Polyaenus: Greek-Roman author (second century CE) of a collection of stratagems.
He is best known from his eight books of Strategemata ('on stratagems'), which was presented to Lucius Verus on the occasion of his war against the Parthian Empire. According to the author himself, the dedicatees did indeed read the books, and there is some evidence that Marcus Aurelius had the Strategemata with him during his Marcomannic war.
Polyaenus is interested in the technique of war, not in history for its own sake. Therefore, he often carelessly confuses the names of the generals. Yet, there is some structure.
|2||Fourth century Spartans and Thebans|
|4||Macedonians (especially Philip and Alexander the Great)|
|5||The history of Sicily|
|6||Several kinds of people|
|7||Iranians: Medes, Persians, Scythians, Parthians, Celts|
|8||The Roman republic; stratagems of women|
It is interesting to notice that Polyaenus stresses Greek history and ignores the part that would have been most useful: the history of the Roman imperial legions. This interests shows that he is influenced by the literary movement of the Second Sophistic.
- Maria Schettino, Introduzione a Polieno (1998 Pisa)