Aeneas Tacticus, PoliorketikaAeneas Tacticus, On Siege Defense, translated by the "Illinois Greek Club" and published in the Loeb Classical Library in 1928, nobly digitized by E. Thayer at LacusCurtius and asserted to be in the public domain. This text has 68 tagged references to 54 ancient places.
CTS URN: urn:cts:greekLit:tlg0058.tlg001; Wikidata ID: Q87737059; Trismegistos: authorwork/5988 [Open Greek text in new tab]
§ praef When men set out from their own country to encounter strife and perils in foreign lands and some disaster befalls them by land or sea, the survivors still have left their native soil, their city, and their fatherland, so that they are not all utterly destroyed. 2 But for those who are to incur peril in defence of what they most prize, shrines and country, parents and children, and all else, the struggle is not the same nor even similar. For if they save themselves by a stout defence against the foe, their enemies will be intimidated and disinclined to attack them in the future, but if they make a poor showing in the face of danger, no hope of safety will be left. 3 Those, therefore, who are to contend for all these precious stakes must fail in no preparation and no effort, but must take thought for many and varied activities, so that a failure may at least not seem due to their own fault. 4 But if after all a reverse should befall them, yet at all events the survivors may some time restore their affairs to their former condition, like certain Greek peoples who, after being reduced to extremes, have reestablished themselves.
§ praef.4 Now the disposition of the troops is to be made with reference to the size of the state and the topography of the town, its sentries and patrols, and any other service for which troops are required in the city, — in view of all this the assignments are to be made. 2 So men who are going to fight outside the walls must be drawn up in a manner suitable to the country along their line of march, according as they are to march past dangerous or fortified places, through narrow passes or across plains, past higher ground upon the right and points exposed to ambush, with reference also to the river-crossings and the formation of a line of battle under such conditions. 3 But the forces which are to defend the walls and keep watch over the citizens need not be so arranged, but rather with reference to the positions within the city and to the immediate danger. 4 First, then, it is necessary to select the most prudent citizens and those most experienced in war for attendance upon the civil authorities. 5 Next one must pick out men capable of the greatest physical exertion and divide them into companies, that there may be ready for sallies, for patrolling the city, for the relief of those hard pressed, or for any other similar service, these who are picked men and able to give assistance. 6 They must be both loyal and satisfied with the existing order, since it is a great thing to have such a group acting like a fortress against the revolutionary designs of the other party, for it would be a terror to the opposition inside the city. 7 And let the man who is to lead and have charge of them be not merely prudent and vigorous, but also one who would run the greatest risks from a change of government. 8 From the rest the strongest, in the prime of manhood, should be chosen for the watches and the walls, while the remainder should be divided and apportioned according to the length of the nights and the number of the watches. 9 Of the common soldiers some should be stationed in the agora, some in the theatre, and the rest in the open places in the city, so that as far as the city's power permits no part may be unguarded.
§ 2 And that there may be no need of troops to guard them, it is best to block up the useless open places in the city by digging ditches and by making them as inaccessible as possible to any who might wish to start a revolt and begin by taking possession of them. 2 So, when the Thebans had broken in, the Lacedemonians, some here and others there, filled baskets with earth and stones from the nearest houses, which they tore down, and from fences and walls, making use also, it is said, of the many massive bronze tripods from the temples, and with these they managed, in advance of the Thebans, to block up the entrances and passages and open places and kept them out when they tried to break into the city proper. 3 On another occasion, when the Plataeans became aware during the night that the Thebans were in the city, they perceived that there were not many of them and that they were taking none of the proper precautions because they fancied that they were in possession of the town. The Plataeans concluded, therefore, that they could easily defeat them by an attack, and so promptly devised the following scheme. 4 Some of the authorities engaged the Thebans in the agora in a discussion of terms, while others were secretly passing the word around to the rest of the citizens not to go out of their houses singly, but one or two at a time to break through the party-walls and assemble stealthily in one another's houses. 5 When a sufficient fighting force was ready, they blocked up the streets and alleys, using wagons without the draft-animals, and rushing together at a given signal, fell upon the Thebans. 6 At the same time the women-folk and the house-slaves were on the tile-roofs. The result was that when the Thebans wished to act and to defend themselves in the darkness they suffered no less harm from the wagons than from their assailants, since they fled without knowing which way to turn for safety because of the barricades of wagons, while their pursuers, being acquainted with the ground, soon killed many of them. 7 Yet it is necessary to set forth also the reasons which make against this practice, such as the great danger to the besieged if there is only one open place and the conspirators are the first to seize it. For when there is only one such common spot, the advantage would lie with those who first take it. But if there are two or three such places, there would be these advantages: 8 If the conspirators should seize one or two there would still be one left for their opponents; and if they should seize them all, by separation and division they would be weaker in the face of their united opponents, unless indeed each division were numerically superior to the defenders of the city. In the same way in all other decisions one should consider the inherent objections to the prescribed rules, that one may not inadvisedly adopt another course.
§ 3 Another Organization of City Guards: When sudden fear falls upon a city without military organization, one could most speedily organize the citizens for its defence by allotting to each ward a section of the wall to which it is to hurry and mount guard, letting the number of the inhabitants of the ward determine the extent of that section of the wall to whose defence it is appointed. 2 The next step is to assign the able-bodied men from each ward to duty at the agora, upon patrols, and wherever else such men may be needed. 3 Similarly when a stronghold is occupied by allies, let a section of the wall be given to each contingent of the allies to defend. Should the citizens, however, suspect one another, trustworthy men should be stationed at the several places for ascending the wall, who, if anyone else attempts to mount, will prevent him from doing so. 4 In peace, also, the citizens ought to be organized in the following manner. First of all one should appoint as captain of each precinct the most capable and prudent man, to whom the citizens are to rally if anything unexpected occurs at night. 5 The precinct captains should muster at the agora the men of those precincts nearest the agora, at the theatre the men of those precincts nearest the theatre, and so for the other open places the precinct captains with the armed men who have reported to them should gather, each in the one that lies nearest to him. 6 For this is the quickest way by which each group would both reach their stations and be near their own homes, and so, as heads of families, could communicate with their households, that is, with their children and wives, because stationed not far from them. And it should be determined beforehand by lot to which quarter each of the authorities should go and send detachments of troops to the battlements. Moreover, there will be leaders to look after everything else, provided that they thus assume immediate command.
§ 4 On pre-arranged Signals: As quickly as possible the besieged must be provided with signals, so that they will not fail to recognize those who approach them. For this is the sort of thing that has happened: Chalcis on the Euripus was captured by a fugitive operating from Eretria, aided by one of the inhabitants of the town who practised a stratagem of the following description. 2 To the most deserted part of the city, where the gate was regularly closed, he kept bringing a firepot, and by keeping the fire going day and night he secretly one night burned through the bar of the gate and admitted soldiers at that point. 3 When about two thousand men had gathered in the agora, the alarm was hastily sounded and many of the Chalcidians were killed because they were not recognized, for in their panic they aligned themselves with their enemies as though they were their friends, each thinking that he was late in coming up. 4 In this way, then, most of them perished by ones and twos, and the city had been in the hands of the enemy for some time before the citizens knew what was happening. 5 It is necessary, then, in time of war, especially when the enemy is near at hand, first, that the forces which are being sent from the city on some enterprise by land or sea should be furnished with signals for use both by day and by night to those who remain, in order that the latter, if the enemy appear in the meantime, may not be unable to tell friend from foe. And, secondly, after their departure upon the enterprise, persons who will recognize the signals should be sent to watch, so that the men at home may get information of this kind while those returning are still a great way off. For it would be a great advantage to make preparations long beforehand for what is impending. 7 What has befallen those who did not take such precautions will be clear from some actual incidents which may be told in passing as illustration and definite evidence. 8 Word was brought to Peisistratus, when he was general at Athens, that the Megarians would come in ships, and attempt a night attack upon the Athenian women while they were celebrating at Eleusis the festival of Demeter. On hearing this Peisistratus set an ambush ahead of them, 9 and when the Megarians disembarked, in secrecy as they supposed, and were some distance from the sea, he rose up and overcame those who had been trapped, killed most of them, and captured the ships in which they had come. 10 Then after quickly filling the ships with his own soldiers, he took from among the women those best fitted to make the voyage, and late in the day landed at Megara at some distance from the city. 11 Now many of the Megarians, officials and others, when they caught sight of the ships sailing into the harbour, went out to meet them, wishing, no doubt, to see as many women as possible brought in as captives. Then the Athenians were ordered to attack the enemy, and disembarking with daggers in their hands to strike down some of the Megarians, but to bring back to the ships as many as possible of the most prominent men; and this they did. 12 From what has been said, then, it is clear that for the conduct of musters and expeditions it is necessary to have prearranged signals, and those of a kind that cannot be misunderstood.
§ 5 On Gatekeepers: In the next place, no chance persons should be appointed keepers of the gates, but only discreet and sagacious men always capable of suspecting anything brought into the city; and besides they should be well-to do and men who have something at stake in the city, that is to say, wife and children; but not men who, because of poverty, or the pressure of some agreement, or from other stress of circumstances, might either be persuaded by anyone or of themselves incite others to revolt. 2 Leuco, the tyrant of Bosporus, used to discharge even those among his guards who were in debt as a result of dice-playing or other excesses.
§ 6 Scouting by Day: Day scouts also must be stationed before the city on a high place visible for as long a distance as possible. At least three scouts should be at each place, not chosen at random, but men skilled in warfare, so that a single scout may not ignorantly form an opinion and signal or announce it to the city and trouble the inhabitants to no purpose. 2 Persons inexperienced in military formations are likely to do this through not knowing whether the enemy's acts and deeds are intentional or only accidental, 3 but the experienced man, understanding the preparations of the enemy, his numbers, line of march, and other movements, will report the truth. 4 If there are no such places from which the signals may be given to the city, there must be relays of persons at different points to receive the signals as they are raised and pass them on to the city. 5 The day scouts must also be swift of foot so that they can come quickly and report, even from great distances, matters which cannot be signalled but must by all means be reported by one of them. 6 If there are at hand horses and places fit for the use of horses, it is best to employ relays of horsemen so that messages may be conveyed more quickly. The day scouts must be sent from the city at dawn or while it is still night, lest they be seen by the scouts of the enemy as they go by daylight to their posts. They must not have the same watchword . . . so that if they are captured by the enemy they may be able neither willingly nor unwillingly to reveal the watchword of those in the city. The day scouts should be told to raise their signals now and then just as the night scouts raise their torches.
§ 7 Whenever it is harvest time in the country and the enemy is not far away, many of those in the city are likely to tarry in near by places, eager to save the crops. 2 These persons must be gathered into the city thus. First, they must be signalled to come into the city by sunset, but if they are scattered over too much territory signals must be given by relays, so that all, or most of them, may reach the city. 3 When the signal is given for them to leave the fields, one must also be given to those in the city to prepare the evening meal. Third, the guard must be signalled to go and take their posts. 4 How this is to be done and how they are to raise the signal fires is treated more fully in the book on Military Preparations. One must get his information from that, so that I may not have to write twice about the same matters.
