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Title: Commanding texts : knowledge-ordering, identity construction and ethics in 'military manuals' of the Roman Empire
Author: Chiritoiu, Daniel Alexandru
ISNI:       0000 0004 7227 705X
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis is about ‘military manuals’ produced in the first few centuries of the Roman imperial period. It argues that these texts merit far more attention and appreciation than they have received in the scholarship so far. I will explore areas such as the way in which their authors order and rank Greek and Roman knowledge, engage with ideas about knowledge and power, help construct identity and discuss ethics and behavior. In the first chapter I will determine whether the authors operate within a specific ‘genre’, or ‘genres’, of military writing. Then I will explore how the texts relate to other traditions of technical texts, questions of audience, and finally the issue of their practicality. The second chapter will examine how authors tackle the issue of ‘Greek’ and ‘Roman’ knowledge, categorize, rank and use it for self-promotion. We will see how Roman knowledge is both subverted but also praised, and how Greek knowledge is at the same time placed above Roman knowledge and integrated into a narrative of continuity with it. The third chapter will focus on the use of Greek knowledge in the construction of Roman identity. I will explore how ‘manuals’ play a part in the identity of the Roman Empire, fitting into a picture of unity in diversity, and show how they contribute to Hadrian’s self-presentation. The fourth chapter will examine the ethical component in manuals. I will determine whether there was an ethical code of conduct in battle in the Classical world and whether it was different from general ethical norms. Then, we will examine whether our texts engage in any way with this ‘code’ and whether their individual approaches have anything in common or are fundamentally different.
Supervisor: Flemming, Rebecca Sponsor: AHRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Military manuals ; Arrian ; Aelian ; Frontinus ; Polyaenus ; Onasander ; technical literature ; historiography ; Roman history ; Greek history ; Second Sophistic ; Roman Empire ; Greek knowledge ; Roman knowledge ; military history ; generalship ; cultural history ; tactical texts ; tactics ; artillery manuals ; siegecraft ; Greek and Roman experts