Acies – ‘Line of troops’, battle order.
Aedile – Magistrate in charge of public works.
Aes – ‘Copper’.
Ala – ‘Wing’, legionary cavalry on wings of battle formation (alae pl.).
Amphora – Tall jar in which olive oil, fish sauce, wine and other products were carried and stacked in the holds of ships.
Annona – Personification of the grain supply of Rome.
Apex – Spiked cap worn by a flamen.
Aquila – ‘Eagle’, the eagle standard of a legion.
Aquilifer – Standard-bearer carrying the aquila.
Ara – Altar.
Armatura – Weapons training.
As – ‘Copper’, Roman coin worth half of one dupondius (asses pl.).
Augur – Soothsayer specializing in interpretation of bird flight.
Augustus – ‘Revered One’, honorific title voted to C. Iulius Caesar (Octavianus) and his successor Ti. Caesar.
Aureus – ‘Gold’, highest denomination gold coin worth 25 denarii (aurei pl.).
Auspex – Soothsayer specializing in interpreting flight of birds.
Auxilia – Support troops of non-Roman citizens.
Ballista – Artillery weapon throwing bolts or stones.
Bellator – ‘Warrior’, Roman war fighter (bellatores pl.).
Beneficiarius – Soldier given a special duty to perform (beneficiarii pl.).
Campidoctor – Drill sergeant.
Campus Martius – ‘Field of Mars’, a large park and recreation ground in Rome.
Capitolinus – Hill in Rome on which was built the Temple of Iupiter.
Carrus triumphalis – Decorated chariot used in a triumph.
Catapulta – Artillery weapon throwing bolts.
Censor – Magistrate in charge of the census.
Census – Assessment of taxable assets carried out every 5 years (lustum).
Centuria – ‘Century’, unit of 8 contubernia, 80 men; sixty centuries formed a Legio.
Centurio — ‘Centurion’, officer in charge of a centuria.
Clementia — ‘Clemency’, the Roman virtue of showing mercy.
Cohors – ‘Cohort’, unit of six centuries or twelve in a First Cohort (cohortes pl.).
Cohors Praetoria – ‘Praetorian Cohort’, Praetorian Guard.
Cohors Urbanus – Paramilitary police guarding the mint.
Colonia – ‘Colony’, town founded for retired legionaries.
Commilitio – ‘Fellow soldier’, a form of address to legionaries usually by a senior office (commilitiones pl.).
Confarreatio – Traditional form of wedding.
Consul – One of the two highest magistrates of the res publica, elected annually.
Contio – ‘Meeting’, an address by a magistrate to the people or the commander to his troops to present a proposal.
Contubernales – Form of address for men sharing a tent.
Contubernium – Unit of eight men sharing a tent (contubernia pl.).
Cornicen – Horn player, one of the principales in a centuria.
Cornu – Circular horn for relaying commands played by a cornicen.
Cuneus – ‘Wedge’, attack formation used by Roman army.
Curia – Senate House.
Cursus honorum – Career ladder leading to entry into the Senate as a senator.
Denarius – Silver coin, worth four sestertii (denarii pl.).
Doctor Armorum – Instructor in the use of the gladius, pilum and scutum.
Dupondius – Bronze coin, worth two asses or half a sestertius (dupondii pl.).
Dux – Leader (duces pl.).
Editor – Sponsor of the ludi or munera.
Equites – ‘Knights’, the middle or business class of Roman society.
Exercitus – Army.
Fabrica – Workshop (fabricae pl.).
Fasces – The tied bundle of rods around an axe carried by lictores as a symbol of the praetor’s high office.
Feliciter – ‘Good luck’, a wish shouted at weddings.
Feria – Public holiday and festival day (feriae pl.).
Flamen – Priest (flamines pl.).
Flammeum – Orange veil worn by the bride at a confarreatio.
Fossa – ‘Fosse’, a ditch or trench, used to mean a canal (fossae pl.).
Framea – Germanic spear or javelin (frameae pl.).
Frater – ‘Brother’, a form of address used by soldiers (fratres pl.).
Frumentarius – Commissary responsible for the military grain supply (frumentarii pl.).
Forum Romanum – Roman Forum in Rome.
Gladius – Short stabbing and thrusting weapon used by legionaries (gladii pl.).
Haruspex – Soothsayer specializing in interpreting animal entrails.
Hasta – Javelin used by Roman auxilia and cavalry.
Honesta – ‘Honesty’, the Roman virtue of respectability.
Humanitas – ‘Humanity’, the Roman virtue associated with being cultured from having a good education.
Ianus – ‘Arch’, triumphal arch.
Imago – Mask of wax made during the lifetime of a Roman citizen; military standard bearing a small statue bust of the princeps.
Imagnifer – Standard-bearer responsible for carrying the imago.
Immunis – Soldier exempt from certain duties, often a bookkeeper or clerk (immunes pl.).
Impedimenta – Baggage train.
Imperator – ‘Commander’, a title shouted by troops to a victorious leader.
Imperium maius – ‘Supreme power’, originally given to consuls, including the right to wage war.
Industria – Roman virtue of working hard.
Iumentarius – Soldier or slave responsible for baggage and animals that carried it.
Kalendae – ‘Calends’, first day of the month.
Laudatio – Eulogy.
Legatus Legionis – Commander of a Legio ‘delegated’ the imperium by Augustus.
Legio – Unit of ten cohortes, approximately 6,000 men (Legiones pl.).
Libertas – Roman virtue of independence, freedom of speech.
Liburna – ‘Liburnian’, type of ship, usually with two rows of oarsmen.