§ 8 Next, if the invasion of a more numerous and larger force of the enemy is expected, first, the region must be made difficult for the enemy to attack, to encamp in, and to forage in, and the rivers must be made hard to ford and swollen. 2 The number and kinds of stratagems to be employed against enemies disembarking on sandy and rocky shores; what kind of barriers must be ready against them at the harbour of the country or of the city so that vessels cannot enter, or, if they do, cannot sail out; 3 how to make useless the material voluntarily left in the country which might be useful to the foe, for example, that for building walls or huts, or any other enterprise; 4 or, if it is not destroyed, how to conceal both food and drink, the products of the fields and other things in the country; and how one must make standing waters undrinkable, and places fit for cavalry movements unfit for them, — 5 the particular treatment of all these subjects is for the present omitted, to avoid explaining them at this point, since they are too numerous. They have been fully treated in the book on Military Preparations.
§ 9 If the invaders try to overawe you, your first action must be to occupy certain places in your own country with men, and calling an assembly of your own soldiers or citizens, explain the situation to them, telling them that there is some operation on hand for them against the enemy and that when a signal is given by trumpet at night those of military age are to be ready to take arms, gather in an appointed place, and follow their leader. 2 So when this is reported to the camp of the enemy, or to their city, you can divert them from what they are attempting to do. 3 If these things are so done you will inspire your friends with courage by your initiative and fearlessness and arouse fear in your enemies so that they will remain quickly at home.
§ 10 One must also notify those citizens who own cattle or slaves to place them in safety among neighbours, since they cannot bring them into the city. 2 The authorities at public expense must place such property with neighbouring peoples and provide means for its support if the owners have no friends to whom they may entrust it. 3 Furthermore, proclamations such as these are to be issued from time to time to frighten and deter conspirators: The free population and the ripe crops are to be brought into the city, authority being given to anyone so disposed to lead away or carry off from the country, without fear of punishment, the possessions of anyone who disobeys this regulation. 4 The usual festivals are to be celebrated in the city, and private gatherings shall not take place, either by day or by night, but those which are really necessary may be held in the town-hall, the council-chamber, or other public place. A soothsayer shall not make sacrifice on his own account without the presence of a magistrate. 5 Men shall not dine in common but each in his own house, except in the case of a wedding or a funeral feast, and then only upon previous notice to the authorities. If there are any citizens in exile, announcement is to be made what is to be done with each citizen, stranger, or slave who may try to leave. 6 And if any person associate with any of the exiles, or in dealing with any of them send or receive letters, there is to be a definite risk or even a penalty awaiting him. Outgoing and incoming letters shall be brought to censors before being sent out or delivered. 7 Men who have more than one equipment of arms shall return a list of them, and no one shall send any weapon out of the city or receive such as security. Soldiers may not be hired nor may one serve for hire without the permission of the authorities. 8 No citizen or resident alien shall take passage on a ship without a passport, and orders shall be given that ships shall anchor near gates designated in what follows. 9 Strangers arriving shall carry their weapons unconcealed and ready at hand, and immediately upon arrival shall be disarmed, while no one, not even the innkeepers, shall receive them without permission from the authorities, who shall record also in whose house any persons are, when they take lodging; 10 and at night inns must be locked from the outside by the authorities. From time to time vagrants among these strangers shall be publicly expelled. 11 Citizens of neighbouring states, however, residing in the city for the sake of education or for some other special purpose, shall be registered. Not everyone who wishes may converse with public embassies representing cities, princes, or armies, but there must always be present certain of the most trusted citizens who shall stay with the ambassadors so long as they remain. 12 For the importer of whatever the city lacks, grain or oil or anything else, profits shall be specified in proportion to the amount of his importations, and he shall be honoured with a crown, and the shipmaster shall be granted allowance for the hauling up and down of his vessel. 13 Frequent calls to arms shall be given and all strangers in the town shall at this time assemble in a specified place or remain indoors; if, however, one of them shall appear elsewhere, a penalty shall be prescribed for him as a malefactor. 14 At a given signal their stores and shops shall be closed and their lights extinguished, and no one else shall come in.
§ 10.15 Whenever it is necessary for anyone, he may go out with a lantern, until orders are issued to the contrary. For whoever points out anyone conspiring against the city, or reports anyone as doing any of the things above-mentioned, a reward in money shall be announced, and the reward shall be displayed openly in the agora or on an altar or in a temple, in order that men may the more readily venture to report any violation of the provisions mentioned. 16 Concerning a sovereign, a general, or a fugitive ruler one should make also the following proclamations: If the tyrannicide himself come to grief, the reward announced shall be paid to his children, and if he have none, to his next of kin. 17 And if anyone of the associates of the exile or sovereign or general do some service to the state, one half of the reward shall be paid him and a return to his home shall be granted, for because of these considerations he would the more readily make the attempt. 18 In a mercenary force, after a call for silence, the following shall be proclaimed in the hearing of all: 19 If anyone is displeased with the existing conditions, and wishes to withdraw, he may do so, but afterwards . . . he will be sold into slavery. For offences less than these imprisonment shall be the penalty, according to the existing law. If anyone be shown to be injuring the army or demoralizing the camp, death shall be the penalty. 20 Then attention shall be given to the other classes. First, one must note whether the citizens are of one mind, since that would be of greatest advantage during a siege. If not, one must, without arousing suspicion, remove the most influential of those out of sympathy with the existing order of things, especially those who might become leaders and responsible for action in the city, sending them away somewhere on a plausible pretext, as ambassadors or on other public business. 21 For instance, Dionysius did this in the case of his brother Leptines, when he saw that he was popular with the people of Syracuse and in many ways influential. Becoming suspicious of him and desiring to get rid of him, he did not openly attempt to expel him, for he knew that he would have great support and favour and that a revolution might ensue, so he devised this scheme. 22 He sent him with a few mercenaries to a city named Himera, directing him to bring back part of its garrison and reorganize the rest. When he arrived at Himera, Dionysius sent him word to stay there until he sent for him. 23 When a city has given hostages and a campaign is made against it, the parents and next of kin of the hostages should depart from the place until the siege is over, in order that they may not, in the assaults by the enemy, see their own sons brought forward and meeting a cruel end. For it is possible that these people, if they were in the city, might go so far as to engage in some act of opposition. 24 If, however, it prove difficult to send such persons out on these pretexts, they must continue in the city but share in only the fewest possible works and undertakings, and they must not know in advance where they are to be or what they are to do, being as little as possible their own masters by night and day. And on one duty and special service after another, without raising suspicion, many persons should keep coming and going about them, in whose company they will be under guard rather than on guard. 25 But let them be divided, so that they may be kept under watch, for in this manner they would be least able to begin a revolution. Again, citizens are not to go to bed with lamps or any light at night, for in some instances persons who have been thwarted in every way from beginning a revolution (which was what they wished), and from entering into negotiations with the enemy, have contrived thus: 26 carrying lights to their positions on guard-duty, along with their baskets and bedding — sometimes taking torches, sometimes lamps — ostensibly in order to have some light to go to bed by, they have by these lights given a prearranged signal. Accordingly, all such matters must be regarded with suspicion.
§ 11 Plots: One must, further, keep an eye on those of the citizens who are disaffected and not be too ready to accept their advice. 2 To show this, I shall here note in order and by way of example, from the book on this subject, how many plots have been made within various cities by officials or by private citizens, and how some of these have been completely frustrated. 3 Just before the betrayal of Chios, one of the officials, who was a party to the act of treason, deceitfully persuaded his colleagues, that, since the state was at peace, they ought to draw the barrier of the harbour up on land for drying and caulking, to sell the old rigging of the ships, and to repair the leaky roofs of the ship-houses as well as the adjoining arsenal and of the tower next to this arsenal, in which the magistrates took their meals — all as a pretext, so that ladders might be at hand for those who were to seize ship-houses, arsenal, and tower. 4 He further advised that the majority of the men who were doing guard-duty in the city should be paid off, on the pretext that the expense to the state might be as small as possible. 5 With these and similar arguments he won over his colleagues to every measure that would contribute to the victory of the conspirators when they made this seizure. Accordingly, one must always keep an eye on those who are too eager to effect matters of this kind. 6 At the same time he fastened to the wall and hung out, as if for drying, deer nets and boar nets, and in other places sails with the ropes dangling, and it was by these that the soldiers climbed up at night. 7 Against revolutionists the following plan was carried out in Argos. When the rich men's party was about to launch the second attack against the people and was bringing up mercenaries, the leader of the people's party, who had found out what was about to happen, just before the attack won over two men of the party hostile to the people, to be his secret accomplices, and while publicly treating them as his enemies and abusing them he heard from them in private the plans of the opposing party. 8 Then, when the rich men were in the act of bringing in their mercenaries, and others of their party were at the same time ready within the city, and the deed was to take place the next night, he decided to call an immediate assembly of the people, without announcing what was to come, that the city might not be thrown into utter confusion, and told them, among other things, that it was desirable for all Argives to stand at arms during the coming night, each man with his own tribe. 9 Further, that if anyone should follow a different course in arming himself or should appear elsewhere and out of his proper station, he should be punished as a traitor and conspirator against the people. 10 The purpose of this was that the rich men, scattered among the various tribes, should not be able to assemble at one point and attack with the mercenaries, but should be distributed in the several tribes as a small minority among their fellow-tribesmen. And he seems to have dealt skilfully, cleverly, and safely with the impending danger. 10a Similarly, in Heracleia Pontica, when the democracy was in power and the rich were conspiring against it and about to make an attack, the leaders of the popular party, who knew what was imminent, persuaded the people to establish a division into sixty 'hundreds' in place of their former three tribes and four 'hundreds,' so that, in the new divisions, the rich should do both guard duty and the other services. 11 The result was that here, too, the rich were scattered, and were, in each 'hundred,' few among many of the popular party. And a similar thing took place long ago in Lacedemon. When the authorities were informed of a conspiracy to attack at the moment when the felt cap was raised, they thwarted those who planned the attack by giving the men who were about to raise the felt cap the order not to raise it. 13 In Corcyra a rebellion of the wealthy oligarchic party against the rule of the people (the Athenian Chares, who at that time lived there and commanded the guard, helped in this rebellion) was contrived in the following manner. 14 Some of the captains of the guard drew blood from themselves with cupping-glasses, and made cuts on their bodies and ran out bleeding into the agora, as though they had been wounded. At the same time the other soldiers, who had been prepared for this, speedily took up their arms, and with them the Corcyreans who were in the conspiracy;
§ 11.15 and while the others had no notion of what was happening, and had, indeed, been summoned to an assembly, the leaders of the people's party were seized, as if they had been the ones who made the uprising. The rest of the affair, also, the conspirators arranged to their own advantage.
