Military terms and definitions in Ancient Greece

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


A

Aetos: eagle standard.
Agèma: ‘leading part’; elite unit.
Agèma toon hypaspistoon: ‘leading part of the shieldbearers’; elite unit of Macedonian royal foot guard.
Agrianos: elite light infantryman.
Agoogè: Spartan upbringing.
Aichmè: javelin; spear.
Aichmophoros: spearbearer.
Akinakès: Persian shortsword or dagger.
Akontion: missile; projectile.
Akontistès: javelineer; light infrantryman.
Akrobolos: skirmisher.
Akropolis: citadel; fortified part of a city.
Alala: warcry.
Alalazoo: to raise a battle cry.
Allagè: relief of duty.
Amphippos: cavalryman with two mounts.
Anabasis: march inland.
Anaklèsis: retreat; withdrawal.
Anaklètikon: signal to retreat.
Anastrophè: (1) back-turn; (2) wheeling manoeuvre.
Anax: king.
Andreia: courage.
Angareia: requisition of transport.
Ankoon: catapult arm.
Antesignanis: elite legionary.
Antilabè: grip of a shield.
Aporthètos: unconquered; unplundered.
Aretè: virtue; valour; martial distinction.
Archoon tou kontuberniou: ‘commander of the tent party’; squad leader, term used as equivalent of dekarchos.
Argyraspis: ‘silvershield’; title of Macedonian infantry guard which is probably identical with the hypaspistai.
Arithmos: ‘number’; military unit; cf. Latin numerus.
Askooma: leather sleeve surrounding lowest oar to prevent the ship from taking water.
Aspidiskè: small shield.
Aspis: shield.
Aspis koilè: ‘hollow shield’; concave hoplite shield; curved shield used by legionary heavy infantry.
Aspis platea: flat shield used by legionary light infantry.
Asthetairos: ‘city companion’; title borne by Macedonian infantryman, possibly an alternative name for the pezhetairoi from the northern districts of the kingdom.
Asthippos: ‘city cavalryman’; title borne by some Macedonian mounted troops.
Athanatoi: ‘immortals’; nickname of the infantry guard corps of the Persian king which was always kept at its establishment strength of 10.000 men by direct substitution of losses among its complement.
Aulètès: flute-player.
Auloi: double reed-flutes.
Automolos: deserter.
Axinè: battle-axe.

B

Bandon: late Roman military unit.
Basileus: king.
Basilikè ilè: ‘royal wing’; Macedonian royal guard cavalry unit.
Basilikos: royal.
Basilikon telos: royal guard.
Belos: missile.
Benephikiarios: ‘beneficiary’; cf. Latin beneficiarius.
Boukellarèos: personal retainer, Cf. Latin Buccellarius.

C

Chalkaspis: bronze shield.
Charax: wall.
Cheir: arm protector.
Cheiroballistra: torsion artillery.
Cheloonion: catapult block.
Chiliarchia: ‘unit of thousand’; military unit.
Chiliarchos: ‘commander of a thousand’; officer; cf. Latin tribunus.
Chiliostys: ‘unit of thousand’; military unit.
Chitoon: tunic.
Chlamys: cloak.
Choortè: cohort.

D

Dekania: ‘unit of ten’; file; squad.
Dekanos: militia man; police man.
Dekarchos: Dekarchos: ‘leader of ten’; (1) cavalry officer; cf. Latin decurio; (2) section commander, cf. Latin decanus.
Dekas: ‘unit of ten’; squad.
Dexa: ‘catch!’; motto inscribed on lead sling bullets.
Diaseismos: ‘shakedown’; extortion was a relatively common military vice.
Diastèma: interval.
Diekplous: naval manoeuvre to break an enemy’s line.
Dilochia: double-file.
Dilochitès: double-file leader; junior officer.
Dimoiria: ‘two quarters’; half-file.
Dimoirites: half-file leader.
Diogmitès: urban militia man.
Dioostra: catapult slider.
Dipèchiakè: space of 2 cubits separating two tholepins in a file of oarsmen, probably some 98cm.
Doration: light spear.
Dory: spear.
Dory makron: long spear or pike; weapon used by legionary (cf. Latin phalangarii) in third century.
Dorydrepanon: shafted sickle.
Doryphoros: ‘spearman’; (1) spearman; (2) guard soldier.
Doulos: slave.
Doux: military commander.
Drepanèphoros: scythed chariot.
Drepanon: battle-scythe.
Dromos: charge on the run.

