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Vol. 21 The Earliest English Translation of Vegetius’ De Re Militari

Edited by Geoffrey Lester (1988) Edition from Oxford MS Bodl. Douce 291

This is an edition of the first English translation of the late fourth- or early fifth-century Epitoma Rei Militaris of Flavius Vegetius Renatus, the most influential military manual in use during the Middle Ages. According to the colophon, the translation was completed in 1408 for Thomas of Berkeley, and the translator’s name is given in three of the manuscripts. The Middle English translation survives in eleven manuscripts all of which have been consulted for this edition. Oxford, Bodleian Library MS Douce 291 has been chosen as the base text.  The Introduction discusses Vegetius and the Epitoma Rei Militaris, the popularity of the Epitoma in the Middle Ages, the manuscripts of the English translation, the commissioner, the date and the translator, the characteristics of the translation, and the language of Douce 291. The edited text is followed by explanatory notes and a glossary.

This volume is currently out of print.