountains and at that116 [time] attack the enemy.~
Pretend that the one attacking intends to go elsewhere on another mis-
sion, and occupy the roads in advance with the most careful guards,
so that no one can inform the enemy of the plans. But after reaching
the camp and encircling it, it is necessary to leave the enemy a place
though which escape is easy, lest, completely surrounded and despair-
ing of safety, they resist to the death. Deploying javeliners and archers
and slingers is useful for these [situations].

vdB’s suggested addition.
The precise loss here is uncertain; perhaps, following Polybius, pare¤ leto tåw égorãw ,
“he removed the provisions”.
vdB’s suggested addition.
Accepting aÈtØn for aÈt«n.

61 § 92–97 (THEV. p. 321, 34–46)

plØn katå tåw t«n polem¤vn §piy°seiw de› katastoxãzesyai 92

toË kairoË ka‹ t∞w Àraw ka‹ foËlka proejãgein toË kãstrou,
3 mÆpote proaisyÒmenoi toËto ofl pol°mioi ÍpÚ g∞n ÙrÊjvsi bÒyrouw
ka‹ §p‹ toÊtoiw laÚn katakrÊcantew §nedreÊsvsi ka‹ trauma-
t¤sousi toÁw ≤met°rouw. pollãkiw går μ grammathfÒrou krath- 93
6 y°ntow μ kataskÒpou d≈roiw deleasy°ntow ≥ tinow aÈtomolÆsantow
§jefaul¤syh tÚ bebouleum°non ka‹ kayÉ ≤m«n tÚ melethy¢n
metetrãph. ka‹ diå toËto xrØ diå t«n fan«n prÚw toÁw ¶jv 94
9 dhloËn tÚ ˆnoma toË éggeliafÒrou kayΔw §n t«i per‹ fan«n
§dhl≈samen lÒgvi. ka‹ oÏtvw §kba¤nein efiw ¶rgon sÁn Ye«i tØn 95
prçjin, e‡te §n ér¤stou Àrai e‡te ka‹ metå tÚ êriston e‡te ka‹
12 deipnopoioum°nvn t«n §xyr«n e‡te kayeudhsãntvn, ≤ nÁj ˜te
és°lhnÒw §stin. diå toËto går ¶famen katastoxãzesyai toË kairoË, 96
…w mØ m°llontew §nedreÊein §nedreuy«men ÍsterÆsantew toË kairoË,
15 ka‹ t∞w Àraw, §peidØ §nteËyen polla‹ parapÒlluntai dunãmeiw,
afl m¢n ÍsterÆsasai μ prolaboËsai tÚn …rism°non t∞w ≤m°raw
kairÚn μ t∞w nuktÒw, Àsper ka‹ ÉAmbraki«tai. toË går Nikãndrou 97 (Plb.
XXI, 27, 7)

F 17—p. 62, 9 toË går—§pibol∞w : Plb. XXI, 27, 7–9 (XXII, 10, 7–9)
Schw.) apud solum Anon. tradita. Sed Anon. hic quoque nonnulla omississe
vidit H. Nissen, coll. Liv. XXXVIII, 5, 6–10; cf. ad p. 58, 13–19 § 136–
139; praef. p. 16

V P1 1 polem¤vn Thev.: pol°mvn V P1 4–5 traumat¤sousi E: traumat¤svsi

Ex, ut vid. 5 to›w ≤met°roiw P1 || grammatifÒrou P1 7 §jefaul¤syh v.
append. 11 prçjin lege tãjin || tÚ Ex Thev.: tÚn V P1E 14 ÍsterÆ-
santew Thev.: ÍsterÆsantow V P1 15 parapÒlluntai scr. Schw., Tom. IV
p. 199 N 4, 1 tacite: 1parapÒllontai V P1 16 μ] afl d¢ malit Schw. 1.1.
|| …rism°non V i. m. P 1 i. m.: …rismÚn P1 »rismÚn V

kr¤nvsin aflret≈teron.; Byz. Anon. Kriegsw. XXXIV, 4 feukt°on d¢ tåw diÉ

˜lou kukl≈seiw, ·na mØ tÒpon fug∞w mØ ¶xontew ofl pol°mioi fisxurÒteroi
•aut«n kayÉ ≤m«n g°nointo.; ibid. XXXIX, 12 . . . . . ·nÉ ¶xoien ofl §xyro‹
tÒpon fug∞w, éllå mØ §j énãgkhw éndreiot°rouw •aut«n kay¤stasyai épo-
roum°nouw tØn ¶jodon; Leon. Tact. XX, 28 ˜tan YeoË didÒntow pÒliw parå
soË t«n polem¤vn èl¤sketai, éno¤gesyai sugx≈rei tåw pÊlaw Àste feÊgein
toÁw polloÁw ka‹ mØ xvre›n efiw épÒgnvsin. tÚ aÈtÚ d¢ ka‹ fossãtou èlis-
kom°nou t«n §xyr«n parå soË poiÆseiw: 13–17 cf. Onas. XXXIX, a;
Leon. Tact. XV, 42 . . . . ·na §n kair«i Íposx°sevw Àraw μ parå prodÒtou
proteinom°nhw, μ parå soË aÈtoË §pinooum°nhw, μ §n poliork¤ai, μ §n
ıdoipor¤ai ésfalØw per‹ tÚ sÊnyhma toË kairoË μ tÚn ırismÚn Ípãrxhiw.
tÚ går taxÊteron μ bradÊteron pollãkiw fyãnein t∞w suntag∞w μ toË
ırismoË êprakton §po¤hse tÚ proke¤menon ¶rgon.

2 foËlkon—proprie ,,cuneus militum”, sed significatione cunei etiam

caret e.g. Incert. script, XXII foËlka efiw fulakØn t«n te efiw sullogØn
xÒrtou §jerxom°nvn ka‹ t«n toÁw ·ppouw nemÒntvn stell°syvsan.; Niceph.
Phoc. Vel. p. 204, 2–4 . . . . foËlkon, tÚ efiw fulakØn t«n diaskorpizom°nvn
prÚw le¤an polem¤vn Ípãrxon

[61] In addition regarding [such] attacks upon the enemy it is

necessary to estimate the time and the hour and to lead special escort
forces117 out of the citadel in advance, lest the enemy on becoming
aware of this [attack] dig foxholes 118 in the ground and by hiding
troops in them be the first to ambush and wound our men. For often
when either a letter carrier is overpowered or a scout enticed by bribes
or someone turns traitor the plan is brought to naught and our objec-
tive is frustrated. And therefore it is necessary to make clear with
torch [signals] to those outside the name of the messenger as we have
set forth in the treatise On Torch [Signals]119. And so with God set the
operation120 in action, whether at the lunch hour or even after lunch or
even while the enemy are having dinner or sleeping, on a moonless
night. For on this account we said to estimate the time lest when about
to ambush we be ambushed, arriving too late for the time and hour,
since many forces are thus destroyed, because they arrive too late or
too early for the agreed upon time of day or night, like the
Ambraciots. For when Nicander, [62] who was hovering outside and

tÚ foËlkon. In tenth-century usage the term refers to special units of infantry or cavalry
designated to protect foraging or raiding parties; see Dagron (1986) 224 n. 18 and McGeer
(1995) 71-72.
See the same tactic below at 62:15 where it is said to be a regular practice of the
Martin (1854) 328 suggested this may be a reference to chapter 76 of the Kestoi of Julius
Africanus (Per‹ purs«n), thus wrongly attributed to Africanus. Dain (1967) 350 plausibly
comments that such references in compilers should be referred to their sources rather than to
the compiler himself. One might add that Polybius (X:43-47) describes a system for signaling
with torches, portions of which he indicates were his own invention. See also the comments of
Whitehead (1990) 111-113 on Aineias the Tactician’s statements on fire-signaling.
Retaining prçjin.

62 § 97–106 ( THEV. p. 321, 46–322, 14)

§ktÚw énastrefom°nou ka‹ p°mcantow pentakos¤ouw flppe›w efiw

tØn pÒlin, o„ ka‹ parabiasãmenoi tÚn metajÁ xãraka t«n po-
(Plb. 98 lem¤vn efis°frhsan efiw tØn pÒlin, * * * paragge¤law, kayÉ ∂n 3
XXI, 27, 8) §tãjanto ≤m°ran, aÈtoÁw m¢n §jelyÒntaw * * * poiÆsasyai, sun-
(9) 99 epilab°syai d¢ aÈtÚn toÊtoiw toË kindÊnou. ka‹ aÈt«n m¢n eÈcÊxvw
t∞w pÒlevw §jormhsãntvn ka‹ genna¤vw égvnisam°non, toË d¢ 6
Nikãndrou kayusterÆsantow, e‡te kataplag°ntow tÚn k¤ndunon p. 322
e‡te ka‹ énagka›a | nom¤santow tå §n oÂw di°triben prãgmata, Thev.
≤ttÆyhsan t∞w §pibol∞w. 9
100 toË d¢ laoË katå t«n §xyr«n §jorm«ntow, e‡te diå t«n para-
port¤vn e‡te diå t«n ÍponÒmvn, §ån efis‹n §n t∞i pÒlei, Àsper
101 ka‹ ÉIouda›oi §po¤oun: diÉ aÈt«n går §jap¤nhw §n m°soiw to›w 12
102 ÑRvma¤oiw §fa¤nonto ka‹ ±mÊnonto toÊtouw énuponoÆtvw: xrØ
m¢n énereunçn, mÆpote ofl §xyro‹ ¶n tisin épokrÊfoiw tÒpoiw
§n°draw pareskeÊasan ka‹ bÒyrouw ÙrÊjantew §n aÈto›w laÚn 15
kat°krucan ka‹ épat∞sai boulÒmenoi tÚ m°row §ke›no katalelo¤-
pasi polem¤vn xvr¤w, ˜per ¶yow §st‹n poie›n to›w Boulgãroiw.
103 éllÉ oÈd¢ tå te¤xh periorçn de›, oÈd¢ yarre›n de› mÒnaiw ta›w 18
profulaka›w, éllå kéke›se fÊlakaw ékribe›w ka‹ égrÊpnouw kata-
limpãnein ka‹ §n ta›w pÒrtaiw tojÒtaw ka‹ sfendon¤taw §fistçn
104 ka‹ ékontiståw ka‹ kontarãtouw ka‹ sÊnyhma pçsi didÒnai, ·na 21
‡svw t«n ≤met°rvn sÁn divgm«i ÍpostrefÒntvn gin≈skousi m¢n
toÁw fil¤ouw diå toË sunyÆmatow, toÁw d¢ §xyroÁw émÊnontai
105 ka‹ mØ §ãsvsi to›w fil¤oiw suneiselye›n toÁw §xyroÊw. polla‹ 24
går pÒleiw diå t∞w toiaÊthw afit¤aw Ípoxe¤rioi to›w §xyro›w <§g°-
106 nonto>, Àsper ka‹ Y∞bai. toË går ÉAlejãndrou taÊtaw polior-
F 12–13 cf. Ios. I, 350 (I, XVIII, 2) diå d¢ t«n ÍponÒmvn §n m°soiw aÈto›w
(scil. to›w ÑRvma¤oiw) §jap¤nhw §fa¤nonto 26—p. 63, 10 toË går—tØn
n¤khn cf. Arr. I, 8, 1–5, ubi habes, quae hic valde mutata et contracta
narrat Anon.

V P1 3 lac. ind. Schw. B.-W. 4 lac. ind. Schw. B.-W.; §p¤yesin to›w
polem¤oiw vel tale quid excidisse vid.; idem signum atque ad p. 53, 6
supra syai posuit Ex 5 aÈt«n Schw. B.-W.: aÈto›w V P1 E aÈto‹ Ex
6 §jormisãntvn V E ı in h, ut vid., et vn in ew mutavit Ex || égvnizo-
m°nvn P1 égvnisam°noi Ex (oi in ras.) 7 kataplag°ntow Ex Thev. B.-W.:
kataplag°nta V P1 8 nom¤santow Schw. B.-W. Ex (ow in ras.): nom¤santew
V P1 || prãgmata Schw., quod fort. etiam voluit Ex: pragmãtvn V P1 prãg-
masin Dindorf B.-W. 9 §piboul∞w P1 11 fort. efis‹n in Œs‹n mutavit Ex;
sed cf. praef. p. 37–38 18 oÈd¢ yarre›n] oÈ yarre›n P1 20 sfendon¤taw
v. app. ad p. 60, 20 22 gin≈skousi in gin≈skvsi mutasse vid. Ex; sed cf.
praef. p. 36–37 23 émÊnontai in émÊnvntai mutasse vid. Ex 25–26 <§g°-
nonto> supplevi: gegÒnasi Ex i. m., ut vid. 26 ka‹] afl P1

sent five hundred cavalrymen to the city they entered the city by
breaking through the intervening palisade of the enemy. < . . . > He
indicated for them on a day agreed upon to proceed out and make <an
attack on the enemy121>, and that he himself would share the danger
with them. But although they made a spirited sally out of the city and
fought bravely, they failed in the attempt because Nicander arrived
late, either because he was afraid of the danger, or because he con -
sidered essential the tasks on which he was engaged122.
When the troops venture out against the enemy, either through
the posterns or through the tunnels 123, if there are [such things] in the
city, as the Jews also used to do - for through these they appeared sud -
denly in the midst of the Romans and due to the surprise warded them
off - it is necessary to investigate lest the enemy prepare ambushes in
secret places and digging foxholes hide troops in them and seeking to
trick [us, seemingly] leave that sector without enemy forces, some-
thing the Bulgarians customarily do. But it is necessary not ignore the
walls nor to place confidence in advanced guards alone, but to leave
even there careful and vigilant guards and to station at the gates
archers and slingers and javeliners and spearmen 124 and to give every-
one a signal, so that if our men are perchance returning under pursuit
the [guards] recognize their friends by means of the signal, but ward
off the enemy and do not allow the enemy to enter along with their
friends. For many cities for just this reason <have fallen 125> into
enemy hands, as also did Thebes. For when Alexander was besieging
it [63] and the Thebans were streaming out in force and courageously

vdB’s suggested addition.
The De obsidione toleranda describes the siege of Ambracia (summer 189 BC) here and
below 73:17-74:17 and 75:6-77:16. The text is in part sole witness (with additions and com-
pressions) and in part overlaps with that in the “Excerpta de strategematis” in Parisinus, B.N.,
suppl. gr. 607 as witness for the source, Polybius; see Walbank (1979) 6 and 123-25. On the
“Excerpta” see J. Moore, The Manuscript Tradition of Polybius (Cambridge: 1965) 134-36.
They are published in C. Wescher, Poliorcétique des Grecs (Paris: 1867) 283-346 as
Strathg¤ ai ka‹ poliork¤ ai diafÒrvn pÒlevn .
ı ÍpÒnomow. See above 50:14ff.
ofl kontarçtoi. On the term see Kolias (1988) 191 n. 36.
vdB’s addition.

63 § 106–111 (THEV. p. 322, 14–25)

koËntow ka‹ t«n Yhba¤vn §kxuy°ntvn bia¤vw ka‹ metå yrãsouw

katå t«n MakedÒnvn §piyem°nvn ka‹ trecam°nvn toÁw per‹
3 Perd¤kan ka‹ KËnon ka‹ sfodr«w t∞i di≈jei §pikeim°nvn ka‹
tåw tãjeiw lusãntvn, §pifane‹w ÉAl°jandrow suntetagm°nvw t∞i 107
dunãmei oÈ xalep«w §tr°cato toÊtouw kekmhkÒtaw ≥dh ka‹ §kle-
6 lum°nouw ÍpÚ toË kÒpou. ka‹ sÁn to›w feÊgousi t«n Yhba¤vn 108
katÒpin §phkolouyhkÒtew ofl MakedÒnew e‡sv toË te¤xouw §g°-
nonto ka‹ tØn pÒlin kat°sxon: yarroËntew går ta›w t«n para- 109
9 fulak«n ésfale¤aiw oÈ pollo‹ t«i te¤xei prosÆdreuon, kénteËyen
¶layon Ùje›an dÒntew to›w §nant¤oiw tØn n¤khn.
paragg°llein d¢ to›w efiw tØn §p¤yesin §jioËsi t«n polem¤vn 110
12 strati≈taiw, ka‹ §pit¤mion §kt¤yesyai, toË mhd°na prÚw diarpa-
gØn skÊlvn xvre›n prÚ t∞w tele¤aw t«n §xyr«n ¥ttaw, ·na mØ
lãyvsi to›w §xyro›w paradÒntew tØn n¤khn, Àsper ka‹ Karxh-
15 dÒnioi §n ÉAkrãganti. poliorkoÊmenoi går ÍpÚ ÑRvma¤vn §pe‹ 111
§yeãsanto toÁw ÑRvma¤ouw prÚw tÚ sitologe›n tetramm°nouw,
F 3–5 t∞i di≈jei—dunãmei cf. Arr. I, 8, 5 ÉAl°jandrow . . . . katid≈n,
toÁw Yhba¤ouw d¢ lelukÒtaw §n t∞i di≈jei tØn tãjin, §mbãllei §w aÈtoÁw
suntetagm°nhi t∞i fãlaggi 6–7 sÁn to›w—te¤xouw cf. Arr. I, 8, 5 sunes-
p¤ptousi går aÈto›w e‡sv toË te¤xouw 14—p. 64, 6 Àsper ka‹ KarxhdÒ
nioi—par°skeuasan cf. Plb. I, 17, 9–18, 1, ubi habes, quae hic multis
omissis et mutatis narrat Anon. 16 prÚw—tetramm°nouw cf. Plb. I, 17, 9
Àrmhsan . . . . prÚw tÚ sitologe›n

V P1 1 ka‹ metå] metå P1 3 debet esse Perd¤kkan; incertum utrum error

an librario attribuendus sit || kËnon V P1: Ën exp. et o› superscr.
P1 ut Ko›non voluisse videatur, quod fort. habuit Anon. (a librario quodam
per iotacismum in KËnon mutatum), quamquam Ko›now in hac narratione
apud Arr. non memoratur 4 lege suntetagm°nhi; cf. Arr. 5 dunãmei]
di≈jei P 1 || kekmhkÒtaw Thev. Ex, ut vid.: kekmhkÒtew V P1 7 §piko-
louyhkÒtew P1 || makedÒnaiw P1 8–9 lege profulak«n; cf. p. 62, 19 et
Arr. I, 8, 5 t«n teix«n diå tåw profulakåw tåw pollåw §rÆmvn ˆntvn
11 d¢] de› P1, ut fort. scribendum sit d¢ de›; cf. ad p. 55,x 6 12 §pit¤mivn V
|| toË cf. p. 49, 9 13 telele¤aw V || ¥tthw Thev. E (hw in ras.), quod
fort. legendum est 16 §yeãsato P1 || tetragm°nouw P1

11–14 cf. Urb.-Maur. VII, I, 14 (Vari) skuleÊein d¢ nekroÁw . . . prÚ

tele¤aw §kbãsevw toË pol°mou prçgma Ùl°yrion ka‹ §pik¤ndunÒn §sti.
diÚ xrØ eÈka¤rvw proparagg°llein toÁw strati≈taw, …w ka‹ §n to›w §piti-
m¤oiw (scil. Urb.-Maur. I, 8, 2, Leon. Tact. VIII, 20) dhloËtai, toÊtvn panto¤vw
ép°xesyai. pollãkiw går ofl nikÆsantew diå toioÊtvn trÒpvn oÈ mÒnon ≤ttÆ-
yhsan, éllå ka‹ ép≈lonto, skorp¤santew •autoÁw ka‹ ÍpÚ t«n §xyr«n
aÈt«n afifnidiasy°ntew, fere item Leo, Tact. XIII, 15; Urb.-Maur. VII, II,
17, 14 (Vari) xrØ §n kair«i mãxhw prÚ §kbãsevw toË pol°mou §xyrÚn mØ
skuleÊein strati≈thn ka‹ toËto pollãkiw proparagg°llein., fere item Leo,
Tact. XII, 124; talia praecepta etiam inveniuntur Leon. Tact. XX, 82 et 104

attacking the Macedonians and routing those with Perdiccas 126 and
C o e n u s127 and vigorously pursuing and breaking their ranks,
Alexander appeared with his forces in good order 128 and routed them
without difficulty as they were already tired and worn out with the
exertion. And the Macedonians followed along behind with the flee-
ing Thebans, got inside the wall and captured the city. For confident
in the security of their advanced guards129 few [Thebans] were keep-
ing watch on the wall and as a result they inadvertently gave a quick
victory to the enemy.
Give orders to the soldiers who are going out to attack the
enemy and establish a penalty in order that no one proceeds to pillag-
ing for spoils until the enemy is completely defeated 130, lest they inad-
vertently surrender victory to the enemy, as the Carthaginians did at
Acragas. For when they were under siege by the Romans, upon see-
ing the Romans engaged in foraging for grain, [64] after going out and

Accepting Perd¤ kkanfor Perd¤ kan.
Accepting Ko›non for KËnon, although as vdB notes, he is not mentioned in Arrian’s text
at this point; he also appears below at 93:13.
Accepting suntetagm° n˙ for suntetagm° nvw.
Accepting profulak«n for parafulak«n .
In addition to the parallels provided by vdB, cf. for similar concerns the Praecepta mili -
taria II:71-79 and IV:162-66 (in McGeer [1995]); for discussion see idem (1995) 321f.

64 § 111–118 (THEV. p. 322, 25–41)

§jelyÒntew ka‹ trecãmenoi toÊtouw eÈxer«w, §p‹ tØn diarpagØn

112 t«n §n t«i xãraxi kexvrhkÒtew, t«n §ke›se kataleleimm°nvn
fisxur«w égvnisam°nvn dietrãphsan ka‹ polloÁw t«n ofike¤vn 3
épobalÒntew éyumÒteroi per‹ tåw §piy°seiw efiw to •j∞w §gegÒ-
neisan, toÁw d¢ ÑRvma¤ouw fulaktik≈teron xr∞syai ta›w prono-
ma›w pareskeÊasan. 6
113 efi d¢ ka‹ mhxanåw ofl §xyro‹ kateskeÊasan, proeutrep¤zein
dçidaw ka‹ stupe›on ka‹ p¤ssan ka‹ xeiros¤fvna, ka‹ diaire›n
tÚn laÚn efiw ple¤ona m°rh ka‹ êllouw m¢n tãjai per‹ tØn toË 9
pol°mou ésxol¤an, •t°rouw d¢ per‹ tÚ §mpiprçn tåw mhxanãw.
114 ka‹ toÊtou ginom°nou summax¤ai YeoË yrausyÆsetai m¢n tå
fronÆmata t«n Ípenant¤vn ka‹ épogn≈sontai toË •le›n tØn pÒlin, 12
énayarrÆsousin d¢ ofl §ntÚw ka‹ yarsale≈teroi genÆsontai.
115 t«n d¢ §xyr«n §pikeim°nvn ka‹ mhdam«w luÒntvn tØn polior-
k¤an, efi m¢n éjiÒlogow dÊnamiw ≤met°ra §pisunaxy∞nai, dedÊnhtai, 15
xvre›n katÉ aÈt«n ka‹ dhmÒsion pÒlemon sugkrote›n, plØn mhd¢
116 t∞w polem¤aw x≈raw ép°xesyai. émfÒtera går lusitele› poie›n,
ka‹ tÚ tØn x≈ran t«n Ípenant¤vn fye¤rein ka‹ dfi aÈt∞w pol- 18
lãkiw lÊein tØn poliork¤an, ka‹ tÚ mØ §çn aÈtoÊw, …w boÊlontai,
117 xr∞syai t∞i poliork¤ai. μ går front¤zontew t∞w ofike¤aw pan-
strat‹ énazeÊjousin μ dielÒntew tØn dÊnamin §jadunatÆsousi per‹ 21
118 tå ˜la. efi går ka‹ énagka›a strathgÆmata taËta, ka‹ pollØn
F 1–2 §jelyÒntew—kexvrhkÒtew cf. Plb. I, 17, 10 §jelyÒntew §p°yento
to›w sitologoËsin. trecãmenoi d¢ toÊtouw =aid¤vw ofl m¢n §p‹ tØn toË xã-
rakow èrpagØn Àrmhsan 3–4 polloÁw—épobalÒntew cf. Plb. I, 17, 12 pol-
loÁw m¢n t«n fid¤vn ép°balon (scil. ofl ÑRvma›oi) 4–6 éyumÒteroi—pa-
reskeÊasan cf. Plb. I, 18, 1 metå d¢ taËta sun°bh toÁw m¢n Karhdon¤ouw
eÈlab°steron diake›syai prÚw tåw §piy°seiw, toÁw d¢ ÑRvma¤ouw fulakti-
k≈teron xr∞syai ta›w pronoma›w.

V P1 2–4 mentio cladis et fugae Carthaginiensium (cf. Plb.) desideratur, ut

aliquid excidisse videatur; an §trãphsan pro dietrãphsan? 4 épobãl-
lontew P1 4–5 §gegÒnhsan P1 7 proeutrep¤zhn V 11 malim toÊtvn
ginom°nvn, ut pertineat haec sententia ad omnia praecepta, quae antecedunt
13 énayarrsÆsousin V; cf. praef. p. 35–36 16 ka‹ dhmÒsion] mØ dhmÒ-
sion P1 17 poi∞n V 18 aÈt∞w an aÈtoË? 20 ofik¤aw P1 22 efi går ka‹
v. ad p. 52, 21 || énagka› P1

14–20 cf. Urb.-Maur. X, 2, quod caput inscribitur p«w de› èrmÒzesyai

polem¤vn, …w efikÒw, §n t∞i ≤met°rai x≈rai efisballÒntvn, (Scheffer) . . . .
xrØ §ån ı tÒpow ka‹ ≤ y°siw t∞w t«n §nant¤vn x≈raw §pithde¤a §st¤, diÉ
•t°rou tÒpou mçllon §pithdeÊein p°mpein stratÚn §n aÈt∞i, ·na §k toÊtou
perispãshi toÁw §xyroÊw, item Müller Kriegswesen, p. 128, 19–22, fere
item Leo, Tact, XVII, 81.

easily routing them, they proceeded to pillage the contents of their

camp, but when the [Romans] who were left there strongly opposed
them, they were defeated, lost many of their own men, and became
less courageous about future attacks, while they caused the Romans to
become more guarded in their foraging.
If the enemy construct machines, prepare in advance pine torch-
es and tow and pitch and cheirosiphona131 and divide the troops into
more sections and assign some to the task of fighting and others to
burning the machines.
And if this is done with God’s help the spirits of the enemy will
be broken and they will despair of taking the city, but those within
will take heart and become more courageous.
When the enemy are pressing and in no way lifting the siege, if
we can collect a significant force, proceed against them and wage a
pitched battle132, but do not leave the enemy’s territory untouched. For
it is beneficial to do both, destroying the territory of the enemy and
thereby oftentimes lifting the siege, and not allowing them to prose-
cute the siege as they wish. For they will either become anxious for
their [own] land and break camp with their whole army or will divide
their force and be ineffective in all respects. For if these stratagems
are effective, they will cause great [65] despair both to the enemy and

tÚ xeiros¤ fvnon. On the recent development of this device, cf. Leo VI, Taktika XIX:57:
xeiros¤ fvna l° getai, parå t∞w ≤m«n basile¤ aw êrti kateskeuasm° na . It was most prob-
ably a handheld version of the stationary tube and pump for projecting liquid fire, but perhaps
a hand-hurled firepot; see Haldon (2000) 278-80. For an illustration in ms. Vat. Gr. 1605 folio
36 and the related description in that text as metå strept«n § gxeirid¤ vn purobÒlvnsee the
so-called “Heron of Byzantium”, Parangelmata poliorcetica 49:20 (in Sullivan [2000]) with
fig. 22.
ı dhmÒsiow pÒlemow (a “pitched battle”). Cf. below 67:19 and Maurice, Strategikon
XI:1:16 and 20, etc. with the translation of Dennis (1984) 115 and Theophanes,
Chronographia 452:7.

65 § 118–124 (THEV. p. 322, 41–323, 4)

éyum¤an to›w Ípenant¤oiw §kpoioËntai ka‹ mãlista to›w katå tØn

x≈ran nom¤zousin §jhtthy∞nai tåw §n t∞i polem¤ai dunãmeiw.
3 éllÉ oÔn polloÁw pollãkiw ¶sfhlen, Àsper ka‹ ÉAn¤ban tÚn t«n 119
Karxhdon¤vn strathgÒn, tØn x≈ran t«n ÑRvma¤vn dhi≈santa
ka‹ tØn poliork¤an lËsai mØ dunhy°nta, éllå ka‹ tØn pÒlin
6 parapol°santa. t«n går ÑRvma¤vn poliorkoÊntvn tØn ÍpÒforon 120
oÔsan aÈt«n pÒlin KapÊhn ka‹ xãraki ka‹ tãfrvi tØn stra-
topede¤an Ùxurvsam°nvn ka‹ tå kÊklvi t∞w pÒlevw, Àste mØ
9 peripese›n §ntÚw dÊnamin, prosbalΔn otow t«i t«n polem¤vn 121
xãraki §p‹ dÊo ka‹ tris‹n ≤m°raiw ka‹ épokrouaye¤w, tå purå
kaiÒmena katalipΔn ka‹ to›w ¶ndon shmãnaw tå bebouleum°na,
12 …w ín mØ épognÒntew d≈sousi tØn pÒlin, nuktÚw §p‹ tØn ÑR≈mhn
an°zeuje. katadramΔn d¢ tØn x≈ran ka‹ afixmalvt¤saw aÈtÆn, 122
§pe‹ katå tÊxhn katÉ §ke›non tÚn kairÚn tåw éyroisye¤saw dunã-
p .3 2 3T h e v. 15 meiw sun°bainen efiw tØn ÑR≈mhn éf›xyai, ±stÒ | xhsen t∞w §pi-
bol∞w, tØn d¢ le¤an énalabΔn v Ö ixeto prÚw tØn fid¤an. t«n d¢ 123
ÑRvma¤vn §pimeinãntvn t∞i poliork¤ai ka‹ t«n KapÊvn épe-
18 gnvkÒtvn to›w prãgmasin, …w pãshw bohye¤aw §rhmvy°ntvn,
•ãlv ≤ KapÊh ka‹ toÊtoiw Ípoxe¤riow g°gone.
éllå ka‹ ÉEpamin≈ndaw ı Yhba›ow paragenÒmenow efiw T°gean 124 (Plb.
IX, 8, 2)
F 13–19 Àsper ka‹ ÉAn¤ban—g°gone cf. Plb. IX, 3, 1–4; 4, 6–7, 10,
in Excerptis Antiquis servata, ubi habes, quae hic valde mutata et con-
tracta narrat Anon. 4 tØn x≈ran—dhi≈santa cf. Plb. IX, 6, 8 tØn d¢
x≈ran §dÆioun 5 tØn poliork¤an—dunhy°nta cf. Plb. IX, 4, 6 sullogizÒ-
menow ÉAnn¤baw édÊnaton Ípãrxon tÚ . . . . lËsai tØn poliork¤an 10–11 tå
purå—katalipΔn cf. Plb. IX, 5, 7 katalipΔn tå purå kaiÒmena 14–15 katÉ
§ke›non—éf›xyai cf. Plb. IX, 6, 7 sun°bh pl∞yow éndr«n aÈtomãtvw
èyroisy∞nai prÚw tÚn d°onta kairÚn efiw tØn ÑR≈mhn 15–16 ±stÒxhsen t∞w
§pibol∞w cf. Plb. IX, 6, 8 t∞w . . . §pibol∞w ép°sthsan 17 §pimeinãntvn
t∞i poliork¤ai cf. Plb. IX, 7, 7 m°nein §p‹ t∞w poliork¤aw 19 ≤ KapÊh—
g°gone cf. Plb. IX, 26, 2, in Exc. Valesianis servatum, gen°syai tØn KapÊhn
to›w ÑRvma¤oiw Ípoxe¤rion 20—p. 67, 6 ÉEpamin≈ndaw—ÉEpamin≈ndan:
Plb. IX, 8, 2–13, in Excerptis Antiquis servata, kayãper går ÉEpamin≈ndan
tÚn Yhba›on yaumãzousi pãntew, diÒti paragenÒmenow efiw Teg°an k. t. l.