§ 12 Precautions with regard to allied Forces: If allied forces are admitted into the city they should never be stationed together, but should be separated in the manner already suggested and for the same reasons. 2 In the same way those who are to make use of mercenary troops should always have citizens under arms surpassing these mercenaries in number and power, otherwise both the citizens and the state are at their mercy. 3 A danger of this sort befell the Chalcedonians while in a state of siege, due to the presence of allied forces sent by the people of Cyzicus, their allies. When the Chalcedonians were deliberating upon measures affecting their interest, the troops of the garrison said that they would not consent unless it seemed advantageous to the people of Cyzicus as well, so that the garrison within the walls was much more terrible to the Chalcedonians than was the besieging enemy. 4 One must, therefore, never admit into a city an alien force greater than that already available to the citizens, and the state employing mercenaries must always be much superior to them in strength, since it is not safe to be outnumbered by aliens nor to be in the power of mercenaries, 5 as actually happened to the inhabitants of Heracleia Pontica; for, by bringing in more hired troops than they should, they first made away with those of the opposing faction, but later brought destruction to the themselves and the state, being forced into subjection to the man who introduced the mercenaries.
§ 13 Maintenance of Mercenaries: If, however, it is necessary to maintain mercenaries it may be most safely done as follows. The wealthiest citizens should be required to provide mercenaries, each according to his means, some three, some two, others one. When as many as you need are assembled, they should be divided into companies, 2 and the most trustworthy of the citizens placed over them as captains. Pay and maintenance the mercenaries should receive from their employers, partly at the private expense of the latter, 3 partly from funds contributed by the state. And each group of them should board in the houses of their employers, but they should be assembled by their captains for the performance of public services, night watches, and other tasks assigned by the authorities. 4 Reimbursement should be made in due time to those who have incurred expense for the mercenaries, after deducting the taxes due the state from each individual. For in this way maintenance may be provided for mercenaries most quickly, safely, and cheaply.
§ 14 Suggestions for securing Loyalty: With those, then, in the city who are opposed to the existing order one may deal in the manner already prescribed. In the meantime it is of primary importance to win over the mass of the citizens to a spirit of loyalty, both by other influences and in the case of the debtors by the reduction or complete cancellation of interest, and, in cases of especial danger, of some part of the principal, or even all of it when necessary; for such men as these are the most formidable of adversaries. Adequate provision must also be made for those who are in want of the necessities of life. 2 How these measures may be taken fairly and without offence to the wealthy, and from what revenues the expenses may be met, has also been clearly explained in the book on Finance.
§ 15 After the foregoing matters have been arranged, if a call for help come, either by messenger or by signal-fire, troops must be sent out to the parts of the country that are being devastated. 2 The generals must immediately marshal such men as are at hand, in order that they may not go forth in small and scattered groups, each bent upon saving his own property, and ruin themselves from lack of discipline and premature exertion, meeting disaster through ambuscades of the enemy. 3 Those who report for duty must assemble, up to a certain number, at the gates, for instance, the quota of one or two companies, and only after they have been marshalled and a capable leader has been assigned them must they be dispatched from the town, and then they must hasten as fast as military order will allow. 4 Then other groups in succession must be speedily dispatched in the same fashion until enough seem to have been sent forth to render the assistance needed. This must be done in order that the divisions may be close together on the march, and, if it is necessary for one division to assist another, or for all to act together, they may easily be united and those in the rear may not have to come from a distance on the run. 5 The available cavalry and light-armed troops, however, also in good order, should go ahead of the others and should reconnoitre and preoccupy the elevated positions, that the heavy-armed troops may be aware as early as possible of the movements of the enemy and may not be surprised by any sudden attack. 6 At places where there are turning-points, bases of the ridges, and forks in the roads, that is, wherever there are diverging ways, signs should be placed, lest at these points the stragglers, through ignorance of the road, be separated from their fellows. Likewise when the bands return to the city they should employ caution, for many reasons, but chiefly for fear of the enemy's ambuscades. For this sort of thing has been known to happen to incautious relief parties. 8 When the Triballi were invading the country of the Abderites, the latter sallied forth against them, formed in battle array, and carried out a brilliant operation; for joining battle they killed many and defeated a large and powerful force. 9 Now the Triballi, enraged at the occurrence, withdrew and reorganized, and making another inroad into the country set ambuscades and started to lay waste the land of the Abderites not far from the city. The Abderites held them in contempt because of the previous achievement and made a hasty attack against them with great force and eagerness, but the Triballi drew them into their ambuscades. 10 On that particular occasion it is said that more men perished in a shorter time than had ever been the case, at least from a single city of similar size. For the others, not having learned of the destruction of those who had gone first, did not pause in their rush to the rescue, but cheering one another on, hurried away to render assistance to those who had already sallied forth, until the city was bereft of men.
§ 16 Other Kinds of Relief: Still another kind of relief would be more effective against the invaders. 2 In the first place one should not in the night-time go straight out to give assistance, seeing that before dawn the inhabitants would be in very great disorder and also unprepared, some hurrying with all speed to save their property on the farms, others dreading to face danger, as is natural when the alarm is sudden, while still others are wholly unready. 3 It is necessary, therefore, to assemble and prepare the rescue force with all speed, at the same time freeing some from their fear, inspiring others with confidence, and arming still others. 4 For you must know that when an enemy goes to war with judgement and understanding, he at first advances the strongest of his forces in military order, expecting a counter-attack and ready to defend himself. Meanwhile a part of these invaders separate and devastate the country, while others would lie in ambush expecting some of your forces to come in disorder to lend assistance. 5 It is not best, therefore, to disturb them by an immediate attack, but to allow them first to become bold, and in their contempt of you to start off pillaging and satisfying their greed. At the same time these men when sated with food and drink and heavy with wine would become careless and disobedient to their leaders; 6 and as a result of this they will be likely to put up a poor fight, and will retreat, at least if you fall upon them opportunely. 7 For, when your supporting force is ready at the appointed place, and the enemy has already scattered for plunder, then and then only you should attack them, cut off their retreat with your cavalry, set ambuscades of picked men, and, engaging them with your other light-armed forces, bring up your heavy-armed troops in close formation not far behind the divisions already sent forward. Attack the enemy where you are not unwilling to do battle, and where you will not be at a disadvantage in the fight. 8 Hence, for the reasons already stated, it is sometimes to your interest to give the enemy rein, and to allow him to lay waste as much of the land as he wishes, where, while plundering and laden with spoil, he will easily suffer punishment at your hands. For in this way all that has been taken would be recovered, and those who had done the damage would receive their just deserts. 9 On the other hand, if you should hastily send out relief forces, you might endanger your own men, unprepared and not yet in order, while the enemy, although they would already have done a little harm, yet, because they were still in order, would get away unpunished. 10 But it is much better, as I have written, to give way to them, and then attack them when off their guard. 11 But if the plundering of the country has escaped your notice or has occurred before you could prevent it, you should not make your pursuit of the enemy along the same roads nor in the same places, but should cause only a few to make a demonstration there, and, in their pursuit, intentionally but without arousing suspicion, refrain from overtaking them, while the army as a whole, in considerable strength, should hasten as quickly as possible by other roads, and, anticipating the enemy, should lie in ambush in the land of the invaders, near the border. 12 You may reasonably expect to reach their land first, since because of driving their booty they must advance more slowly. And you should make your attack upon them while they are at the evening meal; for when the marauders are already within their own border and feel themselves secure they would be inclined to carelessness and be more off their guard. 13 The best plan of all, however, in order to have your soldiers fresh for battle, provided boats are at hand, is to make the pursuit by sea; for you will thus outstrip the enemy, and the other conditions necessary for success will favour you, provided you are not detected by them on your voyage. 14 Of the people of Cyrene and Barca and certain other cities the story runs that they made their rescue expeditions over long wagon-roads in four- and in two horse vehicles; and when they had reached the appointed place, and the vehicles had been arranged in order, the heavy-armed troops alighted, and, forming at once in ranks, attacked the enemy with unimpaired strength.
§ 17.15 Hence, for those who have a ready supply of vehicles, it is a great advantage to have their soldiers arrive quickly where they are needed and with fresh strength; further, the wagons would be a ready defence for the camp, while soldiers who were wounded or suffering from any other mishap could be conveyed in them back to the city. 16 And if the country be not easy to invade but have few and narrow approaches, you should prepare these in advance by such a distribution of forces as has just been described, placing soldiers at the approaches to oppose those who are attacking and wish to march upon the city, having stationed in advance other troops who are made aware by signal-fires of the fortunes of the several divisions, in order that these may bring support, if in any way they need one another's help. 17 If, on the other hand, the land is not difficult to invade, but it is possible for large forces to attack at many points, the strategic positions of the country should be seized, so that the approach to the city may be difficult for the enemy. 18 Again, if such places do not exist, it is necessary to occupy near the city other points of support, so that you may both fight to good advantage and also be able easily to withdraw from the place whenever you wish to retreat to the city. And then if the enemy break into the country and make for the city, you must begin the fighting, setting out from these places. 19 You must always, in making your attacks upon the enemy strive to profit from your acquaintance with the terrain; for you will have a great advantage from previous knowledge of the country and by leading the enemy into such places as you may wish, which are known to you and suitable, whether for defence, or pursuit, or flight, or withdrawal into the city either secretly or openly. Moreover, you will also know in advance what part of the country will supply you with provisions, whereas the enemy will be unacquainted, ignorant, and embarrassed in all these particulars. 20 The enemy, moreover, knowing that if one is unfamiliar with the country, not only is he unable to accomplish anything that he wishes, but it is also difficult for him to get away in safety, at least if the inhabitants wish to attack him, would come to grief from their spiritless and timid disposition towards everything, because they are unable to conjecture anything of the sort. For there would be as great a difference between the two parties as if it were the lot of the one to fight by night and the other by day, if this could in any way happen at the same time. 21 If you have a naval force the ships must be manned, for the marines will annoy the enemy as much as the infantry if your fleet sails by the coasts and the roads along the shore, so that the enemy will be embarrassed both by you and by the men from the ships who disembark in their rear. 22 By your doing so the enemy would be most unprepared for your attack, and they would be surprised by the outcome of your manoeuvre.