E

Eirenarchos: militia commander.
Eirènikè schèma: peacetime attire i.e. without full equipment.
Eirènè: peace.
Ekdromos: ‘out runner’; hoplite leaving the phalanx formation to chase light troops.
Ektatos: ‘someone outside the battle formation’; supernumerary officer or NCO.
Ektaxis: battle order.
Ektraordinarios: picked soldier from republican allies (from Latin extraordinarius).
Elephantos: elephant.
Embolon: (1) wedge formation; (2) ship’s beak or ram.
Encheiridion: dagger.
Enoomotia: ‘sworn band’; military unit.
Enoomotarchès: commander of an enoomotia; junior officer.
Eparchos: officer.
Eparchos ilès: ‘wing commander’; cf. Latin praefectus alae.
Eparchos speirès: equestrian officer; Greek equivalent of praefectus cohortis and praefectus alae.
Eparchos toon toxotoon: commander of archers.
Epi toon topoon: ‘in charge of the vicinity’; Greek title for Latin centurio regionarius.
Epi dory klinai: ‘face to the spear-side’; right-face.
Epibatès: marine.
Epikouros: auxiliary.
Epilektos: picked/elite soldier.
Epimelètès: officer; commander.
Epiploos: ship’s guard.
Epistatès: rear-ranker.
Epitagma: supporting force.
Es cheiras: ‘at grips’; in close combat.
Euzonos: light infantryman.
Exelasis: cavalry charge.
Exeligmos: counter-march.
Exeligmos Lakoonikos: ‘Laconian counter-march’; manoeuvre in which the file-closer does an about-face on the spot and the file-leader leads his men past the file-closer.
Exeligmos Makedonikos: ‘Macedonian counter-march’; manoeuvre in which the file-leader does an about-face on the spot and the rear-rankers counter-march to form up behind him.
Exeligmos Persikos: ‘Persian counter-march’; manoeuvre in which the front-half and rear-half both counter-march to form up in a mirror-image of their original disposition and the battle-order remains in the same position.
Exoomis: sleeveless tunic fastened at the shoulders.
Explooratoor: scout; transliteration of Latin explorator.

F

Foulkon (GR): close packed defensive formation; similar to Latin fulco and testudo.

G

Gastraphetès: ‘belly bow’; heavy crossbow / light catapult.
Gerrhon: wicker shield.
Gorytos: (1) quiver; (2) combined bowcase and quiver.
Grosphomachos: skirmisher equipped with javelins.
Grosphos: javelin.
Gymnès: light-armed skirmisher.

H

Halysidootos: mail coat.
Hamippos: infantry skirmisher fighting mixed with the cavalry.
Harmostès: Spartan governor.
Harpagè: looting; plundering.
Hègemoon: commander.
Hekatontarchès: ‘commander of hundred’; cf. Latin centurio.
Hekatontarchès lonchophoroon: ‘centurion of the spearmen’; commander of elite legionary lonchophoroi or Latin lancearii.
Hekatontarchia: ‘unit of hundred’; cf. Latin centuria.
Helepolis: siege tower.
Hèlootès: helot; serf from the subjugated population of the Spartan state.
Hèmilochion: half-file.
Hèmilochitès: half-file-leader; NCO.
Hèmithoorakion: ‘half-armour’; body armour covering the breast only.
Hetarieia: company; (1) aristocratic warrior band; (2) dining association.
Hetairos: companion; (1) aristocratic warrior; (2) Macedonian heavy cavalryman.
Hègemoon: commander.
Hekatontarchia: ‘unit of hundred’; military unit; company.
Hekatontarchès: ‘commander of hundred’; officer.
Helepolis: siege tower.
Hieros lochos: ‘Sacred band’; Theban elite formation composed of 150 couples of male lovers.
Hippakontistès: mounted javelinman.

