Aeneas Tacticus 28.





28. On Gate Keeping

1. The following precautions, too, should be taken in a city which is afraid of attack.
All gates should be kept shut except one, which should be in the part of the city most difficult to access, and so situated that anyone approaching it will be visible a long way off. 2. Even here only the wicket gate should remain open, so that men have to pass in or out one by one: in this way anyone seeking to desert or a spy seeking to gain entrance will have little chance of escaping detection – that is if the sentry at the gate has his wits about him. 3. To open the whole gate for beasts of burden, carts, and merchandise is dangerous. If it is necessary to bring in without delay corn, oil, wine or similar articles in carts or with a number of carriers, they must be taken in at the nearest gate ‹under the escort of a troop sent out to meet them›: this will be the quickest and easiest way. 4. As a rule, gates should not be opened incautiously early in the day, but only later on, and no-one should be allowed to leave the city until the immediate neighbourhood has been thoroughly explored. Again, boats must not come to anchor in front of the gates, but lie further off, since even in the daytime the opening of both gates has been the occasion for many successful attempts, aided by stratagems or pretexts which I will now illustrate; for many similar ruses have been employed for this same object.
5. Python of Clazomenae, who had accomplices in the city, waited carefully for the quietest time of day, at which he had arranged for carts to bring in a load of wine-casks [pithoi], and then seized Clazomenae while the carts were standing in the gateway this enabled a force of mercenaries, waiting in concealment close at hand, to make their way in and capture the city, some pf the citizens not knowing what was going on, and some being too late to prevent it, while others were accomplices in the plot.
6. Again, Iphiades of Abydos was trying to take Parion on the Hellespont. Besides making secret preparations for scaling the wall by night, he filed carts with faggots and brambles, and sent them up to the wall after the gates had been shut, as if they belonged to the town. They actually came right up to the gates and bivouacked there, pretending to be afraid of the enemy. 7. The arrangement was there, pretending that the carts were to be set alight at a certain time so that the gates might catch fire; then, while the citizens were all intent on putting out the fire, Iphiades himself was to enter at another point.
I have thought it best to collect these precepts to show the several precautions which should be taken at the various times, that no-one may be too ready to accept anything without due examination.




28. Πυλωρικά

1. Προνοεῖσθαι δὲ καὶ τάδε ἐν φόβῳ οὔσης πόλεως.
πύλας τὰς μὲν ἄλλας κεκλεῖσθαι, μίαν δὲ ἀνεῷχθαι ᾗ ἂν δυσπροσοδώτατον ᾖ τῆς πόλεως καὶ ἐπὶ πλεῖστον ἀπ̓ αὐτῆς μέλλωσιν ὁρᾶσθαι οἱ προσιόντες, 2. καὶ ἐν ταύτῃ ἐκτομάδα, ἵνα σώματα μὲν ἀνθρώπων κατὰ τὴν ἐκτομάδα πυλίδα ἐξίῃ καὶ εἰσίῃ καθ̓ ἕνα: οὕτω γὰρ ἂν ἥκιστά τις λανθάνοι αὐτομολῶν ἢ κατάσκοπος εἰσιών, 3. ἐάνπερ γε ᾖ ὁ πυλωρὸς νοηρός. πᾶσαν δὲ ἀνοίγεσθαι ὑποζυγίων ἕνεκεν καὶ ἁμαξῶν καὶ ἀγωγίμων ἐπισφαλές. καὶ ἐάν τι δέῃ εἰσενέγκασθαι σίτου ἢ ἐλαίου ἢ οἴνου ἐν τάχει ἢ τῶν ὁμοτρόπων τούτοις, ἁμάξαις ἢ σωμάτων πλήθει, ταῦτα δὲ χρὴ κατὰ τὰς ἐγγύτατα πύλας κομίζειν, ...καὶ οὕτως ἂν τάχιστα καὶ ῥᾷστα εἰσκομισθείη. 4. τὸ δ̓ ὅλον μὴ ἀνοίγεσθαι πρωὶ πύλας ἀπροσκέπτως ἀλλ̓ ὀψιαίτερον, ἔξω τε μηδένα ἀφίεσθαι πρὶν ἢ ἐξερευνῆσαι τὰ περὶ τὴν πόλιν: ἔτι τε μηδὲ πλοῖα κατὰ ταύτας ὁρμίζεσθαι ἀλλ̓ ἀπωτέρω, ὡς ἤδη γε καὶ ἡμέρας πολλαὶ πράξεις ἀνοιχθεισῶν ἀμφοτέρων πυλῶν γεγόνασιν ἐπὶ τεχνασμάτων καὶ προφάσεων τοιῶνδε: γνωσθήσεται δὲ ἐφ̓ ἑνὸς ἔργου πολλὰ παραπλησίως τούτῳ πραχθέντα.
5. Πύθων μὲν ὁ Κλαζομένιος, καὶ τῶν ἐν τῇ πόλει τινῶν συνεθελόντων, τηρήσας τελέως τὸ ἡσυχαίτατον τῆς ἡμέρας, ἁμάξαις ἐκ παρασκευῆς πίθους εἰσαγούσαις κατέλαβε Κλαζομενάς: μενουσῶν ἐν ταῖς πύλαις τῶν ἁμαξῶν, καθ̓ ἅς, ξένων προϋπαρχόντων κρυφαίως οὐ πόρρω τῆς πόλεως, τοὺς μὲν τῶν πολιτῶν λαθόντες, τοὺς δὲ φθάσαντες, τινὰς δὲ τῶν ἔσω συνεργοὺς ἔχοντες κατέσχον τὴν πόλιν.
6. Ἰφιάδης τε Ἀβυδηνὸς κατὰ Ἑλλήσποντον καταλαμβάνων Πάριον ἄλλα τε περὶ τὴν ἀνάβασιν νυκτὸς ἐπὶ τοῦ τείχους λάθρᾳ παρεσκευάσατο καὶ ἁμάξας πληρώσας φρυγάνων καὶ βάτων παρέπεμψεν πρὸς τὸ τεῖχος, ἤδη τῶν πυλῶν κεκλεισμένων, ὡς τῶν Παριανῶν οὔσας τὰς ἁμάξας, αἵτινες ἐλθοῦσαι πρὸς τὰς πύλας ηὐλίζοντο, ὡς φοβούμεναι πολεμίους. 7. ἃς ἔδει ἐν καιρῷ τινι ὑφαφθῆναι, ἵνα αἱ πύλαι ἐμπρησθῶσι καὶ πρὸς τὸ σβεννύειν τῶν Παριανῶν ὁρμησάντων αὐτὸς κατὰ ἄλλον τόπον εἰσέλθῃ.
Δοκεῖ δέ μοι συναγαγόντι δηλωτέον τίνα δεῖ φυλάσσεσθαι καὶ ἐν οἷς καιροῖς ἕκαστα, ἵνα τις μηδὲν εὐήθως ἀποδέχηται.

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created 04/07/2017 - updated 04/07/2017