§ 17 In a city in which harmony is wanting and where the citizens are mutually distrustful, you must exercise forethought and caution about the crowds that go out to see a torch-race, horse-racing, or other contests — whenever, that is, there are sacred rites in which the entire people engage outside the city, and processions that issue from the city under arms -; also about the public hauling up of ships and the obsequies of the dead. For it is possible on such an occasion for one faction to be overthrown, 2 and as an example I will cite an actual instance. A public festival of the Argives took place outside the city, and the citizens formed an armed procession of men of military age. Meanwhile many conspirators who got ready, equipped themselves with arms, joined the procession, 3 and when it came to the temple and the altar the majority set down their weapons at a distance from the temple and went to pray at the altar. Of the conspirators, however, some remained with their arms, and others took their stand beside the magistrates and leading men of the city while they were at prayer, each beside his man, with dagger in hand. 4 These men some of the conspirators struck down, while others with their arms hastened into the city, and still others of the conspirators, who had remained in the town with the hoplites who had been previously collected, captured those quarters which were necessary for their purpose, and so admitted only those whom they wished. Accordingly, against such treachery one must at no time be off his guard. The people of Chios, when they celebrate the festival of Dionysus and send brilliant processions to his altar, first with guards and numerous forces take possession of the roads leading to the agora — truly no slight hindrance to those who wish to begin a revolution. 6 It is best for the officials to begin the celebration accompanied by the previously selected force, and only after these have been separated from the populace to allow the others to come.
§ 18 And whenever those who have gone out return and it is late afternoon, one should give the signal for the evening meal and for mounting guard; and while the guards are making ready care must be taken that the gates are well locked, since many mistakes are made about the bolt-pins as the result of slackness on the part of the authorities. 2 For when any of them goes to lock the gate, yet does not do so with his own hands, but gives the bolt pin over to the gate-keeper and orders him to lock it, the following sorts of mischief are done by gate-keepers who wish to admit the enemy by night. Some one during the day has poured sand into the bolt-socket of the gate, so that the bolt may stick outside and not drop into the hole. They say, too, that bolt-pins already dropped into place have been extracted in the following manner. 4 While sand was poured into the socket a few grains at a time, the bolt pin was shaken noiselessly so that no one would notice it. Accordingly, as the sand worked down, the bolt pin came to the top, so that it was easily taken out. 5 It has happened that a keeper of the gate, on receiving from the general the bolt pin to put in place, with a chisel or file surreptitiously made a groove in the pin, looped a linen thread about it, and inserted it, and then after a little drew it out by the thread. 6 Yet another prepared a net of fine meshes to which was attached a linen thread, put the pin in that, and afterwards drew it out. The bolt pin has also been removed by driving it up out of the socket with blows from beneath. Again, it has been removed by means of delicate pincers; and for this one part of the pincers must be grooved, the other flat, so as to get an under-hold on the bolt pin with the grooved part and an over-hold with the other. 7 And still another, just as he was to drop the bolt pin in place, secretly turned the bar in order that the pin might not fall into the hole and that afterwards the gate might be forced open. 8 In the city of . . . near the border of Achaea certain men who were endeavouring to smuggle in mercenaries began by getting the dimensions of the bolt pin in the following manner. 9 During the day they let down into the socket a loop of fine and strong linen thread, the ends of which were outside but not in sight, and when at night the bolt pin was put in place, with the ends of the thread they pulled up the loop and the pin, took its dimensions, and replaced it. Next they made a pin hook to fit the dimensions of the pin thus taken, in the following manner. 10 They had a tube made and a needle for sewing rush-mats. Now the tube was made in the usual fashion, but the mat needle had the point and the longer end made like other such needles, while the head was hollow like that of a spike at the butt of a spear into which the shaft is fitted; 11 and at the blacksmith's shop a shaft was fitted into it, but when they took it home this was removed, so that the head fitted the bolt pin when they were put together. Now that seems a very shrewd device to prevent the blacksmith from suspecting the purpose for which the tube and the mat needle were made and the fittings devised. 12 Some other men once, while the bolt pin was in the socket, got its measurements in the following manner. They wrapped a lump of potter's clay in a fine linen cloth and let it down into the socket, pressing the clay about the bolt pin with a tool: then they drew up the clay, took a cast of the pin, and made the key to fit. 13 The great city of Teos in Ionia once came very near falling into the hands of Temenus the Rhodian through the treachery of the gate-keeper. Among other things they agreed upon a dark, moonless night, on which one was to open the gate and the other to enter with mercenaries. 14 Now when the plan was to be put into execution the following night, a man came up to the gate-keeper late in the evening, when the guards were stationed on the wall and the gates were about to be locked, as it was already dark, and then disappeared, after first making fast the end of a ball of twisted linen cord, which was not likely to be easily broken. He went away, unrolling the ball as he went, until he reached a spot five stadia from the city, where the troops which were to enter would come. 16 Then, when the general came to lock the gates, and as usual gave the gate-keeper the bolt pin to put in place, the latter took it, and with a file or a chisel, noiselessly and without attracting attention, cut a groove in it so that a thread would catch it. He then slipped a loop over the pin and let it down with the thread attached to it. After that he shook the bar, showing the general that the gate was locked, and held his peace. 17 Some time after he drew up the pin and tied the end of the cord to himself, so that if he should happen to fall asleep he would be awakened by a pull at the cord. 18 Now Temenus, provided with the forces which were to enter with him, came near to a place agreed upon with the man who had the ball of cord. And a previous arrangement had been made with the gate-keeper that Temenus was to pull the cord when he reached the spot, and if the keeper had things ready as he wished, he was to tie a flock of wool to the end of the cord and let it go, and, when Temenus saw that, he was to hurry to the gate. 19 But in case of failure to secure what he wished he was to let the cord go without anything tied to it. Accordingly he let the cord go without anything tied to it, so that Temenus with a long start got away without being discovered. They found out accordingly in the night that the cord was . . . so because the situation was unfavourable in the city it was impossible to proceed.
§ 18.20 Here is also another way in which a city was betrayed by a gate-keeper. He made it his custom to go out with a water jug, as though for water, when the gates were about to be locked. On arriving at the spring he would put stones in a spot known to the enemy, who, when reaching the place, found out by means of the stones just what the city watchman wished to reveal. 21 For if he was to keep the first watch, he would place one stone at the prearranged spot, if the second, two, if the third, three, if the fourth, four. Furthermore, by giving signals in this fashion, he furnished information both as to what position on the wall and to which detachment of the guards he had been assigned by lot. Accordingly, with all this in mind, the officer should be on his guard, should lock the gate himself, and should not give the bolt pin to anyone else. 22 . . . When engaged in any such enterprise one ought to conceal the bar; for it has happened that opponents have appeared and locked the gate again by force because the bar was still there. And so one should make provision for all such contingencies.
§ 19 Sawing through a Bar: In sawing through a bar pour on oil; for thus the sawing will go faster and with less noise. And if a sponge be tied to the saw and to the bar, the noise will be much less distinct. One might write down many other similar suggestions, but we may let them pass.
§ 20 Prevention of Tampering with Bars and Bolt-pins: To prevent deception of the kinds just mentioned, in the first place the general ought before dining to give personal attention to the locking of the gate, and not carelessly to trust to anyone else, while in dangerous situations he must be extremely vigorous about this. 2 Next, the bar should have three or four strips of iron from end to end, for thus it cannot be sawed through. Then, three dissimilar bolt-pins should be put in, and each general is to have one of these in his keeping; if, however, there should be more than three generals, then the custody of the bolt-pins must be determined each day by lot. 3 But the best thing is to have the bolt-pins so that they cannot be removed but are held in place by an iron plate, so that when it is raised up the pin cannot be lifted higher by the pincers than just enough to slip the bar under when the gate is closed and opened, while the pincers must be so made that they can pass under the plate and easily lift the bolt pin. 4 The citizens of Apollonia Pontica, after having had one of the experiences already described, provided that gates should be locked with a great hammer and the making of a tremendous noise, so that the locking or opening of the gates could be heard over almost the entire city, so ponderous were the fastenings and so strengthened with iron; 5 and the same thing was done in Aegina also. When the gates are locked, give the guards password and answer and send them to their posts.
§ 21 Provision of tools, and all suitable preparations on friendly soil, and the methods necessary for concealing the property in the land or for rendering it useless to one's opponents, are here omitted, but these have been fully set forth in the book on Military Preparations. 2 About the disposition of guards and patrols, however, and panics, and watchwords, and countersigns, the greater part will have to be written in the book on Encampments, but a few of these points we shall now set forth.
§ 22 Guards: To keep guard by night when danger threatens, and the enemy are already lying near the city or camp, 2 it is necessary for the general in command of the entire force and his staff to take their post at the city-hall and the agora, provided these be defensible; but if not, the strongest place in the whole city and the most conspicuous should have been previously occupied. 3 Close by the general's quarters the trumpeter and the dispatch-bearers should encamp, and remain there, so that if a signal or a dispatch be needed, they may be ready at hand, and the other watchmen and the patrols wherever they may happen to be in their circuit of the city may be aware of what is to occur. 4 Moreover, the guards upon the wall and in the market place, and those at the municipal buildings and entrances to the agora and at the theatre, and other occupied points, should keep guard in short watches; and there should be many guard shifts, and many men together in each. 5 For in guarding by short watches, no one would be able, through the length of time he was on guard, to have any dealings with the enemy, or to gain headway in starting a revolution. And in short watches sleep would be less likely to steal upon the guards. Moreover, with many men on guard at once, some rumour of what is being done would be more likely to leak out. 5a It is better for as many as possible to be on watch in time of peril, and for all to do guard-duty during the night, so that as many as possible may be keeping guard at each watch. 6 But if few are on guard, and for long watches, sleep would steal upon them because of the length of the watches, and if any men should attempt a revolution, the length of the time of duty would favour them both in getting a start and in escaping detection in any dealings with the enemy. Such considerations, then, ought not to be ignored; 7 but in times of peril one must keep still other things in mind. Thus, no one of the guards should have any previous knowledge either of the number on his watch, or where in the city he is to be on guard. Nor should the same officers always command the same men; but as frequently as possible all the regulations concerning the watching of the citizens should be changed, for thus would a traitor been least able to betray anything to outsiders, or to receive anything from the enemy, 8 not knowing beforehand on what part of the wall he would be in the night, nor with whom, but being ignorant of what was to occur. And those who guard by day should not be employed at night, for it is not fitting that they should know beforehand what each is to do. 9 Guards from the stations on the wall should keep watch as follows. From each of the stations, at each change of the watch, one of the guards should go to the nearest station, and from this another to the next, and from the other stations still others to the remaining ones. Let everyone be ordered to do this at given signals. 10 In this way many will make their way around the walls at the same time, and each will move but a short distance, and the same men will not often remain together, since different guards will be constantly coming in contact with one another. If this be done no act of treachery could be performed by the guards. 11 The guards should stand facing one another, for in this way they can see in all directions and they will rarely be caught by any foe coming secretly against them, a thing that I have noted as having actually happened today watches. 12 During the dark winter nights stone after stone should be thrown over the walls, and, as if persons were seen, let the guard ask, "Who goes there?", for any who might be approaching would thus be recognized without more ado. 13 If it should seem best, this could be done also inside the city. Some, however, this is dangerous, for a party of the enemy which might be approaching in the darkness are made aware in advance that they must not attack at this point, by the noise of the patrols and the throwing of stones, but rather at the point where there is no noise. 14 The best plan, however, on such nights is to have dogs tied outside the wall to keep watch. For they will detect at a greater distance the presence of a hostile spy, a deserter who is stealthily approaching the city, or one who is somewhere making his way out to desert; they will also by their barking rouse the sentinel if he happens to be asleep. 15 If any part of the city is easily accessible and exposed to the attacks of the enemy, the sentinels stationed there should be the wealthiest and most highly respected citizens and those who hold the most important offices in the city. For it would be in the highest degree to the interest of such men not to turn aside to pleasures, but rather, bearing in mind their position, to maintain a vigorous watch. 16 At the time of the public festivals those of the city guards who are greatly suspected and distrusted by their own comrades should be sent away from their posts to celebrate the festival at home. 17 For they will think that they are being honoured and at the same time would have no opportunity to carry out any plot. And in their places more trustworthy men should be assigned to guard duty; for during the festivals and on such occasions revolutionists are extremely likely to venture on some enterprise. An account of the disturbances which have arisen on such occasions has been given elsewhere. 19 It is better, moreover, that the ramps leading to the top of the wall should not be open, but rather be kept closed, thus rendering it impossible for anyone desirous of betraying the city to the enemy to seize part of the wall in advance, and that the sentinels, men of your choice, may be obliged to remain constantly on the wall and not come down. Then if any enemy, attacking the city from the outside, should succeed in scaling the wall by surprise, they could not easily and quickly descend from the wall into the city, unless they were willing to take the risk of leaping down from high places and to forgo the advantages of surprise and initiative. This method of guarding the ramps would be suitable also for the citadel of a prince.
