Aeneas Tacticus 30: Controlling arms imports.

Aeneas' work suggests that there were usually not many more sets of weapons and armour available than those owned by the members of the city's own hoplite (heavy infantry) force. Conspirators attempting to recruit poorer residents (those who did not have their own armour, and probably a majority of adult male residents) for a violent uprising, would have to supply arms to such supporters. Arms imports are therefore particularly dangerous.






30. Of the Importation of Arms

1. Precautions must be taken, too, in regard to arms imported for sale or displayed in the market place, or in the shops and stores: these, if collected, might make a large pile, and so they must be placed beyond the reach of intending traitors. 2. It would be very foolish to make everyone who enters the city give up his arms, while you let quantities of them, boxes full of shields and chests full of daggers, lie ready to hand in the market or in lodging houses. Imported arms, therefore, which have been collected should not be exposed in the market place or left for the night wherever they happen to be placed: with the exception of a sample, official permission should be required before a consignment is displayed.









created 14/02/2010 - updated 14/02/2010