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“A few men rightly instructed to manage armes”: The analytical treatise and infantry warfare

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Chapter Summary

Of the ninety-four works on the military arts that were printed in early Stuart England, forty-one dealt with the "exercise of arms & military motions," that is to say the art of infantry warfare. This chapter explores some of the "hidden secrets" that Markham referred to, first examining the veteran and amateur soldiers who wrote these treatises and the English translations of foreign analytical treatises available to early Stuart readers. It takes a closer look at the contents of these books, assessing infantry tactics and the so-called five vowels, the basic motions of manoeuvring infantry on the battlefield, along with contemporary discussions on weaponry. The perfection of the military arts through learning and "long exercise" was a consistent theme in analytical treatises of veterans, but experience abroad was not necessarily seen as a prerequisite for authoring a military book.

Keywords: English translations; infantry warfare; Markham; military arts; military book; Stuart England



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