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Journal > Volumes > 46 (2015) / 3 (Autumn)
The Deployment of the Classics in Early Modern Spanish Military Manuals
Luna Nájera
Radboud University

Early modern military manuals were one of the main intellectual media through which theorists and soldiers envisioned and articulated the interrelations of war, society, and culture.Although art of war literature has often been approached from the perspective of military history, the present study investigates the relationship of martial literature with Renaissance culture.Focusing on four Spanish military manuals published in the last quarter of the sixteenth century, this study examines how soldier-authors deployed the classical tradition.It argues that soldier-authors’ references to the classical tradition had two related functions; first, diagnosing the causes of the decadence of the Spanish army, and second, offering solutions for that decadence.In so doing, the soldier-authors gave voice to broader social tensions in early modern Spanish society.The Spanish soldier-authors utilized the Roman model to target a social economy that privileged lineage and was disposed toward favoritism and bribery.

Pages: 607 - 627