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Polyaenus' stratagems for financing war

In around AD 165, the Greek-​​born author Polyaenus wrote a collection of works detailing the stratagems or ruses used in famous historical wars. The works were dedicated to the co-​​Emperors Lucius Verus and Marcus Aurelius, and were intended to provide inspiration for their military policies.

As well as military and diplomatic tactics, the Stratagems of War included various methods for financing military operations, which Polyaenus said had been used in the past. They included an exceptional tax, public borrowing, the private financing (more or less voluntary) of ships, the seizure of booty, the sale of religious property, and monetary manipulation (minting of coins using a lower grade of metal, and obligation of merchants and/​or soldiers to use these new coins instead of the older ones).

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