Vestibular migraine (VM) and Menière’s disease (MD) in the writings of Aretaeus of Cappadocia and in the Chinese book Huangdi Neijing

During a systematic search of the literature for ancient descriptions of fear of heights and seasickness in the Chinese Medical Classics and Greek antiquity, two reports of vertigo syndromes that strikingly resemble today’s definitions of vestibular migraine (VM) and Menière’s disease (MD) were discovered. Continue reading “Vestibular migraine (VM) and Menière’s disease (MD) in the writings of Aretaeus of Cappadocia and in the Chinese book Huangdi Neijing”

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Mercenaries in the Late Eastern Roman (‘Byzantine’) Empire, as viewed by the Sources

Foreign mercenaries made up a substantial part of the Byzantine armies long before the late thirteenth century. Despite the high cost of their maintenance, their constant readiness and mobility made the employment of mercenaries an attractive option. As long as they proved themselves a competent force on the battlefield and were well handled by the government, the sources do not doubt the expediency of employing them. Continue reading “Mercenaries in the Late Eastern Roman (‘Byzantine’) Empire, as viewed by the Sources”

“The army is the glory of the Emperor”; evolution of military power in the Roman East (Part 2)

The configuration of an elite force directly attached to the imperial office had many implications. Given that this was initially an arithmetically rather small corps and, therefore, could not campaign individually against the enemies of the empire, its primary purpose was to circumscribe the loyalty of the provincial armies. Continue reading ““The army is the glory of the Emperor”; evolution of military power in the Roman East (Part 2)”

“The army is the glory of the Emperor”; evolution of military power in the Roman East (Part 1)

Don’t allow your army to be broken up or to become poor, or you will become poor yourself, and consider yourself very wretched. The army is the glory of the Emperor, and the power of the palace. For, if there is no army, the state (Treasury) cannot stand firm, but anyone who wants to will by all means oppose you. Endeavour, at all times, (to see) that the fleet grows, and that you have it at full strength; for the fleet is the glory of the Roman realm”. (lines from the late 11th century so-called Strategikon of Kekaumenos) Continue reading ““The army is the glory of the Emperor”; evolution of military power in the Roman East (Part 1)”

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