Aeneas Tacticus 29.





29. The Smuggling of Arms

1. I will now deal with the bringing into the city of vessels and freights in which articles are hidden out of sight; for cities and their citadels have been captured by this means before now. 2. In this matter the closest and most careful supervision must be exercised, especially by the sentinel at the gates, at times when attacks are feared either from without or within; and he must pay special attention to goods coming in. 3. I will give as an example a trick once put into practice, which, with the assistance of traitors, resulted in the capture of a city during public festival.
4. The first step was to bring in arms for the use of foreigners already resident and of those citizens in the plot who did not already possess them: so linen cuirasses, jerkins, helmets, shields, greaves, daggers, bows and arrows were packed up in transport cases apparently containing garments and other merchandise, 5. which the custom-officials opened, inspected and sealed up as containing nothing but garments, until the valuation was forthcoming from the importers. 6. The cases were then stored in the proper place near the market, while small spears and javelins were brought in wrapped in wicker-work, crates, and half-woven sails, and quietly placed in convenient positions; bucklers and small shields were hidden among the contents of vessels full of chaff and wool, other less bulky articles in baskets full of raisins and figs, daggers in jars of wheat, dried figs and olives; 7. more daggers, without sheaths, were smuggled in inside ripe pumpkins, pushed in at the bottom into the seed of the pumpkins. The ringleader of the plot was carried into the city in a load of firewood. 8. At night the conspirators mustered for the attack, each waiting for the appointed time, when the rest of the inhabitants were about the streets full of wine, as usually happens on a feast day. First the load was untied, and their captain sprang out ready; then some unwound the wicker-work to get hold of the spears and javelins, others emptied the jars of chaff and wool, others cut open the baskets, others opened the cases and took out the arms, while others smashed up the jars, as to get hold of the daggers quickly. 9. All these preparations went forward at once and at no great distance from each other on a signal given in the city, as if for a battle array. 10. Then, when each man had found his proper arms, some rushed off to seize the towers and gates, where more of their number were let in; others made for the town hall and houses opposite, while the rest occupied various points of vantage.
11. On similar occasions men in want of shields, and unable to provide them in any other way or to convey arms into the city, had recourse to importing osiers and with them workers in osier, who plaited other articles in the daytime, 12. but at nights worked wicker armour, consisting of helmets and shields, to the rims of which they fixed leather and wood.
Moreover, you should keep a sharp look-out on boats, both large and small, which take up moorings nearby, either by day or at night: the harbour officials and dockyard superintendents should go on board and inspect the cargoes in person, bearing in mind that the Sikyonians for instance suffered a great disaster from neglect of these precautions.




