GLOSSARY OF ROMAN MILITARY TERMS

GLOSSARY OF ROMAN MILITARY TERMS

A

A balneis (LA): in charge of baths.
A copiis militaribus (LA): ‘in charge of military supplies’; imperial secretary responsible for military expenses.
A rationibus (LA): ‘in charge of accounts’; imperial secretary responsible for the treasury.
A rationibus castrensis (LA): camp accounting secretary’; offical responsible for accounting supplies and provisions.
Ab actis (LA): ‘in charge of acts’; clerk.
Ab epistulis (LA): ín charge of letters’; imperial secretary responsible for military promotions.
Absentia rei publicae causa (LA): absence on behalf of the state; military service meant that most types of legal action against a soldier were frozen untill his discharge.
Accensus (LA): ‘reservist’; light legionary infantry soldier.
Acceptarius (LA): discharged soldier.
Acceptum (LA): amount received by soldier after deductions from his pay.
Acies (LA): battle line.
Acies duplex (LA): double battle lines.
Acies triplex (LA): triple battle lines.
Aclis (LA): javelin.
Actarius (LA): clerk.
Ad pila et spathas (LA): close quarter combat.
Ad signa (LA): ‘with the standards’; present with unit.
Ad stercus (LA): latrine fatigue duty.
Ad triarios redisse (LA): ‘to fall back on the triarii (LA)’; to have reached a desperate situation.
Adaeratio (LA): recruitment tax.
Adcrescens (LA): adolescent; soldier’s offspring that would follow in the hereditary military service of the fourth century AD and received rations before taking up actual service.
Adiutor (LA): assistant; batman.
Adiutor librarii (LA): assistant clerk.
Adiutor praetorii (LA): headquarter’s adjutant.
Adiutor signorum (LA): assistant of the standards.
Adiutrix (LA): ‘supporter’; title borne by two legions raised from naval soldiers.
Adlectus (LA): picked or transferred soldier.
Adlocutio (LA): formal speech.
Adstatus (LA): variant spelling of hastatus (LA).
Aedes (LA): sanctuary in the HQ where the standards were stored and a likeness of the emperor was kept.
Aenator (LA): military musician.
Aerarium (LA): treasury; pay chest.
Aerarium militare (LA): military pension fund.
Aestiva (LA): summer campaigning camp.
Aetos (GR): eagle standard.
Agens in rebus (LA): late Roman intelligence operative.
Ager publicus (LA): ‘public land’; confiscated land belonging to the Roman state.
Agger (LA): (1) earth wall; (2) assault ramp.
Agmen (LA): column.
Agmen quadratum (LA): square marching formation.
Agrimensor (LA): surveyor.
Aichmè (GR): spear; javelin.
Akontistès (GR): javelineer; light infantryman.
Ala (LA): ‘wing’; (1) unit of the allies; (2) unit of auxiliary cavalry.
Ala dromedaria (LA): cavalry unit with attached camel riders.
Ala milliaria (LA): auxiliary cavalry unit with an establishment strength of some thousand men.
Ala quingenaria (LA): auxiliary cavalry unit with an establishment strength of some five hundred troopers.
Ala sociorum (LA): unit of several thousand soldiers drawn from the socii (LA) or allies.
Alaris (LA): ‘wingman’; soldier serving in ala (LA).
Alaudae (LA): ‘crested larks’; cognomen (LA) for the legio (LA) V originally raised by Caesar as a legio vernacula (LA).
Album veteranorum (LA): list of veterans.
Allagè (GR): relief of duty.
Allectus (LA): chosen man; elite soldier.
Ambulatio (LA): marching exercise.
Ambulatura (LA): marching exercise.
Amentum (LA): thong attached to a throwing spear to increase range and accuracy.
Angareia (GR): requisition of transport.
Angaria (LA): requisitioning of transport.
Angusticlavius (LA): decorated with thin purple stripe.
Angusticlavus (LA): thin purple stripe on tunic indicating membership of the equestrian order.
Ankoon (GR): catapult arm.
Annona (LA): (1) provisions; (2) tax in kind.
Annona foederatica (LA): subsidy given to allies.
Annona militaris (LA): ‘military ration’: (1) ration; (2) tax in kind to provide for rations.
Antecursor (LA): ‘front runner’; advanced skirmisher.
Antepilanus (LA): ‘in front of the spearbearers’; soldier stationed in first or second battle line.
Antesignanis (GR): elite legionary.
Antesignanus (LA): soldier fighting in front of the standards; elite legionary foot soldier capable of fighting as both heavy and light infantry.
Anularium (LA): money grant received from military association.
Aper (LA): boar; one of the five original legionary standards of a republican legio (LA) and symbol of the imperial legio XX and legio X Fretensis.
Apollinaris (LA): dedicated to Apollo.
Aquila (LA): eagle standard.
Aquilae natalis (LA): ‘birthday of the eagle’; anniversary of the official founding of a legio (LA).
Aquilifer (LA): eaglebearer; standardbearer carrying the legion’s eagle.
Archigybernes (LA): senior helmsman.
Architectus (LA): engineer; constructor of torsion guns.
Archoon tou kontuberniou (GR): ‘commander of the tent party’; squad leader, term used as equivalent of dekarchos (GR).
Arcuballista (LA): torsion gun; crossbow.
Arcus (LA): bow.
Arcuarius (LA): bowyer.
Areani (LA): late Roman scout/spy unit based in Britannia.
Aries (LA): battering ram.
Arithmos (GR): military unit; Greek equivalent of numerus (LA).
Arma (LA): weapons.
Arma antesignana (LA): the weapons of the antesignani (LA); lonchè (GR) or lancea (LA) and aspis (GR).
Arma legionaria (LA): legionary weapons.
Arma postsignana (LA): the weapons of the postsignani (LA); xyston (GR) or pilum (LA) and thyreos (GR) or scutum (LA).
Arma velitaria (LA): the weapons belonging to the velites (LA); hasta velitaris (LA) and parma (LA).
Armamentarium (LA): weapons storage.
Armatura (LA): (1) advanced weapons training; (2) weapon instructor; (3) soldier with advanced weapons training; (4) armament.
Armatura duplaris (LA): weapons instructor on double rations.
Armatus (LA): armed.
Armicustos (LA): soldier tasked with the administration and supply of weapons and equipment.
Armidoctor (LA): equivalent of doctor armorum (LA); weapons instructor.
Armiger (LA): ‘weaponbearer’; armed man.
Armilausa (LA): military clothing item.
Armilla (LA): arm band used as military decoration.
Artifex (LA): artisan.
Arx (LA): fortress.
Aspis (GR): shield.
Aspis koilè (GR): curved shield used by legionary heavy infantry.
Aspis platea (GR): flat shield used by legionary light infantry.
Assiduus (LA): propertied citizen with military service obligation.
Aurum tironicum (LA): money tax levied instead of protostasia (GR).
Auspicia (LA): supreme authority.
Auxilia (LA): auxiliaries.
Auxilia palatina (LA): late Roman crack infantry units.
Auxiliaris (LA): auxiliary soldier.
Auxilium (LA): late Roman infantry unit.
Auxilium palatinum (LA): elite late Roman field army infantry unit.

B

Bacaudae (LA): late Roman rebel group in Gaul.
Ballista (LA): torsion gun.
Ballista quadrirotis (LA): ‘fourwheeled torsion gun’; mobile catapult.
Ballistarius (LA): artillery soldier.
Balteus (LA): military belt.
Bandifer (LA): Byzantine standard bearer.
Bandon (GR): late Roman military unit.
Bandum (LA): late Roman military standard.
Barbaricum (LA): the world beyond the imperial frontiers.
Barbarus (LA): non Roman; foreigner.
Baro (LA): servant; groom.
Barcarius (LA): bargeman.
Barritus (LA): battle cry.
Basileus (GR): emperor.
Basilica equestris exercitatoria (LA): cavalry training hall.
Basilica exercitatoria (LA): drill hall.
Basilikon telos (GR): imperial guard.
Basilikos (LA): imperial.
Batavus (LA): (1) Batavian; (2) nickname of imperial horse guard trooper.
Battualia (LA): fighting exercise.
Bearcus (LA): variant spelling of biarchus (LA), a late Roman noncom.
Bearcus draconarius (LA): late Roman senior standardbearer.
Bebra (LA): barbarian heavy javelin.
Bellator (LA): fighter; warrior.
Bellum (LA): war.
Belos (GR): missile.
Beneficium (LA): ‘favour’; military promotion.
Beneficiarius (LA): ‘beneficiary’; (1) soldier on special assignment; (2) military police.
Beneficiarius consularis (LA): soldier attached to a provincial governor’s staff.
Beneficiarius legati legionis (LA): soldier attached to staff of legionary commander.
Beneficiarius praefecti praetorio (LA): soldier serving on the staff of the praetorian prefect.
Beneficiarius praefecti urbis (LA): soldier serving on the staff of the urban prefect.
Beneficiarius procuratoris (LA): soldier serving on the staff of a procurator (LA).
Beneficiarius praefecti proconsulis (LA): soldier serving on the staff of the governor appointed by the senate.
Beneficiarius sexmestris (LA): soldier on a six month tour as beneficiarius.
Beneficiarius tribuni (LA): soldier attached to the staff of a tribunus (LA).
Benephikiarios (GR): Greek equivalent of beneficiarius (LA).
Biarchus (LA): late Roman NCO.
Bipennis (LA): double headed axe.
Boukellarèos (GR): personal retainer, Greek equivalent of Buccellarius (LA).
Bracae (LA): trousers.
Brittunculus (LA): ‘little Briton’; derogatory name for Roman adversary in Britannia.
Buccellarius (LA): private retainer.
Buccellatum (LA): hard tack; ration.
Bucculla (LA): helmet cheeck piece.
Bucina (LA): musical instrument.
Bucinator (LA): trumpeter.
Bucinator principalis (LA): trumpeter with NCO rank.
Burgarius (LA): soldier stationed at burgus (LA).
Burgus (LA): small fortification.

