Walter Emil Kaegi, Jr.
Some Thoughts on Byzantine Military Strategy
© Hellenic College Press, Brookline, Massachusetts, 1983
It is important to understand the meaning of certain concepts. Some of what the Byzantines included in strategic manuals may be classified by modern theorists not as 'strategy' but 'tactics' or 'military operations.' Byzantine terminology derived in large part from earlier Greek usage. Thus, the Byzantines, like the [ancient] Greeks, used strategia, in the sense of knowledge pertaining to the art of command of an army by a general, or generalship, but taxis or tactics in the sense of military movements. Byzantine strategists tend to discuss strategy, operations, and tactics together with stratagems even though Byzantine writers are aware of distinctions between, at a minimum, tactics and strategy. It is always necessary to remember that primary sources rarely permit the Byzantinist to have any detailed and accurate understanding of Byzantium's battles. To illustrate the difficulties inherent in investigating Byzantine military strategy, it is instructive to examine some aspects of Byzantine military conditions and thinking from the sixth and seventh centuries, especially from the Age of Emperor Justinian I and from late sixth-and early seventh-century warfare, as seen in the Strategikon of Maurice, ca. A.D. 600.
War was a given and accepted condition in the sixth century. But contemporaries viewed war from several perspectives. It could be a means to something: thus in the eyes of Emperor Justinian (527-565), arms embellished and sustained the imperial majesty.'  To the pragmatic anonymous author of a manual of strategy that was written late in the reign of Justinian I, war was the greatest evil: "I know well that war is a great evil, even the greatest of evils. But because enemies shed our blood in fulfillment of an incitement of law and valor, and because it is wholly necessary for each man to defend his own fatherland and his fellow countrymen with words, writings, and acts, we have decided to write about strategy, through which we shall be able not only to fight but to overcome the enemy .'  The historian Procopios of Caesarea even asserted in an exaggerated passage that "war and the royal office are agreed to be the greatest of all things among mankind.' 
[1. Corpus Juris Civilis, pro]
[2. Des Byzantiner Anonymus Kriegswissenschaft 4.2 (In Griechische Kriegsschriftsteller, ed. H. Koechly and W. Rustow, Leipzig, 1855, 2:56). See also 6.4-6.5,33.7-8 (58-60,162-164 Koechly-Rustow).]
[3. Procopios.Bella 1.24.26,2.16.7.]
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Reference address : https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/byzantine-military.asp?pg=4