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Vegetius Quotes/Quotations

Flavius Vegetius Renatus
Roman writer and military strategist
Author of Epitoma rei militari(s) (a summary of military matters)

Lived: around 390

(click here to find out more about Vegetius, from

I can't guarantee that these Vegetius quotations are correct or true,
but I have tried to verify as many of the quotes from Vegetius as possible.
Please contact me if you find any errors in the Vegetius quotes,
have some additional information about the quotes
or if you know any quotations from Vegetius that's not listed here.

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Flavius Vegetius Renatus Quotes

"Romans not only easily conquered those who fought by cutting, but mocked
them too. For the cut, even delivered with force, frequently does not kill,
when the vital parts are protected by equipment and bone. On the contrary, a
point brought to bear is fatal at two inches; for it is necessary that
whatever vital parts it penetrates, it is immersed. Next, when a cut is
delivered, the right arm and flank are exposed. However, the point is
delivered with the cover of the body and wounds the enemy before he sees it.
... However, they are given that double-weight shield frame and foil, so
that when the recruit takes up real, lighter weapons, as if freed from the
heavier weight, he will fight in greater safety and faster. But when field
training was ended through negligence and laxity, the equipment (which the
soldiers seldom put on) began to be seen as heavy."
- Flavius Vegetius Renatus (in Epitoma Rei Militari, ca. 390)

"Si vis pacem, para bellum"
("If you want peace, prepare for war!")
- Flavius Vegetius Renatus

"Valor is superior to number"
-Flavius Vegetius Renatus

"The courage of the soldier is heightened by the knowledge of his
-Flavius Vegetius Renatus

"Few men are born brave. Many become so through training and force of
-Flavius Vegetius Renatus

Another Version:

"Men are seldom born brave but they acquire courage through training and discipline - a handful of men inured to war proceed to certain victory; while on the contrary numerous armies of raw and undisciplined troops are but multitudes of men dragged to the slaughter."
-Flavius Vegetius Renatus

"To seduce the enemies soldiers from their allegiance and encourage them to
surrender is of special service, for an adversary is more hurt by desertion
than by slaughter."
-Flavius Vegetius Renatus

"When men find they must inevitably perish, they willingly resolve to die
with their comrades and with their arms in their hands"
-Flavius Vegetius Renatus

"Opportunity in war is usually of greater value than bravery....Terrain is often of more value than bravery....Bravery is of more value than numbers."
-Flavius Vegetius Renatus


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