Hipparchos: cavalry commander.
Hipparchia: cavalry regiment.
Hippeus: ‘horseman’ or ‘knight’: (1) cavalryman; (2) elite infantryman; title of picked Spartan hoplite.
Hippeus lègionarios: legionary cavalryman.
Hippeus singoularis: guard cavalryman.
Hippeus tès legioonos: legionary horseman.
Hippika gymnasia: ‘cavalry sports’; spectacular demonstration manoeuvres in which two teams of cavalrymen showed off their horsemanship and weapons skills.
Hippikè: cavalry.
Hippikon: cavalry.
Hippos: horse.
Hippotoxotès: horse archer.
Hodopoios: pioneer; road-surveyor.
Holosidèros: (1) heavily armoured soldier; (2) cataphract horseman; cf. Latin cataphractus and clibanarius.
Homoios: ‘peer’; Spartan enjoying full citizenship.
Homozygos: soldier from the same rank.
Hoplitès: heavy armed soldier; hoplite.
Hoplitikon: heavy armed part of an army.
Hoplomachia: weapons drill.
Hoplomachos: weapons or drill instructor.
Hoplon: weapon, both offensive and defensive; note this word is often used in modern literature as a technical term for the hoplite shield when in fact this was by no means the case in Antiquity.
Hoplitès (GR): heavy armed soldier.
Hoplitikon (GR): the heavy armed; Greek equivalent of Latin gravis armatura.
Hyparchos: officer.
Hypaspistès: ‘shield-bearer’; (1) Macedonian infantry guard; (2) military servant.
Hypaspistès basilikos: ‘royal shield-bearer’; elite soldier among the Macedonian infantry guard.
Hyperèsia: ‘auxiliary group’; naval crew in addition to the rowers and captain such as marines and deck hands.
Hypèretès: officer.
Hypomeioon: ‘inferior’; second grade citizen; Spartan lacking full rights as homoios but still subject to military service obligation.
Hypotaxis: array behind main battle line.
Hypothema: catapult counter plate.
Hypozygion: pack animal.
Hyssos: spear; javelin; Greek equivalent for Latin pilum.

I

Ilarchès: ‘wing commander’; cavalry officer.
Ilè: ‘wing’; military unit.
Ilè basilikè: ‘royal squadron’; elite unit of Macedonian hetairoi cavalry, possibly of larger size than other ilai.
Immounos: soldier exempted from certain duties.

K

Kambestrion: frame holding catapult sinews.
Kakos: coward.
Kardax: either ‘warrior’ or ‘household soldier’; Persian mercenary soldier.
Kardiophylax: ‘heart protector’; body armour.
Katalogos: mustering list.
Katapaltès: ‘shield smasher’; artillery piece.
Katapeltaphetès: (1) artilleryman; (2) artillery instructor.
Kataphraktès: mail or scale of armour.
Kataphraktos: heavy armoured soldier.
Kataskopos: scout.
Katoikia: military colony.
Katoikos: fief holder; military settler; soldier granted land to support himself.
Kausia: Macedonian hat.
Keleusthès: naval officer responsible for setting and maintaining the rowing speed.
Kentouria: cf. Latin centuria or century.
Kenturioon: centurion.
Keras: wing.
Kèryx: herald.
Kestrosphendonè: special type of bolt used by slingers as a short range missile.
Klaros: fief; tract of land.
Kleisis: catapult trigger mechanism.
Klèros: fief; tract of land.
Klèrouchos: fief holder; military settler; soldier granted land for his upkeep.
Klimekion: ladder strut used to secure bottom of catapult field frame.
Klisis: right/left-face.
Knèmis: greave.
Koilè phalanx: concave battle-formation.
Koilembolos: hollow wedge formation.
Koinon: association; unit.
Konchos: shield boss.
Kontophoros: ‘spearbearer’ (1) soldier armed with kontos; (2) legionary heavy infantry soldier.
Kontos: spear; pike.
Kopidion: kukri-like slashing knife.
Kopis: slashing sword; falchion.
Kouphos: lightly armed.
Kouphos lonchophoros: light spearman; legionary javelineer serving as commander’s guard in Acies contra Alanos.
Kouratoor: soldier, NCO or officer placed in charge; see Latin curator.
Kournikoularios: Greek equivalent of cornicularius.
Koustoor: guard; from Latin custos.
Kranos: helmet.
Krypteia: ‘secret service’; Spartan death squad for keeping the helots in check.
Kryptès: ‘secret agent’; Spartan who roamed covertly through the territory to look for signs of possible helot rebelliousness.
Kybernètès: helmsman.
Kyrtè phalanx: convex battle-order.

L

Lakedaimoon: name of Spartan state.
Lambda: Greek letter ‘L’ for Lakedaimoon painted on front of the Spartan shields.
Lanchiarios: (1) soldier armed with (Latin) lancea; (2) light legionary foot soldier.
Lankia: spear; term in Diodorus for Gallic thrusting spear with decorated blade.
Legeioon: legion.
Leptos hyssos: light javelin.
Lineothoorax: linen corselet.
Lithobolos: ‘stonethrower’; torsion gun.
Lochagos: (1) unit commander; (2) file leader.
Lochos: (1) military unit; (2) file of men.
Logas: picked soldier.
Lonchè: spear; javelin; see Latin lancea.
Lonchophoros (GR): (1) soldier armed with lonchè (GR); (2) elite legionary capable of acting as light infantry soldier.