C

Cacula (LA): military servant.
Caesim ferire (LA): to slash (with a sword).
Calceus (LA): shoe; boot.
Calciarium (LA): ‘shoe money’; bounty demanded by troops for prolonged marching.
Caliga (LA): leather personnel carrier; military boot.
Caligatus (LA): person wearing caligae (LA); soldier, NCO or officer below the social rank of eques Romanus (LA).
Calo (LA): horse groom; military servant.
Campicursio (LA): military exercise.
Campidoctor (LA): drill instructor.
Campigenus (LA): ‘born at the exercise field’; elite legionary soldier.
Campus (LA): cavalry training area; exercise field.
Campus Martius (LA): field of Mars where during the republic troops were assembled prior to military campaigns.
Canabae (LA): civilian settlement attached to military base.
Candidatus (LA): (1) soldier awaiting promotion; (2) late Roman guardsman.
Cannensis (LA): the nickname of the soldiers who had survived the defeat at Cannae and were kept in service until Carthage was defeated in the Second Punic War.
Capite censi (LA): ‘head count’; citizens that could not meet the property demands required for military service.
Capsa (LA): container with bandages and medical implements carried by medics.
Capsarius (LA): medic.
Caput contubernii (LA): head of tentparty.
Caput porcinum (LA): ‘boar’s head’; attack column or wedge formation.
Carcer (LA): prison cell.
Carcerarius (LA): prison guard.
Carroballista (LA): torsion artillery.
Cassis (LA): helmet.
Castellum (LA): fort.
Castigatio (LA): corporal punishment.
Castra (LA): camp.
Castra aestiva (LA): summer campaigning camp.
Castra hiberna (LA): winter base.
Castra movere (LA): to break camp.
Castra nova (LA): ‘new camp’; second base for imperial horse guard at Rome after the unit was increased in size.
Castra peregrina (LA): military base at Rome for personel seconded from the provincial armies.
Castra praetoria (LA): praetorian camp; (1) base of the praetorian guard at Rome established by Tiberius; (2) dense close ordered formation in the late Roman army.
Castra priora (LA): ‘earlier camp’; original base of imperial horse guard at Rome.
Castrense peculium (LA): possessions acquired by soldier during military service which remained outside the patria potestas (LA).
Cataphracta (LA): body armour.
Cataphractarius (LA): heavily armoured cavalryman.
Cataphractus (LA): heavily armoured cavalryman.
Catapulta (LA): ‘shield smasher’; torsion gun.
Causarius (LA): soldier discharged for wounds or other medical reasons.
Cedo alteram (LA): ‘give me another’; nickname of a hated centurio killed in the Pannonian mutiny of AD 14 who used to break his vine sticks on the back of his men.
Celeusta (LA): naval officer.
Cenaticum (LA): provision of (money for) food; often extorted by soldiers billeted on civilians.
Centenaria (LA): small fortification.
Centenarius (LA): late Roman officer of equivalent rank as centurio (LA).
Centenus (LA): unit of nominally a hundred men.
Centuria (LA): ‘hundred’; military unit of some thirty to two hundred foot soldiers.
Centurio (LA): ‘commander of hundred’; centurion; officer.
Centurio alti ordinis (LA): centurion of higher rank.
Centurio classicus (LA): naval centurion.
Centurio deputatus (LA): centurion on detached duty.
Centurio exercitator (LA): cavalry training officer.
Centurio frumentarius (LA): centurion of the military intelligence service.
Centurio legionarius (LA): legionary centurion.
Centurio ordinarius/ordinatus (LA): centurion commanding a centuria (LA).
Centurio posterior (LA): second in command of a manipulus (LA).
Centurio prior (LA): senior centurion of a manipulus (LA).
Centurio protector (LA): ‘bodyguard centurion’; officer among the protectores (LA).
Centurio regionarius (LA): district centurion responsible for administration and law enforcement.
Centurio retentus (LA): centurion serving on after term of service.
Centurio speculatorum Augustorum (LA): officer attached to the speculatores (LA) of the praetorian guard.
Centurio statorum (LA): centurion in charge of military constabulary.
Centurio stratorum (LA): officer in charge of horse supply to the army which was at times placed in command of the pedites singulares (LA).
Centurio supernumerarius (LA): supernumerary centurion with special assignments.
Centurio tralatus (LA): transferred centurion.
Cervus (LA): ‘animal horn’; obstacle made of pointed stakes.
Cetra (LA): shield; small Hispanic buckler.
Cetratus (LA): (1) soldier equipped with a small shield; (2) skirmisher.
Charax (GR): wall.
Cheiroballistra (GR): torsion artillery.
Cheloonion (GR): catapult block.
Chiliarchia (GR): unit of nominally a thousand men.
Chiliarchos (GR): ‘commander of a thousand’; Greek term for tribunus (LA).
Choortè (GR): cohort.
Cibaria (LA): rations.
Cibariator (LA): commissariat clerk.
Cibus (LA): food; ration.
Cinctus (LA): ‘girded with sword belt’; combat ready.
Cingulum (LA): late Roman military belt.
Cingulum militare (LA): late Roman military belt.
Circitor (LA): late Roman junior cavalry NCO originally tasked with making rounds to inspect sentries.
Circumvallatio (LA): circumvallation.
Civis Romanus (LA): Roman citizen.
Civium Romanorum (LA): epithet of auxiliary units that were either originally recruited from Roman citizens or had received a mass grant of the citizenship for outstanding service.
Clades (LA): defeat.
Clades Lolliana (LA): ‘Lollian defeat’; defeat of governor Lollius against invading Germanic tribesmen in 16 BC.
Clades Variana (LA): ‘Varian defeat’; defeat of Varus in the Teutoburgian forest in 9 AD.
Classiarius (LA): sailor; marine.
Classicum (LA): military musical salute.
Classicus (LA): naval soldier; sailor, marine.
Classis (LA): (1) part of population with military service obligations; (2) fleet.
Classis Germanica (LA): ‘German fleet’; Rhine fleet.
Classis praetoria (LA): ‘praetorian fleet’; main naval fleet stationed at Ravenna or Misenum.
Classis praetoria Ravennatium (LA): ‘praetorian fleet of Ravenna’; main Roman fleet based in Adriatic Sea.
Classis praetoria Misenatium (LA): ‘praetorian fleet of Misenum’; main Roman fleet based in Tyrhenean Sea.
Clavarium (LA): ‘hobnail money’; allowance given to soldiers for purchase of extra nails when involved in prolonged marching.
Clavis lignea (LA): wooden practice sword.
Clavicula (LA): curved wall and ditch extension protecting a gate of a marching camp.
Clavicularius (LA): guard stationed at the gate.
Clavus (LA): tunic decoration.
Clibanarius (LA): ‘field oven man’; heavily armoured cavalry trooper.
Clibanus (LA): field oven.
Clinicus (LA): medic.
Clipeus (LA): buckler.
Cognomen (LA): (honorary) nickname.
Cohors (LA): military unit.
Cohors alaria (LA): allied – or auxiliary unit.
Cohors classica (LA): auxiliary unit originally formed of sailors and marines.
Cohors equitata (LA): unit of auxiliary infantry with attached mounted squadrons.
Cohors Germanorum (LA): the unit of Germani custodes corporis (LA).
Cohors milliaria (LA): ‘thousand strong unit’; military unit with an establishment strength of a 1000 soldiers.
Cohors palatina (LA): ‘palace unit’; tetrarchic title of cohors praetoria (LA).
Cohors peditata (LA): infantry unit.
Cohors praetoria (LA): (1) bodyguard of a general during the republic; (2) unit of imperial guard.
Cohors quingenaria (LA): military unit with an establishment strength of 500 men.
Cohors speculatorum (LA): guard unit of Marcus Antonius composed of scouts.
Cohors togata (LA): unit of praetorian guard in civilian dress tasked with duties within the pomerium (LA).
Cohors torquata (LA): auxiliary unit granted a torques (LA).
Cohors tumultuaria (LA): irregular auxiliary unit.
Cohors urbana (LA): urban cohort; military police unit.
Cohors vigilum (LA): cohort of the watchmen; unit of the police force annex fire brigade.
Cohortalis (LA): soldier belonging to a cohors.
Collatus (LA): soldier picked for service in other unit.
Collega (LA): member of the same unit.
Comes (LA): ‘companion’; (1)friend of the emperor; (2) late Roman army commander (3) elite cavalryman.
Comes domesticorum (LA): commander of the household troops.
Comes domesticorum equitum (LA): ‘count of the household cavalry’; late Roman guard cavalry commander.
Comes rei militaris (LA): ‘count of military affairs’; late Roman military commander.
Comitatensis (LA): soldier belonging to late Roman field army.
Comitatus (LA): ‘following’; imperial field army of the third century AD.
Comites dominorum nostrorum (LA): ‘companions of our lords’; imperial horse guards from the tetrarchy.
Comitia centuriata (LA): popular assembly based on ancient army structure of centuriae (LA).
Comitiatus (LA): senior officer elected by popular assembly.
Commanipularis (LA): fellow soldier; brother in arms.
Commoda (LA): discharge benefits.
Commodiana (LA): ‘Commodus’ own’; honorary unit title.
Commeatus (LA): leave.
Commentariensis (LA): legal staff administrator.
Commentarii (LA): field commander’s report to the senate.
Commilito (LA): fellow soldier.
Comminus (LA): close quarter fighting.
Compar (LA): soldier of the same rank.
Conalaris (LA): ‘fellow wingman’; trooper belonging to same cavalry unit.
Concha (LA): ‘seashell’; shipwreck.
Concordia exercituum (LA): ‘concord of the armies’; propaganda slogan used on coins.
Conditorium (LA): depot.
Conductor (LA): supply contractor.
Congeries armorum: pile of military equipment.
Conquisitor (LA): recruiting officer.
Consilium (LA): imperial advisory council.
Consistorium (LA): late Roman imperial advisory council.
Constitutio (LA): service regulation. Several sets of military constitutiones (LA) were formulated by emperors, among them Augustus and Hadrianus.
Consul (LA): consul; highest magistrate in republican Rome commanding major military forces.
Consularis (LA): former consul (LA).
Contarius (LA): heavy cavalry soldier armed with two handed pike.
Contiro (LA): fellow recruit.
Contributus (LA): transferred soldier.
Contubernalis (LA): (1) officer cadet; (2) squad member.
Contubernium (LA): tentparty; group of soldiers sharing a tent.
Contus (LA): spear; heavy two handed thrusting spear.
Conubium (LA): legal marriage.
Conveteranus (LA): fellow veteran.
Copiae (LA): (1) military forces; (2) supplies.
Cornicen (LA): horn-blower.
Cornicularius (LA): NCO with administrative duties.
Cornicularius consularis (LA): NCO heading provincial governor’s administrative staff.
Cornicularius legati (LA): NCO at head of administrative staff of legionary legate.
Cornicularius praefectorum praetorio (LA): NCO supervising administrative staff of praetorian prefects.
Cornicularius praefecti classis (LA): NCO at head of administrative staff of fleet prefect.
Cornicularius praefecti Aegypti (LA): NCO supervising administrative staff of governor of Egypt.
Cornicularius praefecti legionis (LA): NCO at head of administrative staff of legionary prefect.
Cornicularius praesidis (LA): NCO heading administrative staff of equestrian governor.
Cornicularius procuratoris Augusti (LA): NCO at head of imperial procurator’s administrative staff.
Cornicularius tribuni (LA): NCO supervising tribune’s administrative staff.
Corniculum (LA): small horn used as a military decoration.
Cornu (LA): (1) horn; (2) wing of battle formation.
Cornuti (LA): ‘horned ones’; late Roman auxilium palatinum (LA).
Corona (LA): wreath or crown awarded as military decoration.
Corona aurea (LA): gold crown.
Corona civica (LA): wreath of oak leaves awarded for saving a fellow citizen’s life.
Corona classica (LA): fleet crown; naval decoration.
Corona exploratoria (LA): crown awarded to scouts.
Corona graminea/obsidionalis (LA): grass crown awarded for saving an entire army.
Corona muralis (LA): crown awarded to first man reaching the top of an enemy wall.
Corona navalis (LA): naval crown.
Corona vallaris (LA): crown awarded to first man on top of an enemy rampart.
Corvus (LA): ‘raven’; movable boarding bridge.
Covinus (LA): Celtic war-chariot.
Cratis (LA): wickerwork shield.
Crista (LA): helmet crest.
Crista transversa (LA): transverse helmet crest used as recognition mark of centurion.
Cristatus (LA): crested.
Cuneus (LA): ‘wedge’; (1) attack column or wedge formation; (2) cavalry unit.
Cuneus equitum (LA): cavalry unit.
Cura copiarum (LA): supply management.
Cura explorationis (LA): responsibility for scouting.
Curam agens (LA): soldier in charge.
Curator (LA): (1) soldier, NCO or officer with special responsibilities; (2) supply administrator.
Curator cohortis (LA): interim commander of auxiliary regiment.
Curator Germanorum (LA): commander of the Germani custodes corporis (LA), the imperial bodyguard.
Curator operis armamentarii (LA): person in charge of arms supply.
Curator turmae (LA): cavalryman with special duties.
Curator veteranorum (LA): officer in charge of time served soldiers awaiting discharge.
Custos vivarii (LA): guard of animal enclosure.
Cursores (LA): ‘runners’; assault troops.
Cursus clabularis (LA): wagon post; imperial wagon transportation service.
Cursus honorum (LA): the public career path of Roman nobles consisting of both civilian and military posts.
Cursus publicus (LA): imperial posting system.
Custos (LA): guard; guardian; sentry.
Custos armorum (LA): soldier tasked with the registration and supply of weapons and equipment.
Custos basilicae (LA): caretaker of training hall.

