Sextus Julius Frontinus

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Frontinus, Sextus Julius


Born circa A.D. 35; died circa A.D. 103. Roman state and military figure and military theorist.

Frontinus was appointed a praetor in 70 and served as a consul in 73, 98, and 100. From 73 to 77 he held the post of governor, first in the province of Britain and then in the province of Asia. Frontinus was the author of works on military theory, of which Stratagems, a survey of military tactics culled from other works, has been preserved.

Stratagems consists of four books, dealing with four basic categories; it suggests ways to prepare for battle, to conduct battle and ensure victory, to lay siege to and defend a fortress, and to maintain discipline in the army. The work discussed how to conduct reconnaissance, prepare ambushes, supply the army, and choose the proper time and place for battle. It also dealt with various ways to deploy forces for battle, to carry out combat operations, and to ensure discipline. Frontinus’ work is a valuable source on Roman military theory in the imperial period.


“Stratagemy.” Vestnik drevnei istorii, 1946, no. 1.
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Sextus Julius Frontinus was sent into Roman Britain in 74AD to succeed Quintus Petillius Cerialis as governor, establishing a new base at Caerleon for Legio II Augusta and a network of smaller Roman forts 15km to 20km apart for his Roman auxiliary units.
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