3 ¶sfhlen scripsi: ¶sfhllen V P1 || ÉAn¤ban v. ad p. 52, 21 4 Karxh-

V P1 d
[Polybii don¤vn Thev.: karxh V karxhdÒnvn P1 6 parapol°sonta V 7 aÈt«n
Excerpta malim aÍto›w 8 Ùxurvsam°nvn Thev.: »xurvsam°nvn V P1; cf. ad p. 67,
Antiqua] 10–11 9 peripese›n exspectaveris parapese›n, quod hab. Plb. IX, 3, 4,
sed cf. p. 66, 11 12 épogn«ntew P1 17 debet esse Kapuan«n, sed in-
certum utrum error librario attribuendus sit an Anonymo 18 malim t«n
pragmãtvn; cf. p. 52, 20 || §rhmvy°ntvn Thev. Ex (tvn in ras.): §rhmv-
y°ntew V P1 20 t°gean V P1: Teg°an B.-W., sed veri simile est Anon.
scripsisse T°gean, quae forma saepius in codd. invenitur (cf. Pape s.v.);
T°gean h. l. etiam scribunt Hultsch, tacite, et Schw. ,,cum msstis”

especially to those in their homeland who think their forces in hostile

territory have been defeated. But then this has often ruined many, as
for example Hannibal the Carthaginian general who ravaged the terri-
tory of the Romans and was not able to break the siege, but even
destroyed the city. For when the Romans were besieging the city of
Capua, their tributary state, and had fortified their camp and the area
around the city with a palisade and a ditch, so that no force could steal
in, [Hannibal] attacked the palisade of the enemy, fought for two or
three days and was beaten back; leaving his fires burning and signal-
ing his plans 133 to those inside lest they would surrender the city in
despair, by night he decamped for Rome. Although he ravaged and
subjected the land, he failed in his attempt, since by chance at that
time the forces [recently] gathered happened to arrive at Rome,134 and
taking his booty Hannibal returned to his own territory. As the
Romans persisted in the siege and the Capuans despaired at the situa-
tion, since they were bereft of assistance, Capua was taken and came
under [Roman] control.
Moreover Epaminondas of Thebes when he reached Tegea [66]

Through a letter carrier (grammatofÒrow); Polybius IX:5.1.
A new legion had just been enrolled and a second was in process; Polybius IX:6:7.

66 § 124–134 ( THEV. p. 323, 4–22)

metå t«n summãxvn ka‹ yevrÆsaw toÁw Lakedaimon¤ouw pandhme‹

paragegonÒtaw efiw Mant¤neian metå t«n summãxvn, …w parata-
(Plb. 125 jam°nouw to›w Yhba¤oiw, deipnopoiÆsasyai to›w aÍtoË kayÉ Àran 3
IX, 8, 3) paragge¤law §j∞ge tØn dÊnamin êrti t∞w nuktÚw §piginom°nhw, …w
t∞w paratãjevw xãrin speÊdvn eÈka¤rouw tinåw prokatalab°syai
(4) 126 tÒpouw, toiaÊthn d¢ to›w pollo›w dÒjan §rgasãmenow pros∞ge, 6
(5) 127 poioÊmenow tØn pore¤an §pÉ aÈtØn tØn Lakeda¤mona, prosm¤jaw
<d¢> per‹ tr¤thn Àran t∞i pÒlei paradÒjvw ka‹ katalabΔn
tØn Spãrthn ¶rhmon t«n bohyhsÒntvn, m°xri m¢n égorçw §biã- 9
sato ka‹ kat°sxe t∞w pÒlevw toÁw §p‹ tÚn potamÚn §stramm°nouw
(6) 128 tÒpouw. aÈtomÒlou d° tinow tØn nÊkta peripesÒntow efiw tØn
Mant¤neian ka‹ diasafÆsantow tÚ sumba›non ÉAghsilãvi t«i 12
basile›, ka‹ t«n bohyoÊntvn paragenom°nvn efiw tÚn t∞w kata-
(7) 129 lÆcevw kairÒn, taÊthw m¢n t∞w §pibol∞w ép°sth, éristopoihsã-
menow d¢ ka‹ prosanalabΔn tØn dÊnamin §k t∞w kakopaye¤aw, 15
(8) 130 Àrma pãlin §j Ípostrof∞w tØn aÈtØn ıdÒn, sullogizÒmenow ˜ti
sumbÆsetai ¶rhmon pãlin katale¤pesyai tØn Mant¤neian: ˘ ka‹
(9) 131 sun°bh gen°syai. diÚ parakal°saw toÁw Yhba¤ouw ka‹ xrhsãmenow 18
§nerg«i t∞i nuktopor¤ai par∞n ka‹ pros°misge t∞i Mantine¤ai
per‹ m°son ≤m°raw, §rÆmvi tele¤vw ÍparxoÊshi t«n bohyhsÒntvn.
(10) 132 ofl dÉ ÉAyhna›oi katå tÚn aÈtÚn kairÚn spoudãzontew metasxe›n 21
toË prÚw toÁw Yhba¤ouw ég«now to›w Lakedaimon¤oiw katå tØn
(11) 133 summax¤an par∞san. ≥dh d¢ t∞w Yhba¤vn prvtopor¤aw sun-
aptoÊshw Àsper §p¤thdew sunekÊrhsen ëma ka‹ toÁw ÉAyhna¤ouw 24
(12) 134 §pifa¤nesyai katå tÚn Mantine¤aw Íperke¤menon lÒfon: efiw oÓw

V P1 1 Lakedaimon¤ouw] Lakedaimon¤ouw aÈtoÊw te Plb. 2 metå t«n summã-

Polybii xvn] ka‹ toÁw summãxouw efiw taÊthn ≤yroikÒtaw tØn pÒlin Plb. 2–3 pa-
Excerpta ratajam°nouw Plb. FS: paratajam°noiw V P1 E, ut vid., paratajom°nouw Ur-
Antiqua sinus B.-W. Ex 3 aÈtoË V P1 Schw., tacite 6 §nergasãmenow Plb.
|| pros∞ge V P1 Plb. FS: pro∞ge Reiske B.-W. 7 lak V lakedaimon¤an P1
8 <d¢> om. V P1 11 aÈtomÒlou d° tinow] genom°nhw d¢ peripete¤aw, ka¤
tinow aÈtomÒlou Plb. || nÊktan P1 || peripesÒntow] diapesÒntow Plb.,
sed cf. p. 65, 9 12 ka‹ V P1 Plb. D i.m. B.-W.: oË Plb. F oÈ Plb. S 12–13 tÚ—
basile›] ÉAghsilãvi t«i basile› tÚ sumba›non Plb. 14 §pibol∞w ép°sth]
§lp¤dow épesfãlh Plb. 14–15 éristopoihsãmenow d¢] metå d¢ taËta per‹
tÚn EÈr≈tan éristopoihsãmenow Plb. 15 §k t∞w] §ktÚw V P1 17 post
sumbÆsetai hab. t«n Lakedaimon¤vn ka‹ t«n summãxvn parabebohyhkÒ-
tvn efiw tØn Spãrthn Plb. 18 diÚ] diÚ ka‹ P1 || parekal°saw V || xrh-
sam°nou V P1 19 nuktopore¤ai Plb.; cf. v. 23 20 tel°vw Plb. 21 oÂa pro
ofl dÉ é P1 || autÚn kairÚn] kairÚn toËton Plb. 23 prvtopor¤aw V P1
Plb. F: prvtopore¤aw Plb. S B.-W. 24 post sunaptoÊshw hab. prÚw
tÚ toË Poseid«now flerÒn, ˘ ke›tai prÚ t∞w pÒlevw §n •ptå stad¤oiw Plb.
|| sunekÆrusen V P1 25 Mantine¤aw] t∞w Mantine¤aw Plb.

with his allies and saw that the Lacedaemonians and their allies had
reached Mantinea in full strength intending to engage the Thebans in
battle, ordered his men to take their supper at that hour and just as
night was falling he led his force out as if he were eager to occupy in
advance favorable terrain for the battle. Having created this expecta -
tion for most [observers], he advanced marching on Sparta itself, and
arriving unexpectedly at the city about the third hour and finding it
without defenders forced his way as far as the market place and took
control of those parts of the city facing the river. But a deserter
slipped away during the night to Mantinea and informed king
Agesilaus of what happened and when the [Spartans] arrived to help
just as [the city] was being taken, [Epaminondas] abandoned this
attempt. After allowing his forces to take breakfast and recover from
their strenuous efforts, he hastened back in the opposite direction
again by the same road, concluding that Mantinea would in turn be
left without defenders, which was indeed the situation. Exhorting the
Thebans, therefore, and marching energetically all night, about mid -
day he reached Mantinea, which was completely without defenders.
But at the same time the Athenians, who were eager to take part in the
battle against the Thebans, arrived to help the Lacedaimonians in
accordance with their alliance. So just as the initial column of the
Thebans arrived, the Athenians happened as if it were planned to
appear simultaneously on the hill above Mantinea. [67] When the

67 § 134–140 (THEV. p. 323, 22–34)

§mbl°cantew ofl kataleleimm°noi t«n Mantin°vn mÒliw §yãrshsan

§pib∞nai toË te¤xouw ka‹ kvlËsai tØn t«n Yhba¤vn ¶fodon.
3 <diÒper efikÒtvw ofl suggrafe›w §pim°mfontai to›w proeirhm°noiw 135 (13)
¶rgoiw, fãskontew> {ka‹} t«i m¢n ≤gemÒni peprçxyai pçn ˜son
égay«i strathg«i, ka‹ t«n m¢n Ípenant¤vn kre¤ttv, t∞w d¢ tÊxhw
6 <¥ttv> gegon°nai tÚn ÉEpamin≈ndan Àsper oÔn ka‹ ÉAn¤ban.
éllå ka‹ PÒpliow ı t«n ÑRvma¤vn strathgÚw ka‹ Dvr¤maxow 136 (Plb.
ı t«n Afitvl«n, toË Fil¤ppou poliorkoËntow tØn t«n ÉExinai«n IX, 42, 1)
9 pÒlin, ka‹ tå prÚw tÚ te›xow kal«w ésfalisam°nou ka‹ tå prÚw
tØn §ktÚw §pifãneian toË stratop°dou tãfrvi ka‹ te¤xei Ùxu-
rvsam°nou, paragenÒmenoi aÈto¤, ı m¢n PÒpliow stÒlvi, ı d¢ 137 (2)
12 Dvr¤maxow pezik∞i ka‹ flppik∞i dunãmei, ka‹ prosbalÒntew t«i
xãraki ka‹ épokrousy°ntew, toË Fil¤ppou mçllon fisxur«w égv-
nisam°nou, épelp¤santew ofl ÉExinae›w par°dosan •autoÁw t«i 138 (3)
15 Fil¤ppvi. oÈ går oÂo¤ te ∑san ofl per‹ tÚn Dvr¤maxon t∞i t«n 139 (4)
dapanhmãtvn §nde¤ai énagkãzein tÚn F¤lippon, §k yalãsshw taËta
18 efi d¢ ka‹ toÊtvn ginom°nvn m°nousin ofl §xyro‹ §xÒmenoi t∞w 140
poliork¤aw, ka‹ oÈd¢ dhmÒsion pÒlemon dunatÚn sugkrote›syai
katÉ aÈt«n, éllÉ oÈd¢ nuktÚw §piy°syai, tuxÚn kal«w •autoÁw

F 6 ÉEpamin≈ndan des. Plb. 7–17 PÒpliow—porizÒmenon: Plb. IX, 42,

1–4 apud solum Anon. tradita. Sed haec quoque Anon. contraxisse et
mutasse videtur; cf. Hultsch et B.-W. ad locum et ad p. 58, 13–19; moneo
Anon. in iis exemplis, quae suis verbis narravit, et in initio narrationum,
quas descripsit, saepe genitivis absolutis usum esse; cf. p. 50, 11–12 et
17–20; p. 51, 1–2; p. 52, 8–9; p. 58, 13; p. 60, 5–6; p. 61, 17–62, 8; p.
62, 26–63, 4; p. 71, 2–5; § 200–201; § 245

V P1 1 §yãrrhsan Plb. 3–4 <diÒper—fãskontew> om. V P1 4 {ka‹} delevi;

[Polybii non hab. Plb. 5 t∞w] t«n V P1 E ¥ttv Ex 6 <¥ttv> om. V P1 || tÚn
Excerpta ÉEpamin≈ndan V Ursinus B.-W.: tÚn §pamin≈nda P1 tÚn §pamein≈ndan
Antiqua] Plb. D i . m . t«n §pamin≈ndvn Plb.F t«n §pamein≈ndou Plb.S || ÉAn¤ban v.
ad p. 52, 21 8 ÉExinai«n Dindorf B.-W.: §xina¤vn V P1; nomen terminatur
syllaba -eÊw; cf. v. 14 10–11 Ùxurvsam°nou Casaub. B.-W.: »xurvsa-
m°nou V P1 11 aÈto¤ ,,possis aÈtoË vel aÈt«i suspicari” (Schw., Tom. VI,
p. 569), sed aÈto¤ repetit subiectum ante ı m¢n . . . ı d¢ 12 prosballÒntew
P1 13–14 lac. ante toË Fil¤ppou ind. Schw.; possis etiam lac. indicare
post égvnisam°nou, sed veri simile videtur Anon. post toË—égvnisam°nou
structuram verborum neglegenter mutasse; anacolouthon hab. etiam p. 54,
12–55, 2 14 ÉExinae›w] éxinee›w Thev., unde ÉExinaie›w Schw. B.-W., sed
§xinae›w hab. etiam Plb. FD IX, 41, 11 o 16 énagkãzein Casaubonus B.-W.:
énagkãsein V P1 19 dhmÒsion scripsi: d∞m V d∞mow P1; cf. p. 64, 16

Mantineans who had remained saw them, they barely summoned the
courage to mount the wall and ward off the assault of the Thebans.
<Historians, therefore, quite reasonably find fault with the aforemen -
tioned events, saying that> the commander did all that a good gener -
al ought, and Epaminondas here bested his enemies but was
<worsted> by fortune 135, as likewise was Hannibal.
But also Publius, the Roman general, and Dorimachus, the gen-
eral of the Aetolians, arrived in person, when Philip was besieging the
city of the Echinaeans and had both well secured his position opposite
the [city’s] wall and fortified his camp on the outer side with a ditch
and wall, Publius with a fleet and Dorimachus with infantry and cav-
alry forces. When they attacked the entrenched camp and were driven
off, as Philip fought more vigorously, the Echinaeans despaired and
surrendered themselves to Philip. For Dorimachus’ men were unable
to pressure Philip [to depart] from lack of provisions 136, as he obtained
these by sea137.
But if, the situation being such, the enemy continues to maintain
the siege, and it is not possible to wage a pitched battle against them,
but neither to attack by night, as perchance they have secured their
position well, [68] then it is necessary not to ignore those [of the

The battle of Mantinea, 362 BC; on the comparison of Hannibal and Epaminondas (the
march on Rome and return south vs. the march on Sparta and quick return to Mantinea) see
Walbank (1967) 127-30.
Walbank (1967) 185 notes that the Greek here, tå dapanÆmata, in classical usage should
mean “costs” and that the term as “supplies” may be due to the Anon. rather than to Polybius.
See also the use of dapãnh above at 45:16 and vdB’s note.
vdB notes that the paragraph, assigned as Polybius IX:42, is only preserved in the De
obsidione toleranda, but with compression and changes from the original text of Polybius.
Walbank (1967) 14 comments “the fragment from the Anonymous is much deformed by the
epitamator of P[olybius].”

68 § 140–146 ( THEV. p. 323, 34–48)

141 ésfalizom°nvn, t°vw oÈ xrØ t«n per‹ tåw dapãnaw ésxolou-

m°nvn émele›n, éllå * * * ka‹ diå t«n sunex«n §piy°sevn efiw
émhxan¤an §mbãllein, ˘ ka‹ mãlista t«n énagkaiotãtvn §st¤n. 3
142 efi d¢ summax¤aw t∞w ¶jvyen épor¤a pãntoyen e‡h, ka‹ ofl
§xyro‹ §mmel«w xr«ntai ta›w mhxana›w §k diadox∞w épaÊstvw
maxÒmenoi ka‹ oÈd¢ dunatÒn §stin §pit¤yesyai katÉ aÈt«n katå 6
tåw ≤m°raw μ ka‹ tåw nÊktaw, μ diÉ ésy°neian t«n ¶ndon μ diÉ
143 ésfãleian t«n §xyr«n, …w énvt°rv ¶famen, tÒte dØ efi m¢n
dunatÚn e‡h ka‹ t«i t«n ¶ndon proest«ti, §k diadox∞w énapaÊein 9
maxom°nouw pãntaw, ·nÉ §rrvmen°steron éntilambãnvtai toË
144 pol°mou, efi d¢ mØ pãntaw, éllÉ oÔn toÁw ple¤v maxesam°nouw,
† …w ín near≈teroi ta›w cuxa›w ka‹ to›w s≈masi ginÒmenoi toÁw 12
145 prokekmhkÒtaw t«n •ta¤rvn proyumot°rouw §rgãzvntai. † pol-
lãkiw går katå tØn t«n strathgik«n §pistÆmhn, §j •nÚw m¢n
m°rouw * * * stÆsantew ofl pol°mioi, §k toË •t°rou d¢ kl¤makaw 15
y°menoi, pleiÒnvw moxy∞sai toÁw §fest«taw §pÉ §ke›no tÚ m°row,
§n œi tåw kl¤makaw §t¤yesan, kathnãgkasan ka‹ xrØ éme¤bein
tØn tãjin. 18
146 efi m¢n oÔn, ˜per épeÊxomai, sumb∞i kataxvsy∞nai tåw tã-
frouw, ka‹ krioÁw prosãgoien katÉ §ke›no tÚ m°row, ßterou m¢n
te›xow §piskeuãzein: oÈd¢ går ¶sti ti tÚ ént°xon prÚw tØn toË 21

F 20 krioÁw prosãgoien cf. Ios. III, 213 prosãgein . . . tÚn kriÒn; 220
et 235 pros∞gon . . . . tÚn kriÚn 21—p. 69, 1 cf. Ios. III, 217, ubi post krioË
descriptionem pergit ka‹ oÈde‹w oÏtvw karterÚw pÊrgow μ per¤bolow platÊw,
˘w kín tåw pr≈taw plhgåw §n°gkhi kat¤sxusen t∞w §pimon∞w.

V P1 2 lac. indicavi; §jÒdouw katÉ aÈt«n poie›syai vel tale quid excidisse
videtur 8 énvt°rv cf. p. 58, 3–10; p. 67, 20–68, 1 9 énapaÊein Thev.:
énapaÊei addito signo corruptelae i.m. V P1 10 §rrvmen°steron Thev.:
§rroumen ßteron V §roËmen ßteron P1 12 fort. genÒmenoi <aÈto‹ proyumÒ-
teron mãxvntai ka‹ diå toËto ka‹> toÁw vel tale quid? 13 •ta¤rvn]
•t°rvn P1 || proyumvt°rouw P1 15 lac. indicavi 19 tåw] toÁw P1
21 §piskeuãzein v. ad p. 73, 6

1–3 cf. Urb-Maur. X, 2, 2, Müller Kriegswesen p. 128, 27–30, Leon. Probl.

X, 9 (ad p. 59, 1–5) 5–6 cf. Philon. ,,V” p. 98, 45–47 in praeceptis de
urbe obsidenda ka‹ poioË tØn prosbolØn §k diadox∞w t«n strativt«n
mhy°na paralip≈n 9–10 cf. Aen. Tact. XXXVIII, 1; Syll Tact. 53, quod
caput inscribitur t¤ xrØ poi∞sai poliorkoÊmenon tÚn strathgÒn, 2 diÉ
éllag¤vn toÊw te nÊktvr ka‹ meyÉ ≤m°ran polemoËntaw dianapaÊein

enemy] busy foraging for provisions, but <to make sorties against
them138> and through continuous attacks to render them helpless,
which is really most essential.
If there is no allied aid from anywhere outside, and the enemy
are effectively employing machines fighting continuously in relays
and it is not possible to attack them day or night, either because of the
weakness of those within or the security of the enemy, as we said
above, then indeed if it should be possible the leader of those within
should also give all his fighters rest breaks in relays, in order that they
may take a more vigorous part in the battle, but if not all of them, then
at least those bearing the brunt of fighting, ~ so that becoming more
refreshed in spirit and body <they may themselves fight more eager-
ly and thereby also 139> render their comrades who are tired more
eager.~ For often according to the science of generalship, the enemy
set up < . . . 140> in one sector, but put up ladders in another sector,
[and] they compel those positioned at that sector in which they put up
the ladders to endure the greater burden and it is necessary to have the
troops exchange place.
And if it happens - and I pray it does not - that the ditches are
filled in and they bring up the rams at that point, build an additional
wall; for there is nothing which can stand against the [69] momentum

vdB’s suggested addition.
vdB’s suggested addition.
The missing object may have been mhxanãw (“siege machines”) and the stratagem
referred to that found at Leo VI, Taktika XV:19, where ladders are used where the defenders
leave some sections unguarded to respond to the attack of other engines. Cf. also Onasander
XLII:4 (in Aeneas Tacticus, Asclepiodotus, Onasander , with an English translation by mem-
bers of the Illinois Greek Club [New York: 1923] 342–526).

69 § 146–151 (THEV. p. 323, 48–324, 5)

krioË forãn, sof¤zesyai d¢ prÚw tØn b¤an toË mhxanÆmatow oÈ 147

mÒnon ˜per ÉI≈shpow §petÆdeusen, éllå ka‹ ßteroi t«n palai«n:
3 sãkkouw går éxÊrou gem¤santaw, plØn bebregm°nou diå tÚ mØ 148
Ípanãptesyai eÈxer«w, §k°leusen xalçn, kayÉ ˘ ferÒmenon ée‹
324 Thev. tÚn kriÚn •≈rvn, † …w plançsyai te tØn | §mbolØn dexom°nhn tåw
6 plhgåw t∞i èpalÒthti, † …w mhd¢n katå éntitup¤an blãptesyai
<tÚ te›xow:> † ka‹ fãbata bebregm°nouw sãkkouw ßteroi ka‹ † 149
xe›raw sidhrçw, êlloi d¢ sxoin¤a, xalãsantew éne¤lkusan tØn
9 dokÒn: éllå ka‹ l¤youw bare›w §pafi°nai katå toË krioË. efi d¢ 150. 151
ka‹ drepãnia sof¤sainto ka‹ kontoÁw prÚw tÚ épot°mnein toÁw
sãkkouw, xrØ tÒte pur‹ §nerg«i prÚw êmunan toË mhxanÆmatow
12 kexr∞syai, œitini ka‹ ofl per‹ tÚn ÉI≈shpon §xrÆsanto, ka¤per
F 1 p. 73, 16 sof¤zesyai—§pej°yeon cf. Ios. III, 222–287 (III, VII, 20–
30), e quibus multis omissis et mutatis sumpta sunt, quae hic de Iudaeis
narrantur 1 sof¤zesyai—mhxanÆmatow cf. Ios. III, 222 ı ÉI≈shpow . . . . .
sof¤zetai katÉ Ùl¤gon tØn b¤an toË mhxanÆmatow (katå mikrÚn L prÚw
Ùl¤gon MVRC) 3–6 sãkkouw—èpalÒthti cf. Ios. III, 223 sãkkouw éxÊrvn
plhr≈santaw §k°leusen kayimçn kayÉ ˘ ferÒmenon ée‹ tÚn kriÚn ır«ien,
…w plãzoitÒ te ≤ §mbolÆ, ka‹ dexÒmenoi tåw plhgåw §kkeno›en t∞i xaunÒ-
thti (dexom°nh PAVRC, unde dexom°nhi Destinon ,,ut eo modo scilicet ictus
erraret aut etiam excepta vulnera laxata frustraretur” Lat. ,,ut laxo sacco-
rum sinu elusa plaga omnis arietis emolliretur” Heg.) 6–7 …w—<tÚ
te›xow>: Ios. III, 224 in fine 9–11 efi—sãkkouw cf. Ios. III, 225 ßvw
éntepinoÆsantew kontoÁw ofl ÑRvma›oi makroÁw ka‹ dr°pana dÆsantew §pÉ
êkrvn toÁw sãkouw ép°temnon. (sãkkouw AMLVRC) 11–p. 70, 2 xrØ—
mhxanãw cf. Ios. III, 226–227 §nergoËw d¢ oÏtv t∞w •lepÒlevw genom°nhw
. . . . . §p‹ tØn §k purÚw êmunan ofl per‹ ÉI≈shpon Àrmhsan. (227)
ècãmenoi d¢ ˜son aÎhw eÂxon Ïlhw trixÒyen §peky°ousin, ka‹ tã te mhxa-
nÆmata ka‹ tå g°rra ka‹ tå x≈mata t«n ÑRvma¤vn Ípep¤mprasan. (§ner-
goÁs PA §nergoË LVRC.)

V P1 2 ållå deleatur, ut oÈ mÒnon pertineat ad éllå ka‹ v. 9? 3 éxÊrou]

[Ios.] éxÊrvn Ios.; Anon. hab. êxuron etiam p. 49, 2; p. 53, 4. éxÊrvn p. 53, 1 ex
Plb. descripsit 5–6 perspicua non sunt et rationem sanandi non video; sus-
picor codicem, quo usus est Anon., habuisse dexom°nh ut Ios. PAVRC, ut
Anon. ipse locum non intellegeret 6 katÉ Ios. || éntitÊpeian P1 7 <tÚ
te›xow> om. V P1 || cf. Du Cange s.v. fãba ,,fãbata bebregm°na apud
Anonymum ms. de tuenda urbe obsessa”, et vero participium cum voce
fãbata coniungendum videtur, ut fortasse scribendum sit ka‹ fabãtvn
bebregm°nvn <§gem¤santo toÁw> sãkkouw ßteroi: ka‹ xe›raw; an vox
ßteroi coniungenda cum iis, quae sequuntur? 12 §xrÆsanto Thev. i.m.:
xrÆsan V P1

3–9 cf. Aen Tact. XXXII, 3–5 9 cf. Philon. ,,V” p. 91, 34–35 (ad
p. 48, 4–5)

of the ram. Deal cleverly with the force of the machine as not only
Josephus managed to do, but also others of the ancients. He ordered
that sacks filled with chaff - but wet 141 chaff so it cannot be easily set
on fire from below - be lowered at the place where they saw the ram
being constantly thrust ~ so as to deflect the attack with the soft
[material] absorbing 142 the blows ~ so that <the wall> was undamaged
due to the resistance. ~ And others <fill the143> sacks with wet beans
and ~ [some] lower grappling irons 144, others ropes to draw up the
[ram-]beam. But also drop heavy stones on the ram. But if they also
devise pruning knives on poles to cut the sacks, then it is necessary to
employ effective145 fire to ward off the machine, as Josephus’men did,

The comment is not in Josephus. Cf. Athenaeus Mechanicus, Per‹ mhxanhmãtvn 18:1-
7 (ed. C. Wescher, Poliorcétique des Grecs [Paris: 1867] 3–40) who recommends chaff soaked
with vinegar for the same purpose; see also the comments of the so-called “Heron of
Byzantium” Parangelmata poliorcetica 39:31-34 (in Sullivan [2000]) who repeats Athenaeus
Mechanicus’s recommendation.
Accepting dexom° n˙ for dexom° nhn, although the passage is perhaps beyond repair.
vdB’s suggested addition.
See above n. 30.
The meaning of § nergÒw here is difficult, and complicated by its repetition just below
where vdB’s suggestion of ÍgrÒw seems necessary. As the contrast appears to be between stan-
dard types of fire as opposed to new 10th-century methods, the sense is perhaps “actual”,

70 § 151–155 ( THEV. p. 324, 6–15)

époroËntew sif≈nvn ka‹ purÚw §nergoË: Ípeky°ontew går diå
152 tri«n §nep¤prasan tåw mhxanãw . l°getai d¢ ka‹ ÉEleãzaron Íper-
meg°yh p°tran érãmenon §pafe›nai katå toË krioË ka‹ éporrãjai 3
tØn toË mhxanÆmatow kefalØn ka‹ phdÆsanta §k m°svn t«n
polem¤vn labe›n aÈtØn ka‹ §t‹ toË te¤xouw éry∞nai ka‹ p°nte
153 b°lesi peripar∞nai. ka¤toi t«n ÑRvma¤vn rjÄ Ùrgãnoiw kata- 6
peltiko›w tuptÒntvn toÁw §p‹ t«n §pãljevn ka‹ suxno›w b°lesin,
¥ te t«n Ùjubel«n b¤a polloÁw diÆlaune, ka‹ t«n ÍpÚ t∞w
mhxan∞w éfiem°nvn petr«n ı =o›zow §pãljeiw te ép°sure ka‹ 9
154 gvn¤aw ép°yrupte pÊrgvn. ka‹ tosoËton ***, ˜ti plhge¤w tiw
katÉ §ke¤nhn tØn nÊkta éparãssetai tØn kefalØn ÍpÚ t∞w
155 p°traw, ka‹ tÚ kran¤on épÚ tri«n §sfendon¤syh stad¤vn: gu- 12
naikÒw te meyÉ ≤m°ran plhge¤shw tØn gast°ran proÛoÊshw §k

F 2–6 ÉEleãzaron—peripar∞nai cf. Ios. III, 230 Ípermeg°yh d¢ p°tran

érãmenow (scil. ÉEleãzarow) éf¤hsin épÚ toË te¤xouw §p‹ tØn •l°polin metå
tosaÊthw b¤aw, Àste éporr∞jai tØn kefalØn toË mhxanÆmatow, ∂n ka‹
kataphdÆsaw §k m°svn a‡retai t«n polem¤vn ka‹ metå poll∞w éde¤aw §p‹
tÚ te›xow ¶feren. et 231 in fine p°nte m¢n diape¤retai b°lesin 6–7 Ùrgãnoiw
katapeltiko›w cf. Ios. III, 240 ÍpÚ t«n katapeltik«n 8–10 ¥ te—pÊr-
gvn: Ios. III, 243 ¥ te oÔn t«n Ùjubel«n ka‹ katapelt«n b¤a polloÁw
ëma diÆlaunen, k.t.l. 10 tosoËton cf. Ios. III, 246 in fine, Suda s.v. petrÒbolon,
tosaÊth ∑n ≤ toË liyobÒlou b¤a ( l¤you pro liyobÒlou Suda) 10—p. 71, 1 plh-
ge¤w—≤mistãdion: Ios. III, 245–246 mãyoi dÉ ên tiw tØn toË mhxanÆmatow
élkØn §k t«n §p‹ t∞sde t∞w nuktÚw genom°nvn: plhge‹w gãr tiw épÉ aÈtoË
t«n per‹ tÚn ÉI≈shpon •st≈tvn énå tÚ te›xow éparãssetai k.t.l.: Suda
ibid. ≤ toË mhxanÆmatow élkØ toË petrobÒlou . . . . toiãde tiw ∑n: plhge‹w gãr
tiw ÍpÉ aÈtoË t«n per‹ tÚn ÉI≈shpon t«n énå tÚ te›xow, éparãssetai k.t.l.

V P1 1 purÚw §nergoË corruptum vid.; fort. legendum purÚw ÍgroË; cf. append.
[Ios.] || Ípeky°ontew cf. Ípeky°ousi(-sin Ios. A) Ios. AML §peky°ousin Ios. PVRC
[Suda] Niese 2 tri«n] tri«n pul«n? || §nep¤prasan] Ípep¤mprasan(-pip-C) Ios.
3 §paf∞nai P1 || krioË P1x: kairoË VP1 || éporrãjai VP1 Ios. LVRC: épar-
rãjai Ios.M éporr∞jai Ios. PA Niese 4 an kataphdÆsanta? cf. Ios., kata
facile excidisse potest post ka‹, quocum saepe confunditur; cf. Schw., in-
dicem s.v. ka‹ et s.v. katå || m°svn (m°sou Ios. PA) Ios.: m°son V P1 5 éry∞nai
an êrasyai? cf. Ios. 8 diÆlane P1 diÆlaunen Ios. 9 §p°sure P1 ép°suren
Ios. 10 lac. indicavi; §dÊnato ı liyobÒlow vel tale quid excidisse videtur;
an tosaÊth <∑n ≤ toË liyobÒlou b¤a>?. cf. Ios.; ˜ti cum indicativo idem
valet ac Àste cum infinitivo; v. Jannaris § 1756 et 1758b 11 nÊktan P1
|| éperãssetai V P1 12 §sfendon¤syh V P1 Ios. MC Suda GV: §sfendonÆ-
syh Ios. PA §sfendonÆyh Ios. A ex corr. LVR Niese Suda 13 post ≤m°ran
hab. §gkÊmonow Ios. Suda, quod autem i.m. suppl. Ios. C || plhgÆshw P1
|| gast°ran acc. tertiae decl. in -an hoc solo loco in utroque codice in-
venitur; cf. Schwyzer, Griechische Grammatik I (1939), p. 563, 1 et prae-
sertim 586, b; in solo cod. P1 invenitur v. 11; p. 54, 11; p. 76,3; § 228;
fort. h.l. quoque scribendum gast°ra, quod hab. Ios. Suda || proÛoÊshw]
proÛoÊshw n°on Ios. PAM proÆiei d¢ n°on Ios. LVRC P i.m. A i.m. M i.m. Niese
Suda || §j Ios. Suda

since [70] they did not have siphons 146 and liquid 147 fire. For secretly
going out through three <gates148> they set the machines on fire. And
it is said also that Eleazar lifted a massive stone and dropped it on the
ram and broke the head of the machine and leaping down took it from
the midst of the enemy and brought it up onto the wall and was struck
by five arrows. And indeed as the Romans were striking those on the
battlements with 160 catapults 149 and a hail of arrows, the force of the
oxybeleis150 tore through many and the rush of the stones thrown by
the machine tore away the battlements and crushed the corners of
towers. And so great <was the capacity of the stone thrower 151> that
one man struck during that night had his head taken off by the stone
and the skull was hurled as if by a sling three stades; at daybreak a
woman was struck in the belly while leaving [71] her house and

On the “siphon” and liquid fire see ODB 2:873 at “Greek Fire” and above n. 131.
Accepting vdB’s ÍgroË for § nergoË.
vdB’s suggested addition; the text of Josephus has simply trixÒyen.
This number is found earlier in the text of Josephus (BJ III:166).
Arrow-shooting catapults, literally “quick firers.”
vdB’s suggested addition.