§ 22.20 After the naval battle off Naxos, Nicocles, the commander of the garrison, inasmuch as plots were being formed against him, closed the ramps, posted sentinels on the walls, and kept up a patrol with dogs outside the city; for the people were expecting a treacherous attack from without. 21 When the people are united and no one in the city cherishes suspicions, lamps set in lanterns should be kept burning throughout the night at the posts of the sentinels on the wall, so that if a hostile movement should be directed against any of them, they may raise the lantern as a signal to the commander. 22 If the nature of the ground prevents the light from reaching the commander, another guard, as a relay, should with his lantern give the signal to the commander, who, either with the bugle or by means of dispatch-bearers, as the circumstances may demand, should transmit to the rest of the sentinels the warning he has received. 23 On such occasions, while the sentinels are thus engaged, the rest of the inhabitants should be notified that after a given signal no one is to leave his house. If, however, one should go out on some necessary errand, he should take a lantern with him in order to be visible to the patrols at a distance. 24 Moreover, no workman or artisan should work at his trade lest noises made by any persons reach the sentinels. A plan by which the watches may be apportioned fairly and equally to all the sentinels, according as the nights become longer or shorter has been explained . . ., where it was stated that the watches should be measured by the water-clock, and this should be reset every ten days. 25 But a better plan is to smear the interior of the clock with wax and then to remove some of the wax when the nights grow longer, so that the clock may contain more water. When, on the other hand, the nights grow shorter, more wax should be added in order that the clock's capacity may be less. Let this, then, be sufficient explanation about the equalization of the watches. 26 At times of less imminent peril half the men enrolled in the army should be detailed for guard or patrol duty, and in this way half the army will be on guard every night. In times of peace and security the smallest possible number of the troops should be subjected to inconvenience, and to as little as possible. 27 And if the commander needs some patrol-work, a marked baton should be handed by him to the first sentinel; he in turn must pass it on to the next man, and one to another, until it has made the round of the city and has been returned to the commander. And previous instructions should have been given to the watchmen not to carry the baton beyond the position of the next man. 28 If, however, a sentinel, on his arrival at post, should find it deserted, he should return the baton to the man from whom he received it, so that the commander may be aware and may investigate which of the sentinels has failed to take the baton and has deserted his post. 29 Whenever a man who has a turn at the watch does not report for duty, his company-commander should at once sell his position for whatever it may bring, and should put another man on guard to take his place. Then the contractor of mercenaries, the same day, should pay the money to the man who has purchased the post, and on the following day the taxiarch should impose on the contractor the customary fine.
§ 23 Secret Sallies by Night: One who is making secret sallies by night upon an enemy encamped outside must use caution in these matters: first, to see that no one deserts, and then that there is no light burning out-of doors, lest the air above the city, becoming more luminous than the rest, should disclose his purpose. 2 He must suppress the howling of dogs and the crowing of cocks, making them mute for this occasion, by cautery of some part of their bodies, because their cries uttered before daybreak, reveal what is on foot. 3 Some have used the following devices in making sallies: a pretended sedition arising among them on some specious pretext, watching an opportune moment and sallying forth they have attacked their enemies unexpectedly, and have succeeded. 4 Others who were besieged have secretly gone out thus: They walled up the gates in sight of the enemy, but where he was most open to attack they let down a sail, which they raised after a time, so that the enemy was at first surprised, but later, when it was done many times, became indifferent. 5 Then the residents at night broke down as much of the wall as they desired and built a false structure in its place and let the sail down over it. Then, watching the favourable moment, they sallied forth and attacked the enemy unexpectedly. But while they were doing all this they took good care to prevent any desertions. Accordingly, one must overlook none of these considerations. 6 Nor again should a leader inconsiderately go out at night with a crowd, because at such times some of the conspirators are forming plots, some within, some without the city, wishing to lure one out with deceptions such as beacon-torches, setting fire to a dockyard, or a gymnasium, or a public temple, or some building on account of which a crowd of men — and influential men too — might rush out. A leader should, therefore, use foresight, and not readily accept at their face value even such incidents. 7 I shall relate also the following sharp practice on the part of officials. It was arranged that a disturbance should arise in the country, and that word should be brought from the fields to the city of a robbers' plot, of the very kind at which the citizens were sure to hurry to the rescue. 8 And when this occurred, the magistrates and their supporters summoned the citizens to the rescue, and when the full number of the townsmen was gathered at the gates under arms, they contrived as follows. 9 The magistrates told the crowd that they must divide into three parts and lay an ambush a little distance from the city, and explained what they must do, the hearers having no suspicion of the truth. 10 They then led the people forth and stationed them in suitable places as though to ambush the invading enemy, while they themselves, taking troops who were accomplices in the matter, went ahead as though to inquire into the report and meet the danger first, ostensibly in order to entice the enemy into the ambuscades by pretending to flee. 11 But going to a place where they had a mercenary force, previously arranged and secretly brought in by sea, they picked them up before anyone knew of it, and secretly entered the city by other roads, as though returning with the citizens who had gone out for the attack. Then, with the mercenary force, they occupied the city, and of those in the ambuscades they banished some and admitted others. Accordingly, one must be suspicious of such acts and not inconsiderately make a sally in force at night against an enemy.
§ 24 Of Watchwords: In giving out watchwords it is needful to provide, if the army happen to be a mixture from different cities or tribes, that the word shall not be given out in an ambiguous way, in case one concept may have two different names, as for example, Dioscuri and Tyndaridae, two dissimilar words for one concept; 2 or, again, Ares, Enyalius; Athena, Pallas; sword, dagger; torch, light; and others like these; for they are hard to remember if contrary to the custom of the several tribes, and they cause harm if one issues a password in dialect instead of in language common to all. 3 One should not, then, issue such words to mixed mercenaries nor to allies of different tribes. Such a thing happened to Charidemus of Oreus in Aeolis when he had taken Ilium as follows. 4 A slave of the commander of Ilium went out for booty from time to time, and particularly at night used to go out and come in with what he had on each occasion taken. 5 At this time Charidemus learned that he was engaged in this business and made a friend of him. At a secret conference an agreement was made, and Charidemus induced him to go out on a given night as though for booty, bidding him leave on horseback, after nightfall, that the gates might be opened for him, but not to re enter by the passage of the wicket-gate as he was accustomed. 6 When he was outside and talking with Charidemus he received from him about thirty mercenaries secretly provided with breastplates, swords, weapons, and helmets. 7 So he led them off in the dark, in mean garb and with arms concealed, disguising them as captives, in company with others, women and children, these too apparently captives, and entered the city through the gate which was opened for him because of his horse. 8 There, immediately upon their entrance, they set to work, killing the gate-keeper and doing other barbarous acts. Charidemus was near the gates of which they kept control, and his troops immediately went in and took the town. Then he entered in person with all his forces. 9 At the same time he carried out such a scheme as this, also: He laid an ambush with a part of his army, foreseeing that aid would come to the place, as actually happened. For Athenodorus, the Imbrian, who was not far away with his army, as soon as he learned the news, set out to succour the place. 11 He too seems shrewdly to have had his suspicions and marched unobserved during the night to Ilium, not by the roads which were ambushed but by other routes, and came to the gates. 12 In the confusion, some of his troops went into the city with the others without being noticed, as though they belonged to the army of Charidemus. 13 Then before many of them had entered they were detected by their countersign, and some were expelled and some killed at their gates, for their countersign was Tyndaridae while that of Charidemus was Dioscuri. 14 By so narrow a margin it was that the city was not recaptured at once, that same night, by Athenodorus. So it is important to issue watchwords easily remembered and as nearly related as possible to the intended operations. 15 For instance, when going for game, Artemis the Huntress; for some stealthy enterprise, Hermes the Trickster; for some deed of violence, Heracles; for open undertakings, Sun and Moon; and others as similar as possible to these and quite comprehensible to all. 16 Iphicrates would not allow the same watchword to be issued to the patrol and the guard, but employed a different word for each, that the one first questioned might reply, Zeus the Saviour, if he happened to have this one, and the other Poseidon. For in this manner they would be least likely to be deceived by the enemy, and the watchword to be betrayed. 17 If the guards become separated from one another they should give a whistle agreed upon beforehand to call one another. For, except to the man who already knows it, this signal will be unfamiliar, as well to Greeks as to barbarians. 18 One should watch the dogs lest on account of the whistling there be some trouble from them. This method was used at Thebes when the Cadmea was captured: the forces were scattered in the darkness and unable to recognize one another, but were collected by whistling. 19 The watchwords should be asked by the men on patrol and the advanced pickets, each from the other, for there is no propriety in having only the one opened the asking, since in the guise of a patrol even an enemy might do that.
§ 25 Additional Tokens of Recognition: Some employ an additional token of recognition, both to prevent panics and the better to recognize their friends. 2 Additional tokens of recognition must be as distinctive and as difficult as possible for the enemy to understand. They may be as follows. On dark nights ask the watchword and say something else, or rather also make a noise, and the one questioned must in reply give the watchword and utter some other word or make a noise, according to previous agreement. Again, when it is light, the person asking the watchword may remove his cap, or, if he holds it in his hand, may put it on, 3 or he may also bring his cap to his face and take it away from his face, 4 or, further, may advance and fix his spear, or transfer it to his left hand, or hold it aloft in his hand, or merely raise it; and the person who is asked for the watchword must both reply and do whichever of these actions has been agreed upon.
