Friday, March 4, 2011

Frontinus, Military Strategy


Sextus Julius Frontinus [Frontinus]
40-103 AD
Trans RMBullard
Latin (Imperial Era)

Cum ad instruendam rei militaris scientiam unus ex numero studiosorumeius accesserim eique destinato,

[As I have begun to teach about the knowledge of military warfare--I being only a single man out of a number of a scholars devoted to this field]

quantum cura nostra valuit, satisfecissevisus sim,

[I would've been satisfied just so long as my concern was of any use,]

deberi adhuc institutae arbitror operae,]

[still, I think I owe it to the work I have undertaken,]

ut sollertia ducum facta, quae a Graecis una STRATEGEMATON appellatione comprehensa sunt, expeditis amplectar commentariis.

[if I should, after I finish my commentaries, devote myself to the strategical planning of military leaders, which the Greeks understand by a single term, 'strategem']

enim consilii quoque et providentiae exemplis succincti duces erunt,
[You see, there will be generals tied to exemplary actions of wisdom and providence,]

unde illis excogitandi generandique similia facultas nutriatur;
[from whence a common ability to think and command exists among men like those;]

 praeterea continget,
[and besides, let it happen]

 ne de eventu trepidet inventionis suae,
[that one does not grow trepid from occurence of his own invention,]

qui probatis eam experimentis comparabit.
[that is, whoever shall train it through the appropriate experiences.]

Illud neque ignoro neque infitior,
[I'll neither ignore nor emphasize that point,]

 et rerum gestarum scriptores indagine operis sui hanc quoque partem esse complexos et ab auctoribus exemplorum, quidquid insigne aliquo modo fuit, traditum.
[both how writers of great accomplishments have also embraced this part of their work by evidence, and also the tradition of exemplary actions passed down by authors, when it somehow involves something distinguished.]

 Sed, ut opinor,
[But as I see it,]