M

Machaira: sword.
Machaira Iberikè: Spanish sword; Greek equivalent for Latin gladius Hispaniensis.
Machairion: small falchion.
Machairophoros: swordsman.
Machè: fight; battle.
Machimos: indigenous Egyptian soldier.
Mathètès: trainee.
Mathètès hippeoon: trainee cavalryman.
Mechanè: siege engine.
Melas zoomos: ‘black soup’; infamous Spartan blood broth.
Mèlophoros: ‘apple bearer’; a Persian guard using a round counterweight on the spear.
Meros: part; subdivision; unit.
Metabolè: about-face.
Metaichmion: ‘no-mans land’; space separating two armies.
Metalepsis: change of grip on a spear.
Metoopon: front of a battle-line.
Mistharchidès: mercenary.
Misthios: soldier serving for pay; mercenary.
Misthophoros: mercenary.
Misthos: pay.
Mitrè: abdominal armour.
Monomachia: single combat.
Mora: Spartan military unit.
Myrias: ‘ten thousand’; myriad; Persian military unit.

N

Nauarchos: admiral.
Naumachia: sea battle.
Naus: ship.
Nautès: sailor.
Nautikon: fleet; navy.
Neodamoodès: newly enfranchised Spartan.
Nikè: victory.
Nyktophylax: night guard.

O

Obelos: ‘spit’; the long iron point of a Roman pilum or soliferreum javelin.
Oothismos aspidoon: ‘shield shoving’ or ‘shield pushing’; the sort of rugby scrummage which followed the clash of two phalanges when neither of them broke under the first charge.
Oikeios: organic; incorporated into permanent strucure of a military unit.
Oiketès: household retainer; private bodyguard.
Onagros: ‘wild ass’; torsion gun.
Oothismos: the shoving between two Greek phalanges.
Optioon: specialist or NCO; cf. Latin optio.
Ornithoboros: ‘bird carrier’; unarmed Byzantine NCO who no longer carried an eagle standard.
Ouetranos: veteran; discharged soldier.
Ouexillatioon: detachment; provisional unit; cf. Latin vexillatio.
Oulamos: squadron; cavalry unit.
Ouragos: rear rank officer; cf. Latin optio.
Ouriachos: butt-spike.
Oxybelès: catapult.