71 § 155–159 ( THEV. p. 324, 15–25)

t∞w ofik¤aw §j°seise tÚ br°fow §fÉ ≤mistãdion. ˜mvw ka‹ oÏtvw 156
toË te¤xouw kataseisy°ntow ka‹ §ndÒntow ta›w mhxana›w frajã-
3 menoi •autoÁw to›w ıpl¤taiw tÚ katarify¢n éntvxÊrvsan. ka‹ 157
toËOÈespasianoË toÁw gennaiotãtouw t«n flpp°vn épobibãsantow
ka‹ *** perispãsein toÊtouw §pinooum°nou, …w ín =aid¤a ≤ ênodow
6 t«n §pemba¤nein taxy°ntvn g°nhtai, proteinÒntvn t«n éndr«n
toÁw kontoÊw, t«n d¢ tojot«n ballÒntvn ka‹ t«n êllvn mhxa-
nhmãtvn, ÉI≈shpow ka‹ §n toÊtvi éntestratÆgei, ka‹ toÁw m¢n 158
9 gennaiotãtouw ·sthsi parå tå diaseisy°nta t«n teix«n, meyÉ œn
ka‹ aÈtÚw proekindÊneue, toÁw d¢ ghraiot°rouw ka‹ toÁw ≥dh
kekmhkÒtaw §p‹ to›w m°nousi. pros°taje d¢ to›w strati≈taiw prÚw 159
12 m¢n tÚn élalagmÚn t«n tagmãtvn épofrãjai tåw ékoãw, …w mØ
kataplage›en, prÚw d¢ tÚ pl∞yow t«n bel«n sunoklãsantaw
kalÊptesyai kayÊperyen to›w yureo›w Ípoxvr∞sa¤ te prÚw
15 Ùl¤gon, ßvw tåw far°traw ken≈svsin ofl tojÒtai, ballÒntvn d¢

F 2 toË te¤xouw—mhxana›w cf. Ios. III, 251 §nd¤dvsi to›w mhxanÆmasi tÚ

te›xow 2–3 frajãmenoi—éntvxÊrvsan: Ios. III, 252 4–5 toË OÈes-
pasianoË—§pinooum°nou cf. Ios. III, 254 boulÒmenow (scil. OÈespasianÚw)
dÉ épÚ t«n katarrify°ntvn perispãsai toÁw e‡rgontaw toÁw m¢n gennaio-
tãtouw t«n flpp°vn épobÆsaw {t«n ·ppvn} trix∞i di°tajen katå tå peptv-
kÒta toË te¤xouw (katarify°ntvn VRC || t«n ·ppvn épobÆsaw tr. P, quare
t«n ·ppvn seclusit Destinon) 6–7 proteinÒntvn—kontoÊw cf. Ios. III,
254 toÁw kontoÁw pro˝sxontaw 7–8 t«n d¢ tojot«n—mhxanhmãtvn cf.
Ios. III, 256 peri°sthsen toÁw tojÒtaw . . . . . ka‹ sfendonÆtaw ka‹ toÁw §p‹
t«n mhxanhmãtvn 8–11 ka‹ toÁw—m°nousi cf. Ios. III, 258 ÉI≈shpow d¢
sunie‹w tØn §p¤noian §p‹ m¢n toË m°nontow te¤xouw sÁn to›w kekmhkÒsin
·sthsi toÁw ghraioÁw …w mhd¢n taÊthi blabhsom°nouw, efiw d¢ tå parerrv-
gÒta toË te¤xouw toÁw dunatvtãtouw ka‹ prÚ pãntvn énå ©j êndraw, meyÉ
œn ka‹ aÈtÚw efiw tÚ prokinduneÊein §klhr≈sato 11—p. 72, 2 pros°taje—émÊ-
nesyai: Ios. III, 259–260 §k°leus°n te prÚw m¢n tÚn—fid¤vn Ùrgãnvn épantçn
to›w polem¤oiw, égvn¤zesyai te ßkaston . . . . émunÒmenon

V P1 1 t∞w non hab. Ios. Suda || §j°seise—≤mistãdion] §j°seisen §fÉ ≤mistãdion

[Ios.] tÚ br°fow Ios. Suda 3 •autoÁw to›w ıpl¤taiw] tå s≈mata to›w ˜ploiw
[Suda] Hudson ex codd. Ios. Rostgaardiano et Bodleiano to›w s≈masi ka‹ to›w ıpl¤taiw
Ios. VR to›w s≈masi ka‹ to›w ˜ploiw Ios. PAML Niese to›w svmatiko›w ka‹
to›w ˜ploiw Ios. C; cf. praef. p. 26 || katarify¢n V P1 Ios. VRC: katar-
rify¢n (prius r. i. r. Ios. L ) Ios. PAML Niese 4 épobibãsantow cf. Ios. épo-
bÆsaw; cf. ad p. 73,8 5 lac. indicavi; cf. append. || an perispãsai ? cf.
Ios. 12 épofrãjai V P1 Ios. V Niese: §pifrãjai Ios. RC katafrãjai Ios.
|| …w V P1 Ios. VRC: …w ín Ios. PAML Niese 13 kataplage›en V P1
Ios. LVRC Niese: kataplago›en Ios. PAM 14 kalÊptesyai V P1 Ios. LVRC:
kalÊcasyai Ios. PAM Niese || kayÊperye P1 || prÚw] prÚ V 15 ken≈-
svsin V P1 Ios. VR Niese: ken≈sousin Ios. C Ípoken≈svsin Ios. PAML
|| bãllontew V P1

expelled her fetus half a stade away. But when the wall was shaken
and gave way to the machines, the [defenders] protecting themselves
with weapons152 blocked the breach. And Vespasian had his best cav -
alry dismount and < . . . 153> intended to draw away these [defenders],
so that the ascent might be easy for those ordered to climb. As the men
were couching their lances and the archers and the other machines fir-
ing, Josephus even here served as the opposing general, and stationed
his best men at the breached sections of the walls and himself shared
the danger with the first of them, but stationed the older and those
already exhausted at the sections still standing. He ordered the sol-
diers to block their ears to the war-cry of the legions, so as not to be
frightened, and crouching down at the multitude of arrows to hide
themselves under their shields, and to give way a little, until the
archers emptied their quivers; but when [the Romans] were throwing
up [72] the gangways154, to spring onto them first and ward them off

Accepting ˜ploiw for ı pl¤ taiw.
In the Appendix (108) vdB suggests as the simplest solution for the lacuna éntitãjan -
tow to›w § p‹ t«n katarrify° ntvn § fest«si“drawing up against those standing in the
The text here has kl¤ makewfor Josephus’ § pibatÆriai mhxana¤. On the former term as
a “gangway” or “landing ramp” cf. Leo the Deacon, Historiae libri X, ed. C. B. Hase (Bonn:
1828) 7:20-21 and see V. Christides, “Naval History and Technology in Medieval Times. The
Need for Interdisciplinary Studies”, Byzantion 58 (1988) 309-32, spec. 320 and J. Pryor,
“Transportation of Horses by Sea during the Era of the Crusades: Eighth Century to 1285 A.
D. Part I: To c 1225”, The Mariner’s Mirror 68 (1982) 9-27, spec. 10.

72 § 159–163 ( THEV. p. 324, 25–36)

tåw kl¤makaw aÈtoÁw prophdçn ka‹ diå t«n fid¤vn Ùrgãnvn
160 émÊnesyai. tå d¢ gÊnaia, …w mØ yhlÊnoien o‡ktvi tåw ırmåw t«n
sfet°rvn, katakle¤ei ta›w ofik¤aiw, §peidØ ≈w §yeãsanto tripl∞i 3
m¢n fãlaggi tØn pÒlin §zvsm°nhn, prÚw d¢ to›w katapesoËsi
te¤xesi toÁw polem¤ouw jifÆreiw <ka‹> tØn kayÊperyen ÙreinØn
lampom°nhn ˜ploiw, tã te b°lh toÁw tojÒtaw §pan°xontaw t«n 6
161 ÉArãbvn, ÏstatÒn tina kvkutÚn èl≈sevw sunÆxhsan. toË d¢
sunyÆmatow doy°ntow ımoË o· te salpigkta‹ t«n tagmãtvn èpãn-
tvn sunÆxhsan ka‹ deinÚn §phlãlajen ≤ stratiã, ka‹ pãntoyen 9
162 éfiem°nvn t«n bel«n tÚ f«w Ípet°mneto. frajãmeno¤ te tå Œta
prÚw tØn boØn ka‹ tå s≈mata prÚw tåw t«n bel«n éf°seiw
<ballÒntvn tåw mhxanåw §pej°dramon diÉ aÈt«n pr‹n §pib∞nai 12
toÁw balÒntaw,> sumplekÒmeno¤ ge mØn to›w énioËsi panto›a ka‹
163 xeir«n ¶rga ka‹ cux∞w §napede¤knunto. ofl d¢ ÑRvma›oi para-
keleusãmenoi éllÆloiw ka‹ pleurån m¢n •n≈santew, to›w d¢ yureo›w 15
kayÊperye frajãmenoi ka‹ tØn legom°nhn xel≈nhn épotel°santew
te›xow êrrhkton §g°nonto ka‹ kayãper •n‹ s≈mati pãshi fãlaggi

F 2–3 tå d¢ gÊnaia—ofik¤aiw: Ios. III, 263 ı d¢ ÉI≈shpow tåw m¢n

guna›kaw, …w mØ k. t. l. 3–7 …w §yeãsanto—sunÆxhsan: Ios. III, 262 tÚ
dÉ érgÚn épÚ t∞w pÒlevw pl∞yow, gÊnaia ka‹ pa›dew, …w §yeãsanto k. t. l.
7–10 toË d¢—Ípet°mneto: Ios. III, 265 ımoË dÉ o· te salpikta‹ k. t. l.
10–14 frajãmenoi—§napede¤knunto: Ios. III, 266–268 memnhm°noi ge mØn
t«n toË ÉIvsÆpou prostagmãtvn ofl sÁn aÈt«i tãw te ékoåw prÚw tØn k. t. l.
14—p. 73, 1 parakeleusãmenoi—§p°bainon: Ios. III, 270 parakeleusãmeno¤
te éllÆloiw k. t. l.

V P1 1 kl¤makaw] §pibathr¤ouw mhxanåw Ios. 2 émÊnesyai malim émÊnesyai

[Ios.] toÁw polem¤ouw; cf. Ios. || tå . . gÊnaia V P1 Ios. VR: tåw . . . guna›kaw
Ios. PAML Niese om. Ios. C 3 ofik¤aiw V P1 Ios. PAMLC Niese: ofike¤aiw Ios. VR
|| §yeãsato P1 4 post §zvsm°nhn hab. oÈd¢n går e‹w tØn mãxhn metakek¤nhto
t«n pãlai fulak«n Ios. || katapesoËsi] beblhm°noiw Ios. 5 te¤xesin Ios.
|| <ka‹> om. VP1 6 toÁw tojÒtaw VP1 Ios.VRC: to›w tojÒtaiw Ios. PAML
Niese || §pan°xontaw VP1 Ios. V: §pan°xonta Ios. PAMLRC Niese 8 salpig-
kta‹ (pig ex corr. Ios M) V P1 Ios. PA1 MLR: salpikta‹ Ios. VC Niese
8–9 èpãntvn om. P1 9 sunÆxhsan V P1 Ios. PML ex corr. RC Niese: sun-
Æxyhsan Ios. ALV || §pilãlajen P1 §pilãlazen Ios. V 10 éfiem°nvn] éfie-
m°nvn épÚ sunyÆmatow Ios. | frajãmenoi Thev.: frujãmenoi V P1 11 t«n
bel«n non hab. Ios. | éf°seiw] éf°seiw §frãjanto ka‹ Ios. 12–13 <bal-
lÒntvn—balÒntaw> om. VP1 13 balÒntaw VR
Niese: bãllontaw Ios. PAML
diabãllontaw Ios. C diabalÒntaw Ios. || ge mØn V P1 Ios. LVRC: te Ios.
Niese || énioËsin Ios. 14 §napede¤knuto V §nepede¤knuto P1
14–15 parakeleusãmenoi (—leuÒmenoi Ios.L) V P1 Ios. MLVRC: parakeleusã-
meno¤ te Ios. PA Niese 16 kayÊperye V Ios V: kayÊperyen P1 Ios. PAMLRC
Niese || ka‹—épotel°santew non hab. Ios. 17 te›xow V P1 Ios. MVRC:
st›fow Ios. PAL Niese || péshi] pãshi t∞i Ios.

with their own instruments. He locks the women in their houses, lest
with their wailing they unman the spirit of his men, since, when they
saw the city encircled by a triple formation and the enemy armed with
swords at the ruined walls <and> the mountainside above gleaming
with arms and the Arab archers raising their arrows, they gave a kind
of final shriek at their capture. When the signal was given, simulta -
neously the trumpeters of all the legions blew their horns and the
army raised a terrible cry and with arrows being shot everywhere the
light was cut off. The [Jews] screened their ears against the shout and
their bodies against the discharges of arrows <and with the Romans
throwing up the devices they ran across them before those throwing
them up could mount>. As they engaged with their ascending
[enemy], they displayed various acts of strength and spirit. And the
Romans encouraged one another and, uniting side by side protected
by the shields above them, forming the so-called testudo, 155 they
became an unbreakable wall and as it were in one body with their

This phrase is not in the text of Josephus, and apparently has been inserted by the Anon.
or his source; the testudo is referred to again below at 74:21-22. On this formation see the
description in Cassius Dio, Roman History 49:30.

73 § 163–169 ( THEV. p. 324, 36–49)

toÁw ÉIouda¤ouw énvyoËntew ≥dh toË te¤xouw §p°bainon. ı d¢ 164
ÉI≈shpow z°on ¶laion §kkenvy∞nai prostãjaw katå t«n sun-
3 hspikÒtvn diesk°dase tØn tãjin ka‹ metå dein«n élghdÒnvn
épokulinde›syai toÁw ÑRvma¤ouw toË te¤xouw kathnãgkasen, Àste 165
énagkasy°nta tÚn OÈespasianÚn tre›w pÊrgouw pentÆkonta pod«n
6 tÚ Ïcow §piskeuãsai sidÆrvi pãntoyen kekalumm°nouw, …w ín
•dra›o¤ te e‰en ka‹ dusãlvtoi pur¤. ka‹ toÊtouw §p°sthse t«n 166
xvmãtvn ka‹ §pibibãsaw aÈto›w ékontistãw te ka‹ tojÒtaw <ka‹>
9 t«n éfethr¤vn Ùrgãnvn tå koufÒtera, prÚw d¢ ka‹ toÁw =vma-
levtãtouw sfendon¤taw: o„ mØ kayor≈menoi diå tÚ Ïcow ka‹ tå 167 (286)
yvrãkia t«n pÊrgvn efiw kayorvm°nouw toÁw §p‹ toË te¤xouw
12 ¶ballon. ofl d¢ mÆte katå kÒrshw ferom°nvn t«n bel«n §kkl¤nein 168 (287)
=aid¤vw dunãmenoi mÆte toÁw éfane›w émÊnesyai, ka‹ tÚ m¢n
Ïcow t«n pÊrgvn dus°fikton ır«ntew §k xeirÚw b°lei, pur‹ d¢
15 tÚn per‹ aÈto›w s¤dhron dusanãlvton, ¶feugon épÚ toË te¤xouw
ka‹ prosbãllein peirvm°noiw §pej°yeon.
éllå ka‹ Afitvlo‹ ÍpÚ toË t«n ÑRvma¤vn Ípãtou Mãrkou 169 (Plb.
18 poliorkoÊmenoi t∞i prosbol∞i t«n mhxanhmãtvn ka‹ t«n kri«n XXI, 27,1)

F 1–3 ı d¢—sunhspikÒtvn cf. Ios. III,271 ı d¢ ÉI≈shpow . . . . z°on ¶laion

§k°leusen katax°ein t«n sunhspikÒtvn 3–4 diesk°dase—kathnãgkasen
cf. Ios. III, 273 toËto kaiom°nvn t«n ÑRvma¤vn diesk°dasen tØn tãjin, ka‹
metå dein«n élghdÒnvn épekulindoËnto toË te¤xouw 5–16 tre›w—§pej-
°yeon: Ios. III. 284–287 pÊrgouw d¢ tre›w pentÆkonta pod«n tÚ Ïcow ßkaston
kataskeuãsai keleÊsaw pãntoyen sidÆrvi kekalumm°nouw, …w •dra›o¤ te
e‰en ÍpÚ br¤youw ka‹ dusãlvtoi pur¤, (285) t«n xvmãtvn §p°sthsen,
sunepibÆsaw aÈto›w ékontistãw k. t. l. (ßkaston tÚ Ïcow transp. VRC)
17 p. 74, 1 Afitvlo‹—éntiparetãjanto: Plb. XXI, 27,1 (XXII, 10, 1 Schw.)
apud solum Anonymum servatum; haec verba videntur autem non Polybio
attribuenda esse, sed Anonymo, qui saepe verbo går (cf. p. 74, 1 otow går)
transeat ad fragmentum, quod verbatim describit vel suis verbis reddit; cf.
p. 50, 11 et 17; p. 52, 21; p. 54, 12; p. 58, 13; p. 60, 6; p. 61, 17; p. 62, 26;
p. 63, 15; p. 65, 6; p. 69, 3; p. 75, 6; p. 78, 17; v. append.; cf. praef. p. 16
V P1 2–3 ±spikÒtvn V P1 3 diesk°dasen Ios. 6 §piskeuãsai] kataskeuãsai
[Ios.] Ios., sed cf. p. 53, 6; p. 68, 21; p. 75, 3; v. append. || sidÆra V s¤dhra P1 || …w
ín] …w Ios. 8 §pibibãsaw cf. §pibÆsaw Ios. LVRC sunepibÆsaw Ios. PAM
Niese; cf. ad p. 71, 4 || <ka‹> om. V P1 9 éfethr¤vn] éfetere› V P1
|| d¢ ka‹] d¢ Ios. 9–10 =vmalevtãtouw V P1 Ios. MV Niese: =vmalaiv-
tãtouw Ios. PA =vmalaiotãtouw Ios. RC =vmalevt°rouw Ios. L 10 sfendo-
n¤taw V Ios. A: sfendon¤staw P1 sfendonÆtaw Ios. PML ex corr. VC Niese sfen-
donhtåw Ios.LR ; v. append. ad p. 60, 20 || mØ] m¢n P1 || toË Ïcouw V P1
14 ır«ntew] ır«n t∞w V P1 15 aÈto›w V P1 Ios. AMVRC Niese: aÈtoÁw
Ios. PL || dusanãlvton V P1 Ios. V1RC: dusãlvton Ios. V énãlvton Ios.
Niese 16 peirvm°noiw V P1 Ios. LR Niese: peirvm°nouw Ios. PAMVC
|| §pej°yeton P1

whole formation [73] pushing back the Jews were already mounting
the wall. Josephus ordered that boiling oil be emptied out over the
locked shields and dispersed the formation and compelled the Romans
to roll off the wall in terrible agony, so that Vespasian was driven to
prepare three towers of fifty feet in height covered completely with
iron, so they would be stable and fireproof. He placed these on the
earth-works and mounted upon them javeliners and archers <and>
the lighter artillery, and also the strongest slingers. They were invisi -
ble due to the height and breastworks of the towers and were shoot -
ing at men who were visible on the wall. [The defenders] were not
easily able to avoid the arrows directed at their heads nor to beat
back the invisible [enemy] and seeing the high towers inaccessible to
projectiles thrown by hand, and the fireproof iron around them, they
were fleeing from the wall and sallying forth against those who
attempted to attack.
But the Aetolians too when besieged by Marcus the consul of
the Romans156 responded nobly to the assault of the machines and the

On the relation of this paragraph to the text of Polybius see above n. 122. vdB attributes
these opening words and the concluding phrase of the paragraph to the Anon. (who may have
adapted the final phrase from Polybius XXVIII:18); see also Walbank (1979) 123 and 125 and
Büttner-Wobst IV:55-56.

74 § 169–175 (THEV. p. 324, 49–325, 12)

(Plb. 170 genna¤vw éntiparetãjanto. otow går ésfalisãmenow tå katå
XXI, 27, 2) tåw stratopede¤aw tr¤a m¢n ¶rga katå tÚ PÊrraion pros∞gen diå
t«n §pip°dvn tÒpvn, diest«ta m¢n épÉ éllÆlvn, parãllhla d°, 3
t°tarton d¢ katå tÚ ÉAsklhpiÒn, p°mpton d¢ katå tØn ékrÒ | polin. p. 325
(3) 171 ginom°nhw d¢ t∞w prosagvg∞w §nerg∞w katå pãntaw ëma toÁw Thev.
tÒpouw, §kplhktikØn sun°baine g¤nesyai to›w ¶ndon tØn toË 6
(4) 172 m°llontow prosdok¤an. t«n d¢ kri«n tuptÒntvn §nerg«w tå te¤xh,
ka‹ t«n dorudrepãnvn éposurÒntvn tåw §pãljeiw, §peir«nto
m¢n ofl katå tØn pÒlin éntimhxançsyai prÚw taËta, to›w m¢n 9
krio›w diå kerai«n §ni°ntew shk≈mata molubdç ka‹ l¤youw ka‹
(5) 173 stÊph drÊina: to›w d¢ drepãnoiw sidhrçw peritiy°ntew égkÊraw
ka‹ katasxÒntew taËta ¶sv toË te¤xouw, Àste §p‹ tØn ¶paljin 12
(6) 174 suntrib°ntow toË dÒratow §gkrate›w g¤nesyai t«n drepãnvn. tÚ
d¢ ple›on §pejiÒntew eÈcÊxvw §mãxonto, pot¢ m¢n §pitiy°menoi
nÊktvr to›w §pikoitoËsin §p‹ t«n ¶rgvn, pot¢ d¢ to›w §fhme- 15
reÊousi meyÉ ≤m°ran profan«w <§gxeiroËntew>, ka‹ tribØn
§nepo¤oun t∞i poliork¤ai.
175 efi d¢ ka‹ la¤saw xvstr¤daw ofl §xyro‹ §pinoÆsainto, Àsper ka‹ 18
pollo‹ t«n palai«n, xrØ kÒpron ényrvpe¤an §kx°ein katÉ aÈt«n
ka‹ épokroÊesyai toÊtouw, ¥tiw xrhsimeÊsei prÚw pçsan mhxanØn
§kxunom°nh, ka‹ prÚw aÈtØn tØn §k t«n ésp¤dvn ginom°nhn 21
sÊgkleisin ***

F 1–17 otow går—poliork¤ai: Plb. XXI, 27, 2–6 (XXII, 10, 2–6 Schw.)
apud Anon. et in cod. T, Wesch. p. 328, 7–329, 11, servata 16–17 ka‹
tribØn—poliork¤ai non hab. T; cf. autem Plb. XXI, 28, 18, in solo cod. T,
Wesch. p. 332, 7, servata, toiaÊthn d¢ lambanoÊshw tribØn t∞w poliork¤aw;
ergo haec verba hoc loco fort. non Polybio sed Anonymo attribuenda sunt

V P1 [T] 1 éntiparetãjanto Casaub. B.-W.: énteparetãjanto V P1 || otow går]

ı d¢ Mãrkow T 2 stratoped¤aw T || post stratopede¤aw hab. sun¤stato
megalomer«w tØn poliork¤an ka‹ T B.-W. || PÊrraion V P1 T: PÊrreion
Schw., coll. Liv. XXXVIII, 5, 2, B.-W. || pros∞gen] prospie cum signo
corruptelae T prosepo¤ei Müller1 Wesch. 3 tÒpvn om. T B.-W. coll. Plb.
II, 65, 10; 69, 6; III, 50, 2; 68, 3 cet. 4 ÉAsklhpiÒn lege ÉAsklhpie›on cum
T Schw. B.-W. 5 genom°nhw P1 || §nerg∞w V P1: §nergoË T B.-W.; in-
certum utrum error Anonymo attribuendus sit an librario || pãntvw V P1
corr. V1 6 §kplhktikh T || g¤gnesyai V 7 §narg«w V P1 10 shk≈mata
molubdç Wesch.: shk≈mata mÒlubda E shkvmatvnolubda T shk≈mata
mÒlibda Vs P1s shk≈mata molibdç Hultsch B.-W.; cf. p. 82, 4–5 10–11 ka‹
stÊph drÊina om. T. 11 peritey°ntew P1 12 katasxÒntew V P1: kata-
sxvntew T énasp«ntew Casaub. katasp«ntew Schw. B.-W. || taËta V P1T:
taËtÉ Benseler B.-W. || Àste V P1 T: ÀstÉ Benseler B.-W. 14 eÈcÊxvw
§mãxonto] §mãxonto genna¤vw T B.-W. || §pitiyem°nouw V P1 15 ¶rgvn]
erivn T 15–16 §f≤meroËsi P1 16 <§gxeiroËntew> om. V P1 21 §kxuo-
m°nh P1 22 post sÊgkleisin lac. 4½ versuum V paene 4 versuum P 1

rams. [74] For [Marcus], after securing his camp, brought up three
machines through the level terrain near the Pyrrhaion at some dis -
tance from one other, but parallel, a fourth at the temple of
Asklepios157 and a fifth at the acropolis. As the assault was vigorously
conducted simultaneously in all these places, those within were terri -
fied at the prospect of what was coming. While the rams were vigor -
ously battering the walls and scythe-like hooks on poles were pulling
down the battlements, those in the city tried to counter them, dropping
lead weights, stones, and stumps of oak trees on the rams by means of
projecting beams 158 and, after catching the hooks with iron anchors,
dragging them inside the wall, so that when the pole was smashed
against the battlement, they had possession of the hooks. They also
sallied out frequently and fought courageously, sometimes attacking
by night those who slept at the machines, and sometimes openly in
daylight <going against> those keeping guard by day, and so they
were delaying the siege.
But if the enemy should devise laisai for filling ditches, as also
did many of the ancients 159, it is necessary to pour human excrement on
them and to drive them back; pouring excrement is useful against every
machine, even against the locking of shields itself160 < . . . 161>. [75]

Accepting ÉAsklhpie›on for ÉAsklhpiÒn.
See above n. 35 on ≤ kera¤ a.
The text here has the 10th-century term laisa (la›sa), on which see above n. 48, gener-
ically for “tortoise.” On the classical “filler-tortoise” (xvstr¤ w) and use of laisai for the func-
tion see Sullivan (2000) 159 n. 2 with additional bibliography.
§ k t«n ésp¤ dvn . . . sÊgkleisin . For “locking” (sÊgkleisiw ) of shields cf. Arrian,
Tactica 11:6 and see above n. 155.
vdB notes a loss here of 4-4.5 lines.

75 § 176–182 ( THEV. p. 325, 13–23)

efi d¢ ka‹ ÍpÚ t∞w t«n kri«n b¤aw diaseisye¤h ka‹ katap°soi 176
tå te¤xh, oÈ xrØ eÈy°vw épogin≈skein, éllå kil¤kia m¢n kremçn
3 prÚw tÚ d°xesyai tå pempÒmena b°lh, êllo d¢ te›xow §piskeuãzein
ka‹ tãfron ÍporÊttein. polla‹ går pÒleiw ka‹ metå tØn t«n 177
teix«n katastrofØn perieg°nonto t«n §nant¤vn, Àsper ka‹ ÉAm-
6 brak¤a. t«n går ÑRvma¤vn sunex«w biazom°nvn to›w krio›w tÚ 178
te›xow ée¤ ti ***
oÈ mØn efiw tØn pÒlin §dÊnanto parelye›n diå t«n ptvmãtvn
9 diå tÚ toÁw ¶ndon éntoikodome›n ka‹ mãxesyai genna¤vw §p‹ toË
p¤ptontow m°rouw toÁw AfitvloÊw. ˜yen ka‹ épelp¤santew toË diå
t∞w b¤aw •le›n tØn pÒlin prÚw tÚ ÍporÊttein Àrmhsan. éllå ka‹
12 taÊthw t∞w mhxan∞w épekroÊsyhsan, strathgik≈teron t«n ¶ndon
éntiparatajam°nvn, …w proÛΔn ı lÒgow dhl≈sei, ka‹ afisyom°nvn
182 (Plb.
tÚ ponÆreuma. ésfalisãmenoi <d¢> tÚ m°son ¶rgon t«n tri«n
XXI, 28, 4)
15 t«n pro#parxÒntvn ofl ÑRvma›oi ka‹ skepãsantew §pimel«w to›w

F 6–14 t«n går—ponÆreuma] cf. Plb. XXI, 28, 1–3, in solo cod. T,
Wesch. p. 329, 12–330, 1, servata, ofl d¢ ÑRvma›oi sunex«w §nergoËntew to›w
krio›w ée¤ ti par°luon t«n teix«n: (2) oÈ mØn e‡w ge tØn pÒlin §dÊnanto
biãsasyai diå t«n ptvmãtvn, t«i ka‹ tØn éntoikodom¤an ÍpÚ t«n ¶ndon
§nergÚn e‰nai ka‹ mãxesyai genna¤vw §p‹ toË p¤ptontow m°rouw toÁw Afitv-
loÊw. (3) diÒper époroÊmenoi katÆnthsan §p‹ tÚ metalleÊein ka‹ xr∞syai
to›w ÙrÊgmasin ÍpÚ g∞w. (§ 2 §nergÚn Müller1: ergon T § 3 katÆnthsan
Müller1: kathsan cum signo corruptelae inter h et s T || ka‹ xr∞syai
Müller1: kexrhsyai T) 14—p. 77, 16 ésfalisãmenoi—tÚn kapnÒn: Plb.
XXI, 28, 4–17 (XXII, 11, 6–21 Schw.) apud Anon. et in cod. T, Wesch.
p. 300, 1–332, 7, servata

V P1 2 kil¤akia V 3 §piskiãzein P1; v. ad p. 73, 6 4 tãfron ÍporÊttein v.

[T] ad p. 51, 10 6 sunex«n V P1 corr. P1X 7 post ée¤ ti lac. ca. 4 litt. V P1;
¶pese, kat°pese aut simile verbum suppl. Schw.; fort. supplendum par-
elÊeto aÈtoË vel parelÊeto vel par°luon aÈtoË? cf. T 12–13 t«n ¶ndon
éntiparatajam°nvn corr. Schw. ex tå ¶ndon paratajãmenoi, quod hab.
Thev.: tå ¶ndon éntiparatajãmenoi V P1 14 tÚ ponÆreuma] tÚ toÊtvn
eÏrhma Schw., quod legendum vid. || <d¢> om. V P1 går Schw. 15 ofl
ÑRvma›oi om. T B.-W. || §pimel«w] §pimel«w tØn sÊrigga T

2–3 cf. Urb.-Maur. X, 3, 2 (Scheffer) proeutrep¤shi mãggana émuntikå prÚw

épotropØn petrobÒlvn. ént¤keintai d¢ ta›w toiaÊtaiw bola›w kil¤kia kre-
mãmena (ita Leo, Tact. et Probl. kremÒmena Scheffer) ¶jvyen toË te¤xouw
katå toÁw promax«naw, fere item Leo, Probl. X, 11, Leo, Tact. XV, 48,
Syll. Tact. 53, 5 3–4 cf. Aen. Tact. XXXII, 12; Byz. Anon. Kriegsw.
XIII, 13 efi d¢ ka¤ ti m°row toË te¤xouw §rrãgh, . . . épostãntew §fÉ •kãtera
toË payÒntow te¤xouw poiÆsomen diå tãxouw ofikodomÆn tina ¶ndoyen, ér-
xom°nhn m¢n épÚ toË ≤mirragoËw te¤xouw yét°rou m°rouw, lÆgousan d¢ §p‹
tÚ ßteron

But if the walls should also be badly shaken by the force of the
rams and collapse, one must not immediately despair, but hang heavy
mats to intercept the missiles being fired and construct another wall
and dig a ditch. For many cities even after the collapse of the walls
have survived the enemy, as for example Ambracia. For since the
Romans were continuously attacking the wall with rams, they were
always <breaking away 162> some portion <of it>.
They were not, however, able to pass into the city through the
breaches because the Aetolians within built a counterwall and fought
nobly at the fallen section. Thus losing hope of taking the city by
force they proceeded to mining. But they were beaten back also from
this device, since those within responded with greater military acu-
men, as the treatise will make clear as it proceeds, and were aware of
their contrivance 163. The Romans secured the middle of the three
machines already there and covered it carefully with [76] wicker

Accepting vdB’s suggested addition par° luon aÈtoË. On the relation of this and the fol-
lowing description of the siege of Ambracia to the text of Polybius see above n. 122.
Accepting toÊtvn eÏrhma for ponÆreuma.

