Coming In 2019: A New Translation Of Cornelius Nepos’s “Lives Of The Great Commanders”

Fortress of the Mind Publications is pleased to announce that 2019 will see the release of the first  illustrated, annotated translation of Cornelius Nepos’s Lives of the Great Commanders to appear in modern English.

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It Only Takes A Few Men To Change History

With the proper motivation and preparation, small numbers of men can do great things.  Numeric limitation is but one part of the equation.  This fact will be illustrated by a story that appears in Cornelius Nepos’s brief biography of a Theban commander named Pelopidas.

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My new book, Sallust:  The Conspiracy Of Catiline And The War Of Jugurtha, is now available.  Find out more by clicking here.

The Dangers Arising From One’s Subordinates: The Case Of Eumenes

No matter how much ability a commander may have, his purposes will ultimately come to nothing if he is surrounded by discontented or disloyal associates.  It was for this reason that, as the historian Sallust relates, the Roman general Metellus decided to send his disloyal subordinate Marius back to Rome.  A further example of this is provided by the career of the Greek general Eumenes of Cardia (362–316 B.C.).

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The Character Of Epaminondas

The great Theban general Epaminondas is most famous for his crushing victory over the Spartans in the Battle of Leuctra in 371 B.C.  With this battle the long military influence of Sparta on the Greek peninsula was brought to an end.  He was a man of few words; but when he did speak, his words were worth recording.  The historian Cornelius Nepos relates two anecdotes that are revealing of his character and temperament.

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The Stratagem Of Datames

Datames was a general and political leader (satrap) who was born in Asia Minor in the region of Caria.  We do not know the exact date of his birth; we do know he was assassinated in 362 B.C.  He had a high reputation in antiquity for his generalship and battlefield tactics.  The short biography by the Latin historian Cornelius Nepos is one of the few intact sources we have about him.  Nepos relates the following anecdote about a stratagem Datames used to destroy, in one stroke, those who had betrayed him and those who opposed him in war.

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