Military terms and definitions in Ancient Persia


Amrtaka: ‘Immortals’; Persian royal foot guards.
Arstibara: ‘spearbearers’; Persian guardsmen.
Asapatish: cavalry commander.

Baivarabam: ‘unit of ten thousand’; Persian military unit, cf. Greek myrias.
Baivarapatish: ‘commander of ten thousand’; senior Persian officer.
Bandaka: ‘bondsmen’ or ‘retainers’.

Dathabam:’unit of ten’; squad.
Dathapatish: ‘commander of ten’; squad leader.

Hazarapatish: ‘commander of a thousand’; Persian officer.

Kara: host; army.
Karda: warlike spirit.
Kardaka: Kurdish soldier.

Spara: shield.
Sparabara: ‘shield-bearer’; Persian soldier.

Taka: light shield.
Takabara: ‘shield-bearers’; cf. Greek peltastès.
Thanvabara: archers; bowmen.


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

2 Replies to “Military terms and definitions in Ancient Persia”

Leave a Reply