76 § 182–190 ( THEV. p. 325, 23–40)

g°rroiw, proebãlonto stoån parãllhlon t«i te¤xei sxedÚn §p‹
(Plb.XXI, 183 dÊo pl°yra. ka‹ labÒntew érxØn §k taÊthw vÖ rutton édiapaÊstvw
28, 5) (6) 184 ka‹ tØn nÊkta ka‹ tØn ≤m°ran §k diadox∞w. §fÉ flkanåw <m¢n> 3
oÔn ≤m°raw §lãnyanon toÁw ¶ndon f°rontew ¶jv tÚn xoËn diå
(7) 185 t∞w sÊriggow. …w d¢ m°gaw ı svrÚw §g°neto t∞w §kferom°nhw g∞w
ka‹ sÊnoptow to›w §k t∞w pÒlevw, ofl proest«tew t«n polior- 6
koum°nvn vÖ rutton tãfron ¶svyen §nerg«w parãllhlon t«i te¤xei
(8) 186 ka‹ t∞i stoçi t∞i prÚ t«n pÊrgvn. §peidØ d¢ bãyow ¶sxen flkanÒn,
•j∞w ¶yhkan parå tÚn ßna to›xon t∞w tãfrou<tÚn> §ggÁw t«i 9
te¤xei xalk≈mata sunex∞, leptÒtata ta›w kataskeua›w, oÂon le-
kãnaw ka‹ ßtera ˜moia toÊtoiw, ka‹ parå taËta diå t∞w tãfrou
(9) 187 pariÒntew ±kro«nto toË cÒfou t«n ÙruttÒntvn ¶svyen. §pe‹ 12
dÉ §shmei≈santo tÚn tÒpon, kayÉ ˘n §dÆlou tinå t«n xalkv-
mãtvn diå t∞w sumpaye¤aw: éntÆxoun går prÚw tÚn §ktÚw cÒfon:
Ö rutton ¶svyen §pikars¤an prÚw t∞i ÍparxoÊshi êllhn katå 15
g∞w tãfron ÍpÚ tÚ te›xow, stoxazÒmenoi toË sumpese›n §nant¤oi
(10) 188 to›w polem¤oiw. taxÁ d¢ toÊtou genom°nou, diå tÚ toÁw ÑRvma¤ouw
mØ mÒnon éf›xyai prÚw tÚ te›xow ÍpÚ g∞w, éllå ka‹ diestulv- 18
k°nai tÒpon flkanÚn toË te¤xouw §fÉ •kãteron tÚ m°row toË
(11) 189 ÙrÊgmatow, sun°peson éllÆloiw. ka‹ tÚ m¢n pr«ton §mãxonto
ta›w sar¤saiw ÍpÚ g∞n: §pe‹ dÉ oÈd¢n §dÊnanto m°ga poie›n diå 21
(12) 190 tÚ probãllesyai yureoÁw ka‹ g°rra prÚw aÍt«n émfÒteroi, tÚ
thnikãde Íp°yetÒ tiw to›w poliorkoum°noiw p¤yon proyem°nouw
èrmostÚn katå tÚ plãtow t«i metãllvi trup∞sai tÚn puym°na 24
ka‹ lei≈santaw aÈl¤skon sidhroËn ‡son t«i teÊxei pl∞sai tÚn

V P1 [T] 1 g°roiw V P1 || proebãllonto P1 prosebãlonto T || parallhlvn T

2 diapaustvw T 3 nÊktan P1 || <m¢n> om. V P11 5 t∞w ante 1
§kf. om. T
6 sÊpµ tP1 eÈopµ tP1X 7 v
Örutton V P1: ˆrutton P1 Éo i.m. V 8 ka‹ t∞i] ka‹
st∞ V || stoçi t∞i] stãsei T || ad 8 sqq. i.m. per‹ toË p«w de› diagin≈skein
toÁw polem¤ouw ÙrÊssontaw tÚ te›xow ka‹ katapoleme›n V P1 9 ßna] en T
|| to¤xon P1 tÊxon V || <tÚn> om. V P1 10–11 oÂon—toÊtoiw om. T
B.-W.; taÊtaiw pro toÊtoiw scribendum vel lac. post lekãnaw indicandam
esse mihi videtur; cf. Hultsch: ,,Polybius aut ita scripsit, ut in T est, aut
uberiorem instrumenti descriptionem interposuit” 12 ¶svyen lege ¶jvyen
cum T B.-W. 13 d¢ T 14 éntÆxoun—cÒfon om. T B.-W. || cÒfon
Thev.: cÒdon V P1 15 t∞i ÍparxoÊshi V P1 T: tØn Ípãrxousan Benseler
B.-W. 17 ginom°nou T 18 afeixyai T 19 te¤xouw] te¤xouw ÍpÚ g∞w T
20 ÙrÊgmatow] metãllou T B.-W.; item p. 77, 3–4 et 15; cf. v. 24; p. 77, 16
21 ta›sarisa›w T || d¢ T || ±dÊnanto T B.-W. 22 yuraiouw T || g°ra
P1 || prÚw lege prÚ cum T B.-W. || aÍt«n Bekker B.-W.: aÈt«n V
P1 TS || tÚ] d¢ tÚ P1 23 thnikãde V P1 T: thnikãdÉ Benseler B.-W.
25 lei≈santaw V P1: livsantew T di≈santaw Hertlein, Beitr. z. Krit. d.
Polyän., Progr. Wertheim. 1854, 19, Dindorf B.-W. di°ntew Polyaen. VI, 17;
v. append.

screens, and they constructed in front of it a covered gallery parallel

to the wall for about two plethra. Beginning from this [gallery] they
dug continuously day and night in relays. And so for many days they
carried out the earth through the mine shaft without being observed
by those within, but when the mound of earth carried out became
large and visible to those in the city, the leaders of the besieged began
to vigorously dig a ditch inside parallel to the wall itself and to the
gallery in front of the towers. When it was sufficiently deep, they next
placed along the one side of the ditch next to the wall very thinly fab -
ricated bronze plates in a continuous line164, like pots 165 and similar
such things166, and proceeding along the ditch next to these, listened
for the sound of those digging outside 167. When they had noted the
place indicated by the reverberation of some of the bronze plates - for
these echoed the sound outside - they began to dig another ditch
under the wall from within at right angles to the existing one, aiming
to encounter and confront the enemy. This soon occurred, as the
Romans had not only reached the wall underground, but had propped
up a considerable part of the wall on both sides of their excavation.
They met one another and first fought underground with their pikes.
But when they could not accomplish much with this, as both sides held
shields and wicker screens in front of themselves, someone proposed
to the besieged, after placing in front of them a large ceramic pot just
wide enough to fit into the mine, to bore a hole in the bottom, and
pushing168 in an iron tube as long as the vessel, to fill [77] the pot with

Following for the phrasing here Walbank (1979) 127.
≤ lekãnh . The simile is not in the parallel text of Polybius preserved in the “Excerpta de
strategematis” (see above n. 122), but is in Dain’s (1940) Mémorandum inédit 126 no. 30 and
hence presumably in the Anon.’s source. Whether original to Polybius or added later is not cer-
tain; see Walbank (1979) 126-27, who also notes that bronze “vessels” would be “clumsy and
less effective” than bronze plates.
Accepting vdB’s suggestion taÊtaiw for toÊtoiw , although as she notes there may be a
lacuna here.
Accepting ¶ jvyen for ¶ svyen.
Accepting di≈santaw for lei≈santaw.

77 § 190–196 (THEV. p. 325, 40–326, 2)

p¤yon t«i pt¤lvi lept«i ka‹ purÚw mikrÚn §mbale›n ÍpÉ aÈtÚ
<tÚ>toË p¤you peristÒmion: kêpeita sidhroËn p«ma trhmãtvn 191 (13)
3 pl∞rew t«i stÒmati periy°ntaw ésfal«w efisãgein diå toË ÙrÊg-
matow, neÊonta t«i stÒmati prÚw toÁw Ípenant¤ouw: ıpÒte d¢ 192 (14)
§gg¤saien to›w polem¤oiw, perisãjantaw tå xe¤lh toË p¤you panta-
6 xÒyen trÆmata dÊo katalipe›n §j §kat°rou toË m°rouw, diÉ œn
divyoËntew tåw sar¤saw oÈk §ãsousi prosi°nai t«i p¤yvi toÁw
Ípenant¤ouw: metå d¢ taËta labÒntaw xalkÒn, oÂw ofl xalke›w 193 (15)
9 xr«ntai, ka‹ prosarmÒsantaw prÚw tÚn aÈlÚn tÚn sidhroËn fusçn
§nerg«w t«i prÚw t«i stÒmati pur‹ §n to›w pt¤loiw §gke¤menon,
katåtosoËton §pagom°nouw ée‹ tÚn aÈlÚn §ktÒw, kayÉ ˜son§kkãhtai
12 tå pt¤la. genom°nvn d¢ pãntvn kayãper proe›pon, tÒ te pl∞yow 194 (16)
toË kapnoË sun°baine polÁ g¤nesyai ka‹ t∞i drimÊthti diaf°ron
diå tØn fÊsin t«n pt¤lvn, f°resya¤ te pçn efiw tÚ t«n polem¤vn
15 ˆrugma. Àste ka‹ l¤an kakopaye›n toÁw ÑRvma¤ouw, oÎte kvlÊein 195 (17)
oÎyÉ Ípom°nein dunam°nouw §n to›w ÙrÊgmasi tÚn kapnÒn.
p. 326 ka‹ to›w toioÊtoiw oÔn | éntistrathgÆmasi kexr∞syai de› ka‹ 196
Thev. 18 émÊnesyai toÁw Ípenant¤ouw ka‹ ékatãplhkton m°nein §n to›w
deino›w ka‹ mÆte épogin≈skein, kín tå te¤xh diaseisy∞i μ ka‹

F 16 kapnÒn des. Plb.

V P1 [T] 1 t«i pt¤lvi lept«i V P1: t«i pÆlvi lept«i T pt¤lvi lept«i Dindorf
Hultsch ˜lon pt¤lvn lept«n B.-W. pt¤lvn lept«n Polyaen. VI, 17
|| mikrÚn] pantel«w mikrÚn T B.-W. 2 <tÚ> om. V P1 || peristÒmion]
stÒmion P1 || tvma T || trimãtvn P1 3–4 ÙrÊgmatow] metãllou T B.W.;
v. ad p. 76, 20 4 neÊonta Müller1: neÊon V P1 neËon T neÊonti Thev. B.-W.
|| ıpÒte] pote T || d¢ V P1 T: dÉ Benseler B.-W. 5 §gg¤saien] e¤ tiw ín
§n T 7 tåw sar¤ssaw V P1 tasarisaw T corr. Dindorf; cf. p. 76, 21 || §asvsi T
8 labÒntew T || xalkÚn V P1 T: éskÚn superscr. m. recentissima in P1
Gronovius, coll. Polyaen. VI, 17, B.-W. || oÂw ofl] œi ofl T o·vi ofl Müller1
o·vi Hultsch œiper ofl B.-W.; suspicor Anon. scripsisse œi ofl vel o·vi ofl
10 t«i prÚw t«i stÒmati pur‹ V P1 T: tÚ prÚw t«i stÒmati pËr Schw.
B.-W. || §gkeim°nvi T; v. append. 11 §kkãhtai] ín §kkãhtai T. B.-W.;
cf. praef. p. 38 12 pt¤la] plãgia T || kayãper] kayÉ ì T || pro-
e›pon] proe¤rhtai T B.-W. 13 gen°syai P 1 T || drimÊthta P1 || dia-
f°rein T 15 ˆrugma] m°tallon T B.-W.; v. ad p. 76, 20 || kakopaye›n]
kako paye›nka‹ dusxrhste›syai T B.-W. 16 oÎyÉ] oÎte T 18 émÊnasyai P1

18—p. 78, 2 cf. Urb.-Maur. VIII, 2 . . . . mØ d¢ ta›w eÈprag¤aiw §pairÒmenow,

mØ d¢ katap¤ptvn §n ta›w dusprag¤aiw, fere item Leo, Tact. XX, 92;
Leon. Tact. XX, 10 ‡syi ˜ti tÚ mÆtÉ §pa¤resyai §n ta›w eÈtux¤aiw mÆte
pãlin katap¤ptein §n ta›w dustux¤aiw, §rrvm°nou §st‹ logismoË ka‹ cux∞w

fine feathers and insert just a little fire right at <the> mouth of the
pot. Then placing onto the mouth [of the pot] an iron lid full of holes
they should introduce it carefully into the mine, tilting the mouth
toward the enemy. When they drew near the enemy they should com -
pletely stop up [the space around] the rim of the pot, leaving two
holes, one on each side, through which they could push their pikes
and keep the enemy from approaching the pot. Then they should take
a bellows 169, such as bronze workers use, and fitting it into the iron
tube which lay there170 among the feathers to blow hard on the fire at
the mouth, continuously withdrawing the tube as the feathers caught
fire. When everything I have just described was done, the result was a
great quantity of smoke, especially caustic due to the nature of the
feathers, and it was all carried into the enemy’s mine, so that the
Romans suffered severely, since they could not prevent or withstand
the smoke in their excavation 171.
And so it is necessary to employ such counter stratagems and
drive back the enemy and remain imperturbable in difficult straits and
not despair, even if the walls might be badly shaken or even [78] fall,

Accepting éskÚn for xalkÒn.
In the Appendix (109) vdB suggests that tÚ . . . pËr was the correct reading in Polybius’
text, corrupted by a scribe who allowed § gke¤ menonto remain and that this corrupt text was the
one available to the Anon.
The so-called “Heron of Byzantium”, Parangelmata poliorcetica 11:27-29 (in Sullivan
[2000]) mentions use of countermines and smoke; Anna Comnena, Alexiad XIII:3 describes
the use of a counter-trench, but without bronze plates, to detect the sound of enemy mining and
subsequent use of fire blown through reed tubes to drive off the enemy.

78 § 196–200 ( THEV. p. 326, 2–16)

katap°soi, mÆte mØn katepa¤resyai, §ån ©n μ dÊo μ ka‹ diãfora
197 t«n §xyr«n strathgÆmata katagvn¤shi: oÈ går éporÆsousin
§pino¤aw: polla‹ går ka‹ énar¤ymhtoi, êllai m¢n §ktÚw profan«w 3
teloÊmenai, êllai d¢ lelhyÒtvw, Àsper afl §j §piboul∞w μ =a-
yum¤aw t«n ofike¤vn, ìw ka‹ mçllon de› profulãttesyai katå
tÚn =hyhsÒmenon trÒpon, tå nËn d¢ per‹ t«n profan«n d°on efipe›n. 6
198 efi to¤nun ≤ pÒliw §k toË •nÚw m°rouw μ ka‹ toË ple¤onow ya-
lãsshi diaz≈nnutai, ka‹ ofl §xyro‹ §n to›w plo¤oiw mhxanåw §pi-
stÆsein ka‹ kl¤makaw prosdok«ntai: ka‹ går ka‹ tØn Yessalon¤khn 9
ÍpÚ t«n ÉAgarhn«n §nteËyen sun°bh lhfy∞nai ka‹ êllaw mur¤aw:
xrØ éntimhxançsyai prÚw taËta zhl≈santa tØn ÉArximÆdouw
199 sof¤an. efi går m°row ti t«n §ke¤nvi peponhm°nvn katoryvye¤h, 12
pantãpasi diakene›w ofl §xyro‹ énagkasyÆsontai énazeËjai, pol-
loÁw t«n ofike¤vn épobalÒntew, diÒti katå tosoËton afl t«n po-
lem¤vn dunãmeiw ±latt≈yhsan, kayÉ ˜son épod°ousin ofl nËn, 15
§pistÆmonew e‡ ge ka‹ e‰°n tinew, toË sofvtãtouÉArximÆdouw.
200 t«n går ÑRvma¤vn poliorkoÊntvn tØn Surãkousan: ÖAppiow dÉ ∑n
≤gem≈n: ka‹ t∞i m¢n pez∞i dunãmei katå <toÁw épÚ t«n ÑEjapÊlvn 18
tÒpouw, t∞i d¢ nautik∞i t∞w ÉAxradin∞w katå> tØn SkutikØn
stoån prosagoreuom°nhn, kayÉ ∂n §pÉ aÈt∞w ke›tai t∞w krhp›dow

F 9–10 Yessalon¤khn—lhfy∞nai cf. praef. p. 18 17–18 ÖAppiow dÉ ∑n

≤gem≈n cf. Plb. VIII, 3 (5 Hultsch), 1 in solo codice T, Wesch. p. 321, 1–7,
servatum 18—p. 84, 7 ka‹ t∞i m¢n—§pibal°syai: Plb. VIII, 3 (5 Hultsch
Schw.), 2 otoi m¢n dØ tØn stratopede¤an §bãlonto mikrÚn éposxÒntew t∞w
pÒlevw, tåw d¢ prosbolåw ¶krinan poie›syai t∞i m¢n pez∞i dunãmei k.t.l.—
7 (9 Hultsch Schw.), 9; cap. 3, 2–6, 4 yalãsshw §g¤neto et cap. 7, 6 t«n
m¢n êllvn—§yãrrhsan in cod. T, Wesch. p. 321, 7–326, 9 et 326, 11–13,
quoque servata sunt, cap. 4, 1–7, 9 in Excerptis Antiquis

V P1 [T] 1 kap°soi V 2 épor¤sousin P1 3 an §pinoi«n? 4 teloÊmenai] oÈ

teloÊmenai P1 oËw teloÊmenai (oËw per ligaturam sine spiritu) V sunteloÊ-
menai Thev. 9 yesalon¤khn P1 12 pepoihm°nvn P1; cf. ad p. 85, 9
13 diakene›w incertum utrum error ex iotacismo ortus sit an Anon. ad-
verbium diaken∞w pro adiectivo habuerit 14 époballÒntew P1 15 épo-
d°ousi P1 17 ÖAppiow] êpiow P1; debet esse Mãrkow; in T quoque Mar-
cus Claudius Marcellus consul et Appius Claudius Pulcher propraetor inter
se mutantur; cf. praef. p. 23 18–19 <toÁw—katå> e T suppl. Müller 2;
cf. praef. p. 23–24 19 t∞w ÉAxradin∞w scripsi: katasaxradinhw T katå t∞w
ÉAxrad¤nhw Wesch. t∞w ÉAxrad¤nhw Hultsch B.-W.; probabilius vid. Anony-
mum scripsisse ÉAxradin∞w; cf. ad p. 79, 19; Diodor. (ed. Vogel-Fischer) XI,
67, 8; 73, 1; XIV, 63, 1; Plutarch. Timol. (ed. Ziegler) 18, 4; 21, 3 20 pros-
agoreuomenh T || transpone prosagoreuom°nhn stoãn cum T B.-W.

nor indeed to be arrogant, even if you should foil one or two or even
various enemy stratagems. For they will not be without inventive-
ness172. For [inventions] are many and innumerable, some employed
openly [and] overtly, others secretly, such as those due to treason or the
laziness of our own men, which are especially necessary to anticipate
and guard against according to the method which will be described173
[below], but now it is necessary to speak about the overt ones.
If therefore a city is girded in one part or even more by the sea
and the enemy are expected to station machines and ladders on ships
- and indeed it has happened that Thessalonike174 and myriad other
[cities] have been captured thus by the Agarenes - it is necessary to
take counter measures against these emulating the wisdom of
Archimedes. For if a portion of the things devised by that man should
be successfully employed, the enemy will be compelled to decamp
totally empty handed, with the loss of many of their own men, since
just as the forces of the enemy were inferior to the most wise
Archimedes, so to a like degree do those of today fall short of him,
even if some are indeed knowledgeable. For when the Romans were
besieging Syracuse Appius was the commander 175; and with an
infantry force <near the Hexapyla and with their fleet> at the so-
called Stoa Scytice <in Achradina>, where the wall is situated right
on the quay by the sea, [79] they surrounded 176 [the city] and readied

Cf. above 47:17ff.
See below 98:18ff.
I.e. the sack of 904 by the Arabs (i.e. “Agarenes”) under Leo of Tripoli; see ODB 2:1216.
As vdB notes (Introduction 23) the text is in error in giving the overall command to
Appius Claudius Pulcher, it rested with Marcus Claudius Marcellus; see also Walbank (1967)
The participle is not in the parallel text of Polybius preserved in the “Excerpta de
strategematis” on which see above n. 122.

79 § 200–206 ( THEV. p. 326, 16–32)

tÚ te›xow parå yãlassan, peristoixisãntvn, •toimasam°nvn te 201 (Plb.
g°rra ka‹ b°lh ka‹ tîlla tå prÚw tØn poliork¤an, §n ≤m°raiw VIII, 3, 3)
3 p°nte diå tØn poluxeir¤an ≥lpisan katataxÆsein §n t∞i
paraskeu∞i toÁw Ípenant¤ouw, oÈ logisãmenoi tØn ÉArximÆdouw
dÊnamin, oÈd¢ proÛdÒmenoi diÒti m¤a cuxØ t∞w èpãshw §st‹ polu-
6 xeir¤aw §n §n¤oiw kairo›w énustikvt°ra. plØn tÒte diÉ aÈt«n
¶gnvsan t«n ¶rgvn tÚ legÒmenon. oÎshw går Ùxurçw t∞w pÒlevw 202 (4)
diå tÚ ke›syai kÊklvi tÚ te›xow §p‹ tÒpvn Íperdej¤vn ka‹ pro-
9 keim°nhw ÙfrÊow, prÚw ∂n ka‹ mhdenÚw kvlÊontow oÈk ín eÈmar«w
tiw dÊnaito pelãsai plØn katã tinaw tÒpouw …rism°nouw, toiaÊthn 203 (5)
≤to¤mase paraskeuØn ı proeirhm°now énØr §ntÚw t∞w pÒlevw,
12 ımo¤vw d¢ ka‹ prÚw toÁw katå yãlattan §piporeuom°nouw, Àste
mhd¢n §k toË kairoË de›n ésxole›syai toÁw émunom°nouw, prÚw
pçn d¢ tÚ ginÒmenon ÍpÚ t«n §nant¤vn §j §to¤mou poie›syai
15 tØn épãnthsin. plØn ı m¢n ÖAppiow ¶xvn g°rra ka‹ kl¤makaw 204 (6)
§nexe¤rei prosf°rein taËta t«i sunãptonti te¤xei to›w ÑEjapÊloiw
épÚ t«n énatol«n.
18 ı d¢ Mãrkow •jÆkonta skãfesi penthriko›w §poie›to tÚn §p¤- 205 (4, 1)
ploun §p‹ tØn ÉAxradinÆn, œn ßkaston pl∞rew ∑n éndr«n §xÒntvn
tÒja ka‹ sfendÒnaw ka‹ grÒsfouw, diÉ œn ¶mellon toÁw épÚ t«n
21 §pãljevn maxom°nouw énast°llein. ëma d¢ toÊtoiw ÙktΔ pentÆresi, 206 (2)
paralelum°naiw toÁw tarsoÊw, ta›w m¢n toÁw dejioÊw, ta›w d¢ toÁw
eÈvnÊmouw, ka‹ sunezeugm°naiw prÚw éllÆlaw sÊnduo katå toÁw
24 §cilvm°nouw to¤xouw, pros∞gon prÚw tÚ te›xow diå t∞w t«n §ktÚw

F 2–11 §n ≤m°raiw—pÒlevw pro his hab. T, Wesch. p. 321, 13–322, 2, oÈ

proÛdÒmenoi tØn ÉArximÆdouw dÊnamin, §n ≤m°raiw p°nte diå tØn poluxeir¤an
katataxÆsein ≥lpisan t∞i paraskeu∞i toÁw Ípenant¤ouw. plØn ı proeirh-
m°now énØr katã tinaw tÒpouw …rism°nouw toiaÊthn §p‹ toË te¤xouw ≤to¤-
mase paraskeuÆn 4–5 oÈ—dÊnamin: Suda s.v. §rgolãbow, ofl d¢ ÑRvma›oi
poliorkoËntew toÁw Surakous¤ouw ¶rgou e‡xonto, oÈ logisãmenoi k. t. l.
5–6 m¤a—énustikvt°ra: Suda s.v. énustikvt°ra 18 ı d¢ Mãrkow inc.
Excerpta Antiqua

V P1 [T] 1 yãlassan V P1 T: yãlattan Hultsch B.-W. || peristoix¤santew V P1

[Polybii non hab. T B.-W.; cf. p. 78, 17 et •toimasam°nvn || •toimasãmenoi T B.-W.
Excerpta || te] d¢ T B.-W. 2 tå êlla T 3 §n del. Schw. om. T B.-W. 5 §st‹
Antiqua] om. Suda 8 diå tÚ ke›syai] diake›syai P1 || tÒpon P1 10 dÊneto P1
[Suda] corr. P1X 12 §piponhreuom°nouw P1 13 de›n om. T 15 ÖAppiow] Mãr-
kow T || kl¤makaw] kãmakaw T 18 Mãrkow] ÖAppiow T || ejhkonta-
sfasin T || §pie›to P1 19 éxradinÆn V P1 Plb. FD: éxrandinØn Plb. S
éxradeinhn T ÉAxrad¤nhn Wesch. B.-W. || eekaston signo corruptelae
addito T 21 toÊtvn V P1 || pent∞rsi T 22 paralelum°naiw V P1T
B.-W.: paralemm°naiw Plb.FS 23 sunezeugm°naw V P1 24 §cilom°nouw T

wicker-work screens and missiles, and other material for the siege,
expecting, due to their large numbers, to outstrip the enemy in their
p reparations within five days, not counting on the ability of
Archimedes, nor foreseeing that in some circumstances the spirit of
one man is more effective than any large numbers. However, they then
learned the truth of this saying through actual events. For, as the
strength of the city lies in the fact that the wall stretches in a circle
along highground with overhanging crags, which are, except in some
specific places, by no means easily accessible even with no one
opposing, the aforementioned man now readied such extensive prepa -
rations within the city including those to guard against attackers from
the sea177, that there was no need for the defenders to act on the spur
of the moment, but they could readily reply to every move of the
enemy. Appius, however, with his wicker screens and ladders under -
took to bring these against a portion of the wall adjoining the
Hexapyla to the east.
Marcus was attacking Achradina from the sea with sixty quin -
queremes, each of which was full of men with bows, slings, and
javelins, with which they intended to repel those fighting from the bat -
tlements. He also had eight quinqueremes from which the banks of
oars had been removed, the right banks from some and the left ones
from others. These were joined to one another in pairs on their bare
sides, and by using the oars on their outer sides they brought up to the

I.e., as well as those attacking by land; see Walbank (1967) 71.

80 § 206–213 ( THEV. p. 326, 32–46)

(Plb. VIII,
4, 3) 207 to¤xvn efires¤aw tåw legom°naw sambÊkaw. tÚ d¢ skeËow t∞w kata-
(4) 208 skeu∞w t«n efirhm°nvn Ùrgãnvn §st‹ toioËton. kl¤maka t«i plãtei
tetrãpedon •toimãsantew, v Ü stÉ §j épobãsevw efiw Ïch g¤nesyai 3
t«i te¤xei, taÊthw •kat°ran tØn pleurån drufakt≈santew ka‹
skepãsantew Íperpet°si yvrak¤oiw, ¶yhkan plag¤an §p‹ toÁw
sumcaÊontaw to¤xouw t«n sunezeugm°nvn nh«n, polÁ prop¤ptou- 6
(5) 209 san t«n sumbÒlvn. prÚw d¢ to›w flsto›w §k t«n ênv mer«n tro-
(6) 210 xil¤ai prosÆrthnto sÁn kãloiw. loipÚn ˜tan §gg¤svsi t∞w xre¤aw,
§ndedem°nvn t«n kãlvn efiw tØn korufØn t∞w kl¤makow, ßlkousi 9
diå t«n troxil¤vn toÊtouw •st«tew §n ta›w prÊmnaiw: ßteroi
<d¢> paraplhs¤vw §n ta›w pr≈raiw §jere¤dontew ta›w ént¤rhsin
(7) 211 ésfal¤zontai tØn êrsin toË mhxanÆmatow. kêpeita diå t∞w efires¤aw 12
t∞w éfÉ •kat°rou t«n §ktÚw tars«n §gg¤santew t∞i g∞i tåw naËw,
peirãzousi prosere¤dein t«i te¤xei tÚ proeirhm°non ˆrganon.
(8) 212 §p‹ d¢ t∞w kl¤makow êkraw Ípãrxei p°teuron ≤sfalism°non g°rroiw 15
tåw tre›w §pifane¤aw, §fÉ o t°ssarew êndrew §pibebhkÒtew égv-
n¤zontai, diamaxÒmenoi prÚw toÁw e‡rgontaw épÚ t«n §pãljevn
(9) 213 tØn prÒyesin t∞w sambÊkhw. §pån d¢ prosere¤santew dejio‹ Íp¢r 18
ênv g°nvntai toË te¤xouw, otoi m¢n tå plãgia t«n gerr«n

V P1 [T] 1 eirhsiaw T || sambÊkaw Schw. (Tom. VI, p. 443–4), coll., v. 18;

[Polybii p. 81, 2, 6 et 24; p. 82, 5, B.-W.: sambÊklaw V P1 sambukaw T sãmbukaw
Excerpta Plb. FS || d¢ V P1 T B.-W.: om. Plb. FS || skeËow lege g°now cum T Plb.
Antiqua] 1–2 t∞w . . . . Ùrgãnvn] t«n toioÊtvn Ùrgãnvn T 2 esto T || toioËton
V P1 Plb. SS: toioËto T Plb. F B.-W. 3 Àste T || efiw Ïch VP1: efiw Ïcei
Plb. S efiw Îcei Plb. F eisouch T fiso#c∞ Scaliger B.-W.; codex, quo usus
est Anonymus, vid. habuisse efiw Ïcei et Anon., non intellegens, id mutasse
in efiw Ïch || gen°syai T Plb. 4 drufaktosantew T 5 skepantew T
|| Íperpet°sia P1 a exp. P1X Íp¢r pet°sia V 6 ne«n T Plb. 7 lege
§mbÒlvn cum P1X (sumbÒlvn P1) T Plb. 7–8 trouÛliai T 8 prosÆr-
thntai T || t∞i xre¤ai T 9 ßlkousi om. T 10 troxil¤vn V P1 Plb. FS:
troxili«n TS B.-W. 11 <d¢> om. V P1 || pr≈raiw V Ts Plb. S: prÒraiw
P1 prÒrraiw Plb. F pr≈rraiw Hultsch B.-W.; cf. ad p. 82, 13, 15, 16, 17 et 21
|| ejeridontew T || ént¤rhsin V P1: éntÛrÆsin Plb. F éntir¤sin Plb. S anth-
rhsein T énthr¤sin Casaubonus B.-W. 12 ésfal¤zontai V P1 T B.-W.:
ésfal¤zousi Plb. FS || êrsin V P1 B.-W.: arshn T êrisin Plb. FS || kai-
peita T || ≤res¤aw Plb. F 13 éfÉ] §f P1 || t«n] t∞w V P1 14 tÚ proei-
rhm°non ˆrganon V P1 (tÚ om. P1) T B.-W.: t« proeirhm°nvn ˆrganon Plb. F
t«n proeirhm°nvn
Ùrgãnvn Plb. S 15 §p‹—p°teuron om. T || p°teuroin
P1 i exp. P1 16 t°ttarew T Plb. || êndrew om. Plb. S || §phbebhkÒtew
V §pibebikÒtew P1 17 e‡rgontaw] eisreontaw T 18 lege prÒsyesin cum T
Plb. 18–19 dejio‹ Íp¢r ênv lege Íperd°jioi cum T Plb.; cf. Schw. (Tom. VI,
p. 448–449) „Íperãnv ex interpretatione est, imperite autem vocabulum
Íperd°jioi capite truncatum” 19 g°nontai Plb. F || gerr«n V P1 Plb. DG
(„vulgo” Schw.): g°rr«n Plb. F g°rrvn T S B.-W.; cf. v. 15; p. 79, 2 et
ad p. 83, 17

wall [80] the so-called sambucae178. The nature 179 of the construction
of the aforementioned engines is as follows. They prepared a ladder
four feet wide so as to be in height equal to180 the wall when erected
at an [appropriate] distance, fencing in each side and covering it with
a high protective breastwork. They then laid it flat upon those sides of
the joined ships that were touching, projecting a considerable dis -
tance beyond the prows181. At the top of the masts pulleys with ropes
were fastened, and when they are about to use it, with the ropes
attached to the top of the ladder men standing in the sterns pull them
by means of the pulleys, while others similarly [stand] in the prows,
and supporting [it] with props, assure that the engine is safely raised.
And then using the oars on both the outer oar-banks of the ships they
bring them close to land, and they now attempt to set the engine I have
described up against the wall. At the top of the ladder there is a plat -
form protected on three sides by wicker screens, on which four men
mount and confront the enemy, fighting those who from the battle -
ments try to prevent the sambuca from being set up 182. When they have
set it up and are above the level of the wall183, these men detach the
the wicker screens [81] on each side and mount the battlements or

The sambuca is also mentioned in the tenth century by the so-called “Heron of
Byzantium,” Parangelmata poliorcetica 53:1-54:12 with figs. 23 and 24 (in Sullivan [2000]),
citing Athenaeus Mechanicus.
Accepting g° now for skeËow.
Accepting fiso#c∞ for efiw Ïch, although as vdB notes the Anon. apparently wrote efiw
Ïch, incorrectly emending an apparent error in his own manuscript.
Accepting § mbÒlvn for sumbÒlvn.
Accepting prÒsyesin for prÒyesin.
Accepting Íperd° jioifor dejio‹ Íp¢r ênv.