D

Decanus (LA): commander of contubernium (LA) or tentparty.
Decimipilus (LA): centurion of the pili of the tenth cohort of a legion.
Decumanus (LA): soldier of the legio X.
Decurio (LA): cavalry officer; (1) officer commanding ten to thirty horse men in the legion of the early republic; (2) officer commanding a turma (LA) in the auxilia (LA).
Decurio exercitator (LA): cavalry training officer.
Decurio praepositus (LA): decurion placed in command.
Decurio princeps (LA): officer in charge of unit’s administration.
Decursio (LA): military exercise.
Dediticius (LA): someone who has surrendered; prisoner of war.
Deditio (LA): unconditional surrender.
Deducticius (LA): settled veteran.
Defector (LA): deserter.
Defensores (LA): ‘defenders’; troops in close order defensive formation.
Dekanos (GR): militia man; police man.
Dekarchos (GR): (1) cavalry officer; Greek equivalent of decurio (LA); (2) section commander, equivalent of decanus (LA).
Delectus (LA): picked soldier.
Deposita (LA): savings.
Deposita ad signa (LA): ‘deposits at the standards’; savings.
Deputatus (LA): medical orderly.
Dexa (GR): ‘catch!’; motto inscribed on lead sling bullets.
Diaseismos (GR): ‘shakedown’; extortion was a relatively common military vice.
Dictator (LA): senior magistrate granted emergency powers originally appointed for a period of six months.
Difalangia (LA): double battle order, ie facing front and rear.
Digmata (LA): shield decoration.
Dilectator (LA): official in charge of conscription levy.
Dilectus (LA): conscription levy.
Diogmitès (GR): urban militia man.
Dioostra (GR): catapult slider.
Diploma (LA): discharge certificate.
Direptio (LA): sack.
Discens (LA): trainee.
Discens architecti (LA): trainee engineer; trainee artillery constructor.
Discens armaturae (LA): trainee weapons instructor.
Discens aquiliferum (LA): trainee eagle standard bearer.
Discens aquiliferorum (LA): trainee eagle standard bearer.
Discens bucinatorem (LA): trainee trumpeteer.
Discens capsariorum (LA): soldier training for function as medical orderly.
Discens epibatae (LA): trainee marine.
Discens equitum (LA): trainee cavalryman
Discens lanchiariorum ((Bad) LA): trainee javelineer.
Discens mensorem (LA): trainee surveyor.
Discens phalangarium (LA): soldier training as a phalangarius (LA): during the third century AD several experiments were conducted with Macedonian phalanx tactics, apparently requiring special training in weapons handling and drill.
Discens signiferorum (LA): trainee standardbearer.
Dispensator (LA): imperial treasury slave.
Distributio numerorum (LA): distribution of units; the order of battle of the Roman army in the Notitia Dignitatum.
Doctor (LA): instructor.
Doctor armorum (LA): weapons instructor.
Doctor sagittariorum (LA): ‘teacher of archers’; archery instructor.
Dolabra (LA): axe.
Dolator (LA): sailor in charge of rigging sail.
Dolus (LA): trick, ruse.
Domesticus (LA): ‘household man’; late Roman imperial guard soldier.
Domitiana (LA): ‘Domitian’s own’; honorary title for loyal army units in Domitian’s reign.
Dona militaria (LA): military decorations.
Donativum (LA): extraordinary grant of money.
Donis donatus (LA): rewarded with decorations.
Dory (GR): spear.
Dory makron (GR): long spear or pike; weapon used by legionary phalangarii (LA) in third century.
Doryphoros (GR): ‘spearman’; guard soldier.
Doux (GR): military commander.
Draco (LA): ‘dragon’; windsock standard.
Draconarius (LA): dragon bearer; late Roman standardbearer.
Dromedarius (LA): camel trooper.
Ducenarius (LA): late Roman officer.
Duovir navalis (LA): republican era naval commander.
Duplaris (LA): NCO on double basic pay.
Duplicarius (LA): NCO on double basic pay.
Duumvir navalis (LA): member of naval committee of two; republican era naval commander.
Dux (LA): commander.
Dux ripae (LA): ‘river bank commander’; subordinate commander of frontier section.

E
Eirenarchos (GR): militia commander.
Eirènikè schèma (GR): peacetime attire ie without full equipment.
Ektaxis (GR): battle order.
Ektraordinarios (GR): Greek term for extraordinarius (LA).
Elephans turritus (LA): turreted elephant.
Emansor (LA): deserter.
Emerita statio (LA): completed tour of duty.
Emeritus (LA): soldier having served mandatory time; veteran.
Eparchos (GR): officer.
Eparchos ilès (GR): ‘wing commander’; Greek term for praefectus alae (LA).
Eparchos speirès (GR): equestrian officer; Greek equivalent of praefectus cohortis (LA) and praefectus alae (LA).
Eparchos toon toxotoon (GR): commander of archers.
Epi toon topoon (GR): ín charge of the vicinity’; Greek title for centurio regionarius (LA).
Epibata (LA): marine.
Epibatès (GR): marine.
Epikouros (GR): auxiliary.
Epilektos (GR): elite soldier.
Epimelètès (GR): officer; commander.
Epiploos (GR): ship’s guard.
Epistula commendaticia (LA): letter of recommendation; credential.
Eques (LA): cavalryman.
Eques alaris (LA): cavalryman belonging to auxiliary ala (LA).
Eques Augustorum (LA): praetorian cavalry trooper.
Eques Batavus (LA): (1) Batavian horseman; (2) imperial horse guard trooper, not necessarily recruited from that particular tribe.
Eques capsarius (LA): mounted medical orderly.
Eques cohortalis (LA): trooper belonging to cohors equitata (LA).
Eques dominorum nostrorum (LA): ‘horseman of our lords’; tetrarchic imperial horse guard trooper.
Eques indigena (LA): local cavalryman.
Eques legionis (LA): legionary horseman.
Eques praetorianus (LA): cavalryman attached to cohors praetoria (LA).
Eques promotus (LA): mounted legionary or praetorian.
Eques protector (LA): legionary cavalryman acting as bodyguard.
Eques Romanus (LA): ‘Roman knight’; member of equestrian class.
Eques sagittarius (LA): horse archer.
Eques singularis (LA): (1) auxiliary trooper serving in the governor’s guard; (2) legionary cavalryman serving as bodyguard of senior officers.
Eques singularis Augusti (LA): trooper of imperial horse guard.
Eques speculator (LA): ‘scout’ or ‘spy’; mounted scout.
Eques stablesianus (LA): ‘stableboy’; mounted legionary.
Equisio (LA): horse attendant.
Equitatus (LA): cavalry.
Equus (LA): (1) horse; (2) horse standard, one of the five original legionary standards in the republican Roman army.
Equus publicus (LA): horse provided at state expense to a select body of Roman knights and senators.
Equus privatus (LA): mount provided at own expense.
Ergodotes (LA): naval soldier; sailor.
Evocatus (LA): reenlisted veteran.
Evocatus Augusti (LA): reenlisted veteran from cohortes praetoriae (LA).
Euzonos (GR): light infantryman.
Ex frumentario (LA): former military intelligence officer.
Exactus (LA): accountant.
Exarchus (LA): late Roman cavalry officer.
Exauctoritas (LA): discharge from military service.
Excerptor (LA): shorthand secretary; clerk.
Excubia (LA): guard post.
Excubatio ad signa (LA): colour guard duty.
Excubitor (LA): late Roman guardsman.
Excubitus (LA): guard duty.
Exculcator (LA): skirmisher.
Exercitatio (LA): military exercise.
Exercitator (LA): cavalry instructor.
Exercitator armaturarum (LA): cavalry instructor of praetorian instructors.
Exercitator equitum praetorianorum (LA): training officer of the praetorian horsemen.
Exercitator militum frumentariorum (LA): instructor of the soldiers of the military intelligence service.
Exercitator equitum speculatorum (LA): instructor of the mounted scouts of the praetorian guard.
Exercitus (LA): army.
Exercitus Germanicus Inferior (LA): the provincial army of Germania Inferior (LA).
Expeditio (LA): imperial field campaign.
Expeditus (LA): (1) soldier without marching pack; (2) soldier with light equipment.
Exploratio (LA): reconnaissance mission.
Explooratoor (GR): scout; transliteration of explorator (LA).
Explorator (LA): scout.
Extraordinarius (LA): picked soldier from republican allies.
Exuviae (LA): plundered weaponry and equipment.

F

Faber (LA): artisan.
Faber navalis (LA): ship’s carpenter.
Fabrica (LA): workshop.
Fabrica ballistaria (LA): artillery workshop.
Fabrica cohortis (LA): cohort’s workshop.
Fabrica legionis (LA): workshop of the legion.
Fabricensis (LA): artisan.
Falarica (LA): javelin.
Falx (LA): battle-scythe.
Familia (LA): late Roman squad.
Fascia (LA): socks.
Felix (LA): fortunate; lucky; nickname borne by some imperial units.
Feminalia (LA): breeches.
Ferentarius (LA): (1) republican legionary light infantryman; (2) republican legionary slinger; (3) republican legionary light cavalryman; (4) military servant.
Feriale Duranum (LA): military calendar of festivals.
Ferrata (LA): ‘ironclad’; nickname of one of the legiones VI.
Fetialis (LA): priest involved with religious ceremonies surrounding declaration of war.
Fidelis (LA): loyal.
Finis (LA): border.
Finitus commeatus (LA): restricted leave.
Fisci curator (LA): praetorian guard armicustos (LA).
Fiscus (LA): imperial treasury.
Flavia (LA): ‘Flavian’; raised or reconstituted either by Vespasianus for early imperial units or by Constantius in case of late Roman units.
Flavialis (LA): late Roman NCO.
Focale(LA): scarf.
Foederatus (LA): ally.
Foedus (LA): treaty.
Forfex (LA): pincer.
Forma (LA): map.
Fossa (LA): ditch.
Fossa fastigata (LA): V-shaped ditch.
Fossa Punica (LA): ‘Punic ditch’; ditch with inward sloping side and outward nearly vertical side.
Foulkon (GR): Greek equivalent of fulco (LA); close packed defensive formation similar to the testudo (LA).
Framea (LA): Germanic spear.
Fretensis (LA): ‘smashing’ or ‘destroying’; legionary nickname derived from a battle fought in the Fretum, the sea passage between Sicily and Italy.
Frumentarius (LA): soldier responsible for grain supply; military intelligence operative.
Frumentatio (LA): collection of grain supplies; fouraging.
Frumentum menstruum gratuitum (LA): free monthly grain allowance; priviledge enjoyed by praetorian soldiers from Nero’s reign.
Fuga (LA): flight.
Fulco LA): close packed defensive formation similar to the testudo (LA).
Fulminata (LA): ‘thunderbolt’; legionary nickname of legio XII.
Funditor (LA): slinger.
Furca (LA): baggage carrying pole.
Fustibalis (LA): staff sling.
Fustis (LA): baton; staff used as badge of office.
Fustuarium (LA): death penalty by stoning or cudgeling.

G

Gaesum (LA): spear.
Gaesatus (LA); spearman; Celtic mercenary.
Galea (LA): helmet.
Galearius (LA): military servant.
Gastrapheta (LA): ‘belly bow’; heavy crossbow / light torsion gun.
Gastraphetès (GR): ‘belly bow’; heavy crossbow / light torsion gun.
Gemina (LA): twin.
Geminensis (LA): soldier belonging to a unit named Gemina (LA).
Gentilis (LA): foreigner; barbarian.
Germanicianus (LA): soldier belonging to the provincial armies of Germania Superior (LA) and Germania Inferior (LA).
Germanus custos corporis (LA): German bodyguard of Julio-Claudian dynasty.
Gladiator (LA): swordfighter.
Gladius (LA): general term for sword, NOT necessarily a shortsword.
Gladius Hispanicus (LA): ‘Spanish sword’; double edged cut-and-thrust weapon with a tapering blade and a point suited for ripping open mail armour.
Gladius Hispaniensis (LA): ‘Spanish sword’; double edged cut-and-thrust weapon with a tapering blade and a point suited for ripping open mail armour.
Gladius pugnatorius (LA): fighting – or combat sword; ie not a training weapon.
Glans (LA): slingshot.
Globus (LA): (1) fast moving unit; (2) square.
Gorytos (GR): quiver.
Gradus (LA): (1) marching pace; (2) military rank.
Gradus deiectio (LA): reduction in military rank.
Gradus militaris (LA): measured military marching pace.
Gradus plenus (LA): full step; more relaxed step better suited for marching.
Gravis armatura (LA): heavy armed.
Gregalis (LA): private; common soldier.
Gregarius (LA): private; ranker.
Groma (LA): surveying instrument.
Grosphomachos (GR): javelineer; legionary skirmisher.
Grosphos (GR): javelin.
Gubernator (LA): helmsman.

