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Julius Frontinus Sextus

Julius Frontinus Sextus books and biography

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Les Quatre Livres Des Stratagemes


By Julius Frontinus Sextus
Guerre Et Militaires

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Sextus Julius Frontinus

  

Sextus Julius Frontinus (c. 40-103) was a Roman soldier, politician, engineer and author.

In 70 he was praetor, and five years later was sent into Britain to succeed Quintus Petillius Cerialis as governor of that island. He subdued the Silures and other hostile tribes of Wales, establishing a new base at Caerleon for Legio II Augusta and a network of smaller forts fifteen to twenty kilometres apart for his auxiliary units. He was succeeded by Gnaeus Julius Agricola in 78.

In 95 he was appointed superintendent of the aqueducts (curator aquarum) at Rome, an office only conferred upon persons of very high standing. He was also a member of the College of Augurs.

His chief work is De aquis urbis Romae, in two books, containing a history and description of the water-supply of Rome, including the laws relating to its use and maintenance, and other matters of importance in the history of architecture. Frontinus also wrote a theoretical treatise on military science (De re militari) which is lost. His Strategematicon libri iii is a collection of examples of military stratagems from Greek and Roman history, for the use of officers; a fourth book, the plan and style of which is different from the rest (more stress is laid on the moral aspects of war, e.g. discipline), is probably the work of another writer (best edition by G. Gundermann, 1888). Extracts from a treatise on land surveying ascribed to Frontinus are preserved in Lachmann's Gromatici veteres (1848).

A valuable edition of the De aquis (text and translation) has been published by C. Herschel (Boston, Mass., 1899). It contains numerous illustrations; maps of the routes of the ancient aqueducts and the city of Rome in the time of Frontinus; a photographic reproduction of the only manuscript (the Monscassinensis); several explanatory chapters, and a concise bibliography, in which special reference is made to P. de Tissot, Etude sur Ia condition des agrimensores (1879). There is a complete edition of the works by A. Dederich (1855), and an English translation of the Strategemata by R. Scott (1816); more recent editions include that of both the Aqueducts and the Strategemata in the Loeb Classical Library (1925).

He also appears as a fictionalised character in the Marcus Didius Falco novels Three Hands in the Fountain and The Jupiter Myth.



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