81 § 213–223 (THEV. p. 326, 46–327, 12)

paralÊsantew §j •kat°rou toË m°rouw §piba¤nousin §p‹ tåw §pãljeiw
μ toÁw pÊrgouw. ofl d¢ loipo‹ diå t∞w sambÊkhw ßpontai toÊtoiw, 214 (10)
3 ésfal«w to›w kãloiw bebhku¤aw t∞w kl¤makow efiw émfot°raw tåw
naËw. efikÒtvw d¢ tÚ kataskeÊasma t∞w proshgor¤aw t°teuxe taÊthw: 215 (11)
§peidån går §jary∞i, g¤netai tÚ sx∞ma t∞w neΔw taÊthw ka‹ t∞w
6 kl¤makow •nopoihy¢n paraplÆsion sabÊkhi.
plØn otoi m¢n tÚn trÒpon toËton dihrmosm°noi prosãgein 216 (5, 1)
dienooËnto to›w pÊrgoiw: ı d¢ proeirhm°now énÆr, pareskeu- 217 (2)
p. 327 9 a|sm°now ˆrgana prÚw ëpan §mbel¢w diãsthma, pÒrrvyen m¢n
Thev. §pipl°ontaw to›w eÈtonvt°roiw ka‹ me¤zosi liyobÒloiw ka‹ b°lesi
titr≈skvn efiw épor¤an §n°balen, ˜te d¢ taËyÉ Íperpet∞ g¤noito, 218 (3)
12 to›w §lãttosi katå lÒgon ée‹ prÚw tÚ parÚn épÒsthma xr≈menow
efiw toiaÊthn ≥gage diatropØn Àste kayÒlou kvlÊein aÈt«n tØn
ırmØn ka‹ tÚn §p¤ploun, ßvw ı Mãrkow dusyetoÊmenow ±nagkãsyh 219 (4)
15 lãyra nuktÚw §pipoiÆsasyai tØn paragvgÆn. genom°nvn dÉ aÈt«n 220 (5)
§ntÚw b°louw prÚw t∞i g∞i, pãlin •t°ran ≤toimãkei paraskeuØn
prÚw toÁw épomaxom°nouw §k t«n plo¤vn. …w éndromÆkouw Ïcouw 221 (6)
18 katepÊknvse trÆmasi tÚ te›xow …w palaistia¤oiw tÚ m°geyow
katå tØn §ktÚw §pifãneian: oÂw tojÒtaw ka‹ skorp¤dia para-
stÆsaw §ntÚw toË te¤xouw, ka‹ bãllvn diå toÊtvn, éxrÆstouw
21 §po¤ei toÁw §pibãtaw. §j o ka‹ makrån éfest«taw ka‹ sÊnegguw 222 (7)
ˆntaw toÁw polem¤ouw oÈ mÒnon éprãktouw pareskeÊaze prÚw tåw
fid¤aw §pibolãw, éllå ka‹ di°fyeire toÁw ple¤stouw aÈt«n. ˜te 223 (8)
24 d¢ tåw sambÊkaw §gxeir¤saien §ja¤rein, ˆrgana parÉ ˜lon tÚ te›xow

F 4–6 efikÒtvw—sambÊkhi om. T 9–12 ˆrgana—§lãttosi: Suda s.v.

§mbel°w, ı d¢ ÉArximÆdhw pareskeuãsato ˆrgana prÚw k.t.l. 16–21 pãlin—
§pibãtaw: Suda s.v. skorp¤dia, d d¢ ÉArximÆdhw pãlin •t°ran k.t.l.

V P1 [T] 1 toË om. T || §piba¤nousi P1 3 kvloiw T 4 tÚ V P1 B.-W.: om.

Polybii Plb. FS 5 §jarye› Plb. F || toÊthw P1V1, addito signo (corruptelae?) i.m. V
Excerpta 7 plØn otoi m¢n] otoi m¢n oÔn T || dieirmosm°noi Plb. F 7–8 prosãgein—
Antiqua pÊrgoiw] t«i te¤xei pros°ballon T 8 t«n pÊrgvn V P1 8–9 pareskeu-
[Suda] asm°nvw Plb. F pareseuasmenow T 9 §mbel¢w Suda B.-W.: §mb°lhw V P1 §mmel¢w
Plb. FS §mbãllei T || pÒrrvye Plb. F 10 §ntonvt°roiw V || me¤zosin
Suda 10–11 liyobÒloiw—§n°balen om. Suda 11 §n°balen] §n°bale ka‹
dusxrhst¤an (dusxristian T ) T Plb. || taËta T || g°noito P1 g¤gnoito Suda
12 §lãttousi P1 §lãttosin Suda || katalÒgvn Plb. F katelatton T 14 §p¤-
plou P1 || dusyetoÊmenow om. T 15 lãyra V P1 TS Schw., tacite: lãyrai
Hultsch, tacite, B.-W. || §pipoiÆsasyai P1 Plb. FS: §poipoiÆsasyai V
poiÆsasyai T ¶ti poiÆsasyai Scaliger B.-W. || d¢ T 17 …w V P1 T Plb. FS
Suda: ßvw Schw. B.-W. || Ïcow T 18 palaistia›on V P1 20 ka‹ bãllvn om.
Suda 21 éfest«taw] épÒntaw T 24 sambÊkaw V P1 B.-W.: sumbukaw T
sãmbukaw Plb. FS; cf. ad p. 80, 1 || §gxeir¤saien V P1 Plb.SS („vulgo
omnes” Schw.): §gxeirÆsaien T Plb. F B.-W. || §ja¤rein ˆrgana V P1 T
B.-W.: ˆrgana §ja¤rein Plb. FS

towers, and the rest follow them through the sambuca, the ladder
standing securely on the two ships due to the ropes. The construction
appropriately received this name, for when raised the shape of the
ship and ladder joined together is just like the “sambuca.” 184.
Now after making such arrangement the [Romans] intended to
approach the towers. But the aforementioned man, who had prepared
engines constructed to cover any distance within missile range, so
damaged the advancing ships at long range with his larger and more
powerful stone-throwers and catapults 185 as to throw them into much
difficulty; and as soon as these engines fired too high he employed
proportionally smaller ones to match the range at the moment186, and,
finally, brought about so much confusion that he completely ended
their advance by sea, until Marcus was so vexed that he was com -
pelled to bring up his ships secretly at night. But when they were close
to land within the dead angle 187 [Archimedes] readied another con -
trivance for attacking the men who were fighting from the ships. He
packed the wall thickly with openings188 of the height of a man and of
about a palm’s width on the outer face. Stationing archers and small
arrow-firing catapults at these inside the wall and firing through
them, he rendered the marines useless. Thus he not only made the
enemy ineffective whether they were at a distance or close by, but
killed the greater number of them. And when they undertook to raise

I.e., the musical instrument so named; see Walbank (1967) 72-73 and J. G. Landels, “Ship
Shape and Sambuca Fashion”, Journal of Hellenic Studies 86 (1966) 69ff.
For this interpretation of b° low see Walbank (1967) 74.
For the phrasing see Walbank (1967) 74.
For this interpretation of § ntÚw b° louwsee Walbank (1967) 74.
Cf. above 51:7-8.

82 § 223–230 (THEV. p. 327, 12–27)

≤toimãkei, tÚn m¢n loipÚn xrÒnon éfan∞, katå d¢ tÚn t∞w xre¤aw
kairÚn §k t«n ¶sv mer«n Íp¢r toË te¤xouw énistãmena ka‹
(Plb. 224 prop¤ptonta poll«i t∞w §pãljevw ta›w kera¤aiw: œn tinå m¢n 3
VIII 5,9) §bãstaze l¤youw oÈk §lãttouw d°ka talãntvn, tinå d¢ shk≈mata
(10) 225 molÊbdina. loipÚn ˜te sunegg¤zoien afl sambÊkai pot°, peri-
agÒmenai karxhs¤vi prÚw tÚ d°on afl kera›ai diã tinow sxasthr¤aw 6
(11) 226 éf¤esan efiw tÚ kataskeÊasma tÚn l¤yon: §j o sun°baine mØ
mÒnon tÚ sunyraÊesyai toÎrganon, éllå ka‹ tØn naËn ka‹ toÁw
(6, 1) 227 §n aÈt∞i kinduneÊein ılosxer«w. tinã te t«n mhxanhmãtvn pãlin 9
§p‹ toÁw §form«ntaw ka‹ probeblhm°nouw g°rra ka‹ diå toÊtvn
±sfalism°nouw prÚw tÚ mhd¢n pãsxein ÍpÚ t«n diå toË te¤xouw
ferom°nvn bel«n, ±f¤ei m¢n ka‹ l¤youw summ°trouw prÚw tÚ 12
(2) 228 feÊgein §k t∞w pr≈raw toÁw égvnizom°nouw, ëma d¢ ka‹ kay¤ei
xe›ra sidhrçn §j èlÊsevw dedem°nhn, ∏i drajãmenow ı tØn kera¤an
ofiak¤zvn ˜yen §pilãboi t∞w pr≈raw, katãge tØn pt°rnan t∞w 15
(3) 229 mhxan∞w §ntÚw toË te¤xouw. ˜te dÉ §koÊfizon tØn pr≈ran ÙryÚn
poiÆseien tÚ skãfow §p‹ tØn prÊmnan, tåw m¢n pr≈raw t«n
Ùrgãnvn efiw ék¤nhton kaye›ptai, t∞n d¢ xe›ra ka‹ tØn ëlusin 18
(4) 230 §k t∞w mhxan∞w §j°renai diã tinow xasthr¤aw. o ginom°nou tinå
m¢n t«n plo¤vn plãgia kat°pipte, tinå d¢ ka‹ katestr°feto,
tå d¢ ple›sta t∞w pr≈raw éfÉ Ïcouw =ifye¤shw baptizÒmena 21

V P1 T 2 Íp¢r] §p‹ T 3 prop¤ptonta V P1 T B.-W.: prosp¤ptonta Plb.FS

Polybii || poll«i voluisse Anon. vidit Hultsch: pollo‹ V P1 polÁ T Plb. 4 okv-
Excerpta nata cum signo corruptelae inter o et k T 5 mol¤bdina T Plb. || sam-
Antiqua bÊkai V P1 Ts Plb. FS: sambËkai Bekker B.-W. || pot¢ V P1 Plb.FS: tÒte
T Schw. B.-W. 6 karxhs¤vi om. T || sxasthr¤aw V P1 T B.-W.: xa-
sthr¤aw Plb.FD xaristhr¤aw Plb.S; cf. ad v. 19 7 éf¤esan V P1 Plb.FS:
±f¤esan T B.-W.; cf. v. 12 8 tÚ] lege aÈtÚ cum T Plb. || yraÊ-
esyai T || tÚ ˆrganon T || ka‹ toÁw] katå toÁw V P1; cf. ad. p. 70, 4
10 §form«ntaw V P1 T B.-W.: §formoËntaw Plb.FS 11 pãsxhn V || ÍpÚ]
épÚ T || diå] §k T 13 pr≈raw V P1 Plb. Ss: x≈raw T pr≈rraw Plb.F
B.-W.; cf. ad p. 80,11 14 xe›ran P1 xera T || ∏i] μ V P1 ∂ Plb.F
15 lege §pilãboito cum T Plb. || pr≈raw V P1 T Plb.Ss: pr≈rraw Plb.F
B.-W.; cf. ad p. 80,11 || katãge V P1 Plb.FS: kat∞ge T B.-W. 16 ˜te
dÉ §koÊfizon V P1 Plb.FS: ˜te d¢ kouf¤zvn Plb.G B.-W. ode kouf¤zvn T
|| pr≈ran V P1 Plb.Ss: pr«rran Plb.F B.-W.; cf. ad p. 80,11 17 poiÆ-
seie Plb. poiousa T || tØn non hab. T Plb. || pr≈raw V P1 T
Plb.Ss: pr≈rraw Plb.F pt°rnaw Valesius B.-W. || t«n bis P1 18 kay-
e›ptai V P1: kaye¤ptai Plb.F kay∞ptai Plb.S kayhpta T kay∞pte Schw.
B.-W. 19 §j°renai Plb.F §jerenai V: §jer°nai P1 §j°raine Plb.S §j°rraine
T B.-W. || xasthr¤aw V P1 Plb.FD: xaristhr¤aw Plb.S sxasthr¤aw T
B.-W.; cf. ad v. 6 || genom°nou Plb.S 20 kat°pipten Plb.F kat-
epipton T || éntestr°feto P1 21 pr≈raw V P1 T Plb. Ss: pr≈rraw
Plb.F B.-W.; cf. ad p. 80,11 || =ifye¤shw V P1 T B.-W.: =hye¤shw Plb.FS

the sambucae he had engines ready all along the wall, [82] which
while otherwise invisible, rose up as needed over the wall from the
inside, their beams projecting far beyond the battlements; some of
them carried stones weighing no less than ten talents and others large
lead weights. Then whenever the sambucae approached, the beams
were swung around on a universal joint 189 as needed and by means of
a release mechanism dropped the stone on the devices. As a result not
only was the engine itself 190 smashed, but the ship and those on it were
in the greatest danger. There were some machines again which were
directed against men advancing while covering themselves with wick -
er-work screens and thus protected from harm by missiles fired
through the wall. These machines, on the one hand, discharged stones
large enough to cause the assailants to flee from the prow, and simul -
taneously lowered a grappling iron attached to a chain with which
the man directing the beam would grasp [at the ship] so as to get a
hold191 on the prow; he would [then] lower the butt-end of the machine
which was inside the wall. And when he was thus lifting up the ship’s
prow he would make the hull stand upright on the stern and fastened
the butt-ends192 of the devices so they could not move, but by means of
a release mechanism let the grappling iron and chain suddenly drop
from the machine. When this took place some of the vessels fell on
their sides, some were overturned, and most of them, when their

tÚ karxÆsion. On the device see Walbank (1967) 75-76; it is also mentioned in the tenth
century by the so-called “Heron of Byzantium,” Parangelmata poliorcetica 54:5 (in Sullivan
[2000]), citing Athenaeus Mechanicus; see also Haldon (2000) 281 with n. 150.
Accepting aÈtÚ for tÒ.
Accepting § pilãboito for § pilãboi .
Accepting pt° rnaw for pr≈raw.

83 § 230–238 (THEV. p. 327, 27–43)

plÆrh yalãsshw §g¤neto ka‹ tarax∞w. Mãrkow d¢ dusxrhstoÊmenow 231 (5)
§p‹ to›w épantvm°noiw ÍpÉ ÉArximÆdouw, ka‹ yevr«n metå blãbhw
3 ka‹ xleuasmoË toÁw ¶ndon épotribom°nouw aÍtoË tåw §pibolãw,
dusxer«w m¢n ¶feren tÚ sumba›non, ˜mvw dÉ §piskop«n tåw aÍtoË 232 (6)
prãjeiw ¶fh ta›w m¢n naus‹n aÈtoË kuay¤zein §k yalãtthw
6 ÉArximÆdh, tåw d¢ sambÊkaw =apizom°naw Àsper §kspÒndouw metÉ
afisxÊnhw §kpeptvk°nai. ka‹ t∞w m¢n katå yãlattan poliork¤aw 233 (7)
toioËton ép°bh tÚ t°low.
9 ofl d¢ per‹ tÚn ÖAppion efiw paraplhs¤ouw §mpesÒntew dusxe- 234 (7, 1)
re¤aw ép°sthsan t∞w §pibol∞w. ¶ti m¢n går ˆntew §n épostÆmati 235 (2)
to›w te petrobÒloiw ka‹ katap°ltaiw tuptÒmenoi diefye¤ronto,
12 diå tÚ yaumãsion e‰nai tØn t«n bel«n kataskeuØn ka‹ katå tÚ
pl∞yow <ka‹ katå tØn §n°rgeian>, …w ín ÑI°rvnow m¢n xorhgoË
gegonÒtow, érxit°ktonow d¢ ka‹ dhmiourgoË t«n §pinohmãtvn
15 ÉArximÆdouw. sunegg¤zont°w ge mØn prÚw tØn pÒlin ofl m¢n ta›w 236 (3)
diå toË te¤xouw tojÒtisin, …w §pãnv proe›pon, kakoÊmenoi sunex«w
e‡rgonto t∞w prosÒdou: ofl d¢ metå t«n gerr«n biazÒmenoi ta›w
18 t«n katakoruf«n l¤yvn ka‹ dok«n §mbola›w diefye¤ronto. oÈk 237 (4)
Ùl¤ga d¢ ka‹ ta›w xers‹ ta›w §k t«n mhxan«n §kakopo¤oun, …w
ka‹ prÒteron e‰pa: sÁn aÈto›w går to›w <˜ploiw> toÁw êndraw
21 §jairoËntew §rr¤ptoun. tÚ d¢ p°raw, énaxvrÆsantew efiw tØn par- 238 (5)
embolØn ka‹ sunedreÊsantew metå t«n xiliãrxvn ofl per‹ tÚn
ÖAppion, ımoyumadÚn §bouleÊsanto pãshw §lp¤dow pe›ran lam-
24 bãnein plØn toË diå poliork¤aw •le›n tåw SurakoÊsaw, …w ka‹

F 1 yalãsshw §g¤neto des. T 1–7 Mãrkow—§kpeptvk°nai: Athenaeus

XIV, 634b PolÊbiow dÉ §n t∞i ÙgdÒhi t«n ÑIstori«n “MãrkellÒw” fhsi
dusxrhstoÊmenow §n t∞i Surakous«n poliork¤ai ÍpÚ t«n ÉArximÆdouw
kataskeuasmãtvn ¶legen ta›w m¢n naus‹n k.t.l. 23—p. 84,3 §bouleÊ-
santo—§yãrrhsan: T, Wesch. p. 326,10–13, ofl d¢ t«n ÑRvma¤vn strathgo¤,
to›w ˜loiw époroËntew tÚ mhk°ti pot¢ ín §lp¤sai diå poliork¤aw tåw Su-
rakoÊsaw •le›n, t«n m¢n êllvn strathghmãtvn k.t.l.

V P1 [T] 1 yalãtthw Plb. alatthw T || mãrkellow P1x (mãrkow P1) Athenaeus

Polybii || dusxrhstoum°noiw P 1 2 épantama¤oiw V ëpanta ma¤soi P 1 3 aÈtoË
Excerpta V P1 Schw., tacite 4 ¶fere Plb. || §pisk≈ptvn Plb. || aÈtoË V P1
Antiqua Schw., tacite 5 aÈtoË] aÈtÚw V P1 aÍtoË Athenaeus || yalãsshw Athe-
[Athe- naeus 6 érximÆdhw E érxhmÆdhw Vs P1s ÉArximÆdhn Athenaeus || =api-
naeus] zom°nouw V P1 || §kspÒndouw] §k pÒtou Athenaeus 8 toioËto Plb.F
13 <ka‹ katå tØn §n°rgeian> om. V P1 || xorhgoË] érxhgoË (xorhgoË
Plb.D i.m. ) Plb. S 17 gerr«n V P1 Plb.FS: g°rrvn B.-W.; cf. ad p. 80,19
18 katå korufØn Plb.; incertum utrum compositum Anonymo an librario
attribuendum sit || l¤yon Plb.F 20 <˜ploiw> om. V P1 21 §jairoËntaw
V P1 || §rr¤ptoun tÚ V P1 B.-W.: §rriptoËto Plb.FS 24 surakoÊssaw Plb.F

prows were thus dropped from a height, were submerged [83] and
filled with sea water and chaos. Marcus was distressed at what he
encountered at the hands of Archimedes, and seeing that those within
thus foiled his attacks, both causing damage and offering derision,
was vexed at the result, but still reflecting on his own operations, he
said: “Archimedes uses my ships to ladle sea water like wine, but my
sambucae are hurled down and driven out in disgrace like intruders.”
Such was the siege from the sea.
And Appius also fell into similar difficulties and abandoned his
attempt. For his men while still at a distance perished when struck by
the stone-throwers and catapults, the supply of the artillery being
awesome both as regards quantity <and force>, as indeed was to be
expected since Hiero was providing the funds and Archimedes was
the designer and creator of the devices. And when indeed they got
near the city they were unremittingly savaged from the loopholes in
the wall which I mentioned earlier and their advance was checked;
but if they pressed forward under cover of the wicker screens, they
were destroyed by the stones and beams dropped on their heads. The
[besieged] also caused no little damage with the above-mentioned
grappling irons [hanging] from the machines, for they lifted up men
<armor> and all, and then hurled them down. Finally Appius with -
drew to his camp and called a council of his tribunes, at which it was
unanimously decided to try every hopeful option except to take
Syracuse by assault. And [84] this they did consistently; for while

84 § 238–246 (THEV. p. 327, 44–328, 8)

(Plb. VIII, 239 t°low §po¤hsan: ÙktΔ går m∞naw t∞i pÒlei proskayezÒmenoi t«n
7, 6) m¢n êllvn strathghmãtvn μ tolmhmãtvn oÈdenÚw ép°sthsan,
(8) 240 toË d¢ poliorke›n oÈd°pote pe›ran ¶ti labe›n §yãrrhsan. §ke›noi 3
goËn thlikaÊtaw dunãmeiw ¶xontew ka‹ katå g∞n ka‹ katå yãlattan,
efi m¢n éf°loi tiw presbÊthn ßna Surakous¤vn, paraxr∞ma t∞w
(9) 241 pÒlevw kurieÊsein ≥lpizon, toÊtou d¢ sumparÒntow oÈk §yãrroun 6
oÈdÉ §pibal°syai.
242 efi goËn ka‹ so‹ t«i t«n ¶ndon proest«ti Ùl¤ga ~ t«n §n mh-
xanÆmati ~, kayãper énvt°rv proe›pa, kal«w §jaskhye¤h, =ai- 9
243 d¤vw katagvn¤shi toÁw Ípenant¤ouw. oÈ går ˜moioi to›w yumo›w
t«n palai«n oÈd¢ ta›w §pino¤aiw ofl t«n §yn«n êrti katãrxontew,
éllÉ oÈd¢ ta›w dunãmesi paraplÆsioi, | éllå katå polÁ toÊtvn 12 p. 328
244 épod°ousin. ì går ÉAl°jandrow, ı t«n MakedÒnvn basileÊw, §p‹ Thev.
t∞w TÊrou ka‹ Gãzhw poliork¤ai §penÒhse, ka‹ T¤tow §p‹ kay-
air°sei t∞w ÑIerousalÆm, ka‹ êlloi §pÉ êllaiw pÒlesin, …w §piÒntew 15
épode¤jomen, t¤w ín t«n nËn §pithdeËsai dunÆsetai μ tosoËton
énad°jasyai pÒnon;
245 t∞w går TÊrou nÆsou sxedÚn oÎshw ka‹ te¤xesin Íchlo›w pãnthi 18
»xurvm°nhw, ka‹ t«n Pers«n tÒte, ÍfÉ œn ≤ pÒliw §t°takto,
yalassokratoÊntvn ka‹ aÈt«n t«n Tur¤vn n∞aw §xÒntvn pollãw,
(Arr. 246 ˜mvw x«ma ¶gnv xvnnÊnai §k t∞w ±pe¤rou …w §p‹ tØn pÒlin. 21
II, 18, 3) {ka‹ ≥peiron tØn nÆsou épeirgãsato} ¶stin d¢ {fhsi} porymÚw
tenag≈dhw tÚ xvr¤on ka‹ tå m¢n prÚw t∞i ±pe¤rvi t∞w yalãsshw

F 3 post §yãrrhsan hab. Plb. oÏtvw eÂw énØr ka‹ m¤a cuxØ deÒntvw
≤rmosm°nh prÚw ¶nia t«n pragmãtvn m°ga ti xr∞ma fa¤netai g¤nesyai
ka‹ yaumãsion (cuxØ Schw. tÊxh codd.) 7 §pibal°syai des. Plb.
18–20 t∞w går—pollãw cf. Arr. II, 18,2 n∞sÒw te går aÈto›w ≤ pÒliw
∑n ka‹ te¤xesin Íchlo›w pãnthi »xÊrvto: ka‹ tå épÚ yalãsshw prÚw
t«n Tur¤vn mçllÒn ti §n t«i tÒte §fa¤neto, t«n te Pers«n ¶ti yalas-
sokratoÊntvn ka‹ aÈto›w to›w Tur¤oiw ne«n ¶ti poll«n perious«n
21—p. 94, 8 ˜mvw—•ta¤roiw: Arr. II, 18, 3 …w d¢ taËta ˜mvw §krãthse, x«ma
¶gnv xvnnÊnai k.t.l.—23,6 22—p. 93, 24 ¶stin—te¤xei: T, Wesch.
p. 309, 3—316, 6

V P1 [Polybii 3 oÈd°pote] oÈd¢ T 5 tiw presbtu V to›w presbut°roiw P1 || surakou-

Excerpta s¤vn V Plb.FS: surakoÊsion P1 et coni. Schw. Surakos¤vn B.-W. 8 t«n §n]
Antiqua [T] tÚn §n P1 9 énvt°rv v. p. 78, 12 sqq. 10 §nant¤ouw P1 19 Ùxurvm°nhw P1
[Arr.] 21 ±pe¤rou] ±pe¤rasiw V P1 22 {ka‹—épeirgãsato} delevi; non hab. Arr.;
haec verba videntur explicandi causa i.m. scripta esse, pertinentia ad verba
¶stin—xvr¤on v. 22–23, et inde in textum irrepsisse || ka‹] …w §p‹
tØn P1 || tØn nÆsou] tØn nÆson P1, ut legendum videatur t∞w nÆsou
|| épeirgãsanto P1 || ¶sti Arr. om. T || {fhsi} delevi; non. hab. Arr. T
|| pormow T 23 teganvdhw T

investing the city for eight months and leaving no other stratagems or
acts of daring untried, they never once ventured again to attempt an
assault. The [Romans] at least, although powerful both by sea and by
land, were expecting to take control of the city immediately if some -
one were to remove one old man from Syracuse, but while he was
present they did not venture to attack.
If then a few ~ machines ~, as I said above193, are well equipped
by you as leader of the forces inside, you will easily overcome the
enemy. For the leaders of the foreign peoples in our time bear no
resemblance to those of old in spirit or inventiveness, nor are they
comparable in their forces, but fall far short of them. For what
Alexander king of Macedon devised for the siege of Tyre and of Gaza,
and Titus for seizing Jerusalem, and others for other cities, as we will
make clear as we proceed, who today would be able to devise or
undertake such effort?
For Tyre was almost an island and fortified everywhere with
high walls, and at that time the Persians, by whom the city was ruled,
were masters of the sea and Tyrians themselves possessed many ships.
Nevertheless [Alexander] decided to construct a mole from the main -
land to the city. The area is a shallow strait; and the sea towards the
mainland consists of shoals [85] and mud; but near the city itself at

See above 78:14ff.

85 § 246–254 ( THEV. p. 328, 8–25)

brax°a ka‹ phl≈dh aÈtoË, tå d¢ prÚw aÈt∞i t∞i pÒlei, ˜pou
tÚ bayÊtaton toË diãplou, tri«n mãlista Ùrgui«n tÚ bãyow.
3 éllå l¤yvn te poll«n éfyon¤a ∑n ka‹ Ïlhw, ¥ntina to›w l¤yoiw 247
ênvyen §pefÒroun, xãrak°w te oÈ xalep«w katepÆgnunto §n
t«i phl«i ka‹ aÈtÚw ı phlÚw sÊndesmow efiw tÚ §pim°nein to›w
6 l¤yoiw §g¤neto. ka‹ proyum¤a t«n te MakedÒnvn efiw tÚ ¶rgon 248 (4)
ka‹ ÉAlejãndrou pollØ ∑n parÒntow te ka‹ aÈtoË §jhgoum°nou
ka‹ tå m¢n lÒgvi §pa¤rontow, tå d¢ ka‹ xrÆmasi toÊw ti §kpre-
9 p°steron katÉ éretØn ponoum°nouw §pikouf¤zontow. éllÉ ßvw m¢n 249
tÚ prÚw t∞i ±pe¤rvi §x≈nnuto, oÈ xalep«w proÈx≈rei tÚ ¶rgon,
§p‹ bãyow te Ùl¤gon xvnnÊmenon ka‹ oÈdenÚw §je¤rgontow. …w d¢ 250 (5)
12 t«i te bayut°rvi ≥dh §p°lazon ka‹ ëma t∞i pÒlei aÈt∞i §ggÁw
§g¤gnonto, épÒ te t«n teix«n Íchl«n ˆntvn ballÒmenoi <§ka-
kopãyoun, ëte ka‹ §pÉ §rgas¤ai mçllÒn ti μ …w efiw mãxhn ékrib«w
15 §stalm°noi>, ka‹ ta›w triÆresin êllhi ka‹ êllhi toË x≈matow
§pipl°ontew ofl TÊrioi, ëte dØ yalassokratoËntew ¶ti, êpeiron
pollax∞i tØn prÒsxvsin to›w MakedÒsin §po¤oun. ka‹ ofl Make- 251 (6)
18 dÒnew pÊrgouw §pÉ êkrou toË x≈matow, ˜ ti per prokexvrÆkei
aÈto›w <§p‹ polÁ> t∞w yalãsshw, §p°sthsan dÊo ka‹ mhxanåw
§p‹ to›w pÊrgoiw. prokalÊmmata d¢ d°rreiw ka‹ dify°rai aÈta›w 252
21 ∑san, …w mÆte purfÒroiw b°lesin épÚ toË te¤xouw bãllesyai,
to›w te §rgazom°noiw probolØn §n t«i aÈt«i e‰nai prÚw tå to-
jeÊmata: ëma te ˜soi prospl°ontew t«n Tur¤vn ¶blapton toÁw 253
24 xvnnÊntaw, épÚ t«n pÊrgvn ballÒmenoi oÈ xalep«w énasta-
lÆsesyai ¶mellon.
ofl d¢ TÊrioi prÚw taËta éntimhxan«ntai toiÒnde. naËn flppa- 254 (19, 1)
27 gvgÚn klhmãtvn te jhr«n ka‹ êllhw Ïlhw eÈfl°ktou §mplÆsantew

F 6–9 ka‹ proyum¤a—§pikouf¤zontow om. T

V P1 1 phl≈dh] tenagvdh T || ˜pou] ·na Arr. T 2 mãlista] §s malista T

Arr. || Ùrgui«n P1 Arr.: Ùrgu«n V T 3 pollØ T || éfyon¤an V P1 4 §pi-
[T] fÒroun V P1 || xãlakew V P1; cf. ad § 384 5 jÊndesmow Arr. 5–6 efiw
tÚ §pim°nein to›w l¤yoiw] to›w l¤yoiw §w tÚ (estv T) §pim°nein Arr. T
6 §g¤gneto Arr. T || §w Arr. 7 §jhgoum°nou] ßkasta §jhgoum°nou Arr.
8 §ja¤rontow P1 9 poioum°nouw P1 || éllå T || ßvw] ß P1 ¶ste Arr.
estai T 10 tÚ prÚw] t∞i prÚw P1 tå prÚw T 11 §p‹—§je¤rgontow om. T
12 t«i] tÚ P1 13–15 <§kakopãyoun—§stalm°noi> om. V P1 14 mçllÒn
ti] ti mallon T || efiw scripsi: §w Arr. T 16 dØ om. T || lege êporon cum
Arr. T 17 pollaxou T || prosxvrhsin T 18 §pÉ êkrou V P1 T Roos: §pãnv
Arr.A || prouxvrhkei T 19 <§p‹ polÁ> om. V P1 || dÊo om. T 20 pro-
kãlumma T || aÈta›w V P1 Arr.A T: aÈto›w vulg. Roos 22 t«i aÈt«i] tautv T
24 épÚ—ballÒmenoi om. T 25 mellon T 27 klhmatidvn T; cf. p. 50, 5
et Thucydidem, VII, 53, 4 ılkãda palaiån klhmat¤dvn ka‹ daidÚw gem¤santew

the deepest part of the crossing the depth is about three fathoms. But
there was an abundance of stones and wood which they piled on top
of the stones and stakes were fixed in the mud without difficulty, and
the mud itself constituted a binding for holding the stones. The
Macedonians were quite eager for the work, as was Alexander too,
who was himself present, explaining and encouraging the workers
verbally, besides inspiring with rewards those who did any particu -
larly good work. As long as the building of the mole was near the
mainland, the work proceeded without difficulty since the depth being
filled was not great, and no one hindered. But when they got into
deeper water and nearer the city itself, under fire from the high walls
<they were in great distress, since the men were specifically outfitted
for work rather than for battle>. And the Tyrians sailing up in their
triremes on this side of the mole and on that, as indeed they were still
masters of the sea, in many places made the mounding up of the mole
difficult194 for the Macedonians. And the Macedonians placed two
towers on top of the mole, which had now proceeded <far> into the
sea, and engines on the towers. They were covered with hides and
skins, so that they could not be struck with fire arrows from the wall,
and that the builders might thus also have a screen against arrows; at
the same time, any Tyrians who rowed up and tried to harm the
builders of the mole were likely to be repulsed without difficulty, being
under fire from the towers.
The Tyrians, however, took counter measures as follows; they
filled a cavalry transport with dry branches and other combustible

Accepting êporon for êpeiron.

