Why Non Casu?

“Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum; qui uictoriam cupit, milites inbuat diligenter; qui secundos optat euentus, dimicet arte, non casu.”

He, therefore, who desires peace, should prepare for war; he who aspires to victory, should spare no pains to form his forces; and he who hopes for success, should fight on principle, not chance.

It is likely that you have heard the first part of the quote – he who desires peace, should prepare for war. That was written by Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus, a man generally thought to be a high ranking civil servant from around 380 AD. The quote is taken from his preface to the third book of Epitoma Rei Militaris. For four centuries the empire had survived its transformation from the republic. Yet around them, the denizens could feel the forces of barbarism nibbling at the fringes.

Vegetius prepared his works and dedicated them to Emperor Valentinian (thought to be Valentinian II), yet it was too late and fell upon deaf ears. His clarion call to return to the virtues of honor, discipline , and courage were to be ignored. Despite this, Epitoma would be transcribed again and again down through the ages. It seems that some principles are timeless. Ignore them for flash, and glamour, and fashion at  your peril.

One response to “Why Non Casu?

  1. I like it! Wise words that apply even today. Timeless indeed.

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