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Glossary of military terms - P

A B C D E F G H I J KL M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Pabulatio

Collection of fodder.

Paenula

Cloak.

Pachos hyssos

Thick javelin. heavier variant of pilum .

Palaistratiootès

Veteran.

Palatinus

Soldier belonging to late Roman field army.

Paludamentum

Officers' cloak.

Palus

Stake used as target for weapons training.

Panis militaris

Military bread.

Panoplia

Armour.

Papilio

'Butterfly'. tent.

Parazonium

Sword carried by senior officers.

Parma

Usually round buckler.

Parma equestris

Cavalry shield.

Parmè

Usually round buckler.

Parmula

Small round shield.

Pectorale

Body armour.

Pecuarius

Soldier attending to live stock.

Pedatura

Infantry.

Pedes

Foot soldier.

Pedes singularis

Auxiliary infantry guardsman.

Peditatus

Infantry.

Pelekophoros

Axeman.

Pelekus

Battle-axe or war hammer.

Pellis

Animal skin.

Peltastès

Skirmisher equipped with light shield.

Peltè

Light shield.

Pentèrès

Quinquereme. galley with five oarsmen on either two or three levels.

Peregrinus

A - freeborn provincial without Roman citizenship.
B - soldier attached to castra peregrina .

Perfuga

Turncoat.

Perikephalaios

Helmet.

Pes

Foot. length unit of either 294 mm or 332 mm.

Petitor

Equstrian requesting military posting.

Pezakontistès

Infantry javelineer.

Pezos

Infantryman.

Phalangarius

Foot soldier trained in Macedonian phalanx tactics.

Phalangitès

Infantry man in phalanx .

Phalanx

A - close formation of heavy armed infantry equipped with spears and round shields.
B - battle line.
C - legion.

Phalarica

Spear.

Phalera

Decorative disc.

Phalerae

Set of discs used as military decorations.

Pharetra (LA/GR)

Quiver.

Phederatos

Allied soldier.

Phrouria

Guard post.

Phrouros

Guard.

Phylax

Guard. sentry.

Phylax tès chooras

'Guardian of the land'. militia soldier. police man.

Pia

Dutiful.

Pilanus

Equivalent for triarius .

Pilos hysteros

Centurion. Greek equivalent of pilus posterior .

Pilleus Pannonicus

'Pannonian cap'. late Roman military cap.

Pilum

Heavy javelin with long metal shank.

Pilum murale

'Wall javelin'. term nowadays often incorrectly used to designate pallisade stakes.

Pilum praepilatum

Training weapon tipped with a ball to prevent injury.

Pilus

Equivalent for triarius .

Pilus posterior

Deputy to pilus prior .

Pilus prior

Centurion commanding a manipulus  of pili .

Pittakion

Chit. warrant.

Pitulus

Drummer. used on ships to set the pace for the rowers.

Planata

Flat shield.

Plumbata

Lead weighted dart.

Pluteus

Protective screen.

Poliorketès

Besieger.

Poliorkia

Siege.

Pomerium

Sacred boundary of the city of Rome within which the wearing of war gear was prohibited.

Popanum

Republican era cavalry shield shaped like a sacrifical cake.

Populus

'People'. part of the population with military service obligations, the people-in-arms.

Populus Romanus

'The Roman people'. Roman citizen body with service obligations.

Porta

Gate.

Porta decumana

Gate opposite porta praetoria , originally near the spot where the tenth manipuli  of an army were camped.

Porta praetoria

Gate facing the enemy.

Porta principalis dextra

Right side gate.

Porta principalis sinistra

Left side gate.

Postsignanus

Soldier fighting behind the standards. legionary heavy infantry soldier.

Praeco

Herald.

Praeda

Spoils. plunder.

Praefectus

Senior officer.

Praefectus alae

Commander of a cavalry regiment.

Praefectus castrorum

Camp commandant.

Praefectus cohortis

Commander of a cohors .

Praefectus classis

Fleet commander.

Praefectus equitatus

Cavalry commander.

