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Headword: *dimoiri/ths
Adler number: delta,1126
Translated headword: double-pay soldier, half-file commander
Vetting Status: high
Sometimes [commentators] have explained this[1] as triw/bolon["three-obol-piece"],[2] since this is the half part [dimoiron] of the drachma. So the soldier receiving this [sc. wage] was called dimoiri/ths.[3] It is also a military office,[4] like a lochagos ["unit-commander"], because of the fact that they draw [a wage] double that of other soldiers.
But others say that dimoiria and hemilochia are the same. And [likewise] dimoirites and hemilochites ["half-file leader"],[5] [i.e.] the commander of the dimoiria[6] and that of the hemilochia.
Greek Original:
*dimoiri/ths: tou=to e)ni/ote triw/bolon a)podedw/kasin, e)peidh\ tou=to di/moiro/n e)sti th=s draxmh=s. o( ou)=n tou=to lamba/nwn stratiw/ths dimoiri/ths e)le/geto. e)/sti de/ tis kai\ stratiwtikh\ a)rxh/, w(s loxago/s, dia\ to\ par' a)/llous stratiw/tas du/o moi/ras lamba/nein. oi( de\ dimoiri/an kai\ h(miloxi/an to\ au)to/ fasi. kai\ dimoiri/ths kai\ h(miloxi/ths, o( a)/rxwn th=s dimoi/ras kai\ th=s h(miloxi/as.
[1] See LSJ entry at web address 1. The explanation "half-file commander" offered by the military glossary of ms. Coislin. 347 (whose entries have been picked up from Aelian the Tactician, C2 AD) has been combined in this entry with two others. According to the first one, the term dimoiri/ths would denote a coin of the value of three obols, i.e. an half-drachma. (For di/moiron as "half part" see pi 1719.) Otherwise, the term is given as the equivalent of Latin duplarius or duplicarius, meaning "soldier receiving double pay". See Hesychius delta573 deisia/da: th\n moi=ran. oi( de\ dimoiri/an, delta1851 dimoiri/ths: dimoirai=os. The orthographical variant dimuri/ths is also attested (Gloss. 2.57).
(The noun dimoiri/ths is also of particular interest in later Greek because of the completely different sense it is given by Christian writers. They used it to indicate the Apollinarists, the promoters of a Christological theory whose author was Apollinaris (Apolinarios) the Younger, Bishop of Laodicea. Flourishing in the latter half of the fourth century, the bishop appealed to the well-known Platonic division of the human soul to affirm that Jesus would have been provided only with a human body and a sensitive soul, the divine Logos taking the place of the third part of human nature, the rational soul. Apollinaris connected, apparently, the rational soul with human sins; thus it was essential for him that Jesus’ incarnation as a human creature be incomplete, to preserve his perfection as the Son of God. This position was strongly criticized and was the subject of an anathema by Pope Damasus in 381. See Didymus Caecus, In Psalm. 3; Epiphanius, Anchoratus, 13.8.5, 63.7.1; Panarion, Adv. Haereses v. I, p. 159, 6 M; I, 161, 13; 3, 416, 4; 4, 452, 4; John of Damascus De haeresibus 77.1.)
[2] See Pollux 9.62. A scholiast on Gregory of Nazianzus, Funebrem orationem in patrem (PG 35.992.6) ap. Montfaucon, Diarium Italicum, p. 214, giving a short account of the value of Greek coins, records that h( draxmh\ o)bolw=n e(/c: in almost all of Greek monetary systems, the three-obol piece is equivalent to half a drachma (or a quarter of a stater). One can gather from Aristophanes (Ecclesiazusae 293 [web address 2] and 308) that a triobolon was the ordinary pay both for the citizens attending the people's assembly and for the knights (Id. Knights 51 [web address 3],800). During the Peloponnesian War it was the normal pay for sailors enrolled in the fleet: Thucydides 8.45.2 (web address 4); Xenophon, Hellenica 1.5.7 (web address 5).