§ 26 Patrols: In times of danger the first thing is for two of the companies assembled in the agora to patrol alternately at the base of the wall, provided with the arms available and with tokens of recognition so as to recognize one another with certainty from a considerable distance. 2 And those who patrol during the first watch must do so before they have had their supper, for those who are on guard during the first watch, if they have just eaten, are more careless and undisciplined. 3 And they should patrol without a light, unless it be very stormy and dark. But if they have a light it must not shine upward (for it must be covered with something), but merely upon the ground and in front of their feet. 4 In a town in which horses can be kept and on ground passable for them patrolling can be done in winter by horsemen, for in the cold and mud and long nights the patrolling would thus be more quickly accomplished. 5 And if together with these some men also patrol upon the walls they should be so placed that some may watch the outside of the wall and some the inside. 6 They should also on dark nights as they make their rounds have stones and throw them now and then outside the wall. Some, however, do not approve this custom for the reasons already mentioned. 7 In case they are suspicious of one another . . . the patrolling should be done at the base of the wall and no patrol except the watchmen should go up on the wall. Now if an army has suffered in morale because of defeat in battle, or from the size of their losses in dead and wounded, or from desertion by allies, or through any other misfortune it loses heart and has become discouraged, and if there is danger because of the nearness of the enemy, the directions already given out in regard to the watchmen are to be carried out. 8 At such times frequent rounds are necessary, but the patrol must not be too eager on his rounds to find members of the outposts in a rather careless condition from sleep or weariness. For it is not expedient to make the army, when in this state, still more disheartened — and a man is naturally discouraged if he is found behaving basely — but rather to turn one's attention to the care and recovery of one's troops. 9 And at such times the approach of the patrols should be evident to the guards from a long way off by their uttering some sound from a distance, so that the guard may be wakened if he is sleeping, and may be prepared to answer whatever is asked. It is best of all at such times for the general himself carefully to make each circuit with the same picked men. But when the army is in the opposite mood it is well to inspect the guards much more energetically. 11 The general must never make his round at a fixed hour, but must constantly shift it, lest the soldiers, knowing definitely long beforehand the coming of the general, may watch with especial care during that time. 12 At the advice and bidding of certain persons, however, some men adopt the following plan. If the commander of the city, on account of some weariness or ill health, does not wish to go on patrols, yet desires to know who, in each watch, fails to keep guard, he should act as follows. 13 Let it be previously arranged that all the watchmen at the wall shall be supplied with lanterns, and that there shall be a particular one at the appearance of which all the watchmen shall raise theirs. This one should be raised from a place at which all the watchmen on the wall will see it, 14 but if there be no such place ready, let one be built somehow, as high as possible. Then from the top of this let a lantern be raised and at its appearance let the others be raised, one by one, from each several post. Then they should be counted, and thus it may be known whether all the watchmen have raised them, or if any one of the guards is missing.
§ 27 Of Panics: The confusions and terrors that suddenly arise in a city or a camp, by night or by day, are by some called panics — the word is a Peloponnesian, particularly an Arcadian one. Accordingly, against these some who wish to stop them advise that signals be appointed in advance for all the inhabitants of the town, which they will see and recognize, and in the following way they will know that there is a panic, namely, by noticing a previously arranged signal-fire at a place as conspicuous as may be to all those in the city. 3 And it is best to announce beforehand that, wherever panic occurs among the soldiers, they should stand in their places and shout 'Paean,' or say that it is a mere panic, and that every one who hears it should pass the word along to his neighbour. 4 Now wherever in the army they do not answer the paean, it will be known that there the terror prevails. But if the commander sees any reason for fear, he must give warning by the trumpet, and this is to be understood as a call to arms. It is after a defeat in battle that such fears are most likely to arise, sometimes by day but especially at night. 5 But that this may be less likely to happen, orders for the night should be given to all the soldiers to keep under arms as much as possible, as though something might happen where they are. 6 Thus, if they are forewarned, it is not likely that, in case anything happens, they will be taken by surprise on colliding with the enemy, or that they will be disturbed because of sudden terror and perish. 7 Euphratas, the Laconian governor in Thrace, since panics occurred in his army frequently at night and could not be quieted in any other way, used to give orders of this sort for the night: 8 that if any confusion should arise, his men should immediately sit up in their beds with their arms in hand, but that no one should stand upright, and if anyone saw a man standing up, Euphratas gave orders in the hearing of all to treat him as an enemy. For he thought that through the fear which this command would inspire none would forget it. Moreover, that the command should actually inspire fear, on one occasion when a panic arose, one of the more respectable soldiers was wounded, though not mortally, while one of the baser sort was fatally injured. As a result of this, the men obeyed and, paying close attention, refrained from panics and from rising from their beds in terror. 11 And panics have been stopped in this way also: when confusion arose in camp at night, the herald commanded silence and announced that the man who reported the one who had turned loose the horse which had caused the commotion would receive a present of silver. 12 It is necessary, too, if an army has this sort of experience by night, to station men in each watch of the night over every company or band, both on the flanks and in the centre, to take special care that, if they should perceive any disturbance coming on because of sleep or anything else, whoever of them is at hand may check it immediately. 13 And of the rest of the troops, there should stand on guard one man from each mess, so that if any fear should arise, they, knowing what fears are groundless, may each calm the men at his own post. 14 But the commander should himself throw the army of the enemy into confusion at night by driving into their camp a herd of cows wearing bells, or other animals, having first made them drunk with wine.
15 Reveille: At daybreak one must not permit the guards to leave their posts at once until the neighbourhood has been carefully reconnoitred and shown to be clear of the enemy. Even then they must not all leave their posts at once, but in detachments, so that some shall always continue on guard.
§ 28 On Gates: When a city is in fear precautions must also be taken as follows. Close the other gates but leave one open where access to the city is most difficult, and where those who approach are going to be in plain sight for the longest distance. 2 In this there should be a wicket gate so that through it men may go and come singly, for in this way a deserter or spy would be least able to escape notice if he should enter, that is, if the gate-keeper is discreet. 3 But it is unsafe to open the entire gate for beasts of burden, wagons, and loads. And if there be any need of importing quickly food or oil or wine or similar supplies, either by wagons or by a squad of men, these should be brought in by the nearest gates, . . . as that would be quickest and easiest. 4 In general, the gates must not be opened incautiously early in the day, but later, and no one should be let out until the region around the city has been reconnoitred. Again, boats are not to be moored at the gates, but at a distance, since in time past, even in the daytime, when both gates have been open at once, many things have happened by tricks and pretexts such as the following — and from a single occurrence many cases similar to it will be understood.
Pytho of Clazomenae, having also some confederates in the city, watched carefully for the most quiet hour of the day, and captured Clazomenae by means of wagons, which, in accordance with his plan, were bringing in wine-jars. While the wagons were stopping in the gates (for there were mercenaries ready in concealment not far from the city near the gates), his men, eluding some of the citizens and outstripping the others, with the aid of some persons inside got possession of the city. 6 And Iphiades of Abydus on the Hellespont, in his capture of Parium, among other preparations for scaling the wall by night, secretly prepared wagons filled with brush and brambles and sent them to the wall (the gates being already closed), as though they were wagons of the Parians, which after their arrival were parked near the gates from fear of the enemy. 7 At a suitable moment they were to set fire to the wagons, so that the gates might catch fire, and when the citizens of Parium had gone to put out the flames he himself might enter at another point. It seems to me that I must show, by a collection of instances, against what things one must guard and on what occasions, so that one may not be so simple as to take anything for granted.
§ 29 Importation of Arms by Stealth: I shall now discuss the smuggling into the city of jars and packages, in which there may be something hidden by means of which a city with its acropolis has in past instances been seized. 2 These matters must be attended to and not disregarded, particularly by the gate-keeper, at certain times, when there is reason to fear any disturbance from without or within; and he should look to it when things are being brought in. I shall relate likewise, as illustration, some things that have actually happened. 3 A city was captured, with the complicity of some within it, upon a public holiday, in some such manner as this. 4 First of all, to the aliens who had established themselves there in anticipation of what was to take place, and to the unarmed citizens who were to be accomplices there were brought in linen corslets, cloaks, helmets, shields, greaves, short swords, bows, arrows, stowed away in chests like those of merchants, with the statement that clothing and other merchandise were in them. 5 The revenue officers, opening these, and seeing what they thought was only clothing, affixed their seals until the importers should put a value upon them. 6 These cases were then stored in a convenient spot near the agora. In crates also and wicker frames and wrapped up in half-woven sail-cloth, spears and javelins were brought in, and, without arousing suspicion, placed where each would be serviceable. And in baskets of chaff and of wool, bucklers and small shields were concealed in the wool and chaff; and others still smaller in baskets full of raisins and figs, as well as daggers concealed in jars of wheat and dried figs and olives. 7 And daggers were likewise carried in unsheathed in ripe gourds, pushed down along the stems among the seeds of the gourd. Likewise the deviser and leader of the plot was carried in from without hidden in a load of faggots. 8 And when night was come, and those who were to make the attack were assembled, and each one was looking out for the opportune time, at which all the rest of the citizens were completely intoxicated (as would be likely on a festival day), first of all the load was loosened and out of it came the leader ready prepared. Then some of them unrolled the crates to seize the spears and javelins, others emptied the baskets of chaff and wool, others cut open the hampers, others, opening the chests, took out the arms, and still others smashed the jars so as to lay hands upon the daggers as quickly as possible. 9 All these things took place at the same time and not far away from each other, at a signal given in the city as if for battle array. And when each one had equipped himself with arms suited to him, some of them rushed to seize the towers and the gates, through which they admitted the rest also; others fell upon the city-hall and the houses opposite; some took one place and some another. 11 In an enterprise similar to the kind already described, certain persons were without shields, and when in no other manner were they able to provide or import them, they brought in quantities of osiers and also workmen to handle them. 12 And by day they wove other kinds of basketry, but by night they wove armour, such as helmets and shields, to which they attached leathern and wooden handles. Furthermore, it is necessary to be watchful not only of vessels which come in by sea to anchor near by, night or day, whether great or small, but also it is necessary for the inspectors of the port and the supervisors to go on board and personally to see the wares, having in mind that the Sicyonians also, forgetting such precautions, suffered a serious disaster.
§ 30 On the Introduction of Arms: One ought also to take precautions in regard to the arms imported for sale and displayed in the agora, likewise those in the small shops and the bazaars (since these, if gathered together, would make a considerable number), to prevent them from being ready at hand for anyone out of those who desire to start a revolution. 2 For it is silly to take away the weapons from men who are entering the town while there are assembled in the agora and the lodging-houses boxes of small shields and chests of daggers. Accordingly the imported and collected arms ought not to be exposed in the agora and be left overnight in any chance spot, but, with the exception of a sample, official permission may be required before anyone exhibits them in bulk.