H

Halysidootos (GR): mail coat.
Harpago (LA): harpoon.
Hasta (LA): spear.
Hasta amentata (LA): thonged javelin.
Hasta pura (LA): spear without iron tip used as a military decoration.
Hasta velitaris (LA): light throwing spear with soft iron tip.
Hastarius (LA): spearman.
Hastatus (LA): ‘spearman’; legionary heavy infantryman.
Hastatus centurio (LA): centurion in charge of unit of hastati (LA).
Hastatus posterior (LA): deputy to hastatus prior (LA).
Hastatus prior (LA): centurion commanding a manipulus (LA) of hastati (LA).
Hastile (LA): (1) wooden practice spear; (2) staff of the optio centuriae (LA).
Hastiliarius (LA): weapons instructor.
Hastula (LA): small spear.
Hègemoon (GR): commander.
Hekatontarchès (GR): ‘commander of hundred’; Greek term for centurio (LA).
Hekatontarchès lonchophoroon (GR): ‘centurion of the spearmen’; commander of elite legionary lonchophoroi (GR) or lancearii (LA).
Hekatontarchia (GR): ‘unit of hundred’; Greek term for centuria (LA).
Helepolis (GR): siege tower.
Hemistrigium (LA): barracks buiding housing a centuria (LA).
Herculiani (LA): ‘Hercules’s own’; tetrarchic elite legion.
Hexeris (LA): ‘six banked galley’; heavy war ship.
Hiberna (LA): winter quarters.
Hippago (LA): horse transport.
Hipparchos (GR): cavalry commander.
Hippeus (GR): cavalryman.
Hippeus lègionarios (GR): legionary cavalryman.
Hippeus singoularis (GR): guard cavalryman.
Hippeus tès legioonos (GR): legionary horseman.
Hippika gymnasia (GR): ‘cavalry sports’; spectacular demonstration manoeuvres in which two teams of cavalrymen showed off their horsemanship and weapons skills.
Hippikon (GR): cavalry.
Hippotoxotès (GR): horse archer.
Hodopoios (GR): pioneer; road-surveyor.
Holosidèros (GR): heavily armoured soldier; Greek term for cataphractus (LA) or clibanarius (LA).
Honesta missio (LA): honourable discharge.
Honesta missio ex causa (LA): honourable discharge granted to wounded or sick soldiers.
Honos aquilae (LA): honour of the eagle.
Hoplomachia (LA): weapons training.
Hoplon (GR): weapon.
Hoplitès (GR): heavy armed soldier.
Hoplitikon (GR): the heavy armed; Greek equivalent of gravis armatura (LA).
Horrea (LA): granaries.
Hospitalitas (LA): ‘hospitality’; quartering and provisioning arrangements.
Hospitium (LA): forced billeting.
Hostis (LA): enemy.
Hyparchos (GR): officer.
Hypaspistès (GR): guard soldier.
Hypèretès (GR): staff officer.
Hypothema (GR): catapult counter plate.
Hyssos (GR): spear; Greek equivalent for pilum (LA).

I

Iaculator (LA): ‘spear thrower’; light legionary foot soldier.
Iaculum (LA): missile; javelin.
Iconismus (LA): distinguishing mark; scar.
Ignominiosa missio (LA): dishonourable discharge.
Ilarchès (GR): ‘wing commander’; cavalry officer.
Ilè (GR): “wing’; military unit.
Imaginifer (LA): standardbearer carrying a likeness of the emperor.
Imago (LA): standard with the emperor’s portrait.
Immounos (GR): soldier exempted from certain duties.
Immunis (LA): soldier exempted from certain duties.
Immunis bucinator (LA): trumpeter excused fatigue duty. Note that a bucinator (LA) is also attested as a principalis (LA), suggesting that this position could be held by men of varying status.
Immunis karcerarius (LA): specialist soldier on prison duty.
Immunis perpetuus (LA): soldier permanently freed from fatigue duties; the unusual addition of perpetuus (LA) seems to suggest that other immunes may have enjoyed this status for only a limited period of time.
Immunis venator (LA): hunter with exemption.
Impedimenta (LA): baggage.
Impeditus (LA): soldier carrying baggage pack.
Imperator (LA): commander-in-chief; emperor.
Imperium (LA): (1) the right to command absolute obedience; (2) empire.
Impetus (LA): attack.
In calceo agens (LA): serving in equestrian position ie as centurio (LA), praefectus (LA) or tribunus (LA).
In caliga agens (LA): serving as soldier, NCO or non-equestrian centurio (LA).
In numeros referre (LA): to enroll; to enter an accepted soldier in the records.
In praetorio agens (LA): ‘serving at the HQ’; serving in cohortes praetoriae (LA).
In vestimentum (LA): clothing expenses.
In victum (LA): food expenses.
Incomma (LA): standard height.
Indictio (LA): levy of tax in kind.
Inimicus (LA): hostile, enemy.
Inquisitio (LA): examination of recruits.
Insidia (LA): ambush.
Insidiator (LA): ‘ambusher’; soldier belonging to screening force; flank guard.
Insigne (LA): distinguishing mark.
Insignia scuti (LA): shield designs.
Interpres (LA): interpreter.
Intervallum (LA): space between the wall and the living quarters of a camp.
Ioviani (LA): ‘Iuppiter’s own’; tetrarchic elite legion.
Iter (LA): march.
Iter iustum (LA): normal day’s march of 20 Roman miles.
Itinerarium (LA): simplified road map.
Iudex (LA): ‘judge’; Latin name given to Gothic supreme war leader known as the thiudans.
Iugum (LA): yoke; gate made of spears under which captive soldiers were made to pass as a humiliation.
Iumentarius (LA): soldier or military servant in charge of baggage animals.
Iumentum (LA): pack animal.
Iuniores (LA): ‘recruits’; late Roman unit created around nucleus of veterans detached from another formation.
Ius conubii (LA): right to contract a marriage.
Ius fetiale (LA): ‘fetial law’; religious rules governing Roman external relations and formal declaration of war.
Iuventus (LA): paramilitary youth organisation.

K

Kambestrion (GR): frame holding catapult sinews.
Kardiophylax (GR): ‘heart protector’; body armour.
Katalogos (GR): military unit.
Katapeltès (GR): ‘shield smasher’; torsion gun.
Kataphraktès (GR): mail or scale armour.
Kataphraktos (GR): heavily armoured soldier.
Kataskopos (GR): scout.
Kentouria (GR): Greek term for centuria (LA) or century.
Kenturioon (GR): centurion.
Kèrux (GR): herald.
Kleisis (GR): catapult trigger mechanism.
Klimekion (GR): ladder strut used to secure bottom of catapult field frame.
Knèmis/proknèmis (GR): greave.
Konchos (GR): shield boss.
Kontophoros (GR): ‘spearbearer’ (1) soldier armed with kontos (GR); (2) legionary heavy infantry soldier.
Kontos (GR): spear; (1) term in Bellum Judaicum for usual cavalry spear; (2) term in Acies contra Alanos for pilum (LA).
Kopidion (GR): kukri-like slashing knife.
Kopis (GR): slashing sword.
Kouphos (GR): lightly armed.
Kouphos lonchophoros (GR): light spearman; legionary javelineer serving as commander’s guard in Acies contra Alanos.
Kouratoor (GR): soldier, NCO or officer placed in charge; see Latin curator.
Kournikoularios (GR): Greek equivalent of cornicularius (LA).
Koustoor (GR): Greek term for custos (LA).
Kranos (GR): helmet.

L

Labarum (LA): late Roman military standard, that of Constantine the Great being known for the inclusion of the Chi-Rho sign.
Lancea (LA): spear; (1) light thonged javelin; (2) thrusting spear with decorated blade used as badge of office.
Lancea herculiana (LA): unspecified type of spear mentioned in Historia Augusta.
Lancearius (LA): (1) soldier armed with lancea (LA); (2) picked legionary or praetorian capable of acting as light infantry soldier.
Lancia pugnatoria (LA): combat spear as opposed to training weapon.
Lancia subarmalis (LA): small javelin.
Lanchiarios (GR): (1) soldier armed with lancea (LA); (2) light legionary foot soldier.
Lanista (LA): gladiatorial weapons instructor.
Lankia (GR): spear; term in Diodorus for Gallic thrusting spear with decorated blade.
Latro (LA): man of violence; (1) soldier; (2) bandit; guerilla fighter.
Latrunculus (LA): petty bandit; guerilla fighter.
Lectus (LA): (1) draftee; conscript; (2) chosen man; elite soldier.
Lectus in sacro comitatu lanciarius (LA): picked out for service as javelineer in imperial field army.
Legatus (LA): subordinate commander.
Legatus Augusti pro praetore (LA): imperial legate with authority of praetor; provincial governor.
Legatus legionis (LA): legate of the legion; senatorial legionary commander.
Legeioon (GR): legion.
Legio (LA): ‘levy’; basic Roman military unit of several thousand men.
Legio classica (LA): ‘naval legion’; legion doing shipboard duty as boarding party marines.
Legio comitatensis (LA): ‘legion in the entourage’; field army legion.
Legio iusta (LA): ‘proper legion’; legion constituted from citizens as opposed to unit levied from provincials.
Legio palatina (LA): ‘palace legion’; elite field army legion.
Legio pseudocomitatensis (LA): frontier legion serving in late Roman field army.
Legio urbana (LA): ‘city legion’; legion raised for defence of the city of Rome itself.
Legio vernacula (LA): ‘vernacular legion’; legion levied from provincials rather than Roman citizens.
Legio volonum (LA): ‘legion of volunteers’; military unit recruited from slave volunteers.
Legionarius (LA): legionary soldier.
Leones (LA): ‘lions’; name of Caracalla’s body guard unit.
Leptos hyssos (GR): light javelin; type of pilum (LA).
Levis (LA): early republican legionary skirmisher attached to units of hastati (LA).
Levis armatura (LA): light armed.
Liber commeatus (LA): unrestricted leave.
Libera testamenta factio (LA): right to make a will free from formal legal requirements; important military priviledge.
Liberalitas (LA): ‘generosity’; alternative term for the special money grants more commonly known as donativum (LA).
Libertus (LA): freedman.
Librarius (LA): archive clerk.
Librarius caducorum (LA): clerk in charge of the registration associated with deceased soldiers and the disposal of their belongings.
Libritor (LA): (1) slinger; (2) artilleryman.
Liburna (LA): light war-ship.
Liburnarius (LA): marine.
Lignatio (LA): collection of firewood.
Ligo (LA): entrenching tool.
Lilia (LA): ‘lilies’; concealed obstacle.
Limes (LA): frontier road.
Limitanei (LA): frontier unit.
Lituus (LA): musical instrument.
Lixa (LA): military servant; camp-follower.
Lochos (GR): military unit.
Lonchè (GR): spear; see lancea (LA).
Lonchophoros (GR): (1) soldier armed with lonchè (GR); (2) elite legionary capable of acting as light infantry soldier.
Lorica (LA): (1) body armour; (2) parapet.
Lorica hamata (LA): mail shirt.
Lorica plumata (LA): ‘feathered armour’; ribbed scale armour.
‘Lorica segmentata’ (LA): modern term for laminated plate armour.
Lorica squamata (LA): scale armour.
Loricatus (LA): armoured.
Loricula (LA): small (and presumably light) set of armour.
Ludus gladiatorum (LA): gladiatorial training school.
Lupus (LA): ‘wolf’; (1) spiked drawbridge; (2) one of the five original legionary standards during the republic.
Lusoria (LA): small boat.
LXG (LA): acronym for L(egio) X G(emina); the Tenth Twin-legion.
LXGPFD (LA): acronym for L(egio) X G(emina) P(ia) F(idelis) D(omitiana); the Tenth Loyal and Dutiful Twin legion, Domitian’s own.