86 § 254–261 ( THEV. p. 328, 25–42)

dÊo flstoÁw §p‹ t∞i pr≈rai kataphgnÊousi ka‹ §n kÊklvi peri-
frãssousin §w ˜son makrÒtaton, …w forutÒn te taÊthi ka‹ dçidaw
255 ˜saw ple¤staw d°jasyai: prÚw d¢ p¤ssan te ka‹ ye›on ka‹ ˜sa 3
êlla efiw tÚ parakal°sai megãlhn flÒga §p‹ taÊthi §pefÒrhsan.
(Arr. II, 256 par°teinan d¢ ka‹ kera¤an diplØn §p‹ to›w flsto›w émfot°roiw,
19, 2) ka‹ épÚ taÊthw §jÆrthsan {˜sa} §n l°besin ˜sa §pixuy°nta μ 6
§piblhy°nta §p‹ m°ga tØn flÒga §jãcein ¶mellen, ßrmatã te efiw
tØn prÊmnan §n°yesan, toË §jçrai efiw Ïcow tØn pr≈ran piezo-
(3) 257 m°nhw katå prÊmnan t∞w ne≈w. ¶peitÉ ênemon thrÆsantew …w §p‹ 9
tÚ x«ma §pif°ronta §jãcantew triÆresi tØn naËn katÉ oÔron
258 eÂlkon. …w d¢ §p°lazen ≥dh t«i te x≈mati ka‹ to›w pÊrgoiw,
pËr §mbalÒntew efiw tØn Ïlhn ka‹ …w biaiÒtata ëma ta›w triÆ- 12
resin §panelkÊsantew tØn naËn §nse¤ousin êkrvi t«i x≈mati:
aÈto‹ d¢ ofl §n t∞i nh˛ kaiom°nhi ≥dh §jenÆjanto oÈ xalep«w.
(4) 259 ka‹ §n toÊtvi ¥ te flÚj pollØ §n°pipten to›w pÊrgoiw ka‹ afl 15
kera›ai periklasye›sai §j°xean efiw tÚ pËr ˜sa efiw ¶jacin t∞w
260 flogÚw pareskeuasm°na ∑n. ofl dÉ épÚ t«n triÆrvn plhs¤on toË
x≈matow énakvxeÊontew §tÒjeuon efiw toÁw pÊrgouw, …w mØ ésfal«w 18
(5) 261 e‰nai pelãsai ˜soiw sbestÆriÒn ti t∞i flog‹ §p°feron. ka‹ §n
toÊtvi katexom°nvn ≥dh §k toË purÚw t«n pÊrgvn §kdramÒntew
§k t∞w pÒlevw pollo‹ ka‹ efiw kelÆtia §mbãntew êllhi ka‹ êllhi 21
§poke¤lantew toË x≈matow tÒn te xãraka oÈ xalep«w di°spa-
san tÚn prÚ aÈtoË probeblhm°non ka‹ tåw mhxanåw sumpãsaw

F 7–9 ßrmata—ne≈w: Suda s.v. ßrma

V P1 1 kataphgnÊousin T 1–2 ka‹—perifrãssousin om. T || perifrãs-

Arr. T sousi P1 2 forhtÒn P1 4 §w Arr. T || taËta T || §piforhsan T
[Suda] 5 diplØn V P1 T: dipl∞n Arr. 6 {˜sa} delevi; non hab. Arr. T || l°be-
sin lege l°bhsin cum Arr. T 7 ßrma Suda || te §w Arr. tÉew T 8–9 §n-
°yesan—prÊmnan om. P 1 8 eyesan T §ny°ntew Suda || §w Arr. Suda || pr≈ran
V Suda: pr«ran Arr. sine accentu T; cf. p. 82, 16 8–9 piezom°nhw V T Suda
Roos: piezoum°nhw Arr.A 9 nhÒw Suda om. T || ¶peita ênemon Arr. epi
ta ammon T 10 §pif°rontew T || naË P1 || katÉ oÔron Arr.A Wesch.:
kat oÈrÚn V P1 kata touron T katÉ oÈrån Krüger e gl. codicis Arr.B Roos
11 §p°lazon Arr. T || te om. T 12 emballontew T || §w Arr. T
|| biai≈tata P1 13 efelkusantew T || ensiousin T 14 kaiom°nhw T
|| §jenijanto T 15 te om. T || §n°pipte Arr. T 16 §j°xeon T || efiw
tÚ] §w tÚ Arr. T || ˜sa efiw] ˜sa §w Arr. ˜saw T 17 pareskeuasm°na ∑n]
pareskeÊasto T || d¢ T 18 §w Arr. T || lege ésfal¢w cum Arr. T
19 lege ˜soi cum Arr. T 20 katexom°nvn—pÊrgvn om. T || §kdra-
m«ntew P1 21 pollo‹ §k t∞w pÒlevw transp. T || §w Arr. T || kelhtiaw
T || esbantew T 22–23 di°spasan tÚn] diaspasantew T 23 prosbeblh-
m°non T || sumpãsaw scripsi: sump¤saw V P1 jumpãsaw Arr. T

material, [86] fixed two masts in the bow, and built fences around,
extending as far as possible, so as to contain in it as many shavings
and torches as possible; and in addition they piled on this pitch, sul -
phur, and anything else to incite a great blaze. Then they deployed a
double yard-arm onto both masts, and from this hung in cauldrons195
anything which when poured or thrown on would greatly kindle the
flame, and they ballasted the stern to lift the bow up high as the ship
was pressed down at the stern. Then they waited for a wind blowing
towards the mole, and fastening the ship with ropes they towed it from
the rear196 by means of the triremes. When it was already approaching
the mole and the towers, they ignited the material and as forcefully as
possible hauled with the triremes and smashed the ship onto the edge
of the mole. The men on the ship, which was already burning, swam
away without difficulty. Meanwhile a great fire fell on the towers, and
as the yard-arms broke, they poured into the fire what had been pre -
pared to kindle the flame. The men in the triremes rode at anchor near
the mole and were firing arrows at the towers, so that it was not safe197
for anyone 198 bringing materials to extinguish the fire to get near. At
this point, the towers being already engulfed, the [Tyrians] sallied en
masse from the city, and embarking on small boats landed at different
parts of the mole and without difficulty tore down the palisade set up
in front of it; they burned all the engines [87] which had not been

Accepting l° bhsin for l° besin.
Accepting oÈrån for oÔron and following for the phrasing Bosworth (1980) 241.
Accepting ésfal¢w for ésfal«w .
Accepting ˜soi for ˜soiw .

87 § 261–267 (THEV. p. 328, 42–329, 6)

kat°flejan, ˜saw mØ tÚ épÚ t∞w neΔw pËr §p°sxen, ÉAl°jandrow 262 (6)
d¢ tÒ te x«ma épÚ t∞w ±pe¤rou érjam°nouw platÊteron xvnnÊnai,
3 …w pl°onaw d°jasyai pÊrgouw, ka‹ toÁw mhxanopoioÁw mhxanåw
êllaw kataskeuãzein §k°leusen. …w d¢ taËta pareskeuãzeto,aÈtoÁw 263
toÊw te Ípaspiståw énalabΔn ka‹ toÁw ÉAgriãnaw §p‹ Sid«now
6 §stãlh, …w éyro¤svn §ke› ˜sai ≥dh ∑san aÈt«i triÆreiw, ˜ti
épor≈tera tå t∞w poliork¤aw §fa¤neto yalassokratoÊntvn
9 §n toÊtvi d¢ GhrÒstratÒw te ı ÉArãdou basileÁw ka‹ ÖEnulow 264 (20, 1)
ı BÊblou …w ¶maye tåw pÒleiw sf«n ÍpÚ ÉAlejãndrou §xom°naw,
épolipÒnte AÈtofradãthn te ka‹ tåw sÁn aÈt«i n°aw parÉ
12 ÉAl°jandron sÁn t«i nautik«i t«i sfet°rvi éf¤konto ka‹ afl t«n
Sidvn¤vn triÆreiw sÁn aÈto›w, Àste Foin¤kvn m¢n n∞ew §w ÙgdoÆ-
konta aÈt«i pareg°nonto. ∏kon d¢ §n ta›w aÈta›w ≤m°raiw ka‹ 265 (2)
p. 329 15 <§k ÑRÒdou> triÆreiw | ¥ te per¤polow kaloum°nh ka‹ sÁn taÊthi
Thev. êllai yÄ, <ka‹> §k SÒlvn ka‹ MalloË tre›w ka‹ LÊkiai d°ka,
§k Makedon¤aw d¢ penthkÒnterow, §fÉ ∏w Prvt°aw ı ÉAndron¤kou
18 §p°plei. oÈ poll«i d¢ Ïsteron ka‹ ofl t∞w KÊprou basile›w efiw 266 (3)
tØn Sid«na kat°sxon naus‹n •katÚn mãlista ka‹ e‡kosi, §peidØ
tÆn te ∏ttan tØn katÉ ÉIssÚn Dare¤ou §pÊyonto ka‹ ≤ Foin¤kh
21 pçsa §xom°nh ≥dh ÍpÚ ÉAlejãndrou §fÒbei aÈtoÊw. ka‹ toÊtoiw 267
pçsin ¶dvken ÉAl°jandrow êdeian t«n prÒsyen, ˜ti ÍpÉ énãgkhw
mçllÒn ti μ katå gn≈mhn tØn sf«n §dÒkoun suntaxy∞nai to›w
24 P°rsaiw efiw tÚ nautikÒn.

F 4–8 …w d¢—Tur¤vn pro his hab. T, Wesch. p. 312, 3–5, aÈtÚw d¢

stÒlon ˜ti ple›ston éyro¤zein dienoe›to: ≥dh går aÈt«i yalassokratoÊn-
tvn Tur¤vn épor≈tera tå t∞w poliork¤aw §fa¤neto 9—p. 89, 19 §n
toÊtvi—∑san om. T

V P1 1 kat°flejen V P1 || ˜saw—§p°sxen om. T || tÚ] te V P1 2 érja-

Arr. [T] m°nouw platÊteron xvnnÊnai] érjãmenow ¶gnv xvnnunai platuteron T
3 pl°onaw V P1 Arr.A: ple¤onaw T Roos 4 aÈtoÁw lege aÈtÚw cum Arr.;
cf. T 5 énalabΔn] mçllon V P1 || égriãnaw V P1 Arr.A: ÉAgriçnaw Roos;
item p. 88, 4 7 §g¤neto V corr. V1 i.m. 8 Tur¤vn] t«n Tur¤vn Arr.;
cf. T 9 ghrÚw stratÒw V P1 10 ı BÊblou] ˜umblou V oÎmblou P1
|| lege ¶mayon cum Arr. || ÍpÉ Arr. 11 épolip≈nte V P1 lege époli-
pÒntew cum Arr. || sÁn aÈt«i n°aw scripsi: jÁn aÈt«i n°aw Arr. sunan-
ti≈saw V P1 12 jÁn Arr. 13–14 §w ÙgdoÆkonta] ÙgdoÆkonta mãlista
Arr. §w ÙgdoÆkonta mãlista coni. Roos in app. crit. 14 aÈt«i] aÈt«n P1
|| aÈta›w] aÈt«n P1 15 <§k ÑRÒdou> om. V spatio vacuo relicto P1 nullo
spatio relicto || jÁn Arr. 16 <ka‹> om. V P1 || ka‹ LÊkiai Krüger
Roos: kalukia V P1 ka‹ luk¤aw Arr.A 17 penthkÒntorow Arr. 18 §w Arr.
19 e‡kosin Arr. 20 ∏ssan Arr. || fonikØ P1 fronikØ V 23 sunaxy∞nai
P1 juntaxy∞nai Arr. 24 §w Arr. || tÚ] tÚn V; cf. ad p. 88, 10

engulfed by fire from the ship. Alexander, however, ordered his men to
build the mole wider starting from the mainland, so as to hold more
towers, and he ordered the engineers to construct additional engines.
While these were being made ready, he himself199 with the hypaspists
and the Agrianians proceeded to Sidon, to collect all his triremes
already there, since the siege seemed more difficult as long as the
Tyrians were masters of the sea.
Meanwhile Gerostratus king of Aradus and Enylus of Byblus,
when they learned 200 that Alexander held their cities, left 201
Autophradates and his ships and came to Alexander with their own
fleet, and with them came the Sidonian triremes, so that about eighty
Phoenician ships joined him. There arrived also at the same time
triremes <from Rhodes>, nine, in addition to their state guardship,
<and> three from Soli and Mallus and ten from Lycia, and a fifty-
oared ship from Macedon, its captain Proteus son of Andronicus. Not
much later also the kings of Cyprus landed at Sidon with about 120
ships, after they learned of Darius’ defeat at Issus and were terrified
by the fact that Alexander now controlled all Phoenicia. To all these
Alexander granted immunity for their former actions, because they
appeared to have aligned themselves with the Persian fleet more from
necessity than choice.

Accepting aÈtÚw for aÈtoÊw .
Accepting ¶mayon for ¶ maye.
Accepting épolipÒntew for épolipÒnte.

88 § 268–274 (THEV. p. 329, 6–23)

(Arr. 268 §n œi d¢ a· te mhxana‹ aÈt«i sunepÆgnunto ka‹ afl n∞ew …w
II, 20, 4) <efiw> §p¤ploun ka‹ naumax¤aw épÒpeiran §jhrtÊonto, §n toÊtvi
d¢ énalabΔn t«n te flpp°vn <‡law> ¶stin ìw ka‹ toÁw Íp- 3
aspiståw ka‹ toÁw ÉAgriãnaw ka‹ toÁw tojÒtaw §pÉ ÉArab¤aw st°lletai
(5) 269 efiw tÚn ÉAntil¤banon kaloÊmenon tÚ ˆrow: ka‹ tå m¢n b¤ai t«n
taÊthi §jel≈n, tå d¢ ımolog¤ai parasthsãmenow §n d°ka ≤m°raiw 6
§pan∞gen efiw tØn Sid«na, ka‹ katalambãnei ÉAl°jandron tÚn
Polemokrãtouw §k PeloponÆsou ¥konta ka‹ sÁn aÈt«i misyo-
fÒrouw ÜEllhnaw efiw tetrakisxil¤ouw. 9
(6) 270 …w d¢ sunet°takto aÈt«i tÚ nautikÒn, §pibibãsaw to›w kata-
str≈masi t«n Ípaspist«n ˜soi flkano‹ §dÒkoun efiw tÚ ¶rgon, efi
mØ di°kploiw mçllÒn ti μ xers‹n <≤> naumax¤a g¤gnoito, êraw §k 12
t∞w Sid«now §p°plei t∞i TÊrvi suntetagm°naiw ta›w naus¤n, aÈtÚw
m¢n katå tÚ dejiÚn k°raw, ˘ dØ §w tÚ p°lagow aÈt«i éne›xe, ka‹
sÁn aÈt«i o· te Kupr¤vn basile›w ka‹ ˜soi Foin¤kvn, plØn 15
271 Pnutãgrou. otow d¢ ka‹ KraterÚw tÚ eÈ≈numon k°raw e‰xon t∞w
(7) 272 pãshw tãjevw. to›w d¢ Tur¤oiw prÒteron m¢n naumaxe›n §gnv-
sm°non ∑n, katå yãlassan efi §pipl°oi sf¤sin ÉAl°jandrow, tÒtedØ 18
pl∞yow ne«n polÁ éprosdokÆtvw katidÒntew (oÈ gãr pv pe-
pusm°noi ∑san tãw te Kupr¤vn naËw ka‹ tåw Foin¤kvn sumpãsaw
(8) 273 ÉAl°jandron ¶xonta) ka‹ ëma suntetagm°nvw toË §p¤plou gigno- 21
m°nou (Ùl¤gon går pr‹n prosxe›n t∞i pÒlei ének≈xeusan ¶ti
pelãgiai afl sÁn ÉAlejãndrvi n∞ew, e‡ pvw êra efiw naumax¤an
toÁw Tur¤ouw prokal°sainto, ¶peita oÏtvw suntajãmenai, …w oÈk 24
274 éntanÆgonto, polla‹ t«i =oye¤vi §p°pleon)—<taËta> ır«ntew

V P1 Arr. 1 junepÆgnunto Arr. || nÆaiw P1 2 <efiw> om. V P1 || §p¤ploun] §p¤-

ploun te Arr. 3 <‡law> om. V P1 || ¶stin ìw] ¶stinaw V P1 4 égriãnaw
V P1 Arr.A: ÉAgriçnaw Roos item p. 87, 5 || ka‹ toÁw tojÒtaw] te ka‹
toÁw tojÒtaw Arr. 6 §n d°ka] ¶ndeka P1 7 §w Arr. || sind«na P1
|| él°jandron V P1 Arr.A: Kl°andron Freinshemius ad Curtium, IV, 3, 11,
coll. Arr. I, 24, 2; Curtio, III, 1, 1, Roos 8 PeloponnÆsou Arr.; cf. Pauly-
Wissowa s.v. || jÁn Arr. 9 §w Arr. 10 tÚ nautikÒn] tÚn aÈtikÚn V
11 §w Arr. 12 dfi°kploiw P1 diÉ ¶kploiw V || μ] μ §n Arr. || xers‹ P1
|| <≤> om. V P1 || naumax¤an V 13 suntetagm°naiw V P1: juntetagm°naiw
Roos juntetagm°now Arr.A 15 jÁn Arr. || basile›w] sile›w in initio lineae
V || foin¤ktvn V P1 || plØn] tØn V P1 16 PnutagÒrou Arr.; item p.
91, 20 17 naumax∞n V P1 18 katå yãlassan efi] efi katå yãlassan Arr.
|| dØ lege d¢ cum Arr. 19–20 pepnusm°noi P1 20 jumpãsaw Arr.
21 juntetagm°nvw Arr. 22 ének≈xeusan om. V 23 jÁn Arr. 23–24 e‡—
prokal°sainto V P1 Roos: om. Arr.A; in textu Arriani primus suppl.
Sintenis, monente F. K. Hertlein, Progr. d. Wertheimer Lyceums 1861
24 juntajãmenoi Arr. 25 éntanÆgonto] énteg¤nonto P1 || lege poll«i
cum Arr. || lege =oyfivi cum Arr. || <taËta> om. V P1

[88] While his engines were being assembled, and his ships were
being equipped <for> the attack and for undertaking a naval battle,
Alexander meanwhile with some of the cavalry <squadrons>, the
hypaspists202, the Agrianians, and the archers, proceeded toward
Arabia to the mountain called Antilibanus. He took some places here
by force, some he brought to terms of surrender, and in ten days he
returned to Sidon, and found that Cleandros203 son of Polemocrates
had arrived from the Peloponnese and with him about four thousand
Greek mercenaries.
When his fleet was in orderly formation, he put on the decks as
many of his hypaspists as he thought adequate for the action - unless
<the> naval operation should be a matter of breaking through204
rather than of hand-to-hand fighting - and weighing anchor sailed
from Sidon to Tyre with his ships in orderly formation; he was on the
right wing, which indeed afforded him the open sea, and with him the
Cyprian kings and all the Phoenicians, except Pnytagoras 205; he with
Craterus commanded the left wing of the whole formation. The
Tyrians had at first decided to fight at sea, should Alexander attack
them by sea. But 206 then sighting a multitude of ships far beyond their
expectation - for they had not yet learned that the Cyprian and all the
Phoenician ships were with Alexander - and since at the same time
the attack was coming in orderly formation - for just before reaching
the city Alexander’s ships while still in the open sea had dropped
anchor, to see if they might draw out the Tyrians to fight at sea and
then, as the [Tyrians] did not put out, they sailed in with a great207
dash of oars 208 in orderly formation - the Tyrians observing <this>
[89] declined battle; but with as many triremes as the mouths of their

On the term see below, n. 221.
Accepting Kl° andron for ÉAl° jandron.
≤ di° kplouw. On the maneuver see Bosworth (1980) 244-45.
Reading PnutagÒrou here and below at 91:20, although the Anon. or his ms. may have
had the incorrect spelling.
Accepting d¢ for dÆ.
Accepting poll“ for polla¤.
Accepting =oy¤ ƒfor =oye¤ ƒ. For the translation see Bosworth (1980) 246.

89 § 274–283 ( THEV. p. 329, 23–41)

ofl TÊrioi naumaxe›n m¢n ép°gnvsan, triÆresi d¢ ˜saw t«n li-
m°nvn tå stÒmata §d°xonto bÊzhn tÚn e‡sploun frajãmenoi §fÊ-
3 lasson, …w mØ <efiw> t«n lim°nvn tinå §gkayormisy∞nai t«n
polem¤vn tÚn stÒlon.
ÉAl°jandrow d°, …w oÈk éntanÆgonto ofl TÊrioi, §p°plei t∞i 275 (9)
6 pÒlei: ka‹ efiw m¢n tÚn lim°na tÚn prÚ Sid«now biãzesyai ép°gnv 276
diå stenÒthta <toË> stÒmatow ka‹ ëma éntipr≈roiw triÆresi pol-
la›w ır«n pefragm°non tÚn e‡sploun, tre›w d¢ tåw §jvtãtv 277
9 §formoÊsaw t«i stÒmati triÆreiw prospesÒntew ofl Fo¤nikew ka‹
éntipr≈roiw §mbalÒntew katadÊousin: ofl d¢ §n ta›w naus‹n oÈ
xalep«w épenÆjanto. tÒte m¢n dØ oÈ pÒrrv toË poihtoË x≈matow 278 (10)
12 katå tÚn afigialÒn, ˜pou sk°ph t«n én°mvn §fa¤neto, ofl sÁn
ÉAlejãndrvi …rm¤santo: t∞i d¢ Ístera¤ai toÁw m¢n Kupr¤ouw 279
sÁn ta›w sfet°raiw naus‹ ka‹ ÉAndromãxvi t«i nauãrxvi katå
15 tÚn lim°na tÚn §k Sid«now f°ronta §k°leusen §forme›n t∞i
pÒlei, toÁw d¢ Fo¤nikaw katå tÚn §p°keina toË x≈matow tÚn
prÚw A‡gupton én°xonta, ˜pou ka‹ aÈt«i ≤ skhnØ ∑n.
18 ≥dh d¢ ka‹ mhxanopoi«n aÈt«i poll«n ¶k te KÊprou ka‹ Foi- 280 (21, 1)
n¤khw èpãshw sullelegm°nvn mhxana‹ polla‹ sumpephgm°nai ∑san.
…w d¢ pareskeÊasto ≥dh sÊmpanta, pros∞gon tåw mhxanåw 281 (2)
21 katã te tÚ poihtÚn x«ma ka‹ épÚ t«n ne«n êllhi <ka‹> êllhi
toË te¤xouw prosormizom°nvn te ka‹ épopeirvm°nvn toË te¤xouw.
ofl d¢ TÊrioi §p¤ te t«n §pãljevn t«n katå tÚ x«ma pÊrgouw 282 (3)
24 jul¤nouw §p°sthsan, …w épomãxesyai épÉ aÈt«n, ka‹ e‡ phi
êllhi afl mhxana‹ prosÆgonto, b°les¤ te ±mÊnonto ka‹ purfÒroiw
ofisto›w ¶ballon aÈtåw tåw naËw, Àste fÒbon par°xein to›w Make-
27 dÒsi pelãjein t«i te¤xei. ∑n d¢ aÈto›w ka‹ tå te¤xh tå katå tÚ 283 (4)

F 20 …w d¢ denuo inc. T, Wesch, p. 312, 6

V P1 2 tÚ stÒma VP1 || bÊzein V P1 || tÚn] t«n V || ¶sploun Arr.

Arr. 3 <efiw> om. V P1 §w Arr. 6 §w Arr. || prÚ lege prÚw cum Arr.
[T] 7 <toË> om. V P1 8 ¶sploun Arr. 10 éntipr≈roiw V P1 Arr.A: ént¤-
prvroi Bloomfield ad Thucydidem, IV, 8, 5, Roos 11 post épenÆjanto
hab. §w tØn g∞n fil¤an oÔsan Arr. 12 ˜pou] ·na Arr. 13 …rm¤santo]
ırmÆsantew V P1 14 jÁn Arr. 15 posid«now V P1, sed cf. v. 6; p. 91, 1; p. 92, 22
17 ˜pou] ·na Arr. 19 sulelegm°nvn V P1 || post ∑san hab. afl m¢n §p‹
toË x≈matow, afl d¢ §p‹ t«n flppagvg«n ne«n, ìw §k Sid«now ëma o‰
§kÒmisen, afl d¢ §p‹ t«n triÆrvn ˜sai aÈt«n oÈ taxunautoËsai ∏san Arr.
20 jÊmpanta Arr. T || proshgen T sec. Roos, pros∞ge sec. Wesch.
21 ne«n] nhsvn T || <ka‹> om. V P1 23 §p¤] §pe¤ P1 24 phi] th V
ti P1 25 afl om T || prosÆxonto V P1 || b°lesin T sec. Roos, b°les¤
Wesch. in textu, tacite 26–27 Àste—te¤xei om. T 27 tå katå V P1
Roos: katå Arr.A T

harbors would hold they tightly blocked access and guarded them, so
that the enemy’s fleet could not anchor <in> any of the harbors.
Alexander, however, when the Tyrians did not put out, sailed
towards the city; he declined to force his way into the harbor facing209
Sidon because of the narrowness of <the> mouth and also seeing that
the entrance was blocked with many triremes, bows on; but the
Phoenicians charged the three triremes which were moored farthest
out in the mouth, and rammed them bow on and sank them; the men
on the ships swam away without difficulty; then indeed Alexander’s
fleet anchored not far from the newly constructed mole along the
shore, where there appeared to be protection from the winds. Next day
Alexander ordered the Cyprians, with their ships and Andromachus
the admiral, to blockade the city at the harbor that faced Sidon, and
the Phoenicians to do the same at the harbor on the other side of the
mole, facing toward Egypt, where his tent was.
By now many engineers had been gathered from Cyprus and all
of Phoenicia, and a large number of engines had been assembled.
When everything was now prepared, they brought forward the engines
along the newly constructed mole as well as from the ships which
anchored along side the wall here and there and which now began to
attack the wall.
The Tyrians set up wooden towers on the battlements opposite
the mole, so as to fight from them; and if the engines were being
brought forward at any other point, they defended themselves with
missiles and assaulted the ships themselves with fire arrows, so that
the Macedonians were afraid to come near the wall. Their walls oppo -
site the mole [90] were about 150 feet high and of proportional width,

Accepting prÚw for prÒ.

90 § 283–291 (THEV. p. 329, 41–330, 6)

x«ma tÒ te Ïcow efiw pentÆkonta ka‹ •katÚn mãlista pÒdaw ka‹
efiw plãtow sÊmmetron l¤yoiw megãloiw §n gÊcvi keim°noiw sum-
284 pephgÒta. to›w d¢ Ípagvgo›w te ka‹ ta›w triÆresi t«n MakedÒnvn, 3
˜sai tåw mhxanåw pros∞gon t«i te¤xei, ka‹ taÊthi oÈk eÎporon
§g¤gneto pelãzein t∞i pÒlei, ˜ti l¤yoi pollo‹ efiw tÚ p°lagow
(Arr. 285 probeblhm°noi §je›rgon aÈt«n tØn prosbolÆn. ka‹ toÊtouw 6
II, 21, 5) ÉAl°jandrow ¶gnv §jelkÊsai §k t∞w yalãsshw: ±nÊeto d¢ xale-
p«w toËto tÚ ¶rgon, oÂa dØ épÚ ne«n ka‹ oÈk épÚ g∞w beba¤ou
286 ginÒmenon: êllvw te ka‹ ofl TÊrioi naËw katafrãjantew parå 9
tåw égkÊraw §p∞gon t«n triÆrvn ka‹ Ípot°mnontew tåw sxo¤nikaw
t«n égkur«n êporon tØn prosÒrmisin ta›w polem¤aiw naus‹n
(6) 287 §po¤oun. ÉAl°jandrow d¢ triakontÒrouw pollåw §w tÚn aÈtÚn tÒpon 12
frãjaw §p°sthsen §gkars¤aw prÚ t«n égkur«n, …w épÉ aÈt«n
énast°llesyai tÚn §p¤ploun t«n ne«n. ka‹ …w Ïfaloi kolum-
288 bhta‹ tåw sxo¤nouw aÈto›w Íp°temnon, | ofl d¢ èlÊsesin ént‹ sxo¤nvn 15 p. 330
efiw tåw égkÊraw xr≈menoi, ofl MakedÒnew, kay¤esan, Àste mhd¢n Thev.
(7) 289 ¶ti pl°on to›w kolumbhta›w g¤gnesyai. §jãptontew oÔn brÒxouw
t«n l¤yvn épÚ toË x≈matow én°spvn aÈtoÁw ¶jv t∞w yalãsshw, 18
¶peita mhxana›w metevr¤santew katå bãyouw éf¤esan, ˜pou oÈk°ti
290 probeblhm°noi blãcein ¶mellon. ˜pou d¢ kayarÚn §pepo¤hto
t«n probÒlvn tÚ te›xow, oÈ xalep«w ≥dh taÊthi afl n∞ew prose›xon. 21
(8) 291 ofl d¢ TÊrioi pãnthi êporoi gignÒmenoi ¶gnvsan §p¤ploun
poiÆsasyai ta›w Kupr¤aiw naus¤n, a„ katå tÚn lim°na §f≈rmoun

F 12–15 ÉAl°jandrow—Íp°temnon om. T 20–21 ˜pou d¢—prose›xon

om. T

V P1 1 §w T 2 §w Arr. T || jÊmmetron Arr. T || keimenaiw T 2–3 jum-

Arr. [T] pephgÒta Arr. jumpephgotew T 3 to›w] ta›w Arr. om T „ex confusione
syllabarum taiw et tew” (Wesch.); Anon. fort. intellexit plo¤oiw; cf. autem
praef. p. 11–13 || lege flppagvgo›w cum Arr. T || te om. T || triÆ-
resin P1 4 ka‹ om. T || oÈk eÎporon] époron T 5 §geineto T || t∞i
pÒlei] tv te¤xei T || §w Arr. T 6 §j∞rgon V P1 || prosbolÆn] §ggÁw
prosbolÆn Arr. T 7 ≥nusto T 8 toËto] ka‹ toËto T || dØ] h T
|| épÚ] ek T || nh«n T 9 gignÒmenon Arr. 10 épotemnÒntew P1 || xo¤-
nikaw V sxo¤nouw Arr. T; hab. Anon. fort. sxoin›daw? 11 égkur«n] trih-
rvn T || tØn om T || prosÒrmhsin V T 11–13 §po¤oun nausin transp. T
12 lege trÒpon cum Arr. 14 énast°lesyai P1 || ka‹ …w lege <éllå> ka‹
Õw cum Arr. 16 §w T || xr≈menoi—kay¤esan] §xr«nto T || Àste] …w T
17 pl°on ¶ti transp. T || g¤nesyai T 19 metevrÆsantew P1 T || katå
bãyouw éf¤esan] eriptoun efiw to bayÊtaton T || ˜pou] ·na Arr. T
20 pepo¤hto Arr. 22 ginÒmenoi T || gnvsan T 23 Kupr¤aiw] t«n
makedonvn T || eformoun T

constructed of massive stones set in cement. Even here it was not easy
for the Macedonian cavalry transports210 and triremes, which were
bringing up the engines against the wall, to approach the city, since
numerous stones which had been cast into the sea hindered their
approach. Alexander decided to drag these stones out of the sea; but
this operation went on with difficulty, since it was indeed taking place
from ships, not from terra firma; moreover, the Tyrians protected their
ships with side screens211 and came against the anchors of the triremes
and cut the anchor cables 212, making it impossible for the enemy’s
ships to anchor nearby. But Alexander added side screens to a num -
ber of thirty-oar ships in the same way213, and stationed them cross -
wise in front of the anchors to thereby repulse the attack of the
[Tyrian] ships. Even so 214, divers going under water were cutting the
cables. So the Macedonians used chains for the anchor cables, and
lowered them, so that the divers could accomplish nothing further.
Then they cast nooses around the stones and drew them from the
mound215 out of the sea, and then raising them with their engines
hurled them into deep water, where they would no longer project and
cause harm. Thus when they had cleared the obstacles to the wall, the
ships now came alongside there without difficulty.
The Tyrians, totally at a loss, decided to attack the Cyprian
ships which were blockading the harbor [91] that faced Sidon. For a

Accepting fl ppagvgo›wfor Ípagvgo›w.
I follow here Bosworth (1980) 248 who suggests that naËw katafrãjantew refers to
devices similar to the pararrÊmata mentioned by Xenophon (Hellenica I:6:19), hide cover-
ings to protect decks and gunwales from the rain of missiles from above.
Accepting sxoin›daw for sxo¤ nikaw.
Accepting trÒpon for tÒpon.
Accepting the addition of éllã .
On this uncertain phrase I follow Bosworth (1980) 248.

