Of Their Military Discipline Notes from Utopia

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Utopia Of Their Military Discipline

Although the Utopians hate war and avoid it at almost any cost, all of their people are trained in military exercises on a daily basis. They believe that there is "nothing more inglorious than that glory that is gained by war." Military, pg. 64 They do not fight wars rashly unless it is necessary in order to defend themselves or their friends. They do fight offensive wars, when such wars are unavoidable. They declare war if any of their people are killed or wounded wrongfully and the guilty person is not delivered to them. Should the guilty party be delivered, they are sentenced to death or condemned to slavery.

In the opinion of the Utopians, glorious war is a victory where no blood is shed, whereas a bloody victory troubles them. Trophies are made to honor those who accomplish a glorious war, trophies celebrating the warriors' reason, understanding and good human nature.

"The only design of the Utopian in war is to obtain that by force, which if it had been granted them in time would have prevented the war; or if that cannot be done, to take so severe a revenge on those that have injured them that they may be terrified from doing the like for the time to come. By these ends, they measure all their designs." Military, pg. 66

As soon as war is declared, the Utopians secretly begin planting letters in the enemies' country, stating the rewards for the killing of the Prince and of each person who is influential in the war. That amount is doubled if the stated person is brought alive to the Utopian senate. They offer incredibly large rewards, both in gold and treasures, as well as in land in their friends' countries. This does not phase the Utopians since these things mean nothing to them. Any supply of money that flows into Utopia is kept for these purposes, so that they should have enough to cover all these expenses. The Utopians think that this is a fair and merciful way of conducting war because in this manner, fewer people will be killed, and those people that are killed are the guilty ones.

The Utopians also use their wealth to hire soldiers. The country from which they hire the most soldiers is Zapolet, which is five hundred miles east of Utopia. The reasons they hire most of their soldiers from this country are that these people are not farmers, but hunters, and cattle herders. They do not care for houses or clothes, and enjoy war. They are fickle soldiers, as they will change sides for a penny a day, yet they compose the majority of both armies in any war. Although this may mean that they are fighting against their own family, the Zapolets don't care because they are getting paid.

The Utopians pay the Zapolets well and don't mind hiring them, as they prefer hiring people to fight for them to risking their own men at war. Furthermore, they think that they are doing humanity a favor by getting rid of these savages. As for the Utopians that engage in combat, they are mainly auxiliary and a command in chief, with two people to replace him, in turn, should anything happen to him. When the Utopians put their army together, they take as many voluntary people from the towns as possible. They encourage women to go with their husbands.

The Utopians would much rather die than give in to the enemy because they know that their children will be taken care of, and so they want Utopia to be safe. Thus, they fight bravely and nobly. In the prime of the war, the youth single out the general of their enemy and attack him, either to take him prisoner, or to kill him. When a victory is obtained, as few people as possible are killed, and nobody is to chase fleeing enemies.

The Utopians use many techniques in war, including ambushes and digging trenches and making walls around their camps. Everybody, except the guards, takes part in these activities. Both horsemen and foot soldiers use arrows. Sharp and heavy pole-axes are used instead of swords, and war machines, invented by Utopians, are used.

If they come to a truce with the enemy, they never break it. They take care of the land that they are at war with, never burning or treading down anything. This is because they may have use for that land later, such as in rewarding people who kill or deliver Princes and the like. Also, they never kill people unless they are opposed by them. At the end of the war, they obtain the war's expenses from the revenues of land they conquered or from money. The revenues from all these lands total over 700,000 ducats a year.

Topic Tracking: Money 7

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