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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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