Praefectus equitum

Cavalry commander.

Praefectus fabrum

Officer in charge of artisans.

Praefectus legionis

Equestrian legionary commander.

Praefectus legionis agens vice legat

Equestrian acting legionary commander.

Praefectus praetorio

Equestrian commander of cohortes praetoriae .

Praefectus sociorum

Roman officer appointed to a command function in an ala sociorum .

Praefectus urbanus

City prefect.

Praefectus vigilum

Commander of the vigiles .

Praemia

Discharge benefits.

Praemia militiae

Discharge benefits.

Praenomen imperatoris

First name of the emperor. all emperors carried Imperator, Commander-in-chief, as their praenomen .

Praepositus

Commander.

Praepositus copiarum

Supply offical.

Praepositus horrei

Official in charge of the granary.

Praeses

Equestrian provincial governor.

Praesidium

Military outpost. fort.

Praetensio

Military post. fort.

Praetensione colligare

To fortify. to strengthen with military posts.

Praetentura

Forward part of the camp in front of the praetorium .

Praetor

A - senior Roman magistrate. during republic commander of minor military forces.
B - commander of allied contingent.

Praetorianus

Soldier belonging to a cohors praetoria .

Praetorium

Commander's living quarters. HQ.

Praeventor

Late Roman skirmisher.

Praiphektos

Officer. Greek transliteration of praefectus .

Praipositos

Commander.

Prata legionis

Fields or meadows reserved for the use of the legion.

Pretium annonae

Ration allowance.

Pridianum

Monthly or yearly strength report.

Primanus

Soldier belonging to legio I.

Primicerius

Late Roman officer.

Primipilaris

Former primus pilus .

Primus ordo

'First officer'. centurion of the first cohort, whose officers outranked the other centuriones of the legion.

Primus pilus

'First spearman'. highest ranking legionary centurio .

Primus pilus bis

'First spearman for the second time'. senior centurion serving a second stint.

Primus pilus iterum

Centurion serving second term as primus pilus .

Princeps

'Leader'. A - legionary heavy infantry soldier.
B - centurion in command of unit or administrative office.

Princeps ordinarius vexillationis

Centurion in command of a detachment.

Princeps peregrinorum

'Commander of the foreigners'. centurio  in charge of troops in the castra peregrina .

Princeps posterior

Deputy to princeps prior .

Princeps praetorii

Centurion attached to headquarters.

Princeps prior

Centurion commanding a manipulus  of principes .

Principalis

Nco.

Principia

HQ building.

Privatus

Citizen without official capacity.

Privatus cum imperio

Citizen granted extraordinary powers without holding office as magistrate.

Privilegium

Privilege, perk.

Probatio

Examination.

Probatoria

Enrolment document.

Probatus

Recruit deemed fit for service.

Procinctus

Military readiness.

Proconsul

Former consul  exercising similar imperium  after his term of office. provincial governor.

Procursator

Advanced skirmisher.

Proditor

Traitor.

Proelium

Combat.

Proletarius

Roman citizen unable to meet property requirements for military service.

Promachos

Soldier belonging to the first battle line.

Propagator imperii

Extender of the empire.

Propraetor

Former praetor exercising similar imperium after his term of office. provincial governor.

Propugnator

'Frontrank fighter'.
A - elite soldier.
B - marine.

Proreta

Assistant helmsman.

Protector

A - bodyguard.
B - staff officer.

Protector divini lateris

Late Roman staff officer.

Protector domesticus

'Household bodyguard'. late Roman staff officer.

Protostasia

Recruiting tax levied on landownership.

Provincia

Province. area of responsibility.

Provincia inermis

'Unarmed province'. province without a permanent legionary garrison.

Psilos

Light infantryman.

Pterophoros

'Feather bearer'. messenger.

Pteryges

'Wings'. leather or linen strips for the protection of upper arms and thighs.

Pugio

Dagger.

Pugna

Fight. battle.

Pugnator

Fighter. warrior.

Punctim ferire

To stab (with a sword).

A B C D E F G H I J KL M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
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