THE EMPEROR VERSUS THE BARBARIANS: MILITARY TACTICS IN EARLY BYZANTIUM
Vladimir T. Vasilev
South-West University “Neofit Rilski”, Blagoevgrad
Abstract: The text analyzes the military treatises written by the Emperors from the 7th to the 10th centuries. The expose examines the way that the Byzantine emperors described the barbarians in several Tactics and Strategies. The author is trying to make a parallel between the Christian and Barbarian neighbors of Byzantium in the Balkans and how they were perceived by the Empire: what was the difference between these groups and how the Empire fought against these peoples?
There are two main questions. The first one is whether it was important for the Byzantine emperor that the belligerent neighbor may be a Christian or a pagan country? And the second – how did Christianity justify the war against other Christian people?
This information will be derived from the Strategikon of Maurice, Tactica and Problemata of Leo VI the Wisе, Sylloge Tacticorum of Constantine VII Porphyrogenitos, Praecepta Militaria of Nikifor II Foca, the Nikifor Uranus Tactica, several Anonymous Chroniclers and others.
The aim of the work is to present the attitudes of the above mentioned authors toward the neighboring Christian, Barbarian and pagan peoples.
Keywords: Byzantium, Military Tractate, Strategiekon, Barbarians, Christians