M

Machaira (GR): sword.
Machaira Iberikè (GR): Spanish sword; Greek equivalent of gladius Hispaniensis (LA).
Machairophoros (GR): swordsman.
Machina (LA): siege engine; torsion gun.
Magister (LA): (1) officer; (2) NCO; (3) private with special responsibilities.
Magister equitum (LA): ‘master of the horse’; (1)late Roman senior officer (2) deputy to dictator (LA) during the republic.
Magister militum (LA): ‘master of the soldiers’; late Roman senior officer.
Magister peditum (LA): ‘master of the infantry’; late Roman senior officer.
Magister populi (LA): ‘master of the people’; equivalent title of dictator (LA).
Magister praesentalis (LA): general of the late Roman imperial field army.
Magister utriusque militiae (LA): ‘master of both military services’; late Roman senior officer.
Magistrianus (LA): late Roman intelligence operative.
Malleolus (LA): fire arrow; incendiary projectile.
Mandatum (LA): command; order.
Manica (LA): armprotector.
Manipularis (LA): soldier serving in manipulus (LA); heavy infantry soldier.
Manipularius classis (LA): naval soldier.
Manipulus (LA): ‘handfull’; (1) unit consisting of two centuriae (LA); (2) late Roman army squad.
Manuballista (LA): ‘hand gun’; (1) light torsion gun; (2) crossbow.
Manubiae (LA): spoils; plunder.
Manus (LA): (1) hand; (2) force; violence; (3) force; military unit.
Manus ferrea (LA): ‘iron hand’; harpoon.
Manus Germanorum (LA): troop of Germans; early imperial horse guards.
Martia (LA): ‘Martian’; ie dedicated to Mars, the god of war.
Martiobarbulus (LA): lead weighted dart.
Matara (LA): Celtic javelin.
Mathètès (GR): trainee.
Mathètès hippeoon (GR): trainee cavalryman.
Matricula (LA): records.
Mattiarius (LA): spearman; javelineer.
Mechanè (GR): siege engine; torsion gun.
Medicus (LA): medical orderly; doctor.
Medicus castrorum (LA): doctor of the camp.
Medicus chirurgus (LA): surgeon.
Medicus duplicarius (LA): NCO on double pay in the medical service.
Medicus ordinarius (LA): medical officer.
Medicus pecuarius (LA): animal vet.
Mensor (LA): surveyor.
Miles (LA): soldier.
Miles classiarius (LA): fleet soldier.
Miles classis (LA): fleet soldier.
Miles cohortis (LA): soldier belonging to a cohort.
Miles gloriosus (LA): ‘glorious soldier’; comic braggart soldier character.
Miles gregarius (LA): private; common soldier.
Miles gregalis (LA): private; common soldier.
Miles legionis (LA): soldier belonging to a legion; legionary.
Miles medicus (LA): medical orderly; army doctor.
Miles missicius (LA): discharged soldier.
Milex (LA): soldier.
Militaris (LA): military.
Militaris cibus (LA): military food.
Militia (LA): equestrian term of military service.
Militia armata (LA): armed military service; as opposed to service in the late Roman civil service.
Militia equestris (LA): equestrian officer post.
Militiae mutatio (LA): transfer to another branch of the armed forces.
Militia officialis (LA): the civil service, manned in Roman times by predominantly military personel.
Militiae petitor (LA): ‘petitioner for service’; equestrian requesting posting as an officer.
Militia prima (LA): first stint of equestrian military service involving command of an auxiliary cohors (LA).
Militia quarta (LA): fourth military posting in equestrian military career involving command of an elite ala milliaria (LA).
Militia secunda (LA): second term of equestrian military service; generally this involved a post as tribunus either in a legion or an auxiliary unit, though for a limited period this involved command of an ala (LA), an auxiliary cavalry regiment.
Militia tertia (LA): third tour of duty for equestrian officers involving command of an auxiliary fivehundred strong cavalry regiment, though for a short while a legionary or auxiliary tribunate was given as the third posting.
Militia provincialis (LA): provincial army.
Militia urbana (LA): ‘city troops’; the forces stationed at Rome itself.
Mille passus (LA): ‘thousand paces’; mile; the Roman mile was 5000 feet of either 294mm or 332mm giving a length of 1480 m to 1660 m.
Milliaria (LA): a thousand strong.
Minister bello (LA): logistical officer.
Minotaurus (LA): human headed bull standard which was one of the original five legionary standards in the republican army.
Miscellum (LA): bronze table listing soldiers who had served their time.
Missicius (LA): retired veteran.
Missile (LA): projectile.
Pilum missile (LA): throwing spear.
Missio (LA): release from service.
Missio agraria (LA): discharge with grant of land.
Missio causaria (LA): honourable discharge on medical grounds.
Missio honesta (LA): honourable discharge.
Missio ignominiosa (LA): dishonourable discharge.
Missio nummaria (LA): discharge with grant of money.
Missus (LA): discharged veteran.
Missus ante tempus (LA): veteran discharged before his time.
Misthios (GR): mercenary.
Modiolus (LA): catapult washer.
Mucro (LA): sword point; tip.
Mulio (LA): mule driver.
Mulus (LA): mule.
Mulus Marianus (LA): ‘Marius’s mule’; nickname for heavily laden legionary.
Munerum indictio (LA): punitive fatigue duty.
Munifex (LA): soldier without exemptions from duty.
Munitio (LA): fortification.
Munus (LA): fatigue duty.
Murcus (LA): potential recruit who has cut off his thumb to escape military service.
Murus (LA): wall.
Murus caespiticius (LA): turf wall.
Murus Gallicus (LA): ‘Gallic wall’; stone wall with a skeleton of stout wooden beams to lessen the impact of battering rams.
Muscularius (LA): ‘shellfish man’; late Roman marine.
Musculus (LA): ‘shellfish’; type of boat.

N

Natalis aquilae (LA): birthday of the eagle; military holiday.
Natio (LA): ‘nation’; barbarian auxiliary force.
Naupegus (LA): ship’s carpenter.
Nauphylax (LA): ship’s guard.
Navis (LA): ship.
Navis longa (LA): ‘longship’; warship.
Navis oneraria (LA): transport vessel.
Navis praetoria (LA): flag ship.
Navis speculatoria (LA): scouting ship.
Nauta (LA): sailor.
Nauarchus (LA): ship’s captain; naval officer.
Nauclarius (LA): late Roman marine.
Nobiscum Deus (LA): ‘God with us’; late Roman/Byzantine battle cry.
Nomen Latinum (LA): ‘Latin name’; league of Latin allies.
Notae (LA): ‘symbols’; short hand writing.
Notarius (LA): secretary.
Numerarius (LA): administrative official; clerk.
Numerus (LA): military unit.
Numerus collatus (LA): provisional unit.
Numerus peregrinorum (LA): provisional unit of soldiers based at the castra peregrina (LA) at Rome.
Numerus statorum praetorianorum (LA): unit of praetorian military police.

O

Obelos (GR): ‘spit’; the long iron point of a pilum (LA) or soliferreum (LA) javelin.
Obsidio (LA): siege.
Ocrea (LA): greave.
Officialis (LA): member of administrative staff.
Officina (LA): workshop.
Officium (LA): (1) staff; (2) office.
Officium rationum (LA): accounting office.
Oikeios (GR): organic; incorporated into permanent strucure of a military unit.
Oiketès (GR): household retainer; private bodyguard.
Onager (LA): ‘wild ass’; torsion gun.
Onagros (GR): ‘wild ass’; torsion gun.
Opera vacans (LA): soldier exempt from fatigue duty; first century AD term for the type of soldier called an immunis (LA) from the second century AD on.
Oppidum (LA): fortified town.
Oppugnatio (LA): assault.
Optimas (LA): (1) noble, war lord; (2) Byzantine horse guard.
Optimates (LA): Byzantine elite cavalry force.
Optime Maxime, conserva numerus omnium militantium (LA): Best and Greatest, protect the collective of all serving soldiers; motto used on military equipment..
Optio (LA): ‘chosen one’; (1) NCO; (2) private with special responsibilities.
Optio ab actis urbi (LA): chosen man on administrative staff of the praefectus urbi (LA).
Optio ad carcerem (LA): chosen man on prison duty.
Optio ad spem ordinis (LA): NCO selected for promotion to centurionate.
Optio candidatus (LA): NCO singled out for promotion to rank of centurio (LA).
Optio carceris (LA): NCO in charge of the prison cells.
Optio centuriae (LA): ‘chosen men of the company’; NCO serving as rearrank officer of a centuria, in the imperial army classed as a duplicarius (LA), a NCO on double basic pay.
Optio centurionis (LA): ‘chosen man of the centurion’; NCO serving as rearrank officer of a centuria.
Optio custodiarum (LA): optio (LA) in charge of guard posts.
Optio draconarius (LA): chosen man among the dragon bearers; late Roman senior standardbearer.
Optio equitum (LA): NCO of the legionary or praetorian horsemen.
Optio fabricae (LA): ‘chosen man of the workshop’; soldier or NCO in charge of a work shop.
Optio navaliorum (LA): ‘chosen man of the wharfs’; NCO or specialist soldier in charge of wharfs.
Optio praetorii (LA): ‘chosen man of the HQ’; specialist soldier or NCO attached to headquarters.
Optio principalis (LA): NCO; not all optiones were noncommissioned officers, called principales from the second century on.
Optio signiferorum (LA): ‘chosen man of the standardbearers’; senior standard bearer.
Optio speculatorum (LA): ‘chosen man of the scouts’; NCO of elite cavalry bodyguards.
Optio spei (LA): ‘chosen man with hope’; NCO selected for promotion to centurionate.
Optio statorum (LA): NCO of military constabulary.
Optio tribuni (LA): ‘chosen man of the tribune’; assistant to tribune.
Optio tubicinum (LA): ‘chosen man of the trumpeteers’; senior musician.
Optio valetudinarii (LA): ‘chosen man of the hospital’; orderly in charge of hospital.
Optioon (GR): Greek term for optio; specialist or NCO.
Opus (LA): work; job; task.
Ordinarius (LA): centurion, originally one in charge of an ordo or unit.
Ordinatus (LA): centurion.
Ordinatus princeps (LA): centurion in charge of unit administration.
Ordinatio (LA): (1) battle deployment; (2) commissioning as centurio (LA).
Ordo (LA): (1) battle line; (2) military unit; (3) post of centurio (LA).
Ordo equester (LA): the equestrian order: originally the class of wealthy citizens from which the cavalry was recruited, later the class from which many senior officers were drawn.
Origo (LA): origin.
Origo castris (LA): ‘born in the camp’; soldier originating from civilian settlement adjacent to an army base.
Oothismos (GR): the shoving between two phalanges (GR).
Ouetranos (GR): veteran; discharged soldier.
Ouexillatioon (GR): detachment; provisional unit; Greek term for vexillatio (LA).
Ornithoboros (GR): ‘bird carrier’; unarmed Byzantine NCO who apparently no longer carried an eagle standard.
Oulamos (GR): squadron; cavalry unit.
Ouragos (GR): rearrank officer; optio (LA).
Otium castrorum (LA): time off-duty.
Ovatio (LA): triumphal entry for victorious commander.
Oxybelès (GR): torsion gun.