§ 31 On secret Messages: In regard to secret messages, there are all sorts of ways of sending them, but a private arrangement must be previously made between the sender and the receiver. Especially secret messages might take the following forms. In one case a message was sent in this way: 2 in with merchandise or other baggage there was inserted a book, or some other chance document, of any size or age, and in this the message had been written by marking the letters of the first, second, or third line with dots, very small and discernible only to the recipient. Then, when the person intended received the book, he made a transcript, and by setting down in order the marked letters from the first line and the second and the others in the same way he discovered the message. 3 But should anyone wish to send a brief message, he might use also the following method, which is similar to the preceding. Writing in detail and undisguisedly on some subject, in this message you may reach the same result by marking letters by which you will indicate whatever you may wish. And the marking must be made as inconspicuous as possible, by dots placed far apart or by rather long dashes. These will arouse no suspicion whatsoever in others, but the letter will be clear to the recipient. . . . 4 Let a man be sent bearing some message or even a letter ostensibly about general matters, not secret, and, just before he starts, without his knowledge let a letter be inserted in the sole of his sandals and be sewed in, and, to guard against mud and water, have it written on a piece of thin-beaten tin, so that the writing will not be effaced by the water. 4a And when he reaches the one intended and goes to rest for the night, this person should pull out the stitchings of the sandals, take out and read the letter, and, writing another secretly while the man is still asleep, sew it in and send him back, having given him some message in reply or even something to carry openly. In this way, then, neither the messenger nor anyone else will know the message. 5 It is necessary, however, to make the sewings of the sandals as inconspicuous as possible. 6 Again, a letter was brought to Ephesus in some such manner as this. A man was sent with a message written on leaves which were bound to a wound on his leg. 7 Writing could be brought in also on thin pieces of beaten lead rolled up and worn in women's ears in place of ear rings. 8 A letter having to do with betrayal was once conveyed by the traitor to the camp of the beleaguering enemy in this way. As the horsemen were going out of the city for a raid upon the enemy one of them had a sheet of papyrus sewn under the flaps of his breastplate, and he was instructed, if the enemy should appear, to fall from his horse as though by accident, and to be captured alive; and when he was taken into camp he was to give the sheet of writing to the proper person. The horseman assisted as a brother would a brother. 9 Another man, when sending out a horseman, sewed a sheet of papyrus to the bridle-rein. And the following incident happened about a letter. During the siege of a city, when the man carrying the message entered the town, he did not give the letters to the traitor and to the others to whom he was bringing it, but went to the commanding officer of the city, disclosed the matter, and handed over the letters. 9a When the officer heard it he ordered him to deliver these letters to those to whom he was bringing them, but to bring to him their answer as evidence that he was telling the truth. The informer did so, and the officer, taking the letters, called the men to him, showed them the marks of the seals which they admitted to be their own, and, opening the letters, exposed the matter. 9b And he seems to have detected this skilfully in that he did not accept from the man the letters that were sent. For then it would have been possible for the men to deny it and claim that someone was plotting against them. But by taking the letters that were sent in answer he proved the case incontestably.
10 Messages are sent also in this way. Take a bladder in size equal to a flask large enough for your purpose; inflate it, tie it tightly, and let it dry; then write on it whatever you wish, in ink mixed with glue. 11 When the writing is dry, let the air out of the bladder, and press it into the flask, letting the mouth of the bladder protrude from the mouth of the flask. Then inflate the bladder inside the flask in order to expand it as much as possible, and filling it with oil, cut off the part of the bladder that comes over the top of the flask, fitting it in the mouth as inconspicuously as you can, and, corking the bottle, carry it openly. Hence the oil will be visible in the flask, but nothing else. 13 When it comes to the appropriate person, he will pour out the oil, inflate the bladder, and read the writing. And washing it off with a sponge, let him write on it in the same manner and send it back. 14 It has actually happened that someone has written on the wooden part of a tablet, poured wax over it, and written something else on the wax. Then when it came to the appointed person, he, scraping off the wax and reading the writing, again in this way has sent back a message. 15 It would be possible, also, to write on a boxwood tablet with the best quality of ink, let it dry, and then by whitening the tablet to make the letters invisible. When, then, the tablet comes to the recipient, he should take it and put it into water; and so in the water there will clearly appear all that was written. You might also write on a tablet for a hero's chapel whatever you desire. 16 Then it should be whitened and dried, and a light-bringing horseman painted on it, or anything else you please, with white apparel and his horse white; or if not white, any colour except black. Then it should be given to somebody, to be hung up near the city in whatever shrine he may chance upon, as though it were a votive offering. And he whose part it is to read the message must go to the shrine, and recognizing the tablet by some prearranged sign, must take it back home and put it in oil. And so everything written on it will become visible. The most secret method of all for sending messages, but the most difficult, namely, that without writing, I shall now make clear. It is this. 17 In a sufficiently large astragal bore twenty-four holes, six on each side. Let the holes stand for letters, 18 and note clearly on which side begins Alpha and the following letters that have been written on each particular side. Then, whenever you wish to communicate any word by them, draw a thread through them, as, for instance, if you wish to express Αἰνείαν by the drawing through of a thread, begin from the side of the astragal on which Alpha is found, pass the thread through, and omitting the characters placed next to Alpha, draw through again when you come to the side where Iota belongs; and disregarding the characters following this, again pass the thread through where Nu happens to be. And again passing by the succeeding letters draw the thread through where Ei is found. Now continuing in this way to write the rest of the communication, pass the thread into the holes in such a manner as that in which we just now wrote the name. 19 Accordingly, there will be a ball of thread wound around the astragal, and it will be necessary for the one who is to read the information to write down upon a tablet the characters revealed by the holes. The unthreading takes place in the reverse order to that of the thread. But it makes no difference that the letters are written upon the tablet in reverse order, for none the less will the message be read, although to understand what has been written is a greater task than to prepare it.
§ 31.20 But this would be accomplished more easily if a piece of wood about a span long were perforated just as many times as there are letters in the alphabet, and the thread were then in the same way drawn into the holes. Wherever two insertions occur, the same character being written twice in succession, you should wind the thread around the wood before inserting it. Or it could even be done as follows. 21 Instead of the astragal or the piece of wood, make a disc of wood, polish it, and bore successively on the disc the twenty-four characters of the alphabet; but to avoid suspicion you should bore other holes also in the centre of the disc, and then in this way run the thread through the characters, which are in their regular order. 22 But whenever the writing of the same letter occurs twice in succession, you must insert the thread in the holes bored in the centre of the disc before running it into the same letter; and by letter I mean the hole. 23 Again, some persons, after writing long lines with fine characters upon some very thin papyrus, so that the message may be as compact as possible, have then placed it on the shoulder of the tunic and spread a part of the over-tunic out on the shoulder. Naturally the transmitting of the letter is unsuspected, if one puts on an over-tunic and wears it in this manner. 24 There is proof, however, of the fact that it is difficult to guard against anything sent in by artifice. At any rate the people at Ilium who have been so long and so well prepared, are not yet able to prevent the coming of the Locrian maidens into their town, although they use such great care and watchfulness. But a few men, bent on deceiving, succeed in secretly bringing in many maidens, at yearly intervals.
25 And among the ancients the following scheme was once contrived. When Timoxenus wished to hand over Potidaea to Artabazus, they prearranged, 26 the one a certain spot in the city, the other one in the camp, to which they used to shoot whatever they wished to communicate with each other. They adopted the device of winding a sheet of writing around the notched end of the arrow, and, after feathering it, they shot it into the places previously determined. 27 But Timoxenus was discovered in the attempt to betray Potidaea. For Artabazus, shooting toward the designated area, missed the spot because of the wind and because the arrow was badly feathered, and hit a man of Potidaea on the shoulder, and a crowd gathered around the wounded man, as often happens in war. And immediately picking up the arrow, they brought it to the generals, and thus the plot was revealed. 28 Again, Histiaeus, wishing to tell Aristagoras to revolt, had no other safe means of communicating, since the roads were guarded and it was not easy for a letter-carrier to escape notice, but shaving the head of his most faithful slave, he tattooed it and detained him until the hair had grown again. 29 And as soon as it had grown, he dispatched him to Miletus and gave the tattooed man no other orders except that when he had come to Miletus, into the presence of Aristagoras, he should request him to shave his head and examine it, whereupon the marks indicated what was to be done.
§ 31.30 But it is also possible to write as follows. It should be arranged in advance to express the vowels by dots, and whatever the number of each vowel happens to be, so many dots are to be placed in the writing. 31 As for example the following: "DIONYSIUS DOCKED" D:.:N::S:.::S D:CK:D; "LET HERACLEIDES COME" L:T H:R.CL::.D:S C::M: And here is another way: Instead of the vowels, put in anything whatever. And again, the following. The letter should be sent to a certain place . . . by a man known to the recipient and it should be indicated to him that a message has come for him and is in the appointed spot, by the fact that the man comes to the city and buys or sells something. And by this method neither does the bearer know to whom the message has been brought nor will the recipient be known as having the letter. Many in Epirus used to employ dogs in the following manner. 32 After leading the dog away in leash they placed around his neck a strap, inside of which was sewed a letter. Then at night or during the daytime, they dispatched the dog to the person to whom he was sure to go, that is, to the one from whom he had been taken away. And this is also a Thessalian custom. 33 But the letters must be opened as soon as received. In fact Astyanax, tyrant of Lampsacus, did not at once open and read out a letter sent to him in which was related evidence of the plot by which he was destroyed, but neglecting it, and attending first to other matters, he was killed while still holding the letter in his fingers. 34 For the same reason also the Cadmea in Thebes was captured, and in Mytilene in Lesbos something similar happened. 35 Glus, the admiral of the great king, came up before the king, and since it was forbidden to come into the king's presence with a sheet of notes (and he had to report upon many important affairs), he wrote in the spaces between the fingers of his hands the things he had to say to the king. The gate-keeper ought to be watchful about such matters as these, so that nothing brought into the city may escape him, whether it be weapon or message.
