More on Roman Warfare Vocabulary

See that “vocabulary” in the title? I tried “glossary”, glossaries”, and “word list” and “vocabulary,” but can’t remember which one finally hit pay dirt — not a gold mine, but some on-topic success. When I finally found time to devote to JSTOR, I found a useful tidbit for Philabovis, the Latin World of Warcraft guild member who posted a comment to my Vergil’s Weapons and Armor Vocabulary blog post.

Philabovis wanted me to post more weapons words from Vergil. I will if I find them, but I may not. I say that because according to an interesting, translated and explicated passage from Livy, the Romans had a basic kit:

Livy 1.43.2 “galea, clipeum, ocreae, lorica, omnia ex aere, haec ut tegumenta corporis essent: tela in hostem hastamque et gladius. ‘Helmet, round shield, greave, breastplate, all of bronze, to defend the body; as weapons against the enemy, spear and sword.'”

Source: Brown, John Pairman . “Peace Symbolism in Ancient Military Vocabulary.” Vetus Testamentum 21.1 (1971): 1-23. JSTOR. 16 July 2008.

The article goes on to explain the Roman panoply, as described in Greek by Polybius, includes a long shield or scutum, a bronze helmet, greaves, and chain-mail breastplate, but no Latin given.

Almost like my “So and so put on his ‘armor’ and his ‘armor’ and grabbed his ‘weapon’ and threw his ‘weapon’ at the enemy.”


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