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Glossary of Roman terms and phrases - 'P'

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Paedagogus
A slave, usually Greek, who was teacher and mentor to a Roman boy until he grew to a youth
Palaestra
An open space in a bath house where the patrons could meet.
Parma
A round shield
Pater Patriae
'Father of the Country' A title assumed by emperors
Patriarch
The title of the Jewish leaders in Judea. A title given to a Christian bishop
Patrician
The highest class a Roman citizen could attain
Pietas
A duty of those in authority to those under their control
Pilum
The javelin carried into battle by legionaries. Each soldier had two pilums which were thrown towards the enemy at the beginning of a battle. They were designed to spear an opponent's shield, then the shaft would break causing the pilum to make the shield unusable. The shield would then be discarded rendering the warrior vulnerable
Pilus posterior
The deputy to a Pilus prior
Pilus prior
A high ranking officer witihin a manipuli who also commanded the cohorts
Pius
Dutiful to gods, state and family. A title assumed by emperors
Podium
A raised platform, often found in a temple
Pontifex Maximus
The Chief Priest. Head of the four Orders of Priesthood. A title assumed by emperors
Praefectus
A general term used for the holders of different ranks in the military
Praefectus castrorum
The third in command in a legion
Praefectus equitatius
An officer commanding a unit of cavalry
Praefectus fabrorum
An officer who had responsibility for the craftsmen supplying services to the military. Blacksmiths, metal workers etc
Praetor
A state official that was one stage below a consul and were elected annually. Many went on to become provincial governors
Praetorian Edict
The statement issued by a Praetor when taking office. It was a manifesto of the actions he intended to pursue over the coming year
Praetorian
The Praetorian Guard. A permanent establishment of nine cohorts, each containing 500 infantry and 90 cavalry. Their purpose was to be the personal guard to the emperor. The official army of Imperial Rome
Praetorium
The home of an officer commanding a unit. This was customary to have this house next to the principia
Prefect
A general term used for the holders of different ranks in the military
Primi ordines
The senior centurions in a legion who commanded the first cohort
Primus Pilus
'First javelin' The chief centurion in a legion. This post was held for one year before he was promoted to a higher status
Princeps
'First citizen' A title used first by Augustus
Princeps posterior
The deputy to a Princeps prior
Principales
A non-commissioned officer
Principes
These were the second best of the best of the legion and stood on the second line in battles behing the Hastaii
Principia
The central headquarters building a fort or fortress
Procurator
An agent. Usually applied to employees of the emperor. They could hold a variety of posts from finance to administration
Pronuba
The bridesmaid at a Roman wedding
Protectores
A corps of officer cadets who carried out general duties
Provinciae
The provinces. There were two sorts of province. The 'Imperial Province' governed by a commander reporting directly to the emperor, and a 'Senatorial Province' governed by a Proconsul
Provocator
A gladiator armed like the Samnite with a parma and a hasta, his opponent was often the Myrmillo
Publicanus
A tax collector. Although they passed amounts collected on to the government, this post was open to corruption and many amassed personal fortunes by withholding some of the monies collected


Terms starting with :
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