Aeneas Tacticus 40.





40. Garrisoning a City

1. If the city is a large one and the inhabitants too few to guard the whole circuit of the walls, but you nevertheless wish to guard it securely with the men you have, use any available material to build up high such parts of the wall as are easy of access from outside. Then, if any of the enemy make their way up either by stealth or by force, they will find themselves in an unfamiliar position, and will not be able to jump down from such a height, but will have to go back because they cannot find a way down. Such men as are available should be posted here and there along the parts that have been built up, to dispatch any who dare to make the jump.
2. Dionysius once wished to occupy a city which he had conquered: some of its inhabitants were dead and some were in exile, and it was too large to be defended by a small garrison. 3. He therefore left behind him a few men whom he could spare to look after the city, and married some of the slaves of the most prominent citizens to the daughters, wives and sisters of their masters: this, he thought, would make them most bitterly hostile to their masters and increase their loyalty to himself.
4. Again, the men of Sinope, when at war with Datamas, were in a critical position and in want of men. They therefore disguised and armed the fittest of their women, so as to make them look as much as men as they could, gave them jars and similar brass utensils to represent armour and helmets, and marched them round the walls in full view of the enemy. 5. They were not allowed to throw anything: for you can tell a woman a long way off by the way she throws. And they took care to prevent the betrayal of the stratagem by deserters.
6. If you wish rounds on the wall to appear stronger than they really are, they should march round two abreast, the front rank carrying their spears on their left shoulders, the second rank on their right shoulders: in this way they will look as if they were four abreast. 7. If the patrol is a file of three men, the first man should have his spear on his right shoulder, the second on his left shoulder: in this way they will look as if they were two abreast.
8. As to the provision of food when there is no corn, shortage of supplies during a siege, and the way to render water fit for drinking, these matters have been discussions in my Preparations for Defence. And since they have been dealt with, I shall proceed to naval arrangements.
A fleet may be equipped in two ways.

(This is where the text breaks off it seems that the last sentence is the start of a treatise on a naval theme).






created 14/02/2010 - updated 04/07/2017