is the name of many eminent personages recorded in ancient writers, particularly Julius Polysenus, of whom some Greek epigrams are extant, in the first book of the Anthologia. But the Polyænus who is best known, flourished in the second century, and is the author of the eight books of the “Stratagems of illustrious Commanders in war.” He appears to have been a Macedonian, and probably was a soldier in the younger part of his life; but we are more certain that he was a rhetorician, and a pleader of causes and that he enjoyed a place of trust and dignity under the emperors Antoninus and Veriis, to whom he dedicated his work. The “Strategemata” were published in Greek by Isaac Casaubon, with notes, in 1589, 12mo but no good edition of them appeared, till that of Leyden; 1690, in 8vo. The title-page runs thus: “Polygeni Strategematum libri octo, Justo Vulteio interprete, Pancratius Maasvicius recensuit, Isaaci Casauboni nee non suas notas adjecit.” This was followed, in 1756, by Mursinua’s edition, Berlin, and by that of Coray, at Paris in 1809, 8vo. We have now an excellent English translation by Mr. R. Shepherd, 1793, 4to. It contains various stratagems, of above three hundred commanders and generals of armies, chiefly Greeks and Barbarians, which are at least entertaining, and illustrative of the manners of the times in which those commanders lived but it may be doubted whether a modern soldier would gain much advantage by making himself master of this tricking study. The original has come down to us incomplete, and with the text considerably mutilated and corrupted; but the style is classical, and even elegant.

The whole collection, says the translator, if entire, would have consisted of nine hundred stratagems; containing the exploits of the most celebrated generals, of various nations, fetched from ages remote as the page of history will reach, and carried forward to our author’s own time so wide was the field he traversed of annals, histories, and lives, in the prosecution of his design a manual, as he terms it, of the science of generalship. And in so large a collection, if some stratagems occur, that bear a resemblance to each other, sometimes with little variation employed by the same general, and sometimes, on different occasions, copied by others - 9 the reader will be rather surprised that he finds so few instances of this kind, than led to have expected none. Some will strike him as | unimportant, and some are not properly military stratagems. Some devices again will appear so ludicrous and absurd, as nothing but the barbarism of the times, the ignorance and superstition that in some states prevailed, will reconcile to credibility. The stratagems however that rank under those classes are few the work in general was executed with great judgment; and, as the author himself observes, he had employed upon it no small degree of pains.

Polyænus composed other works besides his “Strategemata.” Stobaeus has produced some passages out of a book “De Republica Macedonum” and Suidas mentions another concerning “Thebes,” and three books of “Tactics.” If death had not prevented, he would have written “Memorabilia of the emperors Antoninus and Verus” for this he promises in the preface to his sixth book of Stratagems. 1


Voss. de Hist. Graze, Fabric, Bibl. 6 rate, Shepherd’s Translation. —Saxii Onomast.