Aeneas Tacticus

Aeneas Tacticus (Greek: Αἰνείας ὁ Τακτικός; fl. 4th century BC) was one of the earliest Greek writers on the art of war and is credited as the first author to provide a complete guide to securing military communications.[1] Polybius described his design for a hydraulic semaphore system.

According to Aelianus Tacticus and Polybius, he wrote a number of treatises (Ὺπομνήματα Hypomnemata) on the subject. The only extant one, How to Survive under Siege (Greek: Περὶ τοῦ πῶς χρὴ πολιορκουμένους ἀντέχειν), deals with the best methods of defending a fortified city. An epitome of the whole was made by Cineas, minister of Pyrrhus, king of Epirus. The work is chiefly valuable as containing a large number of historical illustrations.[2]

Aeneas was considered by Isaac Casaubon to have been a contemporary of Xenophon and identical with the Arcadian general Aeneas of Stymphalus, whom Xenophon (Hellenica, vii.3) mentions as fighting at the Battle of Mantinea (362 BC).[2]


  1. Newton, David E. (1997). Encyclopedia of Cryptography. Santa Barbara California: Instructional Horizons, Inc. p. 7.
  2. 1 2  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Aeneas Tacticus". Encyclopædia Britannica. 1 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 257.

Further reading

See also Chisholm 1911 for a long list of editions and commentaries.

External links

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