P

Pachos hyssos: thick javelin; heavier variant of hyssos.
Paian: battle song.
Pais basilikos: royal page.
Palaistratiootès: veteran.
Palton: javelin.
Panoplia: war-gear; complete suit of military equipment.
Paragoogè: march in line.
Paramèridion: (1) side-arm; (2) thigh armour.
Parapleuridion: armoured horse trapping.
Parastatès: ranker.
Parazoonion: shortsword; dagger.
Paredros: marine protecting helmsman.
Parexeiresia: outrigger.
Parmè: buckler; round shield.
Pèdalia: pair of rudders.
Peltarion: light shield.
Peltastès: (1) shieldbearing javelineer; (2) skirmisher equipped with light shield.
Peltastikon: unit of peltastai.
Peltè: light shield.
Peltophoros: ‘shieldbearer’; soldier armed with light shield.
Pelekophoros: axe-man.
Pelekys: battle-axe or warhammer.
Pempas: ‘unit of five’; squad.
Pentèkontoros: galley with fifty oarsmen on one level.
Pentèkostys: ‘unit of fifty’; military unit.
Pentèrès: quinquereme; oared warship rowed by five oarsmen on either two or three levels.
Perikephalaios: helmet.
Perioikos: ‘one living about’; ally.
Periplous: naval encircling manoeuvre.
Petasos: hat.
Petrobolos: ‘stonethrower’; torsion gun.
Pezakontistès: infantry javelineer.
Pezhetairos: ‘foot companion’; Macedonian heavy infantryman.
Pezikon: infantry.
Pezomachos: infantryman.
Pezon: infantry.
Pezos: foot soldier; infantryman.
Pezakontistès: infantry skirmisher; javelineer.
Phalangitès: phalangite; infantryman in Macedonian-type phalanx.
Phalanx: ‘stick’; (1) small group of promachoi; (2) close-order military formation of heavy infantrymen equipped with thrusting spears and shields; (3) battle line; (4) legion.
Pharetra: quiver.
Pharsalikè ilè: elite Thessalian cavalry unit from Pharsalia.
Phederatos: allied soldier.
Pheidition: Spartan military mess association.
Phrouria: guard post.
Phrouros: guard.
Phygè: flight.
Phylax: guard; sentry.
Phylax tès chooras: ‘guardian of the land’; militia soldier; police man.
Phylè: tribe.
Pilos: (1) felt cap; (2) metal helmet shaped like a pilos.
Pilos hysteros: centurion; Greek equivalent of Roman pilus posterior.
Pittakion: chit; warrant.
Plagiophylax: flank guard.
Plèrooma: ship’s crew.
Plinthion: catapult frame.
Ploion: ship.
Ploion makron: longship; warship.
Polemarchos: senior officer.
Polemos: war; battle.
Polemikon: trumpet signal for the charge.
Polemios: enemy.
Polemistès: warrior; soldier.
Poliorketès: besieger.
Poliorkia: siege.
Polis: city state.
Politès: citizen; man enjoying citizenship.
Polyandreion: mass grave.
Porpax: arm-band of a shield.
Praiphektos: officer; Greek transliteration of Latin praefectus.
Praipositos: commander.
Proknèmis: greave.
Prodomata: pay in advance.
Prodromos: ‘someone who has run ahead’; (1) scout ; (2) Macedonian light cavalryman.
Promachos: ‘front fighter’; heavy armed soldier fighting ahead of the light armed missile troops.
Prometoopidion: chamfron; horse armour for protection of the head.
Pronomè: foraging expedition.
Prootostatès: front-ranker.
Proptoosis: levelling of spears to the front of the battle-line.
Protostasia: recruiting tax levied on landownership.
Prosentaxis: flank position.
Protaxis: skirmishing line; covering force.
Psilos: light equipped soldier; skirmisher.
Pterophoros: ‘feather bearer’; messenger.
Pteryges: ‘wings’; linen or leather strips used to decorate or protect the upper arms and lower body.
Pyknosis: close-order formation.
Pylè: gate.
Pylooros: gate keeper.
Pyrgos: tower.

R

Rhipsaspia: the discarding of the shield; common practice for those wishing to leave the fighting in a hurry.
Rhomphaia: slashing blade; falchion.
Rhoomaios: Roman.

S

Sagaris: battle-axe.
Salpinktès: trumpeter.
Salpinx: trumpet.
Sarissa: pike; Macedonian heavy thrusting spear used by both mounted troops and infantry.
Sarissophoros: ‘pikeman’; (1) soldier armed with a sarissa; (2) alternative title for Macedonian prodromos.
Saunion: spear; javelin.
Saurootèr: butt-spike.
Schastèria: catapult trigger mechanism.
Schèma: disposition; formation.
Sèma: standard.
Sèmeion: standard.
Sèmeiophoros: standard-bearer.
Sitarchia: ration allowance.
Sitèresion: ration allowance.
Skène: tent; barracks building.
Skeuophoros: baggage-carrier; servant.
Skolops: palisade stake.
Skorpioon: artilleryman.
Skouton: shield.
Skytalè: ‘stick’; (1) broken half of a stick used to verify the origin of a message; (2)Spartan ‘dogtags’ made of a wooden identification sign.
Skytalis: ‘little stick’; Spartan ‘dogtags’ made of a wooden identification sign.
Soomatophylax: ‘body guard’; (1) elite Macedonian infantry guard; (2) senior Macedonian general.
Soomatophylax basilikos: ‘royal bodyguard’; elite Macedonian infantry guard soldier.
Spartiatès: Spartan member of syssition entitled to full citizen rights.
Spathè: sword.
Spathè makra: long sword.
Speira: military unit.
Speira stratègis: unit of imperial guard; cf. Latin cohors praetoria.
Sphagia: pre-battle sacrifice.
Sphendonetès: slinger.
Spolas: type of soft body armour; either a leather or linen corselet or a thickly woven tunic.
Stasis: civil strife; civil war.
Statmouchos: (1) billeting official; (2) civilian housing soldiers.
Stephanos: (1) garland; (2) helmet crest.
Stichos: (1) row; (2) file.
Stigma: mark, tattoo.
Stoma: ‘mouth’; front of a formation.
Stratarchès: legionary commander.
Stratègika: generalship.
Stratègos: general; commander.
Stratègos hypatos: ‘supreme commander’; cf. Latin consul.
Strateia: (1) military service; (2) equestrian officer post; Greek equivalent of militia.
Strateuma: military campaign.
Strateusis: military campaign.
Stratia: army.
Stratiè: (1) army; (2) legion.
Stratiootès: soldier.
Stratiootika: (1) military affairs; (2) military service.
Stratopedarchès: commander; cf. Latin praefectus castrorum.
Stratopedeusis: naval formation.
Stratopedon: (1) army; (2) military camp; (3) legion.
Styrax: butt-spike.
Syllochismos: deployment by file.
Symmachia: alliance.
Symmachos: ally.
Symmachikon: allied or auxiliary force.
Synaspismos: locked shields formation; cf. Latin testudo.
Synedrion: military council.
Syngenès: ‘relative’; Persian guard cavalryman.
Synoomotia: file; squad.
Syntagma: ‘building block’; military unit; battalion.
Syntagmatarchès: batallion commander.
Synteleia tiroonoon: conscription levy.
Synthèmaton: watchword.
Syskènion: ‘tent party’; Spartan military mess association.
Syskènios: ‘tent partner’; Spartan member of military mess association.
Syssition: ‘dining group’; Spartan military mess association.
Syssitios: ‘dining companion’; Spartan member of military mess association.
Sysstratiootès: fellow soldier, brother-in-arms.
Systasis: light infantry platoon.
Syzeuxis: parallel formation.