[3] A semantic connection is stressed in the gloss between a wage of a di/moiron (half-drachma) and the word dimoiri/ths. This explanation is not completely correct, however, the meaning of trio/bolon and that of dimoiri/ths being combined in a paretymology, for according to the sources these soldiers were called dimoiri/tai from the double pay they received, compared to the others. See further below.
The meaning "soldier with double pay" occurs in Arrian, Anabasis 7.23.3 etc.; Suetonius, On Blasphemies 232, and is widely attested by documentary sources of the third century AD (e.g. P.Lille 27.3). The word is used in one instance with reference to provisions: Lucian, Saturnalia 15 toi=s pepaideume/nois dipla/sia pa/nta pempe/sqw: a)/cion ga\r dimoiri/tas ei)=nai, "to learned men double provisions shall be sent, for they deserve a double share". The same meaning is documented for the Latin duplarius or duplicarius (inscriptions bear both forms, sometimes also dupliciarius); see Varro, Latin Language 5.90; Vegetius 2.7. A scholion to Menander’s fragmentary drama Kolax gives a similar explanation: dimoiri/ths o( diplou=n lamba/nwn tw=n stratiwtw=n misqw/n, "d. is among the soldiers the one receiving double pay".
[4] This is the common meaning of dimoiri/ths in treatises on military strategy. See Aelian the Tactician 5.2 dimoiri/thn e)ka/lesan […] to\n h(gou/menon au)th=s [sc. dimoiri/as] dimoiri/thn; Arrian, Tactica 2.2; Lucian, Dialogues of the Courtesans 9.5 (but a scholion ad loc. gives the interpretation related to the pay, dimoiri/ths le/getai o( diplou=n misqo\n lamba/nwn, cf. above; Synesius, Insomn. 13 (p. 170). In Lucian, Iuppiter tragoedus 48, the word is applied to a sailor "among the sailors, the one who is lazy … has a warrant, but another who is fearless … is set to pumping ship" (cf. schol. ad loc. d. o( tou= dimoi/rou tw=n e)n th=| nhi\ a)/rxwn. Apparently Lucian used dimoiri/ths both in its sense of "receiving double pay" and in that of military commander.
[5] For h(milo/xion see e.g. Aelian the Tactician 5.2 ta\s de\ du/o e)nwmoti/as dimoiri/as e)ka/lesan, kai\ to\n h(gou/menon au)th=s dimoiri/thn, w(/ste to\ h(milo/xion kai\ dimoiri/an kalei=sqai kai\ to\n h(miloxi/thn dimoiri/thn; Asclepiodotus 2.2; Arrian, Tactica 6.2, explaining the word e)nwmoti/a as the fourth part of a lo/xos, so that a dimoiri/a consists of two e)nwmoti/ai. For further, late occurrences of h(miloxi/ths see e.g. Anna Comnena 10.10.7; Psellus, Chron. 1.32.12, 7.4.20.
[6] There is no other attestation of the word dimoi/ra; it should probably be read dimoiri/a, according to ms. V (see Adler's apparatus ad loc.).
Klose, D., s.v. Triobolon, Der Neue Pauly 12/1, Stuttgart 2002, 823
Bloch, s.v. Duplarii, in Daremberg-Saglio, Dictionnaire des antiquités grecques et romaines, II, Paris 1892, 445
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2,
Web address 3,
Web address 4,
Web address 5
Keywords: Christianity; constitution; daily life; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; economics; history; law; military affairs; religion
Translated by: Antonella Ippolito on 23 February 2005@14:52:12.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (modified a link) on 23 February 2005@21:35:13.
David Whitehead (modified headword and aspects of translation; another keyword; extensive cosmetics) on 24 February 2005@03:41:11.
David Whitehead (further cosmetics) on 24 February 2005@05:18:28.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 7 October 2005@09:38:57.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 1 December 2005@07:03:13.
David Whitehead (another keyword; cosmetics) on 11 July 2012@07:47:09.
Catharine Roth (betacode corrections, coding) on 15 November 2014@01:34:12.
Catharine Roth (tweaks) on 23 November 2014@12:20:35.
Catharine Roth (tweak) on 7 December 2014@00:23:14.
Catharine Roth (tweak) on 30 August 2016@00:27:57.


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