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Headword: Λιμιταναῖοι
Adler number: lambda,549
Translated headword: border-troops, frontier-troops, limitanei
Vetting Status: high
"The Roman emperors in earlier times in every direction of the extremities of their domain stationed a very great number of soldiers as guards over the borders of the Roman empire, and especially in the eastern part, thereby repulsing the attacks of both Persians and Saracens. They used to call them 'border-troops.' These men Justinian treated so triflingly and thoughtlessly that within 4 or 5 years those who defrayed the costs of the soldiers' pay were behind on their payments. But when a peace was declared for both Romans and Persians, these were forced to forgive the treasury if they did not receive the payments that were owed within a stated time."[1]
Note that, for the Romans, a limitatus [sic] field is one abandoned by the enemy.[2]
Greek Original:
Λιμιταναῖοι. οἱ Ῥωμαίων βασιλεῖς ἐν τοῖς ἄνω χρόνοις πανταχόσε τῶν τῆς πολιτείας ἐσχατιῶν πάμπολυ κατεστήσαντο στρατιωτῶν πλῆθος ἐπὶ φυλακῇ τῶν ὁρίων τῆς τῶν Ῥωμαίων ἀρχῆς καὶ κατὰ τὴν ἑῴαν μάλιστα μοῖραν, ταύτῃ τὰς ἐφόδους Περσῶν τὲ καὶ Σαρακηνῶν ἀναστέλλοντες, οὕσπερ λιμιταναίους ἐκάλουν. τούτοις Ἰουστινιανὸς οὕτω δὴ παρέργως καὶ φαύλως ἐχρῆτο, ὥστε δ# ἢ ε# αὐτοῖς ἐνιαυτῶν τῶν συντάξεων τοὺς χορηγοὺς ὑπερημέρους εἶναι. ἐπειδὰν δὲ Ῥωμαίοις τε καὶ Πέρσαις εἰρήνη γένοιτο, ἠναγκάζοντο οὗτοι χρόνου ῥητοῦ τὰς ὀφειλομένας συντάξεις μὴ λαμβάνοντες τῷ δημοσίῳ χαρίζεσθαι. σημείωσαι ὅτι λιμίτατος ἀγρός ἐστι κατὰ Ῥωμαίους ὁ ἀπὸ πολεμίων ληφθείς.
The headword (which occurs in the accusative plural in the quotation given) is a hellenization of the Latin term limitanei (from limes "frontier").
[1] Procopius, Secret History 24.12-13. On Justinian see generally iota 446.
[2] A marginal addition in some of the Suda manuscripts only.
Keywords: biography; chronology; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; economics; ethics; geography; historiography; history; military affairs
Translated by: Craig Gibson on 3 June 2009@23:00:22.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 4 June 2009@06:10:15.
David Whitehead (tweak) on 4 June 2009@06:12:11.
David Whitehead on 19 April 2013@05:22:34.


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