Full Version: The \'mandator\'s speech\', Strategicon book III, 2-5
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Philip Rance very kindly provided me with one of his latest articles :

Rance, P. (2010) The De Militari Scientia or Müller Fragment as a philological resource. Latin in the East Roman army and two new loanwords in Greek: palmarium and *recala, in: Glotta vol. 86, pp. 63-92.

At the close of this article, he proposes a new reading and interpretation of the ‘mandator’s speech’, which differs from the one we used so far (translated by Dennis). I find this piece of text especially interesting – not only do we have a goldmine of Roman orders, plus the manner in which they were related to the troops, but we also get a unique view into the past. This is almost a verbatim quote from a real person, who lived 14-15 centuries ago. I can’t help being fascinated by that. Big Grin


Silentium, nemo demittat, nemo antecedat bandum, sive minas sive recala facis, bandum capta, ipso seque cum bando milix, talis est commodum militis barbati, si vero bandum demittes eo modo non vero vices, serva milix ordinem, post eum ipse te serva, et tu bandifer, sive pugnas sive seques inimicum sive recala facis, non forte minare ut ne sparges tu suum ordinem.

English (Rance, my emendations) :

Silence. No one should leave (the standard), no one should go ahead of the standard, whether you are attacking or withdrawing. Pay attention to the standard. Soldier, follow it with your bandum. This is the proper conduct of a real soldier. If you leave the standard then you will not be victorious. Soldier, keep in file, keep yourself behind it (the standard). And you bandifer (standard bearer), whether you are fighting or pursuing the enemy or withdrawing, do not attack impetuously lest you break up your file.
So I guess, you will have this passage on the top of your head to start your speach with, when we will be marching again? Very nice! :p

Thanks for sharing Big Grin It's fascinating indeed.
Puntuation in ancient texts were somewhat lacking (or nonexistent), but this feels very conversational, like how someone would speak in reality. Very nice!