P

Pabulatio (LA): collection of fodder.
Paenula (LA): cloak.
Pachos hyssos (GR): thick javelin; heavier variant of pilum (LA).
Palaistratiootès (GR): veteran.
Palatinus (LA): soldier belonging to late Roman field army.
Paludamentum (LA): officers’ cloak.
Palus (LA): stake used as target for weapons training.
Panis militaris (LA): military bread.
Panoplia (LA): armour.
Papilio (LA): ‘butterfly’; tent.
Parazonium (LA): sword carried by senior officers.
Parma (LA): usually round buckler.
Parma equestris (LA): cavalry shield.
Parmè (GR): usually round buckler.
Parmula (LA): small round shield.
Pectorale (LA): body armour.
Pecuarius (LA): soldier attending to live stock.
Pedatura (LA): infantry.
Pedes (LA): foot soldier.
Pedes singularis (LA): auxiliary infantry guardsman.
Peditatus (LA): infantry.
Pelekophoros (GR): axeman.
Pelekus (GR): battle-axe or war hammer.
Pellis (LA): animal skin.
Peltastès (GR): skirmisher equipped with light shield.
Peltè (GR): light shield.
Pentèrès (GR): quinquereme; galley with five oarsmen on either two or three levels.
Peregrinus (LA): (1) freeborn provincial without Roman citizenship; (2) soldier attached to castra peregrina (LA).
Perfuga (LA): turncoat.
Perikephalaios (GR): helmet.
Pes (LA): foot; length unit of either 294 mm or 332 mm.
Petitor (LA): equstrian requesting military posting.
Pezakontistès (GR): infantry javelineer.
Pezos (GR): infantryman.
Phalangarius (LA): foot soldier trained in Macedonian phalanx tactics.
Phalangitès (GR): infantry man in phalanx (GR).
Phalanx (GR): (1) close formation of heavy armed infantry equipped with spears and round shields; (2) battle line; (3) legion.
Phalarica (LA): spear.
Phalera (LA): decorative disc.
Phalerae (LA): set of discs used as military decorations.
Pharetra (LA/GR): quiver.
Phederatos (GR): allied soldier.
Phrouria (GR): guard post.
Phrouros (GR): guard.
Phylax (GR): guard; sentry.
Phylax tès chooras (GR): ‘guardian of the land’; militia soldier; police man.
Pia (LA): dutiful.
Pilanus (LA): equivalent for triarius (LA).
Pilos hysteros (GR): centurion; Greek equivalent of pilus posterior (LA).
Pilleus Pannonicus (LA): ‘Pannonian cap’; late Roman military cap.
Pilum (LA): heavy javelin with long metal shank.
Pilum murale (LA): ‘wall javelin’; term nowadays often incorrectly used to designate pallisade stakes.
Pilum praepilatum (LA): training weapon tipped with a ball to prevent injury.
Pilus (LA): equivalent for triarius (LA).
Pilus posterior (LA): deputy to pilus prior (LA).
Pilus prior (LA): centurion commanding a manipulus (LA) of pili (LA).
Pittakion (GR): chit; warrant.
Pitulus (LA): drummer; used on ships to set the pace for the rowers.
Planata (LA): flat shield.
Plèrooma (GR): ship’s crew.
Plinthion (GR): catapult frame.
Plumbata (LA): lead weighted dart.
Pluteus (LA): protective screen.
Poliorketès (GR): besieger.
Poliorkia (GR): siege.
Pomerium (LA): sacred boundary of the city of Rome within which the wearing of war gear was prohibited.
Popanum (LA): republican era cavalry shield shaped like a sacrifical cake.
Populus (LA): ‘people’; part of the population with military service obligations, the people-in-arms.
Populus Romanus (LA): ‘the Roman people’; Roman citizen body with service obligations.
Porta (LA): gate.
Porta decumana (LA): gate opposite porta praetoria (LA), originally near the spot where the tenth manipuli (LA) of an army were camped.
Porta praetoria (LA): gate facing the enemy.
Porta principalis dextra (LA): right side gate.
Porta principalis sinistra (LA): left side gate.
Postsignanus (LA): soldier fighting behind the standards; legionary heavy infantry soldier.
Praeco (LA): herald.
Praeda (LA): spoils; plunder.
Praefectus (LA): ‘someone put at the front’; senior officer.
Praefectus alae (LA): commander of a cavalry regiment.
Praefectus castrorum (LA): camp commandant.
Praefectus cohortis (LA): commander of a cohors (LA).
Praefectus classis (LA): fleet commander.
Praefectus equitatus (LA): cavalry commander.
Praefectus equitum (LA): cavalry commander.
Praefectus fabrum (LA): officer in charge of artisans.
Praefectus legionis (LA): equestrian legionary commander.
Praefectus legionis agens vice legati (LA): ‘prefect of the legion acting in place of the legate’; equestrian acting legionary commander.
Praefectus praetorio (LA): ‘commander at the HQ’; equestrian commander of cohortes praetoriae (LA).
Praefectus ripae (LA): officer in charge of stretch of river bank.
Praefectus semestris (LA): auxiliary commander appointed for limited tour of six months.
Praefectus sociorum (LA): Roman officer appointed to a command function in an ala sociorum (LA).
Praefectus statorum (LA): officer in charge of military constabulary.
Praefectus tironum (LA): officer in charge of recruits.
Praefectus urbanus (LA): city prefect.
Praefectus vigilum (LA): commander of the vigiles (LA).
Praemia (LA): discharge benefits.
Praemia militiae (LA): discharge benefits.
Praenomen imperatoris (LA): first name of the emperor; all emperors carried Imperator, Commander-in-chief, as their praenomen (LA).
Praepositus (LA): ‘someone placed at the front’; commander.
Praepositus copiarum (LA): supply offical.
Praepositus horrei (LA): official in charge of the granary.
Praepositus kampi (LA): ‘commander of the training ground’; instructor.
Praeses (LA): equestrian provincial governor.
Praesidium (LA): military outpost; fort.
Praetensio (LA): military post; fort.
Praetensione colligare (LA): to fortify; to strengthen with military posts.
Praetentura (LA): forward part of the camp in front of the praetorium (LA).
Praetor (LA): ‘someone who walks at the front’; (1) senior Roman magistrate; during republic commander of minor military forces; (2) commander of allied contingent.
Praetorianus (LA): soldier belonging to a cohors praetoria (LA).
Praetorium (LA): commander’s living quarters; HQ.
Praeventor (LA): late Roman skirmisher.
Praiphektos (GR): officer; Greek transliteration of praefectus (LA).
Praipositos (GR): commander.
Prata legionis (LA): fields or meadows reserved for the use of the legion.
Pretium annonae (LA): ration allowance.
Pridianum (LA): ‘first day report’; monthly or yearly strength report.
Primanus (LA): soldier belonging to legio I.
Primicerius (LA): late Roman officer; senior centurion.
Primipilaris (LA): former primus pilus (LA).
Primiscrinius (LA): senior administrator.
Primus ordo (LA): ‘first officer’; centurion of the first cohort, whose officers outranked the other centuriones of the legion.
Primus pilus (LA): ‘first spearman’; highest ranking legionary centurio (LA).
Primus pilus bis (LA): ‘first spearman for the second time’; senior centurion serving a second stint.
Primus pilus iterum (LA): centurion serving second term as primus pilus (LA).
Princeps (LA): ‘leader’; (1) legionary heavy infantry soldier; (2) centurion in command of unit or administrative office.
Princeps castrorum (LA): centurion in charge of a camp’s administrative staff.
Princeps ordinarius vexillationis (LA): centurion in command of a detachment.
Princeps peregrinorum (LA): ‘commander of the foreigners’; centurio (LA) in charge of troops in the castra peregrina (LA).
Princeps posterior (LA): deputy to princeps prior (LA).
Princeps praetorii (LA): centurion attached to headquarters.
Princeps prior (LA): centurion commanding a manipulus (LA) of principes (LA).
Principalis (LA): NCO.
Principia (LA): HQ building.
Privatus (LA): citizen without official capacity.
Privatus cum imperio (LA): citizen granted extraordinary powers without holding office as magistrate.
Privilegium (LA): privilege, perk.
Probatio (LA): examination.
Probatoria (LA): enrolment document.
Probatus (LA): recruit deemed fit for service.
Procinctus (LA): military readiness.
Proconsul (LA): former consul (LA) exercising similar imperium (LA) after his term of office; provincial governor.
Procurator (LA): official of the emperor’s administration.
Procursator (LA): advanced skirmisher.
Proditor (LA): traitor.
Proelium (LA): combat.
Proletarius (LA): Roman citizen unable to meet property requirements for military service.
Promachos (GR): soldier belonging to the first battle line.
Propagator imperii (LA): extender of the empire.
Propraetor (LA): former praetor exercising similar imperium after his term of office; provincial governor.
Propugnator (LA): ‘frontrank fighter’;(1) elite soldier;(2) marine.
Proreta (LA): assistant helmsman.
Protector (LA): (1) bodyguard; (2) staff officer.
Protector divini lateris (LA): late Roman staff officer.
Protector domesticus (LA): ‘household bodyguard’; late Roman staff officer.
Protostasia (GR): recruiting tax levied on landownership.
Provincia (LA): province; area of responsibility.
Provincia inermis (LA): ‘unarmed province’; province without a permanent legionary garrison.
Psilos (GR): light infantryman.
Pterophoros (GR): ‘feather bearer’; messenger.
Pteryges (GR): ‘wings’; leather or linen strips for the protection of upper arms and thighs.
Pugio (LA): dagger.
Pugna (LA): fight; battle.
Pugnator (LA): fighter; warrior.
Punctim ferire (LA): to stab (with a sword).

Q

Quadrata (LA): rectangular shield.
Quadrieris (LA): warship with four rowers on two levels.
Quadriga falcata (LA): scythed chariot.
Quaestionarius (LA): interrogator; torturer.
Quaestor (LA): (1) state official with financial responsibilities; (2) soldier of financial administrative department.
Quarta militia (LA): fourth equestrian military post involving command of an ala milliaria (LA).
Qui ordines sequentur (LA): ‘the ones who follow the centurions’; the NCO’s.
‘Quincunx’ (LA): modern term for the chequerboard manipular battle order resembling the five dots on dice; note that this was NOT a term used by the ancient Romans for this type of battle deployment.
Quingenaria (LA): five hundred strong.
Quinquatria (LA): religious festival that opened campaigning season.
Quinqueremis (LA): ‘fiver’; quinquereme; ship with five rowers on either two or three levels.

R

Rebellis (LA): rebel; insurgent.
Receptio (LA): ‘reception’; incorporation into the empire of barbarians across the borders.
Remansor (LA): soldier left in camp.
Remex (LA): oarsman.
Remus (LA): oar.
Renuntium (LA): report.
Retentura (LA): rear part of a camp behind the praetorium (LA).
Retentus (LA): soldier kept in service after serving required term.
Rhomphaia (GR): sword; falchion.
Ripa (LA): river bank.
Riparius (LA): soldier belonging to late Roman frontier unit.
Rorarius (LA): ‘attacker’; legionary skirmisher attached to units of triarii (LA).
Rostrum (LA): ship’s beak or ram.
Rudis (LA): wooden practice sword.
Rufulus (LA): officer picked by a commander. Named after the consul Rutilius Rufus.
Rumpia (LA): slashing blade; falchion.

