notsokrates

a life of cheerful simplicity

Warfare as hunting: a Byzantine strategy

Warfare should be viewed like hunting, according to the old Byzantine text on the art of warfare, the the Strategikon has some useful and timely advice on how really to conduct war:

Warfare is like hunting. Wild animals are taken by scouting, by nets, by lying in wait, by stalking, by circling around, and by other such stratagems rather than by sheer force. In waging war we should proceed in the same way, whether the enemy be many or few. To try simply to overpower the enemy in the open, hand in hand and face to face, even though you may appear to win, is an enterprise which is very risky and can result in serious harm. Apart from extreme emergency, it is ridiculous to gain a victory which is so costly and brings only empty glory.

via the LRB (subscription required). Pretty sensible, really, and there are echoes of Geronimo here, too.

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This entry was posted on 12 February, 2010 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , .
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