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Headword: Sêmaia, speira, tagma
Adler number: sigma,313
Translated headword: semaia (and) speira (and) tagma
Vetting Status: high
is the same thing [sc. under three names]; and their commanders [are called] centurions and taxiarchs.
Also [sc. attested is] shmaiofo/ros ["standard-bearer, signifer"], the commander.[1]
Greek Original:
Sêmaia, speira, tagma: tauton estin: hoi de hêgemones toutôn kenturiônes kai taxiarchoi. kai Sêmaiophoros, ho hêgemôn.
The first and main part of this entry is generated by Polybius 6.24.5, on the Roman army of the middle Republic: kai\ to\ me\n me/ros e(/kaston e)ka/lesan kai\ ta/gma kai\ spei=ran kai\ shmai/an, tou\s d' h(gemo/nas kenturi/wnas kai\ tacia/rxous. Converted from Greek military vocabulary into Roman, this becomes: "they called each company ordo and manipulus and signum, and etc.".
The first of the Greek terms there, and again here, is also found as shmei/a, and properly denotes the standard (note the gloss si/gnon=signum in Hesychius sigma493); hence the meaning of military unit serving under the same standard.
[1] In this form see e.g. Plutarch, Galba 22.6 (and cf. the semeio- form in e.g. Plutarch, Brutus 43.3, and semaia- in e.g. Polybius 6.24.6; LSJ lists still other forms).
Keywords: definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; historiography; military affairs
Translated by: Antonella Ippolito on 27 March 2006@22:33:26.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (cosmetics, status) on 27 March 2006@22:38:38.
David Whitehead (modified headword, translation, note) on 28 March 2006@03:33:45.
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 17 August 2011@08:13:48.
David Whitehead on 23 December 2013@08:05:48.
Catharine Roth (cosmetics) on 21 November 2014@09:56:02.


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