It seems Erasmus and the like gave humanist education in classics and liberal arts. It also seems tactics were taught through childhood games, hunting, and archery contests. But what about the skill of high level strategy and grand strategy of leading men in battle, logistics, etc at the highest levels?

I read this wiki and followed up w several of the book references w no luck on military, operational or strategic

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    Erasmus was born on 1456, right at the end of the middle ages. Also, I guess few nobles had a large enough army to need large scale strategy and not only tactics - depending on what you want, you must focus on larger dukes or kings. About leadership, a noble could be illiterate, but the ones who studied would see a little rhetoric on the trivium.
    – Luiz
    Commented Sep 6, 2021 at 23:09
  • Thanks I’ve added early modern period. Commented Sep 7, 2021 at 1:15
  • en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_of_the_British_royal_family I read this wiki and followed up w several of the book references w no luck on military, operational or strategic. Commented Sep 7, 2021 at 1:20
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    You might find some relevant information in What kind of education would a 12th/13th century English knight get? .
    – justCal
    Commented Sep 7, 2021 at 1:49
  • Wasn't this mostly what squires were for? Sort of an internship for the skills a noble will need.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Sep 7, 2021 at 18:07

1 Answer 1


The great writers of antiquity, e.g. Vegetius. Basically, everything that survived the fall of the Western Roman Empire and that was preserved via medieval manuscripts.

As an example, this article on the logistics of the Anglo-Saxon kings makes an argument that what the kings actually did in terms of strategy follows the lines of thought that can be found in Vegetius and other antique authors.

Sorry for the broad answer, however, as it stands at the time of writing, the question is similarly broad.

  • So he was basically the Sun Tsu of Medieval Europe?
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Sep 7, 2021 at 13:02
  • That's what was available at the time: Vegetius was definitely available in western Europe. The Strategikon of Maurice was maybe available.
    – Dohn Joe
    Commented Sep 7, 2021 at 13:15
  • Do you know to what extent These Byzantine texts came over to w Europe and Britain in the ma and early modern period? Commented Sep 7, 2021 at 15:37

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