Constructing the Past


The Byzantine military strategy expressed in the 10th century treatise On Skirmishing marked a decisive shift in Byzantine strategy and an entirely new mindset in approaching war. What is unique about this strategy is that it was not created during a war against the Arabs, but before they existed as a military power. The foundation was laid during the Emperor Heraclius's Persian campaigns of 622-628. To demonstrate the key contributions of Heraclius, these Persian campaigns shall be analyzed and compared with the advice prescribed in On Skirmishing. Also, the military events recorded by Theophanes of the 7th and 8th centuries will be compared with Heraclius and On Skirmishing to show the development of the strategy after Heraclius and how it measured up to the final form in On Skirmishing.