§ 32 Counter-devices: Against the approaches of the foe you must take the following measures with engines or with infantry. In the first place, against objects raised higher than the wall from towers or masts or devices similar to these, there should be stretched on thongs and covered with some impenetrable substance sails which will have to be overshot by the missiles. And in particular one must set smoking materials that will send up a great smudge from beneath, and must kindle those which will rouse as great a blaze as possible, 2 and build in opposition wooden towers, or other high structures with baskets filled with sand, or built of stones or bricks. And even basketwork made of reeds, upright and transverse, woven together, may stop the missiles. 3 Against contrivances for attacking the battlements, such as a ram or other like instrument, you must also make ready protective devices to hang in front of them, sacks full of chaff, and bags of wool, fresh hides inflated or filled with something, and other things similar to these. 4 And when the ram is battering a gate or some other part of the wall, you must catch up with a noose the projecting part of the engine, so that it cannot strike again. 5 And you must make ready a stone large enough to fill a wagon so that it may be let fall upon the drill and crush it. The stone, held in place with grappling hooks, must be dropped from the projecting beams, 6 and in order that in its descent it may not miss the drill, a plumb-line should be lowered in advance, and when it hangs over the drill, then the stone should at once be dropped after it. 7 It is best to adopt this measure also against the engines that are battering the wall: When you see what part of the wall is being attacked, you should prepare a counter ram at that point, inside the wall, and excavate the wall just as far as the outer layer of bricks, so that the enemy may not be aware in advance. And when the ram is close at hand you must strike from within with the counter ram, which must be much more powerful. 8 Furthermore, against the large engines on which many troops are moved up, and from which missiles are shot, and especially catapults and slings, and incendiary arrows against the thatched roofs — against all these, I say, those in the city must, in the first place, secretly dig beneath where the engine is to be applied, so that the wheels of the engines may sink and fall into the excavations. Then, on the inside, you must build a defence of baskets of sand and of stones from what you have near by, which will overtop the engine and render the missiles of the enemy useless. 9 At the same time you must spread out from the inside of the wall thick curtains or sails as a protection from the oncoming shafts, which will stop the missiles that fall over the wall, so that they will be easy to gather up and none will fall to the ground. 10 The same must be done at any other part of the wall where the missiles might come over and injure or wound the helpers and passers by. 11 And at whatever part of the wall can be dug through or broken down, there counter-preparation must be made. 12 To forestall the piercing of the wall a large fire should be built, and to provide against a breach of the wall a trench must be dug inside, so that the enemy may not enter. At the same time you should build a counter-rampart where the breach is being made, before the wall collapses, if you cannot otherwise stop the enemy.
§ 33 Setting on Fire: You must pour pitch and cast tow and sulphur on the pent-houses that have been brought up, and then a fagot fastened to a cord must be let down in flames upon the pent-house. And such things as these, held out from the walls, are hurled at the engines as they are being moved up, by which the latter are to be thus set on fire. 2 Let sticks be prepared shaped like pestles but much larger, and into the ends of each stick drive sharp irons, larger and smaller, and around the other parts of the stick, above and below, separately, place powerful combustibles. In appearance it should be like bolts of lightning as drawn by artists. Let this be dropped upon the engine as it is being pushed up, fashioned so as to stick into it, and so that the fire will last after the stick has been made fast. 3 Then, if there are any wooden towers, or if a part of the wall is of wood, covers of felt or raw hide must be provided to protect the parapet so that they cannot be ignited by the enemy. 4 If the gate is set on fire you must bring up wood and throw it on to make as large a fire as possible, until a trench can be dug inside and a counter-defence be quickly built from the materials you have at hand, and if you have none, then by tearing down the nearest houses.
§ 34 Fire-extinguishers: 1 If the enemy tries to set anything on fire with a powerful incendiary equipment you must put out the fire with vinegar, for then it cannot easily be ignited again, or rather it should be smeared beforehand with birdlime, for this does not catch fire. 2 Those who put out the fire from places above it must have a protection for the face, so that they will be less annoyed when the flame darts toward them.
§ 35 Incendiary Equipment: And fire itself which is to be powerful and quite inextinguishable is to be prepared as follows. Pitch, sulphur, tow, granulated frankincense, and pine sawdust in sacks you should ignite and bring up if you wish to set any of the enemy's works on fire.
§ 36 How to Prevent the Placing of Ladders: The placing of ladders must be prevented thus. If the ladder in place overtops the wall, you must, when the person who mounts it is at the top, thrust him or the ladder away with a forked pole, if you cannot keep him away otherwise because of arrows shot from below. 2 And if the ladder is even with the wall it cannot be pushed away, but those who climb over the wall should be thrust off. And if even this seems impossible, there must be made a sort of door-frame of planks and when the ladder is being raised, the frame should be placed in advance underneath it. When, then, the ladder approaches the frame, at the raising of the frame from beneath, if a roller has previously been attached to the edge of it, the ladder necessarily fails, and it will not be possible to set it up.
§ 37 Detection and Prevention of Mining Operations: Those who are constructing mines are to be prevented in the following manner. If you think a mine is being made you should dig the moat outside the wall as deep as possible so that the mine may open into the moat and those who are digging it may be exposed to view. 2 And if you have a chance, a wall should also be built in the moat, of the very hardest and largest stones available. 3 But if you have no chance to build a stone wall you should bring up logs and rubbish . . ., and if the mines at any point open into the moat, there you should dump the wood and set fire to the rubbish and cover the rest over in order that that smoke may penetrate the opening and injure those in the mine. It is even possible that many of these may be killed by the smoke. 4 And in some instances, by releasing wasps and bees into the opening, men have worked mischief with those in the mine. 5 One must, in a word, at whatever point the enemy are digging, construct a countermine beneath and against them, and by setting fire to rubbish in the countermine thus destroy the fighting force in the mine itself. 6 Now an old incident is told . . . of Amasis in his siege of Barca, when he was trying to dig a mine. The people of Barca, who were aware of the attempt of Amasis, were concerned lest he might elude or anticipate them, until a coppersmith thought out a device. Carrying a bronze shield around inside the wall he held it against the ground above various points. 7 And of course at all other points the parts to which he applied the bronze were without a sound, but where the digging was in progress beneath the shield became resonant. So the people of Barca dug a countermine at this point and killed many of the enemy's miners, and as a result even now men use this means of ascertaining where mines are being dug. 8 I have already explained by what means one should oppose and ward off the devices of the enemy. For those, on the other hand, who are to construct mines, a very effective form of protection would be this. 9 One should fasten together the poles of two wagons, having first turned them back each in the direction of the other part of its wagon, in such a way that the poles may be raised aloft, inclining toward the same point. Then when this has been done, one should fasten on in addition other timbers and hurdles and other sorts of covering above and smear these over with clay. This device, then, can be advanced and withdrawn on its wheels wherever you desire, and those who are excavating can keep under this protection.
§ 38 Use of Reserves: During the attacks of the enemy upon the wall with engines of war, or even with infantry, the defenders within the town should be divided into three groups, so that one group may be fighting, another resting, and the third preparing for action, and that there may always be on the wall soldiers who are fresh. 2 And certain other picked troops, in considerable number, must go around the wall with the general, constantly relieving any section that is hard pressed. For the enemy fear the reserves more than the force already on duty before them. And the dogs should be tied up at this time, 3 for when men are hurrying through the town, with noise of arms and confusion, if the dogs in addition, because of the unusual doings, should begin to run amuck, they would make trouble. 4 And to those who are fighting on the wall the general should give such advice as is necessary for each, to some commendation and to others an appeal, but he should not in anger reprimand anyone, even of the common soldiers, for that would dishearten them the more. 5 If, however, it is necessary to reprimand anyone for neglect and lack of discipline, it should be those who are most wealthy and influential in the city, for such a case would be an example to the others also. The occasions on which it is expedient to overlook each of these matters I have discussed in the work on Admonitions. 6 And one should not permit the throwing of small stones at unsuitable times, but should provide that even those thrown during the day may be gathered again during the night, in the following manner. 7 Men should be let down from the wall in baskets to pick the stones up again, and when they have gathered them they should regain the wall by means of boar- or stag-nets which have been let down, or else by rope ladders, 8 which should be equal in number to the men who are gathering the stones, so that if any are hard pressed they may quickly climb up again. For the gates must not be opened during the night, but ladders of this sort should be used, and other devices you may choose.
§ 39 Stratagems: Those undergoing siege should also contrive such measures as these. At the gates and somewhat inside them they should dig a trench and leave a passage on this side and on that. Then some of them should go out and engage in skirmishing and lure the enemy to make a dash into the town with them. 2 Of course the men from the town, as they retire into it, are to run along the passages that have been left on either side, but it is likely that those of the enemy who run in with them, being unaware of the trench, especially since it is concealed, will fall into it and be killed at that instant by those within the city. And of these some should be stationed in the passages and in places at the trenches near the gate. 3 And if a larger number of the enemy come in after these and you wish to catch them, you should have ready above the centre of the gate a portcullis of the stoutest possible timbers overlaid with iron. 4 When, then, you wish to cut off the enemy as they rush in, you should let this drop down, and the portcullis itself will not only as it falls destroy some of them, but will also keep the foe from entering, while at the same time the forces on the wall are shooting the enemy at the gate. 5 And you should always give instructions in advance to your own party, in case the enemy rush in with them, in what place in the city they are to make their rendezvous, in order that your friends may be distinguished by their position. For it is not easy to distinguish between men in a promiscuous armed throng, rushing confusedly in together. 6 And on some occasions, against enemies who were over-confident and were approaching the wall more closely than was prudent, either by night or by day, the defenders have made ready nets, secretly by day, but by night without attempt at concealment, and luring the enemy forward by skirmishes have hauled up those who became entangled. 7 The net should be of the very strongest rope, and the line that lifts it should be of chain for a distance of two cubits, to prevent its being severed, but the rest, from the point where they are pulling it, may be of rope. The whole device is let down and hauled up from within the wall by ropes or by swing-beams. If, however, the enemy try to cut their way out, then to meet this the besieged should again use swing-beams, letting them down so that the net may not be cut; for to use chains to prevent such an occurrence is troublesome and inconvenient, as well as too costly.
§ 40 Guarding a City: If the city is a large one and the men in the city are not numerous enough to man its walls all the way around, and yet you wish to keep it closely guarded with the men you have, you should, from the materials at hand, build up high all the easily assailable parts of the city wall, so that if any of the enemy shall scale them, either by stealth or by force, from their unfamiliarity they may not be able to leap down from great heights, being at the same time completely at a loss for any place to descend. And at either side of the parts that have been built up some of the available men should keep watch to destroy those who may leap from the high points. 2 When Dionysius had subjugated a certain city and some of its defenders had been killed and the others had fled, he wished to retain the place, but it was too large to be guarded by a small force. 3 Accordingly he left some in charge with a few available men, and to the slaves of the most influential in the city he married the daughters, wives, and sisters of their masters; for in this relation he thought that the slaves would be most hostile to their masters and more faithful to him. 4 Again, the people of Sinope in their war against Datamas, when they were in danger and in need of men, disguised the most able-bodied of their women and armed them as much like men as they could, giving them in place of shields and helmets their jars and similar bronze utensils, and marched them around the wall where the enemy were most likely to see them. 5 But they did not allow them to throw missiles, for even a long way of a woman betrays her sex when she tries to throw. While they were doing this they took care that deserters should not disclose the stratagem. 6 If you wish the patrolmen upon the wall to appear more numerous than they are, you should make them go their rounds two abreast, one rank with their spears upon the left shoulder, the other with their spears upon the right, and thus they will appear to be four abreast. 7 And if they go about three abreast, the first man should have his spear upon his right shoulder, the next upon his left, and the others similarly, and in this way each man will look like two. 8 Now about wheatless rations and things of which there is a scarcity during a siege, and about how waters are to be rendered drinkable, a I have explained in the book on Military Preparations. And inasmuch as these points have been described I shall pass on to naval manoeuvres. Of a naval armament there are two forms of equipment. . . .