91 § 291–298 (THEV. p. 330, 6–23)

tÚn §w Sid«na tetramm°non: §k polloË dØ katapetãsantew tÚ 292
stÒma toË lim°now flst¤oiw, toË mØ katafan∞ gen°syai t«n triÆ-
3 rvn tØn plÆrvsin, émf‹ m°son ≤m°raw, ıpÒte ofl naËtai §p‹
tå énagka›a §skedasm°noi ∑san ka‹ ÉAl°jandrow §n toÊtvi mã-
lista épÚ toË §p‹ yãtera t∞w pÒlevw nautikoË §p‹ tØn skhnØn
6 épex≈rei, plhr≈santew pentÆreiw m¢n tre›w ka‹ tetrÆreiw ‡saw, 293 (9)
triÆreiw d¢ •ptå …w ékribestãtoiw te to›w plhr≈masi ka‹ to›w
épÚ t«n katastrvmãtvn mãxesyai m°llousin eÈoplotãtoiw ka‹
9 ëma eÈyarsestãtoiw efiw toÁw nautikoÁw ég«naw, tå m¢n pr«ta
étr°ma t∞i efires¤ai §p‹ miçw neΔw §j°pleon êneu keleust«n tåw
k≈paw paraf°rontew: …w d¢ §p°strefon ≥dh §p‹ toÁw Kupr¤ouw 294
12 ka‹ §ggÁw toË kayorçsyai ∑san, tÒte dØ sÁn bo∞i te poll∞i
ka‹ §gkeleusm«i efiw éllÆlouw ka‹ ëma t∞i efires¤ai suntÒmvw
15 sun°bh d¢ §ke¤nhi t∞i ≤m°rai ÉAl°jandron époxvr∞sai m¢n §p‹ 295 (22, 1)
tØn skhnÆn, oÈ diatr¤canta d¢ katå tÚ efivyÚw dfi Ùl¤gou §p‹
tåw naËw §panelye›n. ofl d¢ TÊrioi prospesÒntew éprosdokÆtvw 296 (2)
18 ta›w naus‹n ırmoÊsaiw ka‹ ta›w m¢n pãnthi kena›w §pituxÒntew,
t«n dÉ ÍpÉ aÈtØn <tØn> boØn ka‹ tÚn §p¤ploun xalep«w §k
t«n parÒntvn plhroum°nvn, tÆn te Pnutãgrou toË basil°vw 297
21 pentÆrh eÈyÁw ÍpÚ t∞i pr≈thi §mbol∞i kat°dusan ka‹ tØn
ÉAndrokl°ouw toË ÉAmayos¤ou ka‹ tØn Pasikrãtouw toË Youri°vw,
tåw d¢ êllaw efiw tÚn afigialÚn §jvyoËntew ¶kopton.
24 ÉAl°jandrow d¢ …w ≥isyeto tÚn ¶kploun t«n Tur¤vn triÆrvn, 298 (3)

F 3–6 émf‹—épex≈rei om. T 15–17 sun°bh—TÊrioi om. et ka‹ ante

prospesÒntew inser. T

V P1 1 §w] §n P1 T || tetram°non V P1; item p. 92, 22, sed cf. p. 93, 16

Arr. [T] || §k polloË dØ om. et oÔn ante tÚ stÒma add. T || katapesantew T
3 ofl] o· te Arr. 7 ékribestaton: ka‹ ton plhrvmasin T, qui hab. signum
corruptelae post ‡saw v. 6 8 m°llousi T 8–9 eÈoplotãtoiw—ég«naw om. T
9 §w Arr. 10 étremaia T || §p‹] épo T 10–11 êneu—paraf°rontew
om. T 10 keleustÚn P1 12 ka‹—dØ om. T || jÁn bo∞i Arr. jumbolÆ T
l del. T1 13 §nkeleusmv T || §w Arr. T || efirhsia T || lege suntÒnvw;
juntonvw T juntÒnvi Arr. 15 jun°bh Arr. || §ke¤nhi et époxvr∞sai m¢n
V P1 Roos: §ke¤nhi m¢n et époxvr∞sai Arr.A 17 §pelye›n P1 18 ır-
moÊsaiw om. T 19 t«n] t« V P1 || d¢ T || <tØn> om. V P1 19–20 §k
t«n parÒntvn om. T 20–22 tÆn te—Youri°vw pro his hab. tåw m¢n ÍpÚ
tØ pr≈th kat°dusan prosbol∞ T 20 PnutagÒrou Arr.; cf. p. 88, 16
22 ÉAmayous¤ou Arr. || toË] t∞w V P1 || youri°vw V P1 Arr.A: Kouri°vw
C. H. Dörner Roos coll. Arr. Ind. 18, 8; Plut. Alex. 29 23 êllaw om. T
|| §w Arr. T 24 triÆrvn] nevn T

long time they covered the harbor mouth with the sails, in order that
the manning of the triremes might not be visible, and about midday,
when the [Greek] sailors were scattered on necessary business and
Alexander had meanwhile just withdrawn from the fleet on the other
side of the city to his tent, they manned three quinquiremes and an
equal number of quadriremes, and seven triremes, with their most
skilled crews and, to fight from the decks, the best-armed and likewise
their bravest marines. At first they put out in single file, rowing gen -
tly and sliding their oars without the command of the boatswains216;
but when they were now turning toward the Cyprians and were about
to be seen, then, with loud shouting and encouraging one another and
rowing quickly217 they came forward.
On that day it happened that Alexander had withdrawn to his
tent, but not resting there, as he usually did, he soon returned to the
ships. The Tyrians, after falling unexpectedly on the anchored ships,
found some totally empty and others being manned with difficulty by
any who chanced to be there in response to <the> noise itself and the
attack; at their first charge they sank the quinquireme of King
Pnytagoras, together with those of Androcles of Amathus and
Pasicrates of Thurion218; the rest they drove ashore and broke up.
Alexander, however, learning of the sally of the Tyrian triremes,

On the uncertain maneuver and the translation see Bosworth (1980) 249-50.
Accepting suntÒnvw for suntÒmvw.
The Anon. apparently had the incorrect Youri° vw in his source as do all traditions of
Arrian. In the Cypriot context Dörner’s conjecture Kouri° vw (“of Curium”) is necessary; see
Bosworth (1980) 250.

92 § 293–307 (THEV. p. 330, 23–361, 16)

tåw m¢n pollåw t«n sÁn aÈt«i ne«n, ˜pvw •kãsth plhrvye¤h, p. 361
§p‹ t«i stÒmati toË lim°now | énakvxeÊein ¶tajen, …w mØ ka‹ Thev.
299 êllai §kpleÊseian t«n Tur¤vn n∞ew: aÈtÚw d¢ pentÆreiw te tåw 3
sÁn aÈt«i énalabΔn ka‹ t«n triÆrvn §w p°nte mãlista, ˜sai
¶fyhsan aÈt«i katå tãxow plhrvye›sai, peri°plei tØn pÒlin
(Arr. II, 300 …w §p‹ toÁw §kpepleukÒtaw t«n Tur¤vn. ofl d¢ épÚ toË te¤xouw, 6
22, 4) tÒn te §p¤ploun t«n polem¤vn katidÒntew ka‹ ÉAl°jandron aÈtÚn
§p‹ t«n ne«n, <bo∞i te §panãgein §nekeleÊonto to›w §k t«n
sfet°rvn ne«n> ka‹ …w <oÈk> §jakoustÚn ∑n ÍpÚ yorÊbou 9
sunexom°nvn t«i ¶rgvi, shme¤oiw ka‹ êlloiw §pekãloun efiw tØn
301 énax≈rhsin. ofl d¢ Ùc° pote afisyÒmenoi tÚn §p¤ploun t«n émf‹
(5) 302 ÉAl°jandron Ípostr°cantew efiw tÚn lim°na ¶fugon. ka‹ Ùl¤gai 12
m¢n t«n ne«n fyãnousin ÍpekfugoËsai, ta›w d¢ ple¤osin §m-
baloËsai afl sÁn ÉAlejãndrvi tåw m¢n aÈt«n êplouw §po¤hsan,
pentÆrhw d° tiw ka‹ tetrÆrhw aÈt«n §pÉ aÈt«i t«i stÒmati toË 15
303 lim°now §lÆfyhsan. fÒnow d¢ t«n §pibat«n oÈ polÁw §g°neto.
…w går ≥isyonto §xom°naw tåw naËw, épenÆjanto oÈ xalep«w
efiw tÚn lim°na. 18
(6) 304 …w <d¢> oÈdem¤a ¶ti to›w Tur¤oiw §k t«n ne«n »f°leia ∑n,
305 §p∞gon ≥dh ofl MakedÒnew tåw mhxanåw t«i te¤xei aÈt«n. katå
m¢n dØ tÚ x«ma prosagÒmenai diå fisxÁn toË te¤xouw oÈd¢n ≥nuon 21
˜ ti ka‹ lÒgou êjion, ofl d¢ katå tÚ prÚw Sid«na tetramm°non
(7) 306 t∞w pÒlevw t«n ne«n tinaw t«n mhxanofÒrvn pros∞gon. …w d¢
oÈd¢ taÊthi ≥nuen, efiw tÚ prÚw nÒton aÔ ênemon ka‹ prÚw A‡gupton 24
307 én°xon te›xow metÆiei pãnthi épopeir≈menow toË ¶rgou. ka‹

F 1–18 tåw m¢n—lim°na pro his hab. T, Wesch. p. 315, 1–5, tåw sÁn
aÍt«i labΔn §p‹ toÁw §kpepleukÒtaw t«n Tur¤vn énÆgeto. afisyÒmenoi
d¢ ofl TÊrioi tÚn ÉAlejãndrou §p¤ploun, Ípostr°cantew efiw tÚn lim°na,
¶feugon, ka‹ tåw ple¤onaw aÈt«n <afl> jÁn ÉAlejãndrvi n∞ew kat°dusan
(aÍt«i Wesch.: autv T || <afl> inser. Wesch.) 2 in voce lim°now
desinit V, quam ob rem inde ab hoc loco codex E adhibitus est: cf. praef.
p. 6–9

[V] P 1 [E] 1 jÁn Arr. 3 §kpleÊseien P1 E 4 jÁn Arr. || ˜sa E 8–9 <bo∞i—
Arr. [T] ne«n> om. P1 E 9 <oÈk> om. P1 E 10 junexom°nvn Arr. || t«i] §n
t«i Arr. || ka‹ êlloiw] êlloiw ka‹ êlloiw Arr. || §w Arr. 11 émfÉ Arr.
12 §w Arr. || ¶feugon Arr. 14 jÁn Arr. 15 pentÆreiw P1 E, sed cf. tiw
|| tetrÆreiw P1 E 16 fÒnow] fyÒnow P1 E 18 §w Arr. 19 <d¢> om. P1 E
|| ¶ti] ¶sti E §st‹ P1 || nh«n T 21 dØ] deei T 22 ˜ ti—êjion om. T
|| tÚ om. T || tetram°non P1 E; cf. ad p. 91, 1 23 t«n ne«n—mhxa-
nofÒrvn om. et tåw mhxanaw post pros∞gon add. T 24 tauthn T
|| ≥nuon T ∑men P1 E || §w Arr. T || tÚ] tÚn T || n«ton P1 || aÔ om. T
|| prÚw] porÚ, ut vid., E 25 metÆesan et épopeir≈menoi T; cf. v. 24

[92] ordered most of his ships to anchor at the mouth of the harbor
when each was manned, so that no other Tyrian ships might sail out;
then he personally took his quinqueremes and some five triremes,
which had been first to quickly man, and sailed around the city
against the Tyrians who had sailed out. Those on the wall, seeing the
enemy sailing in and Alexander himself on board, <shouted instruc -
tions to the men on their own ships to put about>, and as these were
<not> heard due to the clamor of those involved in the action, they
used other signals to call for their retreat. The [Tyrians at sea],
observing too late the attack of Alexander’s ships, turned about, and
fled back to the harbor. A few of the Tyrian ships managed to escape
in time, but Alexander’s ships charged the majority of them and ren -
dered some useless, while a quinquereme and a quadrireme were cap -
tured at the very mouth of the harbor. There was no great slaughter of
the marines, for they, as soon as they saw that their ships were taken,
swam off without difficulty into the harbor.
When the Tyrians could no longer look for help from their ships,
the Macedonians now began to bring up their engines against their
wall. When indeed brought along the mole, they did nothing worthy of
note, given the strength of the wall; but, on the side of the city facing
toward Sidon, they brought up some of their ships which carried
engines. But as they did not succeed here, Alexander turned instead to
the south and the wall facing towards Egypt, testing its construction
from all sides. [93] There first the wall was badly shaken and a part
was broken and collapsed, and thereupon Alexander made a probative

93 § 307–316 (THEV. p. 361, 16–35)

§ntaËya pr«ton katese¤syh tÒ te te›xow §p‹ m°ga ka¤ ti ka‹
kathr¤fyh aÈtoË pararrag°n. tÒte m¢n dØ ˜son §pibalΔn gefÊ- 308
3 raw ∏i §r°ripto toË te¤xouw, épepeirãyh §w Ùl¤gon t∞w prosbol∞w:
ka‹ ofl TÊrioi oÈ xalep«w épekroÊsanto toÁw MakedÒnaw.
tr¤thi d¢ épÚ taÊthw ≤m°rai nhnem¤an te fulãjaw ka‹ para- 309 (23, 1)
6 kal°saw toÁw ≤gemÒnaw t«n tãjevn efiw ¶rgon §p∞ge t∞i pÒlei
§p‹ t«n ne«n tåw mhxanãw. ka‹ pr«ta m¢n kat°seise toË te¤xouw 310
§p‹ m°ga, …w d¢ époxr«n efiw plãtow §fãnh tÚ parerrhgm°non,
9 tåw m¢n mhxanofÒrouw naËw §panãgein §k°leusen: ı d¢ dÊo êllaw 311 (2)
§p∞gen, a„ tåw gefÊraw aÈt«i ¶feron, ìw dØ §pibale›n §penÒei
t«i katerrhgm°nvi toË te¤xouw. ka‹ tØn m¢n m¤an t«n ne«n ofl 312
12 Ípaspista‹ ¶labon, ∏i §pet°takto ÖAdmhtow, tØn •t°ran d¢ ≤
Ko¤nou tãjiw ofl ésy°teroi kaloÊmenoi, ka‹ aÈtÚw sÁn to›w Ípaspi-
sta›w §pibÆsesyai toË te¤xouw ∏i pare¤koi ¶melle. tåw triÆreiw 313 (3)
15 d¢ tåw m¢n §piple›n katå toÁw lim°naw émfot°rouw §k°leusen,
e‡ pvw prÚw sfçw tetramm°nvn t«n Tur¤vn biãsainto tÚn
e‡sploun: ˜sai d¢ aÈt«n b°lh épÚ mhxan«n ballÒmena e‰xon 314
18 μ ˜sai tojÒtaw §p‹ t«n katastrvmãtvn ¶feron, taÊtaw d¢ §k°-
leusen §n kÊklvi peripleoÊsaw tÚ te›xow §pok°llein te ˜phi
pare¤koi ka‹ énakvxeÊein §ntÚw b°louw, ¶ste tÚ §poke›lai êporÒn
21 ti g¤gnoito, …w pantaxÒyen ballom°nouw toÁw Tur¤ouw §n t«i
dein«i émfibÒlouw g¤gnesyai.
…w d¢ a· te n∞ew afl sÁn ÉAlejãndrvi pros°sxon t∞i pÒlei ka‹ 315 (4)
24 afl g°furai §peblÆyhsan t«i te¤xei épÉ aÈt«n, §ntaËya eÈr≈stvw
ofl Ípaspista‹ katå taÊtaw én°bainon §p‹ tÚ te›xow. ˜ te går 316
ÖAdmhtow énØr égayÚw §n t«i tÒte §g°neto ka‹ ëma ÉAl°jandrow
27 e·peto aÈto›w, toË te ¶rgou aÈtoË karter«w §xÒmenow ka‹ yeatØw

F 2–14 pararrag°n . . . . . . ¶melle om. T 14–15 denuo inc. T verbis

ÉAl°jandrow d¢ t«n triÆrvn tåw m¢n §piple›n k.t.l. 19–22 tÚ te›xow—
g¤gnesyai pro his hab. T bãllein §w toÁw §p‹ t«n §pãljevn flstam°nouw
25 te¤xei des. T

P1 E 1 §ntaËya] taÊth T || tÒ te te›xow §p‹ m°ga] te tÚ te›xow §p‹ m°ga

Arr. [T] Arr. te §p‹ m°ga tÚ te›xow T 2 kater¤fyh T || tÒte] tÒ P1 tÚ E
3 §r°ripto P1 E Arr.A: §rÆripto Ellendt Roos coll. I, 19, 2; 21, 6; 22, 1; 22, 3;
II, 27, 5 6 §w Arr. 10 §p∞gon E || §pibãllein Arr. 13 ésy°teroi P1 E
(ès-, ut vid., E) Arr.A: pez°tairoi Blancard Roos || jÁn Arr. 14 ¶mellen
Arr. 16–17 e‡ pvw—e‡sploun] eipΔn prow sfet°rouw ekeleusen eipΔn
prow sfaw tetrammenvn t«n tur¤vn t«n turivn biasainto to esploun T
17 ¶sploun Arr. T 19 parapleousaw T 20 énakoxeÊein P1 E || ¶ste]
¶stai E 21 ti non hab. Arr. 23 a· te n∞ew afl] éten¤sai T || jÁn T
24–25 eÈr≈stvw ofl Ípaspista‹] ofl Ípaspista‹ eÈr≈stvw Arr. 27 §xÒ-
menow] èptÒmenow Arr.

attack so far as dropping gangways over the broken part of the wall:
the Tyrians, however, repulsed the Macedonians without difficulty.
On the third day after this, having waited for a calm and urging
his division 219 commanders to action, [Alexander] brought up the
engines on the ships against the city. First he battered down a signif -
icant stretch of the wall. But when the breach appeared wide enough,
he ordered the engine-carrying ships to withdraw; he sent in two oth -
ers, carrying his gangways, which he intended to drop where the wall
was demolished. One of the ships the hypaspists took, Admetus being
its captain; Coenus’division, called the “astheteroi”220, took the other.
He intended himself with his hypaspists221 to mount the wall wherever
possible. He ordered some of his triremes to sail along both harbors,
to see if perhaps (the Tyrians being engaged with his troops) they
might force an entrance. Others which carried the missiles being fired
from the engines or had archers on decks, he ordered to sail around
the wall, and land wherever possible, and anchor within range, so
long as it should be impossible to land; so that the Tyrians should be
under fire from all sides and become indecisive amid their danger.
When Alexander’s ships neared the city and the gangways were
dropped onto the wall from them, then the hypaspists stoutly mounted
the wall upon these; for Admetus showed his bravery then, and
Alexander likewise followed them, taking a vigorous role in the action

For this translation of tãjiw I follow A. B. Bosworth, Conquest and Empire: The Reign
of Alexander the Great (Cambridge: 1988) 259.
On this uncertain term, apparently a special designation for the “Upper Macedonian
Infantry,” see Bosworth (1980) 251-53 with further bibliography, who suggests a translation
“closely related companions” (reading -etairoi for -eteroi).
Arrian uses hypaspist, literally “shield-bearer,” here and elsewhere of both the troops of
the phalanx (Admetus’ unit just above) and the special shield-bearers (bodyguards) of
Alexander himself; see Bosworth (1980) 66-67, 103 and 251.

94 § 316–326 (THEV. p. 361, 35–362, 9)

(Arr. 317 t«n êllvn ˜tvi ti lamprÚn §n t«i kindÊnvi §tolmçto. ka‹ taÊthi
II, 23, 5) pr«ton ∏i §pet°takto ÉAl°jandrow §lÆfyh tÚ te›xow, oÈ xalep«w
épokrousy°ntvn épÉ aÈtoË t«n Tur¤vn, §peidØ pr«ton beba¤vi 3
te ka‹ ëma oÈ pãnthi épotÒmvi t∞i prosbãsei §xrÆsanto ofl
318 MakedÒnew. ka‹ ÖAdmhtow m¢n pr«tow §pibåw toË te¤xouw ka‹
to›w émfÉ aÍtÚn §gkeleuÒmenow §piba¤nein blhye‹w lÒgxhi épo- 6
(6) 319 ynÆskei aÈtoË: §p‹ d¢ aÈt«i ÉAl°jandrow ¶sxe tÚ te›xow sÁn to›w
320 •ta¤roiw. éllå ka‹ toË te¤xouw lhfy°ntow ofl TÊrioi oÈk §ned¤dosan,
éllÉ e‡xonto toË ¶rgou. 9
321 éllÉ oÈd¢ §p‹ t∞i èl≈sei t∞w t«n Gaza¤vn pÒlevw ¥ttona
(Arr. 322 pÒnon Íp°meinen. eÈnoËxow gãr tiw, œi ˆnoma ∑n Bãthw, t∞w
II, 25, 4) toiaÊthw krat«n pÒlevw, oÈ prose›xen ÉAlejãndrvi, éllÉ ÖArabãw 12
te misyvtoÁw §pagagÒmenow ka‹ s›ton | §k polloË pareskeuakΔw p. 362
diark∞ efiw xrÒnion poliork¤an ka‹ t«i xvr¤vi pisteÊvn mÆpote Thev.
ín b¤ai èl«nai, ¶gnv mØ d°xesyai t∞i pÒlei ÉAl°jandron. 15
(26, 1) 323 ép°xei d¢ ≤ Gãza t∞w m¢n yalãsshw e‡kosi mãlista stad¤ouw,
ka‹ ¶sti camm≈dhw ka‹ baye›a efiw aÈtØn ≤ ênodow ka‹ ≤ yãlassa
324 ≤ katå tØn pÒlin tenag≈dhw pçsa. megãlh d¢ pÒliw ≤ Gãza ∑n 18
ka‹ §p‹ x≈matow ÍchloË vÖikisto ka‹ te›xow perieb°blhto aÈt∞i
ÙxurÒn. §sxãth d¢ »ike›to …w §pÉ AfigÊptou §k Foin¤khw fiÒnti
§p‹ t∞i érx∞i t∞w §rÆmou. 21
(2) 325 ÉAl°jandrow d¢ …w éf¤keto prÚw tØn pÒlin, t∞i m¢n pr≈thi
katestratop°deusen ∏i mãlista §p¤maxon aÈt«i §fa¤neto tÚ te›xow,
326 ka‹ mhxanåw sumphgnÊnai §k°leusen. ofl d¢ mhxanopoio‹ gn≈mhn 24
§pede¤knunto êporon e‰nai b¤ai •le›n tÚ te›xow diå Ïcow toË

F 8 •ta¤roiw] des. Arr. 11—p. 96, 23 eÈnoËxow—§mãxonto: Arr. II, 25,

4–27, 7: T, Wesch. p. 317, 3–320, 12

P1 E 1 lamprÚn] lamprÚn katÉ éretØn Arr. 4 pãnthi] pãno sth E 6 aÈtÚn

[Arr.] [T] P1 autÚn sine spiritu E 7 aÈtoË] aÈt« P1 E || jÁn Arr. 11 gãr] d°
Arr. T || ∑n om. T || Bãtiw Arr. T 11–12 t∞w toiaÊthw krat«n pÒlevw
malim taÊthw t∞w krat«n pÒlevw; krat«n t∞w Gaza¤vn (gazevn T) pÒlevw
Arr. T 12–13 éllÉ ÖArabãw te scripsi: éllå ÖArabãw te Arr. T éllÉ êra
Àste P1 E 13 §pagagÒmenow P1 E Roos: §pagÒmenow Arr.A T || s›ton] siΔn
tÚn P1 E 14 §w Arr. T || mÆpote] mÆte P1 E lacuna duarum litt. inter mÆ
et te E 15 gnv cum signo corruptelae T 16 yãlatthw T || e‡kosi] §w
e‡kosi T 17 §stin T sec. Roos, ¶sti Wesch. in textu, tacite || §w Arr.
|| ênodow] odow T 19 x≈ parvulo spatio vacuo relicto P1 nullo spatio
relicto E || perib°blhto T 20 ÙxurÒn] panth §xuron T || §pÉ afigÊ-
ptou P1 E Arr.A: prow aigupton T §pÉ A‡gupton Krüger Roos || onti cum
signo corruptelae T 21 t∞w arxhw T 22 t∞ polei T 23 §fa¤neto aÈt«i
transp. T 24 ofl d¢] o· ge mØn T 25 épede¤knunto Arr. épede¤knuto T sec.
Roos, épede¤knunto Wesch. in textu, tacite || tÚ te›xow] tØn pÒlin T

itself and watching [94] the others for any conspicuous act of daring
amid the danger. And the part of the wall captured first was where
Alexander had stationed himself; the Tyrians were repelled from it
without difficulty, since for the first time the Macedonians had avail -
able an access 222 which was firm and not totally sheer. And Ademtus,
first to mount the wall and urging his men to mount, was struck by a
spear and died there; after him Alexander seized the wall with his
Companions. But even after the wall was taken the Tyrians did not
yield, but held to their effort.
But in the capture of the city of the Gazans he endured no less
toil. For a eunuch named Batis 223, who was in control of this city, did
not join Alexander, but brought in Arab mercenaries, and having for
some time procured grain adequate for a lengthy siege and trusting
that the place could never be captured by force, decided not to admit
Alexander into the city.
Gaza is about 20 stades from the sea, and the approach to it is
over sand and wide and the sea over against the city consists wholly
of shoals. The city of Gaza was large, and built on a lofty mound, with
a strong wall thrown around it. It was the last inhabited site at the
beginning of the desert as one goes from from Phoenicia to Egypt.
When Alexander arrived at the city, he camped on the first day
where the wall seemed most easy for him to assault, and he ordered
siege engines to be assembled. The engineers, however, expressed the
opinion that it was difficult to take the wall by force because of the

See Bosworth (1980) 253.
Reading Bãtiw , with the text of Arrian; on the dispute about the precise form of the name
see Bosworth (1980) 257-58.

95 § 326–337 (THEV. p. 362, 9–29)

x≈matow. éllå ÉAlejãndrvi aflret°on §dÒkei e‰nai ˜svi épor≈teron: 327 (3)
§kplÆjein går toÁw polem¤ouw tÚ ¶rgon t«i paralÒgvi §p‹ m°ga,
3 ka‹ tÚ mØ •le›n afisxrÚn e‰na¤ ofl legÒmenon efiw toÁw ÜEllhnaw
ka‹ efiw Dare›on. §dÒkei dØ x«ma §n kÊklvi t∞w pÒlevw xvnnÊnai, 328
…w §j ‡sou épÚ toË xvsy°ntow §pãgesyai tåw mhxanåw to›w
6 te¤xesi, ka‹ §x≈nnuto katå tÚ nÒtion mãlista t∞w pÒlevw te›xow, 329
˜pou §pimax≈tera §fa¤neto. …w d¢ §dÒkei §j∞ryai summ°trvw 330 (4)
tÚ x«ma, mhxanåw §pistÆsantew ofl MakedÒnew §p∞gon …w §p‹ tÚ
9 te›xow t«n Gaza¤vn. ka‹ §n toÊtvi yÊonti ÉAlejãndrvi ka‹ §ste- 331
fanvm°nvi te ka‹ katãrxesyai m°llonti toË pr≈tou flere¤ou
katå nÒmon t«n tiw sarkofãgvn Ùrn¤yvn ÍperpetÒmenow Íp¢r
12 toË bvmoË l¤yon §mbãllei efiw tØn kefalÆn, ˜ntina to›n podo›n
¶fere. ka‹ ÉAl°jandrow ≥reto ÉAr¤standron tÚn mãntin, ˜ ti noo› 332
ı ofivnÒw. ı d¢ épokr¤netai ˜ti: Œ basileË, tØn m¢n pÒlin aflrÆseiw,
15 aÈt«i d° soi fulakt°a §st‹n §p‹ t∞ide t∞i ≤m°rai.
taËta ékoÊsaw ÉAl°jandrow t°vw m¢n prÚw ta›w mhxana›w ¶jv 333 (27, 1)
b°louw aÍtÚn e‰xen: …w d¢ §kdromÆ te §k t∞w pÒlevw karterå
18 §g¤gneto ka‹ pËr te §p°feron ta›w mhxana›w ofl ÖArabew ka‹ toÁw
MakedÒnaw émunom°nouw kãtvyen aÈto‹ §j Íperdej¤ou toË xvr¤ou
¶ballÒn te ka‹ v Ö youn katå toË poihtoË x≈matow, §ntaËya μ 334
21 •kΔn épeiye› ÉAl°jandrow t«i mãntei μ §kplage‹w §n t«i ¶rgvi
oÈk §mnhmÒneuse t∞w mante¤aw, éllÉ énalabΔn toÁw Ípaspiståw
pareboÆyei, ˜pou mãlista §pi°zonto ofl MakedÒnew. ka‹ toÊtouw 335 (2)
24 m¢n ¶sxe tÚ mØ oÈk afisxrçi fug∞i »sy∞nai katå toË x≈matow,
aÈtÚw d¢ bãlletai katap°lthi diå t∞w ésp¤dow diampåj ka‹ toË
y≈rakow efiw tÚn Œmon. …w dÉ ¶gnv tå émf‹ tÚ traËma élhyeÊ- 336
27 santa ÉAr¤standron, §xãrh, ˜ti ka‹ tØn pÒlin dØ aflrÆsein §dÒkei
ÉAristãndrou e·neka.
ka‹ aÈtÚw m¢n tÚ traËma §yerapeÊeto xalep«w: éfiknoËntai 337 (3)

F 9–17 ka‹ §n—e‰xen om. T 20–22 §ntaËya—Ípaspiståw pro his hab. T

paralabΔn toÁw Ípaspiståw ı ÉAl°jandrow 26–28 …w—e·neka om. T

P1 E 1 x≈matow] te¤xouw T || airetvteron T || ˜svi] Ïsv E Îsv P1

[T] 2 ekplhjin T || tÚ ¶rgon om. T 3 §sxrÚn P1 || ofl om. T || ¶w Arr. T
|| toÁw] te toÁw Arr. T 4 §w Arr. T || darion T 7 ˜pou] ·na Arr. T
9 gaz°vn P1 E T, sed cf. p. 94, 10 11 tiw] ti P1 om. E 12 §w Arr.
|| to›n n podo›n spatio unius litt. inter po et do›n vacuo relicto E 15 aÈt«i]
aÈtÚw P1 E 17 aÍtÚn vel aÈtÚn, non liquet, E aÈtØn P1 || eisdromØ T
|| te om. T || §k om. E 18 §g°neto T munomenouw T 23 ˜pou] ·na
Arr. T || epiejonto T 24 ¶sxe tÚ mØ oÈk] ¶sxen …w mØ T 26 §w
Arr. T || d¢ Arr. 27 érÊtidron P1 E, sed cf. v. 13 et 28 28 ßneka Arr.
29 éfikoËntai E

height of the [95] mound. But Alexander thought that the more diffi -
cult it was, the more it must be taken; for the achievement by its unex -
pectedness would greatly frighten the enemy, while not to take it
would be shameful for him when reported to the Greeks and Darius.
He decided to raise a mound around the city, and so bring the engines
to bear on the walls on the same level from the [new] mound. They
built this mound mainly against the city’s southern wall, where it was
more easy to assault. And when the Macedonians thought they had
built the mound to the proportional height, they placed engines upon
it and brought them up to the wall of the Gazans. Meanwhile as
Alexander was sacrificing, crowned with garlands, and just about to
consecrate the first victim in accordance with ritual, a carnivorous
bird flying over the altar dropped on his head a stone which it was
carrying with both feet. Alexander asked Aristander the seer what the
omen meant, and he answered:, “O King, you will take the city; but
this day you must take care for yourself.”
After hearing this Alexander kept himself out of range for a time
by the engines; but when there was a strong sally from the city and the
Arabs were attempting to set fire to the engines, and firing from their
superior position on the Macedonians, who were defending them -
selves from below, and even pushing them down the [newly] con -
structed mound, then Alexander either deliberately disobeyed the seer
or carried away in the action forgot the prophecy, but bringing on his
hypaspists came to the aid of the Macedonians where they were most
sorely pressed. He did keep them from being driven down the mound
in shameful flight, but he was himself struck by a catapult right
through his shield and breastplate, into his shoulder. But realizing
that Aristander had been correct about the wound, he was pleased, as
it seemed he would indeed take the city according to Aristander’s
His wound was difficulty to treat; but there arrived, [96] sent for

