Military Rhetoric between Protreptic Tradition and Strategic Thought

Abstract: Rhetorica Militaris, the logikon meros of Syrianos Magister's conpendium is an original, unique stage of the history of the protreptic genre. While the first signs of the genre can be seen already in Homer's Iliad, Thucydides' Histories are in this field and unsurpassed example for later military historians, and particularly to Procopius. The rhetorical structure of the Rhetorica militaris, organized upon the theories attributed to Hermogenes of Tarsus, combines protreptic themes with strategic thought, wich in the byzantine ages assumes a mature character. According to this theory, in times of war and emotional issues can be more important than battles with weapons.

Key Words: Byzantine strategy, Harangues, Iliad, Propopius, Rhetorica Militaris, Syrianus Magister, Thucydides.


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