29. Ὅπλων λάθρᾳ εἰσκομιδή

1. Περὶ δὲ τῶν εἰσκομιζομένων εἰς τὴν πόλιν ἀγγείων τε καὶ φορημάτων, ἐν οἷς ἄν τι κρυφαῖον ἐνείη, οἷς ἤδη πόλις καὶ ἡ ἀκρόπολις κατελήφθη, 2. νῦν δηλωθήσεται. ἅπερ εὐλαβεῖσθαι δεῖ καὶ μὴ ἀφροντίστως αὐτῶν ἔχειν, καὶ μάλιστα τὸν πυλωρὸν ἔν τισι καιροῖς, ὅταν ἔξωθέν τι ἢ ἔσωθεν φοβερὸν ᾖ. ἔστιν δέ οἱ προσεκτέον εἰσκομιζομένοις. ἐξοίσω δὲ καὶ παραδείγματος ἕνεκεν ἐπὶ πράξει γεγενημένα. 3. κατελήφθη γὰρ πόλις, ἔσωθέν τινων συνθελόντων, ἐν ἑορτῇ πανδήμῳ τρόπῳ τοιῷδε.
4. πρῶτον μὲν τοῖς προενδημήσασι ξένοις ἐπὶ τὸ μέλλον καὶ πολιτῶν τοῖς ἀνόπλοις τε καὶ συνεργοῖς ἐσομένοις εἰσεκομίσθησαν θώρακες λίνεοι καὶ στολίδια καὶ περικεφαλαῖα ὅπλα κνημίδες μάχαιραι τόξα τοξεύματα ἐν κιβωτοῖς ὡς φορταγωγοῖς κατεσκευασμένα, ὡς ἱματίων ἐνόντων καὶ ἄλλων ἀγωγίμων: 5. ἅπερ οἱ ἐλλιμενισταὶ ἀνοίξαντες καὶ ἰδόντες ὡς ἱμάτια μόνον κατεσημήναντο, μέχρι τιμήσονται οἱ εἰσαγαγόντες. 6. καὶ ταῦτα μὲν ἐτέθη ἐγγὺς τῆς ἀγορᾶς, ὅπου ἔδει: ἐν δὲ ταρσοῖς καὶ ῥίποις καὶ ἱστίοις ἡμιυφάντοις δοράτια καὶ ἀκόντια ἐνειλημένα εἰσηνέχθη, καὶ ἐτέθη ὅπου ἕκαστα συνέφερεν ἀνυπόπτως: ἐν δ̓ ἄγγεσιν ἀχύρων καὶ ἐρίων πέλται καὶ μικρὰ ἀσπίδια ἐν τοῖς ἐρίοις καὶ ἀχύροις κεκρυμμένα, καὶ ἄλλα εὐογκότερα ἐν σαργάναις ἀσταφίδος καὶ σύκων πλήρεσιν, ἐγχειρίδια δὲ ἐν ἀμφορεῦσι πυρῶν καὶ ἰσχάδων καὶ ἐλαιῶν. 7. εἰσηνέχθη δὲ ἐγχειρίδια καὶ ἐν σικυοῖς πέποσι γυμνά, ἀπεωσμένα κατὰ τοὺς πυθμένας εἰς τὸ σπέρμα τῶν σικυῶν. ὁ δ̓ ἐπιβουλεύων τε καὶ ἡγεμὼν ἔξωθεν εἰσηνέχθη ἐν φρυγάνων φορήματι. 8. νυκτὸς δὲ γενομένης καὶ ἀθροισθέντων τῶν ἐπιθησομένων, ἕκαστος ὃν ἔδει τηρήσαντες καιρόν, ἐν ᾧ μάλιστα οἰνωμένοι ἦσαν οἱ ἄλλοι κατὰ τὴν πόλιν οἷα δὴ ἐν ἑορτῇ, πρῶτον μὲν τὸ φόρημα ἐλύθη, καὶ ἐξ αὐτοῦ ὁ ἡγεμὼν ἕτοιμος ἦν: ἔπειτα ἄλλοι μὲν αὐτῶν τοὺς ταρσοὺς ἐξείλισσον πρὸς τὰς λήψεις τῶν δοράτων καὶ ἀκοντίων, ἕτεροι δὲ τὰ ἄγγη τῶν ἀχύρων καὶ ἐρίων ἐξεκένουν, οἱ δὲ τὰς σαργάνας ἀνέτεμνον, ἄλλοι δὲ τὰς κιβωτοὺς ἀνοίγοντες τὰ ὅπλα ἐξῄρουν, οἱ δὲ τοὺς ἀμφορέας συνέτριβον, ἵνα ταχεῖα ἡ λῆψις τῶν ἐγχειριδίων γένοιτο. 9. ἅμα δὲ ταῦτα καὶ οὐ πόρρω ὄντα ἀλλήλων ἐπορσύνετο ἀπὸ σημείου τοῦ ἐν τῇ πόλει καὶ ὡς φάλαγξι γενομένου. 10. ὁπλισθέντες δ̓ ἕκαστοι τοῖς προσήκουσιν ὅπλοις οἱ μέν τινες αὐτῶν ἐπὶ πύργους ὥρμησαν καταλαβεῖν καὶ πύλας, καθ̓ ἃς καὶ τοὺς ἄλλους προσεδέχοντο, οἱ δὲ ἐπὶ τὰ ἀρχεῖα καὶ τὰς ἐναντίας οἰκίας, οἱ δέ, ἄλλοι ἄλλων τόπων εἴχοντο.
11. Εἰς δὲ ὁμοίας πράξεις τῶν εἰρημένων δεόμενοί τινες ἀσπίδων ἐπεὶ οὐδενὶ ἄλλῳ τρόπῳ ἐδύναντο ἑτοιμάσασθαι οὐδὲ εἰσαγαγέσθαι, πλῆθος οἰσυῶν καὶ ἐργάτας ἅμα τούτων εἰσηγάγοντο. 12. καὶ ἐν μὲν τῷ φανερῷ ἄλλα ἀγγεῖα ἔπλεκον, ἐν δὲ ταῖς νυξὶν ὅπλα, περικεφαλαίας καὶ ἀσπίδας, ἔπλεκον, αἷς ὄχανα περιετίθεσαν σκύτινα καὶ ξύλινα.
ἀλλὰ μὴν οὐδὲ τῶν κατὰ θάλατταν προσορμιζομένων πλοίων νυκτὸς καὶ ἡμέρας οὔτε μεγάλων οὔτε μικρῶν ἀδιασκέπτως ἔχειν, ἀλλὰ ἐμβαίνοντας τοὺς λιμενοφύλακάς τε καὶ ἀποστολέας ἰδεῖν αὐτοὺ; τὰ ἀγώγιμα, ἐνθυμουμένους ὅτι καὶ Σικυώνιοι ἀμελήσαντες τῶν τοιούτων μεγάλα ἐσφάλησαν.

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