Lictor – Bodyguard of a senior magistrate: a consul had twelve, a praetor six, a propraetor five, and an aedile two (lictores pl.).
Lituus – Crooked staff used by an augur when interpreting bird flight.
Lorica hamata – Body armour made of chain or ring mail.
Lorica squamata – Body armour made of scales attached to a backing of cloth or leather.
Lorica segmentata – Body armour made of articulated metal plates (a non-Roman term coined in the sixteenth century).
Ludi – Roman blood games, held for religious observance and increasingly used to further political ends.
Maiestas – ‘Majesty’, short for maiestas minuta populi Romani, ‘the diminution of the majesty of the Roman people’, i.e. treason.
Medicus – ‘Medic’, doctor.
Miles — Common soldier, miles gregarius (milites pl.).
Moderatio – ‘Moderation’, Roman virtue of restraint from excess.
Modius – Measure of grain equivalent to a third of an amphora.
Mos maiorum – ‘The ways of the elders’, traditional values and forms of worship.
Munera – Roman blood games held for political and entertainment purposes.
Municipium – Chartered provincial Roman city.
Navis longa – ‘Long ship’, name of a bireme or trireme.
Officium – ‘Service’, the staff responsible for record keeping.
Oppidum – Town or defensible settlement often on a hill.
Onager – ‘Wild ass’, artillery weapon throwing stones.
Ovatio – Lower form of triumph awarded to a victorious commander who was permitted to ride on a horse through the streets of Rome.
Palatinus – Hill in Rome, location of homes for the Roman élite.
Paterfamilias – Legal master of the household.
Pes – ‘Foot’.
Pes Drusianus – ‘Drusian Foot’, longer than a standard Roman foot.
Pes Monetalis – ‘Monetan Foot’, standard Roman unit of measuring length.
Pietas – Roman virtue of respect for the natural order of things.
Pilum – Roman javelin used by legionaries (pila pl.).
Pompa – Procession in a religious rite or funeral.
Pompa triumphalis – Full triumph in which the triumphator rode in a chariot followed by floats displaying the captive and spoils of war.
Pontifex Maximus – ‘Chief bridge builder’, chief priest.
Praefectus – ‘Prefect’, senior officer or magistrate.
Praefectus Castrorum – ‘Camp Prefect’, third in command of a Legio.
Praefectus Equitum – ‘Prefect of Horse’, senior officer in command of a turma.
Praefectus Praetorio – Commander of the Cohors Praetoria.
Praepositus – ‘Overseer’, special envoy or governor general.
Praetor – Senior magistrate responsible for administering law, the ludi and feriae.
Praetor Urbanus – Chief praetor in charge of administration of law in Rome.
Praetorium – ‘Praetor’s building’, house of the senior officer of a Legio.
Primus Pilus – ‘First javelin’, the most senior centurio of a Legio.
Princeps – ‘The First One’, the title adopted by Augustus to describe his leadership position.
Princeps Praetorii – Officer in charge of the army unit’s officium.
Principalis – Non-commissioned officer of a centuria, e.g. cornicen, signifer (principales pl.).
Principia – ‘Front line’, headquarters building in a Roman fort.
Proconsul – ‘Former consul’, governor of a senatorial province.
Propraetor – ‘Former praetor’, governor of an imperial province.
Pugio – Short, leaf-shaped dagger worn by legionaries.
Quaestor – Junior magistrate in charge of law courts and public financial accounting.
Rostra — Tribunal, speaker’s platform in Forum Romanum.
Res publica – ‘Public Things’, the commonwealth of the Roman state.
Sacerdos – Priest (sacerdotes pl.).
Salutatio – Morning visit by clients to the patron.
Scutum – Roman shield (scuta pl.).
Semis – Roman coin worth half of one as.
Senatus Consultum – Decree of the Senate.
Sestertius – Brass coin, equal in value to one-quarter denarius (sestertii pl.).
Signifer – Standard-bearer carrying the centurial signum.
Signum – Unit standard (signa pl.).
Spatha – Long double-edged slashing sword used by cavalry.
Speculator – Military escort, often carrying out clandestine missions and executions (speculatores pl.).
Spolia opima – Prized spoils taken from an enemy after armed combat.
Suovetaurilia – Religious rite involving the sacrifice of a pig, sheep and bull.
Testudo – ‘Tortoise’, battle formation using shields raised over the heads.
Toga praetexta – White toga with a broad purple stripe along the curved edge.
Toga virilis – ‘Manly gown’, the all-white toga worn by Roman adult men.
Tresvir – ‘Three Man’, a board responsible for a state function, e.g. tresviri monetales, who were responsible for managing the coin supply.
Tribunus – Tribune: tribunus plebis, a representative of the people elected annually; tribunus laticlavius, the second in command of a Legio was accompanied by five junior tribuni angusticlavii.
Triumphator – The military commander awarded an ovatio or pompa triumphalis.
Triumvir – Commission of three political leaders (triumviri pl.).
Tropaeum – ‘Trophy’ made of captured weapons (tropaea pl.).
Tumulus – Cenotaph shaped like a raised circular dome (tumuli pl.).
Turma – Unit of Roman cavalry (turmae pl.).
Vexillum – Flag standard.
Vexillarius – Standard-bearer of the vexillum.
Via Praetoria – Cross road in a Roman camp leading to principia.
Via Principalis – Main street of a Roman camp.
Via Sacra – ‘Sacred Way’, the main road running through the Forum Romanum.
Virtus – ‘Manliness’, Roman virtue of courage.