T

Tagma: military unit.
Tagmatos hippikon: legionary cavalry.
Tagos: Thessalian commander-in-chief.
Taphros: ditch; moat.
Tarentinos: light cavalryman armed with javelins.
Tattoo: to array; to deploy.
Taxiarchos: senior military officer; Greek equivalent of Roman tribunus.
Taxis: (1) battle order; (2) military unit; regiment.
Teichos: wall.
Telamoon: carrying strap.
Telos: military unit; used by Josephus for legion.
Tèroon: recruit.
Tès hippou stratègos: ‘general of the cavalry’; cf. Latin magister equitum, a senior late Roman commander.
Tetrarchia: unit of four files.
Tetrarchès: commander of four files.
Thalamax: rower on lowest rowing level of a galley; alternative term for thalamios.
Thalamios: oarsman on lowest level of a trireme.
Thèrarchia: elephant unit
Thoorakitès: soldier wearing body armour.
Thoorax: body armour.
Thranitès: upper level rower on a trireme.
Thyreophoros: ‘shieldbearer’; (1) any soldier equipped with body shield (2) light infantryman equipped with large shield in Hellenic armies.
Thyreophoros lonchophoros: shieldbearing javelineer; legionary javelineer deployed in the four rear ranks of Arrian’s battle formation.
Thyreos: large shield.
Thyreos epimèkès: oblong shield.
Tiara: characteristic Persian headgear; hood.
Tonos: spring.
Toxeuma: missile; projectile.
Toxon: bow.
Toxotès: archer.
Tresantès: coward.
Triakas: military unit.
Triakontoros: thirty oared war ship.
Triboon: Spartan cloak.
Tribounos: senior officer; Greek equivalent of Roman tribunus.
Trièrarchos: (1) captain commanding a trireme; (2) wealthy citizen providing a trireme at his cost.
Trièraulès: flute player governing strike rate of oarsmen.
Trièrès: trireme; oared warship with single oarsmen on three levels.
Tropaion: trophy; commemorative victory sign erected to mark the turning of the tide of battle.
Tympanarios: drummer, attested for the Byzantine army.

X

Xenagia: ‘foreign legion’; military unit.
Xenagos: mercenary commander.
Xenia barbarikè: foreign mercenary unit.
Xenos: ‘foreigner’; mercenary.
Xiphidion: (1) shortsword; (2) dagger.
Xiphos: sword.
Xyelè: curved dagger; sickle.
Xylokopia (GR): execution by means of cudgelling; cf. Latin fustuarium.
Xyston: spear.
Xystophoros: spearman.

Z

Zeugitès: ‘owner of span of oxen’; citizen owning enough to serve as a hoplite.
Zooiarchos: elephant commander.
Zygios: middle level oarsman on a trireme.
Zygon: rank.


Special thanks to Sander van Dorst, as most work here is by him.

3 Replies to “Military terms and definitions in Ancient Greece”

Leave a Reply