A page from Epitoma rei militaris in the original Latin

The Epitoma rei militaris (also called De Re Militari) is a treatise written by the celebrated fourth century Roman military writer Vegetius.

Vegetius emphasized things such as training of soldiers as a disciplined force, orderly strategy, maintenance of supply lines and logistics, quality leadership and use of tactics and even deceit to ensure advantage over the opposition. He was concerned about selection of good soldiers and recommended hard training of at least four months before the soldier was accepted into the ranks. The leader of the army (dux or duke) had to take care of the men under his command and keep himself informed about the movements of the enemy to gain advantage in the battle.

De Re Militari became a military guide in Middle Ages Europe.

Epitoma rei militaries in Southern VictoryEdit

Epitoma rei militaries was translated into English in the 19th century by US Army General William Dudley Foulke. He presented a copy to Major Irving Morrell during the Great War, and Morrell read it on a train to Philadelphia.

By the time of the Great War, the treatise's commentaries on tactics and military technology had of course long since lost their relevance. However, concerns about such things as intelligence, security, and the advantage of surprise were more timeless.