96 § 337–346 ( THEV. p. 362, 29–46)

dÉ aÈt«i metãpemptoi épÚ yalãsshw afl mhxana¤, aÂw TÊron
338 eÂle. ka‹ x«ma xvnnÊnai §n kÊklvi pãntoyen t∞w pÒlevw §k°-
leusen, eÔrow m¢n efiw dÊo stad¤ouw, Ïcow d¢ efiw pÒdaw pentÆ- 3
(Arr. 339 konta ka‹ diakos¤ouw. …w d¢ a· te mhxana‹ aÈt«i §pepoiÆyhsan
Il, 27, 4) ka‹ §paxye›sai katå tÚ x«ma katese¤syhsan toË te¤xouw §p‹
polÊ, ÍponÒmvn te êllhi ka‹ êllhi Ùrussom°nvn ka‹ toË xoË 6
éfan«w §kferom°nou tÚ te›xow pollax∞i ±re¤peto Ífizãnon katå
tÚ kenoÊmenon, to›w te b°lesin §p‹ polÁ kate›xon ofl MakedÒnew
340 énast°llontew toÁw promaxom°nouw t«n pÊrgvn, efiw m¢n tre›w 9
prosbolåw ofl §k t∞w pÒlevw époynhskÒntvn te aÈto›w poll«n
(5) 341 ka‹ titrvskom°nvn ˜mvw énte›xon. t∞i tetãrthi d¢ t«n MakedÒnvn
tØn fãlagga pãntoyen prosagagΔn ÉAl°jandrow t∞i m¢n Íp- 12
orussÒmenon tÚ te›xow katabãllei, t∞i d¢ paiÒmenon ta›w mhxana›w
katase¤ei §p‹ polÊ, …w mØ xalepØn ta›w kl¤maji tØn prosbolØn
(6) 342 katå tå §rhreism°na §ndoËnai. a· te oÔn kl¤makew prosÆgonto 15
t«i te¤xei ka‹ ¶riw pollØ ∑n t«n MakedÒnvn ˜soi ti éret∞w
343 metepoioËnto ˜stiw pr«tow aflrÆsei tÚ te›xow: ka‹ aflre› pr«tow
NeoptÒlemow t«n •ta¤rvn toË Afiakid«n g°nouw: §p‹ d¢ aÈt«i 18
(7) 344 êllai ka‹ êllai tãjeiw ımoË to›w ≤gemÒsin én°bainon. …w d¢ ëpaj
par∞lyÒn tinew §ntÚw toË te¤xouw t«n MakedÒnvn, katasx¤santew
êllaw ka‹ êllaw pÊlaw, ˜sai §petÊgxanon, d°xontai e‡sv tØn 21
345 stratiån pçsan. ofl d¢ Gaza›oi ka‹ t∞w pÒle≈w sfisin ≥dh §xo-
m°nhw sunesthkÒtew ˜mvw §mãxonto.
346 ka‹ T¤tow d¢ ı Ka›sar oÈk eÈmar¢w e‰nai dÒjaw tÚ kukl≈- 24
sasyai t∞i stratiçi tØn pÒlin <diå> dusxvr¤an ka‹ m°geyow

F 17–19 ka‹—én°bainon om. T 23 §mãxonto des. Arr. 24–25 oÈk

eÈmar¢w—m°geyow cf. Ios. V, 496 kukl≈sasya¤ te går t∞i stratiçi tØn
pÒlin diå m°geyow ka‹ dusxvr¤an oÈk eÈmar¢w e‰nai

P1 E [Arr.] 1 d¢ T || épÚ yalãsshw om. T || afl] afl duo T 2 eÂlen T || §n

[T] om. T 3 eÔrow m¢n] eÏromen P1 Ïcow m¢n T || §w Arr. || Ïcow]
eÔrow T || §w Arr. T 4 lege §poiÆyhsan cum Arr. T 5 §paxy∞sai P1
§paxye‹w T || lege kat°seisan cum Arr. katesisan T 6 ÍpÚ nÒmon P1
v superscr. P1X || xoË] te¤xouw T 7 §kforoumenou T 9 t«n P1 E T
Roos coll. Arr. I, 20,8; 21,6: §k t«n Arr.A || §w Arr. T 10 probolåw T
12 prosãgvn T 13 katabãllei] ka‹ ballei T || peÒmenon P1 14 kata-
siei T || xalepe›n P1 || kl¤majin Arr. T sec. Roos, kl¤maji Wesch. in
textu, tacite 15 §rhreism°na lege §rhrimm°na cum Arr. T || a· om. T
|| pros∞gon P1 E 16 ereiw T || pollØ ∑n] pollhn T 17 aflre›] §re› P1 E
|| pr«tow P1 E Roos: pr«ton Arr.A 18 neopÒlemow E || §p‹] §pe‹ P1
20 toË P1 E Roos coll. Arr. VI, 9,4; 9,5: om. Arr.A T 21 ˜sai lege ˜saiw
ßkastoi cum Arr. T 22 strateian T 23 junesthkÒtew Arr. T 24–25 ku-
kl≈sasyai P1 E Ios. LVRC Niese: kukl≈sesyai Ios. PAM1 25 <diå> om.
P1 E; cf. Ios.

by sea, the engines with which he took Tyre. He ordered a mound to

be erected all around the city, two stades wide, two hundred and fifty
feet high. Then as soon as his engines had been constructed224 and
being brought up to the mound had battered225 a large part of the wall,
mines were dug here and there and the soil secretly withdrawn until
the wall gave way in many places, collapsing into the void, while the
Macedonians controlled a large area with their missiles and drove
back the front line defenders from the towers; the city’s inhabitants,
nevertheless, though with many dead and wounded, held out against
three assaults. But in the fourth Alexander brought up his phalanx of
Macedonians on all sides, <and> at one place threw down the wall
being undermined and in another battered down a large part where
his engines were striking, so that it was not hard to make the assault
with ladders on the fallen portions226. So the ladders were set up
against the wall, and then there was much competition among the
Macedonians, such as laid claim to valor, as to who would be the first
to take the wall; the first to take it was Neoptolemus, one of the
Companions of the family of the Aeacidae. After him, division after
division climbed up with their officers. As soon as some of the
Macedonians had entered inside the wall, they broke open gate after
gate, as each 227 came to them, and so admitted the entire army. The
Gazans, though their city was already taken by the enemy, neverthe -
less held together [and] kept fighting.
The emperor Titus after concluding that it was not easy to encir -
cle the city 228 with his army <because of> the difficult terrain and [the
city’s] great size, [97] decided to encircle everything by circumvalla-

Accepting § poiÆyhsan for § pepoiÆyhsan.
Accepting kat° seisan for katese¤ syhsan.
Accepting § rhrimm° nafor § rhreism° na.
Accepting ˜saiw ß kastoi for ˜sai .
Jerusalem (70 AD).

97 § 346–355 (THEV. p. 362, 46–363, 9)

¶gnv peribÒlvi ka‹ te¤xei kukl≈sasyai pçsan. érjãmenow d¢ 347 (Ios.
épÚ t∞w ÉAssur¤vn parembol∞w, kayÉ ∂n aÈtÚw §stratopedeÊsato, V, 504)
3 §p‹ tØn katvt°rv KainÒpolin ∑gen tÚ te›xow, ¶nyen diå toË
Kedr«now §p‹ tÚ ÉElai«n ˆrow: e‰ta énakãmptvn katå meshmbr¤an 348 (505)
perilambãnei tÚ ˆrow êxri t∞w Peristere«now kaloum°nhw p°traw
6 tÒn te •j∞w lÒfon, ˘w §p¤keitai t∞i katå Silvåm fãraggi, kéke›yen
§kkl¤naw prÚw dÊsin efiw tØn t∞w phg∞w katÆiei fãragga. meyÉ 349 (506)
∂n énaba¤nvn katå tÚ ÉAnãnou toË érxier°vw mnhme›on ka‹ dia-
9 labΔn tÚ ˆrow, ¶nya PompÆiow §strato | pedeÊsato, prÚw Klhma- p. 363
kÒreion §p°strefe, ka‹ proselyΔn m°xri k≈mhw tinÒw, ÉEreb¤nyvn Thev.
o‰kow kale›tai, ka‹ metÉ §ke¤nhn tÚ ÑHr≈dou mnhme›on perisxΔn 350 (507)
12 katÉ énatolØn t«i fid¤vi stratop°dvi sun∞pten, ˜yen ≥rjato.
tÚ m¢n oÔn te›xow •nÚw d°ontow tessarãkonta stad¤vn ∑n, ¶jvyen 351 (508)
d¢ aÈt«i prosvikodomÆyh triska¤deka froÊria, ka‹ toÊtvn ofl
15 kÊkloi d°ka sunhriymoËnto stad¤vn. tris‹ d¢ »ikodomÆyh tÚ 352 (509)
pçn ≤m°raiw. perikle¤saw d¢ t«i tãxei tØn pÒlin ka‹ dÊnamin 353 (510)
to›w frour¤oiw §gkatastÆsaw tØn m¢n pr≈thn fulakØn t∞w nuktÚw
18 periiΔn aÈtÚw épesk°pteto, tØn deut°ran d¢ §p°trecen ÉAlejãn-
drvi, tØn tr¤thn d¢ ¶laxon ofl t«n tagmãtvn ≤gemÒnew. éllå 354
ka‹ oÏtvw épokle¤santew to›w ÉIouda¤oiw tåw prÚw svthr¤an §lp¤daw,
21 pãlin ≥rxonto xvmãtvn ka¤toi xalep«w aÈt«i t∞w Ïlhw pori-
zom°nhw: ≤ m¢n går per‹ tØn pÒlin pçsan to›w prot°roiw ¶groiw 355 (523)

F 1–19 érjãmenow ≤gemÒnew Ios. V, 504–510 (V, XII, 2) 20 épo-

kle¤santew—§lp¤daw cf. Ios. V, 512 ÉIouda¤oiw . . . épekÒph pçsa svthr¤aw
§lp¤w 21–p. 98, 3 pãlin—x≈mata: Ios. V, 522–523 (V, XII, 4)

P1 E 3 ∑ge Ios. 4 e‰ta P1 E Ios. LVRC: e‰tÉ Ios. PA Niese (sententiam om. Ios M)
[Ios.] 5 peristenre«n, ut vid., P1 6 te P1 E Ios. MLVRC Niese: tÉ Ios. PA || t∞i katå]
t∞i katå tØn Ios. MLVRC Niese om. Ios. PA 9–10 klhmakÒreion P1: klh-
makÒrion E kl¤ma kÒreion Ios. R kl¤ma bÒreion Ios. PAMLV R e x c o r r . C Niese;
incertum utrum codex, quo usus est Anon., klimakÒreion habuerit (cf Ios. R),
an klhmakÒreion, ut P1, sed, utcumque res se habet, Anon. id pro nomine
proprio habuit 10 proselyΔn P1 E Ios. VRC: proelyΔn Ios. PAML Niese
12 katÉ P1 E Ios. LVRC: katå Ios. PAM Niese || sun∞pen P1 E 13 tessa-
rãkonto P1 E Ios. PAMLV ex corr. C Niese: tesserãkonta Ios. VR; cf. p. 98, 2
14 d¢ P1 E Ios. VRC: dÉ Ios. PAML Niese 15 d¢ P1 E Ios. VR: dÉ Ios. PAMLC
Niese 16 post ≤m°raiw hab. …w tÚ m¢n ¶rgon mhn«n e‰nai êjion, tÚ tãxow
dÉ ≤ttçsyai p¤stevw Ios. || tãxei P1 E Ios. VR: te¤xei Ios. PAMLC Niese
17–18 m¢n pr≈thn—épesk°pteto tØn om. E 18 épesk°pteto P1 Ios. R:
§pesk°pteto Ios. PAMLVC Niese || d¢ §p°trecen P1 E Ios. VRC: dÉ §p°tre-
cen Ios. PAML Niese 19 d¢ ¶laxon P1 E Ios. VRC: dÉ ¶laxon Ios. PAML Niese
21 ≥rxeto Ios. (scil. T¤tow) || ka¤toi non hab. Ios. || cave ne mutes
aÈt«i, quod ex Ios. descripsit Anon., in aÈto›w 22 pçsa Ios.

tion and with a wall. Starting from the camp of the Assyrians, where
he was himself encamped, he brought the wall to the the lower [part]
of the New Town [and] from there across the Kedron to the Mount of
Olives; then, bending around to the south, he enclosed the mount as
far as the rock called “Dovecote” together with the adjacent hill,
which is situated above the Siloam valley; thence, turning to the west,
he brought it down into the valley of the Fountain, after which he
brought it up over against the monument of Ananus the high priest
and, cutting across the mountain where Pompey encamped, turned
toward Klemakoreion229 and proceeded to a village - it is called the
“House of Chick-Peas” - and after that, having encompassed Herod’s
monument, he joined it to the east side of his own camp from which he
had started. And so the wall was thirty-nine stades in length and had
built into its outer side thirteen forts, whose combined circumferences
amounted to ten stades. The whole was built in three days 230. After
enclosing the city speedily231 and posting troops in the forts, [Titus]
went around personally during the first watch of the night and con -
ducted an inspection; the second watch he entrusted to Alexander; for
the third the commanders of the legions drew lots. But after thus
blockading the Jews from hope of safety, they again began earth -
works, though lumber was now obtained for him with difficulty. For
the [trees] around the entire city had been cut down for the earlier

The text of Josephus has kl¤ ma bÒreion, “north.” The Anon. or his source text apparent-
ly incorrectly understood here a proper name.
For maps of the path of the wall see Cornfeld (1982) 371 and B. Jones, The Emperor Titus
(London: 1984) 49; for comments on the place names see Cornfeld (1982) 394.
Josephus here has tÚ tãxow dÉ ≤ttçsyai p¤ stevw. perikle¤ saw d¢ t“ te¤ xei tØn pÒlin.
. . . The Anon. may be conflating the two, or perhaps one should read te¤ xeifor tãxei .

98 § 355–363 ( THEV. p. 363, 9–28)

§k°kopto, sunefÒroun d¢ êllhn épÉ §nenÆkonta stad¤vn ofl stra-

356 ti«tai. ka‹ prÚw mÒnhw Ïcoun t∞w ÉAntvn¤aw katå m°rh t°ssara
polÁ me¤zona t«n prot°rvn x≈mata. 3
357 ka‹ taËta m¢n toiaËtaˆnta ka‹ thlikaËta di∞lyon de›jai y°lvn
…w §k sugkr¤sevw t«n tÒte polem¤vn tåw tÒlmaw ka‹ tØn §pÉ
éret∞i dÒjan, ka‹ ˜pvw pantÚw kindun≈douw ka‹ §paxyoËw ¶rgou 6
diÉ §pimele¤aw perieg°nonto, éllÉ ˜mvw énte›xon ofl prÚw toÊtoiw
358 poliorkoÊmenoi. §peidØ d°, …w ¶fhmen, katå polÁ tå kayÉ ≤m«n
ıplizÒmena ¶ynh ±lãttvtai, † ka‹ oÎte tosoËton polem¤vn pl∞- 9
yow katå t«n ≤met°rvn pÒlevn §kstrateÊei, Àste ka‹ prÚw ¶rga
ple›sta ka‹ mhxanåw paraskeuãzesyai, •katÚn tuxÚn prÚw tå
•jÆkonta magganikå μ ka‹ krioÁw e‡kosi, † éllå prÚw magga- 12
nikå m¢n tÚ ple›ston d°ka, krioÁw d¢ dÊo μ ka‹ tuxÚn ßna,
359 eÈx°reiã soi ¶stin, Œ strathg°, * * * ka‹ tØn êmaxon dÊnamin toË
YeoË §pikaloum°nvi, katagvn¤zesyai toÊtouw, t«n §ntaËya éna- 15
360 gegramm°nvn mØ émeloËnti. ˜tan går éporÆsvsin •le›n tØn pÒlin
diå t«n profan«n ¶rgvn, tÒte pãntvw xre¤a xvrÆsein aÈtoÁw
§p‹ t«n éfan«n ka‹ layra¤vn, ì poll∞w de›tai t∞w fulak∞w, 18
ple¤sthw d¢ t∞w égrupn¤aw ka‹ † t∞w prÚw toÁw xe›ra eÈno¤aw. †
361 oÈ går mÒnon diå t«n =aid¤vw §pibouleuom°nvn peirãsontai ofl
§xyro¤, éllå ka‹ diå t«n éxeir≈tvn mçllon, §j œn eÍr¤skomen 21
ka‹ tåw Sãrdeiw •alvku¤aw ÍpÚ toË basil°vw ÉAntiÒxou ka‹ tØn
§n Sougdian∞i legom°nhn p°tran ÍpÚ ÉAlejãndrou xeirvye›san.
362 ÉAl°jandrow går katastrateusãmenow Dare›on ka‹ ÉOjuãrthn 24
(Arr. 363 tÚn t«n Baktr¤vn basil°a, ëma t«i ∑ri Ípofa¤nonti proÈx≈rei
IV, 18, 4) …w §p‹ tØn efirhm°nhn p°tran, efiw ∂n polloÁw m¢n t«n Sougdian«n

F 22 tåw Sãrdeiw—ÉAntiÒxou cf. Plb. VII, 15–18, ubi narrantur, quae

hic memorat Anon. 25–p. 100, 15 ëma—§g°nonto: Arr. IV, 18, 4–19, 4

P1 E [Ios.] 1 d¢ P1 E Ios. PAMVR Niese: dÉ Ios. LC 7 toÊtoiw lege toÊtvn

[Arr.] 8 …w ¶fhmen cf. p. 78, 14–16 9 tÚsoÊton E, acutus fort. ex circumflexo
mutatus est, tosoÊtvn P1 9–12 ka‹ oÎte—e‡kosi corruptum vid.; possis
e. g. legere §kstrateÊei <oÎte oÏtv pareskeuasm°non>, Àste <megãlhn
dÊnamin ¶xein de› tÚn poliorkoÊmenon> ka‹ k.t.l. 14 lac. indicavi; „operam
navanti” vel tale quid desideratur 18 malim tå éfan∞ ka‹ layra›a 19 t∞w
prÚw toÁw xe›ra eÈno¤aw corruptum; rationem voces toÁw xe›ra sanandi non
video; fort. §pino¤aw pro eÈno¤aw? 25 ëma] ëma d¢ Arr. 26 efirhm°nhn]
§n t∞i Sogdian∞i Arr. || §w Arr. || Sogdian«n Arr.

11–22 cf. Ios. III, 166 OÈespasianÚw d¢ §n kÊklvi tåw éfethr¤ouw mh-
xanåw §pistÆsaw, tå pãnta dÉ ∑n •katÚn •jÆkonta ˆrgana

works, [98] and the soldiers had to collect additional [lumber] from a
distance of ninety stades. They raised new mounds only opposite
Antonia, in four sections and much larger than the earlier ones.
And these [examples], which are of such a nature and so signif-
icant, I have described in detail wishing to show, as it were by com-
parison, the daring and glorious courage of the enemies of that time,
and how they excelled through diligence in every dangerous and bur-
densome action, but nevertheless those besieged by them 232 held out.
But since, as we have said 233, the foreign peoples armed against us are
much inferior, ~ and enemies do not campaign against our cities in
such great numbers <nor with such substantial preparation 234> that <it
is necessary for the besieged [general] to have large forces 235> and
also to ready machines against very great operations, say 100 against
60 magganika236 or even 20 rams, ~ but against at most 10 magganika
and two or perhaps just one ram, it is easy for you, o general, <work-
ing energetically237> and also calling upon the invincible power of
God, to defeat them, while not neglecting what is recorded here. For
whenever they are at a loss to capture a city through overt opera-
tions238, then there is every necessity for them to resort to the covert
and secret ones, which require great watchfulness and the greatest
vigilance and ~ inventiveness239 <. . . 240> ~ For the enemy will make
attempts not only through places against which they can easily devise
plans, but even more so through the ones which are hard to capture,
among which we find Sardis taken by king Antiochus241 and the so-
called rock in Sougdiana 242 which was conquered by Alexander.
For Alexander, when campaigning against Darius and Oxyartes
the king of the Bactrians, proceeded at the very beginning of spring
towards the aforementioned rock to which, it was said, many of the

Accepting toÊtvn for toÊtoiw .
See above 78:14ff and 84:8ff.
vdB’s suggested addition.
vdB’s suggested addition.
See above n. 34.
vdB’s suggested addition.
See above 78:3 and 6.
Accepting § pino¤ awfor eÈno¤ aw.
For prÚw toÁw xe›ra perhaps read prÚw tåw xre¤ aw(“in response to necessity”) (DS).
See above n. 12.
The text of Arrian gives the correct spelling Sogdiana.

99 § 363–375 ( THEV. p. 363, 28–49)

sumpefeug°nai §l°geto: ka‹ ≤ ÉOjuãrtou d¢ gunØ toË Baktr¤ou 364
ka‹ afl pa›dew afl ÉOjuãrtou <efiw tØn p°tran taÊthn sumpefeu-
3 g°nai §l°gonto,> ÉOjuãrtou aÈtåw …w efiw énãlvton d∞yen tÚ
xvr¤on §ke›no Ípekyem°nou, ˜ti ka‹ aÈtÚw éfeistÆkei épÉ ÉAlej-
ãndrou. taÊthw går §jaireye¤shw oÈk°ti oÈd¢n ÍpoleifyÆsesyai 365
6 §dÒkei t«n Sougdian«n to›w nevter¤zein §y°lousin. …w dÉ 366 (5)
§p°lasan t∞i p°trai, katalambãnei pãnthi épÒtomon §w tØn
prosbolØn sit¤a te sugkekomism°nouw toÁw barbãrouw …w §w
9 xrÒnion poliork¤an. ka‹ xiΔn pollØ ¶ti §poËsa tÆn te prÒsbasin 367
éporvt°ran §po¤ei to›w MakedÒsi ka‹ ëma §n éfyon¤ai Ïdatow
toÁw barbãrouw di∞gen. éllå ka‹ Õw prosbãllein §dÒkei t«i 368
12 xvr¤vi. ka‹ gãr ti ka‹ Íp°rogkon ÍpÚ t«n barbãrvn lexy¢n 369 (6)
§w filotim¤an sÁn Ùrg∞i §mbeblÆkei ÉAl°jandron. proklhy°ntew 370
går efiw sÊmbasin ka‹ proteinom°nou sf¤sin, ˜ti s≈oiw Ípãrjei
15 §p‹ tå sf°tera épallag∞nai paradoËsi tÚ xvr¤on, ofl d¢ sÁn
g°lvti barbar¤zontew pthnoÁw §k°leuon strati≈taw zhte›n ÉAlej-
andron, o·tinew aÈtÚ §jairÆsousi tÚ ˆrow, …w t«n ge êllvn
18 ényr≈pvn oÈdem¤an vÖran sf¤sin oÔsan. ¶nya dØ §kÆrujen 371 (7)
ÉAl°jandrow t«i m¢n pr≈tvi énabãnti d≈deka tãlanta e‰nai tÚ
g°raw, deut°rvi d¢ §p‹ toÊtvi tå deÊtera ka‹ tr¤tvi tå §fej∞w,
21 …w teleuta›on e‰nai t«i teleuta¤vi énelyÒnti triakos¤ouw Darei-
koÁw tÚ g°raw. ka‹ toËto tÚ kÆrugma par≈junen ¶ti mçllon 372
ka‹ êllvw toÁw MakedÒnaw …rmhm°nouw.
24 suntajãmenoi dØ ˜soi petrobate›n §n ta›w poliork¤aiw aÈt«i 373 (19, 1)
memeletÆkeisan, efiw triakos¤ouw tÚn ériymÒn, ka‹ passãlouw mi- 374
kroÁw sidhroËw, oÂw afl skhna‹ katapepÆgesan aÈto›w, paraskeu-
27 ãsantew, toË kataphgnÊnai aÈtoÁw ¶w te tØn xiÒna, ˜pou peph-
gu›a fane¤h ka‹ e‡ poÊ ti t∞w x≈raw ¶rhmon xiÒnow Ípofa¤noito,
ka‹ toÊtouw kalvd¤oiw §k l¤nou fisxuro›w §kdÆsantew t∞w nuktÚw
30 proÈx≈roun katå tÚ épotom≈tatÒn te t∞w p°traw ka‹ taÊthi
éfulaktÒtaton{te}. ka‹ toÊtouw toÁw passãlouw kataphgnÊntew 375 (2)
toÁw m¢n efiw tØn g∞n, ˜pou diefa¤neto, toÁw d¢ ka‹ t∞w xiÒnow

P1 E 1 sumpefeugm°nai E jumpefeug°nai Arr. || §l°geto] aÈt«i §jhgg°lleto

Arr. Arr. || baktar¤ou P1 E, sed cf. p. 98, 25 2–3 <efiw—§l°gonto> om. P1 E
2 efiw scripsi: §w Arr. 2–3 sumpefeug°nai scripsi: jumpefeug°nai Arr.
3 §w Arr. 4 éfe¤sth P 1 E 5 ÍpolhfyÆsesyai P 1 6 Sogdian«n Arr.
|| d¢ Arr. 8 jugkekomism°nouw Arr. 9 ¶ti ßpoËsa P1 §pipesoËsa Arr.
13 jÁn Arr. || él°jandrow P1 E 14 §w Arr. || jÊmbasin Arr. 16 stra-
ti≈taw zhte›n] zhte›n strati≈taw Arr. 17 lege aÈt«i cum Arr. 20 g°rraw
P1 E; item v. 22 24 juntajãmenoi Arr. 25 memeletÆkeisan P1 E Arr. A:
memeletÆkesan Ellendt Roos || §w Arr. 27 ¶w te] ¶stai P1 E 30 épotomÒtatÒn
P1 E 31 {te} delevi; non hab. Arr. || toÊtouw toÁw] toÊtouw E 32 §w Arr.

Sougdianians [99] had fled. The wife of Oxyartes the Bactrian and his
daughters <were also said to have fled to this rock>, Oxyartes, since
he had himself revolted from Alexander, having put them for safety
sake in that place on the mistaken assumption that it was impreg -
nable243. For if it were taken, it seemed likely that the Sougdianians
who were ready to revolt would be left defenseless. But when they
approached the rock, Alexander realized that it was sheer on all sides
against attack, and that the barbarians had stored provisions there for
a long siege. A heavy snow which was still on the ground made the
approach more difficult for the Macedonians, and at the same time
kept the barbarians abundantly supplied with water. Yet even so
[Alexander] decided to assault the place. For an insolent statement by
the barbarians had added to Alexander’s passionate ambition. When
invited to agree to terms, which he offered on the basis that they
would be permitted to go safely to their homes if they surrendered the
place, they told Alexander sarcastically using their native language 244
to look for soldiers with wings to capture the mountain for him 245,
since they had no concern about any other kind of men. Then
Alexander announced that the first to scale the height should have a
reward of ten talents, for the second after him a second [reward], and
for the third and so forth, the last to climb up to have 300 Darics as
a reward. This announcement further spurred on the already eager
So then when all had gathered who had experience with rock-
climbing in their sieges with him, numbering about 300, and had got
ready small iron stakes, with which their tents had been staked down,
in order to fix them into the snow where it appeared to be frozen solid
and also in any place bare of snow which might show through, and
had tied the stakes to strong linen ropes, they set out at night to the
part of the rock which was most sheer and thus least guarded. They
fixed some of these stakes into the ground where it was visible, others
in the snow [100] where it seemed <least> likely to give way, and

Following Bosworth (1980) 128.
Following Bosworth (1980) 128.
Accepting aÈt“ for aÈtÒ.

100 § 375–386 (THEV. p. 363, 49–364, 16)

efiw tå mãlista <oÈ> yrufyhsÒmena, éne›lkon sfçw aÈtoÁw êlloi
376 êllhi t∞w p°traw. ka‹ toÊtvn efiw triãkonta m¢n §n t∞i énabãsei
diefyãrhsan, Àste oÈd¢ tå s≈mata aÈt«n efiw tafØn eÍr°yh 3
(Arr. 377 §mpesÒnta êllhi ka‹ êllhi t∞w | xiÒnow. ofl d¢ loipo‹ énabãntew p. 364
IV, 19, 3) ÍpÚ tØn ßv ka‹ tÚ êkron toË ˆrouw katalabÒntew sindÒnaw kat- Thev
°seion …w §p‹ tÚ stratÒpedon t«n MakedÒnvn, oÏtvw aÈto›w §j 6
378 ÉAlejãndrou parghggelm°non. p°mcaw dØ kÆruka §mbo∞sai §k°-
leusen to›w profulãssousi t«n barbãrvn mØ diatr¤bein ¶ti,
379 éllå paradidÒnai sfçw: §jeur∞syai går toÁw pthnoÁw ényr≈pouw 9
ka‹ ¶xesyai ÍpÚ aÈt«n toË ˆrouw tå êkra: ka‹ ëma §de¤knuon
toÁw Íp¢r t∞w koruf∞w strati≈taw.
(4) 380 ofl d¢ bãrbaroi §kplag°ntew t«i paralÒgvi t∞w ˆcevw ka‹ 12
ple¤onãw te e‰nai ÍpotopÆsantew toÁw kat°xontaw tå êkra ka‹
381 ékrib«w …plism°nouw §n°dosan sfçw aÈtoÊw: oÏtv prÚw tØn
ˆcin t«n Ùl¤gvn §ke¤nvn MakedÒnvn fobero‹ §g°nonto. 15
382 * * * ‡doiw ín §p‹ t∞i XoriÆnou legom°nhi p°trai t∞i pãnthi
(Arr. 383 Ùxurvtãthi. aÏth d¢ épÒtomow pãntoyen, ênodow d¢ efiw aÈtØn
IV, 21, 2) m¤a ka‹ aÈtØ stenÆ te ka‹ oÈk eÎporow, oÂa dØ parå tØn fÊsin 18
toË xvr¤ou pepoihm°nh, …w xalepØ e‰nai ka‹ mhdenÚw e‡rgontow
384 ka‹ kayÉ ßna énelye›n, fãragj tÉ §n kÊklvi perie¤rgei tØn p°tran
baye›a, Àste ˜stiw prostãjein stratiån t∞i p°trai ≥melle, polÁ 21
prÒsyen aÈt«i tØn fãragga e‰nai xvst°on, …w §j ımaloË ır-
mçsyai prosãgonta efiw prosbolØn tÚn stratÒn.
(3) 385 éllå ka‹ Õw ÉAl°jandrow ¥pteto toË ¶rgou: oÏtvw pãnta vÖieto 24
xr∞nai batã te aÍt«i ka‹ §jairet°a e‰nai, efiw tosoËton d¢ tÒlmhw
386 te ka‹ eÈtux¤aw prokexvrÆkei. t°mnvn dØ tåw §lãtaw (polla‹
går ka‹ ÍperÊchloi §lãtai efis‹n §n kÊklvi toË ˆrouw) kl¤makaw 27

P1 E [Arr.] F 15 §g°nonto des. Arr. 17 aÏth d¢ ad finem: Arr. IV, 21, 2–6
24–25 pãnta—e‰nai cf. Suda s.v. batã, pãnta d¢ t«i ÉAlejãndrvi batã te
ka‹ §jairet°a e‰nai §dÒkei

1 §w Arr. || <oÈ> om. P1 E || yorufyhsÒmena E 2 §w Arr.

3 diefyãreisan P1 || §w Arr. 4 ka‹ êllhi om. E 7 dØ P1 E Roos: d¢
Arr. A 7–8 §k°leuse Arr. 8 étr¤bein P1 E 9 §jeure›syai P1 E || går]
går dØ Arr. 10 §de¤knuon P1 E Arr. A: §de¤knuen Krüger Roos 11 toÁw]
taw E 13 e‰nai ÍpotopÆsantew] ÍpotopÆsantew e‰nai Arr. 14 oÏta E
16 lac. indicavi; „et aliud exemplum”, „et inceptum non minus audax”
vel tale quid desideratur 17 »xurvtãth E »xurotãth P1 || aÏth] aÈtØ
Arr. || §w Arr. 20 fãraj E || tɧn] te Arr. || perie¤rgei P1 E Arr. A:
perie›rge Krüger Roos 21 prosãjein Arr. || strati«n P1 E || ¶melle
Arr. 22 fãlagga P1 E; cf. ad p. 85, 4 23 prosãgontow P1 E || §w Arr.
25 aÈt« P1 E || §w Arr. || tosoËton d¢] tosÒnde Arr. 27 ∑san Arr.

each in a different place dragged themselves up the rock. About thir -

ty of them died in the climb, such that their bodies were not found for
burial, since they had fallen here and there in the snow. The rest, how -
ever, climbed up about dawn, seized the summit of the mountain, and
waved linen flags to the camp of the Macedonians, as instructed by
Alexander. Then he sent a herald and told him to shout to the front
line of the barbarians, to delay no longer, but to surrender, for he had
indeed found the men with wings, and the summit of the mountain was
in their possession; he pointed246 at the same time to the soldiers on
the peak.
The barbarians were astounded at the unexpected sight, and
assuming that those holding the heights were more numerous and fully
armed, they surrendered; so terrified were they at seeing those few
You may see <another example 247> in the so-called rock of
Chorienes, an exceedingly strong position. It was sheer on all sides;
the way up to it was single and, what is more narrow and barely pass -
able248, since it had been constructed with no concern for the nature of
the terrain, so that it was difficult, even with no one opposing, to
ascend even in single file. A deep ravine