S

Saccus undecimus (LA): ‘eleventh bag’; military burial fund.
Sacer (LA): ‘sacred’; belonging to the emperor.
Sacer comitatus (LA): ‘sacred following’; imperial field army.
Sacramentum (LA): military oath.
Sagitta (LA): arrow.
Sagitta ballistaria (LA): catapult bolt.
Sagittarius (LA): (1) archer; (2) arrow-maker.
Sagma (LA): pack saddle.
Sagmarius (LA): pack animal driver.
Sagum (LA): cloak.
Sagularis (LA): camp road running along the inside of the rampart.
Sagulum (LA): cloak.
Salararius (LA): soldier enjoying special service conditions; mercenary.
Salaratus (LA): soldier enjoying special service conditions; mercenary.
Salgamum (LA): extortion of goods or money, a common military practice.
Sambuca (LA): covered assault ladder.
Salpinktès (GR): trumpeter.
Salpinx (GR): trumpet.
Sarcina (LA): marching pack.
Sarissa (GR): Macedonian pike.
Saunion (GR): spear; javelin.
Scala (LA): ladder.
Scamnum (LA): partition of military camp.
Scamnum tribunorum (LA): part of the camp used to house the tribuni (LA).
Scapha (LA): scouting vessel.
Schastèria (GR): catapult trigger mechanism.
Schola (LA): (1) social club; (2) military unit.
Schola palatina (LA): late Roman mounted imperial guard unit.
Schola principalium (LA): NCO social club.
Scholarius (LA): late Roman horse guard trooper.
Scola (LA): (1) social club; (2) military unit.
Scola agentum in rebus (LA): late Roman military intelligence unit.
Scopae (LA): practice target.
Scordiscus militaris (LA): saddle.
Scorpio (LA): ‘scorpion’; (1) torsion gun; (2) artilleryman.
Scorpionarius (LA): artilleryman.
Scriba (LA): writer; clerk.
Scrinia (LA): administrative office.
Scriniarius (LA): administrative official; clerk.
Scurra (LA): late Roman guardsman.
Scutarius (LA): ‘shieldbearer’; (1) soldier equipped with large shield; (2) guardsman.
Scutatus (LA): soldier equipped with larger sized shield.
Scutum (LA): shield.
Scutum publicum (LA): government issue shield.
Secutor (LA): bodyguard; batman.
Semaforus (LA): standardbearer.
Sèmeion (GR): standard.
Sèmiaphoros (GR): standardbearer.
Semispatha (LA): short sword.
Semissalis (LA): late Roman junior NCO.
Semivocale (LA): musical signal.
Senator (LA): (1) senator; member of Roman senate; (2) late Roman senior officer in the centurionate.
Seniores (LA): ‘veterans’; late Roman unit that detached men to create the core of a Iuniores (LA) unit.
Sermo castrensis (LA): ‘camp language’; military slang.
Serra (LA): ‘saw’; serrated battle formation.
Sesquiplicarius (LA): NCO on pay and a half.
Signa inferre (LA): ‘to move the standards forward’; to advance, to attack.
Signaculum (LA): lead identification disc worn by recruits.
Signatus (LA): soldier that has been accepted for service.
Signifer (LA): standardbearer.
Signifer princeps (LA): senior standard bearer.
Signifer turmae (LA): squadron standardbearer.
Signum (LA): (1) standard; (2) identification tattoo worn by soldiers.
Simplaris (LA): soldier on basic pay.
Singularis (LA): ‘singled out’, picked soldier.
Skorpioon (GR): artilleryman.
Skouton (GR): shield.
Skytalè (GR): spike.
Socii (LA): allies.
Socii navales (LA): naval allies.
Socii Nominis Latini (LA): ‘allies of the Latin name’; Latin league allies.
Socius (LA): ally.
Solliferreum (LA): javelin made wholly of iron.
Spatha (LA): sword; often, but by no means invariably a sword with a long blade.
Spathè (GR): sword.
Spathè makra (GR): long sword.
Speculator (LA): (1) scout/spy; (2) mounted legionary or praetorian serving as bodyguard and executioner.
Speculator Augusti (LA): cavalryman attached to a praetorian cohort.
Speira (GR): military unit.
Speira stratègis (GR): Greek term for cohors praetoria (LA); unit of imperial guard.
Sphendonètès (GR): slinger.
Spiculum (LA): javelin; late Roman pilum successor.
Spina (LA): reinforcing spine on shield.
Spolia (LA): spoils; plunder.
Spolia opima (LA): the plundered weapons and equipment of a conquered enemy champion or commander. To dedicate the spolia opima (LA) brought great prestige.
Spongia (LA): Samnite triple disc body armour.
SPQR (LA): acronym for S(enatus) P(opulus)Q(ue) R(omanus); the senate and people of Rome.
Statio (LA): (1) military post; (2) tour of duty.
Statio expleta (LA): completed tour of duty.
Statio frumentariorum (LA): post of military intelligence service.
Statio vigilum (LA): ‘watch post’; police post annex fire department station.
Stationarius (LA): soldier stationed on outpost.
Statmouchos (GR): (1) billeting official; (2) civilian housing soldiers.
Stator (LA): military policeman.
Stellatura (LA): deduction made by officer from a soldier’s allowance.
Stephanos (GR): helmet crest.
Stigma (GR): mark, tattoo.
Stimulus (LA): ‘goad’; type of defensive trap.
Stipendarius (LA): soldier serving for pay.
Stipendiosus (LA): soldier serving for pay.
Stipendium (LA): (1) regular soldier’s pay; (2) year of military service.
Stipendium centurionicum (LA): year of service as centurion.
Stratarchès (GR): legionary commander.
Strateia (GR): (1) military service; (2) equestrian officer post; Greek equivalent of militia (LA).
Stratègos (GR): commander; general.
Stratègos hypatos (GR): ‘supreme commander’; Greek term for consul (LA).
Stratia (GR): army.
Stratiè (GR): (1) army; (2) legion.
Stratiootès (GR): soldier.
Stratopedarchès (GR): commander; Greek term for praefectus castrorum (LA).
Stratopedon (GR): (1) camp; (2) legion.
Strator (LA): soldier in charge of horse supply to the army.
Stratura (LA): cavalry detachment.
Striga (LA): pair of barracks housing a manipulus (LA).
Sub aquila (LA): ‘under the eagle’; on active duty.
Sub cura (LA): under the care of.
Sub signis (LA): ‘under the standards’; in military service.
Sub vexillo (LA): ‘under the flag’; veteran duty with lighter service.
Sub iugum missus (LA): POW who passed under the yoke.
Subarmalis (LA): (1) arming doublet; (2) type of spear, possibly a short javelin.
Suboptio (LA): ‘under optio‘; naval soldier subordinate to an optio (LA).
Subpraefectus (LA): subordinate commander.
Subsidia (LA): supporting troops; auxiliaries.
Subsignanus miles (LA): soldier on active duty.
Sudis (LA): stake.
Summus curator (LA): senior administrator in charge of supply.
Suovetaurilia (LA): sacrifice of a pig, sheep and bull.
Symmachos (GR): ally.
Symmacharis (LA): ally; auxiliary.
Symmachikon (GR): allied or auxiliary force.
Symphoniacus (LA): flute player; musician indicating the rowing speed on smaller war ships.
Synaspismos (GR): (1) locked shields formation; (2) Greek term for testudo (LA).
Synedrion (GR): military council.
Syntagma (GR): military unit.
Synteleia tiroonoon (GR): conscription levy.
Sysstratiootès (GR): fellow soldier, brother-in-arms.

T

Tablifer (LA): guard cavalry standard bearer.
Tabula ansata (LA): winged board.
Tabularium (LA): administrative department.
Tabularium equitum (LA): administrative office of the legionary cavalry.
Tagma (GR): military unit; term used by Josephus for legion.
Tarentinos (GR): light cavalryman armed with javelins.
Taurus (LA): bull, one of the five original standards of the legion.
Taxiarchos (GR): senior military officer; used as equivalent of tribunus (LA).
Taxis (GR): military unit.
Tector (LA): cavalry trooper equipped with large shield.
Tegimentum (LA): protective garment worn over armour.
Tegimentum scuti (LA): protective shield cover.
Telos (GR): military unit; word used by Josephus for legion.
Telum (LA): missile.
Terebra (LA): siege machine for drilling holes in walls.
Tèroon (GR): recruit.
Territorium legionis (LA): territory of the legion.
Tertius ordo (LA): ‘third officer’; (1) centurion of the third cohort of a legion; (2) naval officer of uncertain rank.
Tès hippou stratègos (GR): ‘general of the cavalry’; Greek term for magister equitum (LA), a senior late Roman commander.
Tessera (LA): writing tablet.
Tesserarius (LA): NCO in charge of the watchword.
Testamentum militare (LA): military will; soldiers were granted the right to make a will that did not have to conform to all formal legal requirements.
Testudo (LA): tortoise formation.
Thoorakitès (GR): skirmisher equipped with body armour.
Thoracomachus (LA): padded armour.
Thoorax (GR): body armour.
Thyreophoros (GR): ‘shieldbearer’; (1) any soldier equipped with body shield (2) light infantryman equipped with large shield in Hellenistic armies.
Thyreophoros lonchophoros (GR): shieldbearing javelineer; legionary javelineer deployed in the four rear ranks of Arrian’s battle formation.
Thyreos (GR): large shield.
Thyreos epimèkès (GR): oblong shield.
Tibiale (LA): (1) legging; (2) greave.
Tiro (LA): recruit.
Tirocinium (LA): recruit’s first campaign.
Titulum (LA): stretch of wall and ditch in front of a marching camp gate.
Tolleno (LA): siege crane.
Tonos (GR): spring.
Tormentum (LA): torsion gun.
Torques (LA): neck ornament awarded as military decoration.
Tou tagmatos hippikon (GR): legionary cavalry.
Toxotès (GR): archer.
Toxon (GR): bow.
Trabes (LA): signalling device.
Tragularius (LA): (1) javelineer; (2) archer.
Tragulum (LA): missile.
Translatio (LA): transfer.
Translatus (LA): transferred soldier.
Transvectio equitum (LA): annual parade in Rome by the equites Romani (LA) at which their horses and equipment were inspected.
Trecenarius (LA): senior praetorian or legionary centurion of somewhat unclear status.
Tres militiae (LA): the three postings of a full equestrian military career: (1) praefectus cohortis (LA) (2) tribunus angusticlavius / tribunus cohortis (LA) (3) praefectus alae (LA).
Triarius (LA): ‘third liner’; heavy legionary infantry soldier.
Triarius ordo (LA): centurion of the triarii (LA) or pili (LA).
Triarius prior (LA): senior centurion of a manipulus (LA) of the triarii (LA).
Triboli (LA): caltrops.
Tribounos (GR): Greek equivalent of tribunus (LA); senior officer.
Tribunal (LA): raised platform in front of the HQ used for addressing the troops or administring justice.
Tribunus (LA): senior officer.
Tribunus angusticlavius (LA): ‘narrow striped officer’; equestrian legionary officer.
Tribunus cohortis (LA): commander of auxiliary unit.
Tribunus cohortis urbanae (LA): urban cohort commander.
Tribunus comitiatus (LA): officer elected as tribunus militum (LA) by the comitia (LA).
Tribunus laticlavius (LA): ‘broadstriped officer’; senatorial legionary officer.
Tribunus liburnarum (LA): tribune in charge of ships.
Tribunus militum (LA): ‘tribune of the soldiers’; senior legionary officer.
Tribunus militum a populo (LA): ‘trubune of the soldiers by the people’; senior legionary officer appointed by popular assembly.
Tribunus Rufulus (LA): ‘tribune of Rufus’; officer picked by the commander.
Tribunus sexmestris (LA): ‘six month tribune’; tribune serving a tour of duty of only six months; note that there is absolutely no evidence at all to identify this officer as commander of the legionary cavalry as sometimes stated in modern literature.
Tribunus vacans (LA): late Roman unassigned tribune; staff officer.
Trierarchus (LA): naval officer; ship’s captain, not necessarily of a trireme.
Trièrès (GR): trireme; galley with single oarsmen on three levels.
Triremis (LA): trireme; galley with single rowers on three levels.
Triumphalia ornamenta (LA): the insignia of a triumphator (LA).
Triumphator (LA): victorious army commander granted the right of holidng a triumphus (LA).
Triumphus (LA): triumphal entry into the city of Rome; highest honour bestowed on victorious commander.
Tuba (LA): trumpet.
Tubicen (LA): trumpeter.
Tubicen princeps (LA): senior trumpeter.
Tumultuarius (LA): irregular auxiliary.
Tumultus (LA): mobilisation.
Tunica (LA): tunic.
Tunica palmata (LA): gold embroidered purple garment worn by triumphator (LA).
Turarius (LA): sacrificial official.
Turma (LA): cavalry unit.
Turmalis (LA): soldier belonging to a turma (LA); trooper.
Turris (LA): tower.
Turris ambulatoria (LA): mobile siege tower.
Turritus (LA): turreted.
Tympanarios (GR): drummer. Attested for the Byzantine army.

U

Ululatus (LA): battle cry.
Ulpia (LA): founded or reconstituted by emperor Marcus Ulpius Traianus.
Umbo (LA): shieldboss.
Umerale (LA): shoulder armour.
Urbanicianus (LA): ‘city soldier’; soldier belonging to the cohortes urbanae (LA).
Usurpatio (LA): rebellion.
Usurpator (LA): rebel intent on seizing imperial power.
Utere felix (LA): use with luck.

V

Vacatio munerum (LA): exemption from fatigue duty.
Valetudinarium (LA): hospital.
Vallum (LA): wall.
Vehiculatio (LA): imperial post system.
Vehiculum (LA): cart; carriage.
Veles (LA): ‘cloak wearer’; republican legionary skirmisher.
Venator (LA): ‘hunter’; skirmisher.
Veredarius (LA): courier.
Vericulum (LA): small javelin.
Verutum (LA): javelin.
Vestimentum (LA): clothing.
Veteranus (LA): veteran; discharged soldier.
Veterinarius (LA): vet; animal doctor.
Vexillarius (LA): (1) standardbearer; (2) soldier serving in a vexillatio (LA).
Vexillatio (LA): detachment; provisional unit.
Vexillatio comitatensis (LA): late Roman field army cavalry unit.
Vexillatio palatina (LA): late Roman field army cavalry unit.
Vexillifer (LA): standardbearer.
Vexillum (LA): standard with a flag on a crossbar.
Vexillum veteranorum (LA): unit of veterans awaiting discharge.
Via (LA): road.
Via decumana (LA): camp road leading to rear gate.
Via praetoria (LA): camp road leading to porta praetoria (LA).
Via quintana (LA): camp road passing the encampment of the fifth manipuli (LA); road dividing praetentura (LA) in half.
Via sagularis (LA): road running along the inside of a wall.
Viaticum (LA): ‘travelling money’ ; pay for recruit’s initial training period.
Viator (LA): soldier on road patrol duty.
Vicarius (LA): replacement; (1) recruit provided by conscript unwilling to serve in person; (2) lieutenant.
Victimarius (LA): soldier in charge of sacrifical animals.
Victoria (LA): victory.
Victrix (LA): victorious.
Vicus (LA): civilian settlement attached to military base.
Vigilia (LA): watch.
Vigilis (LA): watchman; member of the Roman fire brigade annex police force.
Vinea (LA): protective screen.
Vindex (LA): ‘avenger’; title awarded to loyal units in civil war.
Vir militaris (LA): ‘military man’; equestrian or senator following a military career.
Virtus (LA): manliness; courage; virtue.
Vis (LA): violence; force.
Vitis (LA): vine stick used as centurion’s badge of office.
Vocale (LA): verbal command.
Volones (LA): freed slave volunteers.
Voluntarius (LA): volunteer.
Vulnus (LA): wound.

