Walking along the shelves of an ideal European military library of the first half of the XVII century, we can find many books concerning the classical period. Actually, the military treaties, both dedicated to "military art" and to weaponry, were propaganda tools rather than texts about training and preparation for war. They create a big library, but we know very little about how often the officers read these books. Works about tactics and military history could be intended both as armies celebrations and as objects for the market of book collectors or scholars: people who were not soldiers. The author aims at showing how the experience dominated the education of the seventeenth century soldier, becoming the basis of strategic and operational planning of future wars.
Keywords: Warfare, culture, knowledge, empiricism, books, military history.