Aeneas Tacticus 5: How to find a good gate keeper.

What does it take to find a gate keeper who will not be easily convinced (or bribed) to collaborate with the enemy?






5. Of Gate-sentries

1. In the next place, the sentinels at the gates must be men specially selected for intelligence and presence of mind, who will not fail to look with suspicion upon everything brought into the town; they should also be well-to-do men, and bound by ties of family that is to say, a wife and children to be loyal to their city, not men whom poverty, difficulty in meeting their commitments or other troubles might make ready supporters or actual instigators of any mutinous design. 2. Leucon, tyrant of Bosporus, used to discharge even members of his bodyguard who got into debt through gambling or any kind of loose living.






Given that Aeneas' greatest worry are potential traitors collaborating with the enemy (see especially 18, 20), gate keepers needed to be selected with special care. They need to be loyal, but they also needed to be alert to attempts of smuggling messages or dangerous goods into the city, as is pointed out in several passages (esp. 28, see also 29, 30, 31.35).




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