X
Xenia barbarikè (GR): foreign mercenary unit.
Xenos (GR): ‘foreigner’; mercenary.
Xiphidion (GR): short sword; dagger.
Xiphos (GR): sword.
Xylokopia (GR): execution by means of cudgelling; Greek term for fustuarium (LA).
Xyston (GR): spear; term in Bellum Judaicum for pilum (LA).
Xystophoros (GR): spearbearer.

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114 new terracotta warriors unearthed in Xi’an

View of the largest excavation pit of the Terracotta Army

From China Daily:

A company of Terracotta Warriors – most painted in rich colors – have been unearthed at the largest pit within the mausoleum complex of the emperor who first unified China.

A total of 114 Terracotta Warriors have been found at No 1 pit, one of three, where excavation started in June last year, said Xu Weihong, head of the excavation team…

[Read the rest of the article here.]

Flaming torches light up Hadrian’s Wall

Hadrian’s Wall, a Roman-era fortification spanning the width of northern England, was lit up from end-to-end by volunteers carrying flaming torches on the 14th March 2010 (as previously announced here).

As night fell, 500 gas flames were lit at 250-metre intervals for 84 miles (135 kilometres) from Wallsend in northeast England to Bowness-on-Solway in the northwest.

This created a coast-to-coast line of light along the route of a path which runs next to the wall.

Hadrian’s Wall was built in 122 AD on the orders of the Roman emperor Hadrian to mark his empire’s northern frontier. It is the largest monument from the ancient era in northern Europe and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The torch-lighting event marked British Tourism Week and the 1,600th anniversary of the Roman departure from Britain in 410 AD.

“When you see you the lights here, it’s easy to imagine what it must have been like to be stationed here up on the wall,” said Linda Tuttiett, chief executive of Hadrian’s Wall Heritage, which looks after the wall and organised the event.

The only thing that VSLM has to add is a personal digression – “The beacons of Minas Tirith! The beacons are lit!

SOURCE

SOURCE 2

Hadrian’s Wall

Setting Hadrian’s wall ablaze

Illuminating Hadrian’s Wall will create a spectacular line of light from coast to coast. This once in a lifetime event will take place on Saturday 13 March 2010 and will follow the route of the 84 mile long Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail.  Around 500 individual points of light placed at 250 metre intervals will be used to light up  the Wall. The first one will be illuminated at a public event at Segedunum Roman Fort at Wallsend in the North East, with the line of light then making its way along the Wall to Bowness-on-Solway in Cumbria over the following hour. As it reaches Carlisle there will be a second public event ‘Welcoming the Light’ to celebrate the light’s arrival and passing through.

Illuminating Hadrian’s Wall aims to capture the imagination and highlight the immense scale and beauty of Hadrian’s Wall and the countryside, villages, towns and cities that it passes through. 2010 is also the 1600th anniversary of the end of Roman Britain in AD 410 – one of the greatest turning points in our history. So as well as celebrating a truly iconic piece of world heritage the line of light will help to mark this hugely significant anniversary.

Illuminating Hadrian’s Wall is an ambitious project led by Hadrian’s Wall Heritage Ltd.

SOURCE

A thousand people will set the entire length of Hadrian’s Wall ablaze this March in an attempt to reignite flagging interest – both at home and abroad – in England’s historical heritage.

The ancient wall will be illuminated by huge torches at 500 different points across its 84 miles, with each lit in succession in order to resemble a giant Mexican wave.

“Creating an 84-mile line of light from coast to coast is a massive logistical challenge,” organiser John Farquhar-Smith tells CNTraveller.com. “Fortunately we’ll have the help of more than a thousand volunteer ‘Illuminators’, who have signed up to be part of this once-in-a-lifetime event.  Together we’ll be creating a spectacle that will illuminate this iconic World Heritage Site and the wide variety of landscapes that it passes through, including the vibrant cities of Newcastle and Carlisle, and some of England’s most stunning countryside.”

The stunt allows rare access to the wall – which is protected by rules that prohibits people from walking on it – for the participating volunteers, while the general public is encouraged to stay back and view the spectacular from designated points along the way.

“Illuminating Hadrian’s Wall will bring to life Britain’s longest and greatest piece of heritage,” Tuttiet continues. “It will also be a celebration of the landscape of Hadrian’s Wall Country and mark the 1,600th anniversary of the end of Roman Britain in AD410 – ending centuries of Roman administration.”

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Is this the field where Richard III lost his kingdom for a horse?

Archaeologists announced today that they have located not just the site of the Battle of Bosworth, but the spot where – on 22 August 1485 – Richard III became the last English king to die in battle when he was cut down by Tudor swords.

Nearby Henry Tudor was crowned Henry VII, with the crown which had tumbled from the dying Richard’s head.

The crucial evidence, including badges of the supporters of both kings, sword mounts, coins and 28 cannonballs, was found in fields straddling Fen Lane in the Leicestershire parish of Upton, where no historian had looked before.

The haul adds up to more than the total found on all other medieval battle sites in Europe.

“It took us five years to locate it, but there it is, there is the battle of Bosworth,” said Glenn Foard, the internationally renowned expert who led the hunt, looking over the landscape of low snow-­covered hills, where on a hot summer day more than 500 years ago the course of English history changed.

The site was located by archaeologists using metal detectors across hundreds of acres, and poring over the evidence of medieval place names to match them to accounts of the battle. Their finds suggest a sprawling fight, with the two armies facing one another in straggling lines almost a kilometre in length.

Frank Baldwin, the chair of the Battlefields Trust charity, said: “This is a discovery as important to us as Schliemann discovering Troy.” The military historian Professor Richard Holmes, who two years ago rode Henry’s route from Wales to the battlefield in full Tudor costume, said: “This is certainly the most important discovery about Bosworth in my lifetime.”

Farmer Alf Oliver was astonished at the discovery in his fields straddling Fen Lane, outside all the parishes which have vied for centuries to claim the honour and three kilometres south-west of the visitor centre on Albion Hill. Fen Lane was once a Roman road linking Leicester and Atherstone, the towns from which Richard and Henry approached the battle.

One of the crucial finds, the largest of the cannonballs nicknamed “the holy grapefruit” by the archaeologists, was found just behind one of Oliver’s barns. Another key discovery was a silver boar no bigger than a thumbnail, battered but still snarling in rage after 500 years. It was found on the edge of a field still called Fen Hole, which in medieval times was a marsh that played a crucial role in the battle, protecting the flank of Henry Tudor’s much smaller army. The marsh was drained centuries ago, but Oliver said it still gets boggy in very wet summers.

After a charge in which Richard came within almost a sword’s reach of Henry, he lost his horse in the marsh, a moment immortalised in the despairing cry Shakespeare bestowed upon him: “A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!”

“The fact that this little boar is Richard’s personal emblem, and made in silver gilt, means that it can only have been given to one of the closest members of his retinue. The man who wore this would have fought and died at Richard’s side,” Foard said.

“If you were to ask me what was the one find I would dream of making, which would really nail the site, it would be Richard’s boar emblem on the edge of a marsh.”

Other finds include a gold ring twisted like a pretzel, and an inch of gilded sword mount from a weapon of such high status that it can only have belonged to one of the aristocrats who led the battle forces.

The search was launched as part of a Heritage Lottery funded revamp of the visitor centre, which is left with the consolation that it may well have been part of Richard’s camp on the eve of the battle, and part of the rout as his troops were forced into desperate retreat by Henry’s triumphant men.

Foard believes a more likely site now for the battlefield coronation is Crown Hill, a hillock near the newly identified site, which was renamed soon after the battle.

Local historian John Austin brought the team a further gift: he owns the domain title battleofbosworth.com, and today he presented it to them to mark the ­occasion.

SOURCE

Yorkshire discovery sheds new light on the Battle of Fulford

It seems that lessons could perhaps be learnt from the Vikings after the intriguing discovery in Yorkshire of what is believed to be a metal recycling centre dating back to the 11th century.

Historians and metal detector enthusiasts have made the find which is being heralded as evidence of how the Norse invaders recycled their fearsome array of weapons.

Hundreds of pieces of metal including arrowheads, shards of swords and axe heads have been unearthed as part of a 10-year research project to establish the exact location of the Battle of Fulford which took place on September 20, 1066.

The battle on the outskirts of York, when the invading Viking army, led by Harald Hardrada, triumphed over the English forces, is seen as crucial in the run-up to the Battle of Hastings and William the Conqueror ultimately being crowned King of England.

Historians have attempted to pinpoint the location of the battlefield as campaigners tried to halt a new development of 720 homes at Fulford.

Now more than 1,000 pieces of metal have been unearthed by members of the York Metal Detectorists Club, who have been helping to gather evidence during the decade-long study.

X-rays of the finds are being taken at York University’s archaeology department at King’s Manor in an attempt to glean more information about their history and prove the location of the battle.

Historian Chas Jones, who has been leading the research, said: “We found several smithing hearth bottoms – the remains of the molten metal which dribbles down during the reprocessing of weaponry ironwork.

“You could say this was one of the first metal recycling centres.”

The plans for the 720-home Germany Beck scheme sparked opposition from academics and historians, who have claimed that the development could actually be built on the site of the Battle of Fulford.

But the developers remain adamant that the land is not where the battle took place, and have carried out their own archaeological studies of the site.

Following a public inquiry, ministers ruled that there was insufficient evidence the Germany Beck site was the location, although they admitted that archaeological finds unearthed there were of “regional importance”.

Academics specialising in Viking history from as far away as Sweden and Norway voiced their opposition to the Government after the housing scheme was given outline planning permission two years ago.

The archaeological digs have been co-ordinated by the Fulford Battlefield Society, which was established nine years ago to investigate the site.

A series of finds which have been unearthed include fragments of what could be 11th century swords and arrows. Other pieces of worked metal have also been discovered, suggesting that Norse blacksmiths could have been operating there.

According to Mr Jones, the iron finds support the theory that metal had been gathered and recycled in an area close to where the battle took place once the fighting had ceased.

Archaeological experts believe the metal artefacts discovered at Fulford were being refined and recycled by the Norse victors when the Battle of Stamford took place on the border of North and East Yorkshire just five days later.

The Fulford site was abandoned by the Vikings as they switched their attention to Stamford Bridge, explaining why so much material has been left behind.

A full report on the 10-year research project into the Battle of Fulford is due to be published in February.

BATTLE CHANGED COURSE OF HISTORY

The Battle of Fulford has often been dismissed as no more than a curtain-raiser to the most famous conflict on English soil. But historians have emphasised the events of Wednesday, September 20, 1066, on the outskirts of York were to have a huge impact on the Battle of Hastings.

The Battle of Fulford placed the English forces under immense pressure and losses suffered in Yorkshire were to have a dramatic impact on resistance at Hastings. After sailing up the Ouse with about 10,000 men in 300 longships, Harald Hardrada and rebel English earl, Tostig, defeated the earls Edwin and Morcar. Harold scraped together a scratch force and raced 180 miles north in just four days to rout the Norwegian army outside York at Stamford Bridge on September 25. Then on October 14, Harold was defeated as he tried to block the Norman advance at Hastings with an army of little more than 5,000 weary troops.

Additional info here and here.