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Latin names for modern army officer ranks

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Latin names for modern army officer ranks

Postby Anthony Appleyard » Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:13 pm

Are there Latin names for modern army officer ranks? The Roman army was organized very different from modern armies. Some officer ranks seem to have Latin origins:

"sergeant" from "serviens"; like with "minister", a word meaning "servant" has come to mean "subordinate official", but its literal Latin meaning looks a bit unsuitable to use for an army officer.

"corporal" from "corporalis"
"colonel" from "columnalis"?
etc
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Re: Latin names for modern army officer ranks

Postby Shenoute » Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:03 am

I don't know it will be useful to you but this book of Latin-French dialogues for travelers (published 1758) has army ranks with latin translations. These are 18th century French ranks so there's some I can not find (adjudant) but they seem pretty close to the modern ones.

caporal (corporal) = decurio
sergent (sergeant) = centuriae instructor
major = major
lieutenant = subcenturio
capitaine (captain) = centurio
commandant = praefectus
colonel = militum tribunus, chiliarcus
général (general) = dux, imperator
Maréchal de France = marescallus

This French dictionary (1709) seems more complete. If it is the kind of thing you're looking for, I can make a more thorough search through it to complete the list above.
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Re: Latin names for modern army officer ranks

Postby adrianus » Fri Jan 17, 2014 3:44 pm

This site is always helpful, too:
Utilis semper est hic situs:
http://facweb.furman.edu/~dmorgan/lexicon/silva.htm wrote:.off admiral / praefectus classis; admiralis+ [Latham]; pontarchus* [s.15] (HELF.) ]] classis imperator (LRL) ]] classis praefectus, classi praepositus; -ty curatores rei navalis; (department) totum officium maritimum (LEV.) ]] thalassiarchus (Milton)
.off admiral: vice-admiral / classis praefectus secundus (LEV.)
.off batallion / batalio* [s.18] (HELF.) ]] cohors; phalanx (LEV.)
.off brigade (mil.) / cohors; (group) manus; caterva, turma (LEV.)
.off brigadier-general / cohortium praefectus [Latinitas] (HELF.) ]] cohortium praefectus (LRL) ]] dux cohortis (LEV.)
.off cadet (mil.) / contubernalis (LEV.)
.off captain (mil.) / Hauptmann: centurio, onis m.; capitaneus+ [Soc. Lat.] (HELF.) ]] centurio (LRL) ]] centurio (LEV.) ]] capitaneus+ (Milton)
.off chief of staff / imperator (LEV.)
.off colonel / tribunus militum, chiliarchus (LRL)
.off company (mil.) / centuria [Varro] (HELF.) ]] manipulus; cohors (LEV.)
.off corporal (mil.) / cornicularius (LEV.)
.off division (mil.) / divisio (HELF.)
.off field marshal / campi marescallus+ [s.17] (HELF.) ]] imperator (LEV.)
.off general (of army) / summus (v. generalis) praefectus (militiae) (LRL)
.off liaison officer / internuntius (LEV.)
.off lieutenant / succenturio maior (LRL)
.off lieutenant: first lieutenant / Oberleutnant: locumtenens superior [Bauer] (HELF.)
.off lieutenant: second lieutenant / Leutnant: locumtenens, entis m. [Latham] (HELF.)
.off lieutenant-colonel / Oberstleutnant: colonellus+ locumtenens [Bauer] (HELF.) ]] tribunus militum vicarius (LRL)
.off lieutenant-commander / Kapitänleutnant: capitanei locumtenens (HELF.)
.off major (mil.) / centurio maior [Latinitas] (HELF.) ]] legatus, praefectus maior (LEV.)
.off marshal (mil.) / marescallus+ [DuCange] (HELF.) ]] dux, imperator (LEV.)
.off naval commander / navarchus (LRL)
.off non-commissioned officer, sargent / Unteroffizier: subpraefectus* [Hederich, lexica, s.18]; subofficiarius* [Soc. Lat.] (HELF.)
.off officer / Offizier: praefectus militum; officiarius+ (HELF.)
.off private (mil.) / miles gregarius (LEV.)
.off private first class / Obergefreiter: exemptus superior [Soc. Lat.] (HELF.)
.off regiment / regimentum* [Kirsch] (HELF.) ]] legio; -al legionarius (LEV.)
.off sergeant / Feldwebel: optio, onis m. [Varro] -- Wachtmeister: praefectus excubiarum [s.17]; vigilum praefectus [Pl. 22, 96] (HELF.) ]] decurio (LRL) ]] optio; cornicularius (LEV.)
.off sergeant-major / Hauptfeldwebel: optio primarius [Soc. Lat.] (HELF.)
.off squad / manipulus (LEV.)
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: Latin names for modern army officer ranks

Postby adrianus » Fri Jan 17, 2014 7:22 pm

I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: Latin names for modern army officer ranks

Postby Anthony Appleyard » Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:58 pm

For marshal, "marescallus" is not really a Latin word, but Germanic: marh-skalk = "horse-servant" or "man in charge of the horses" :: "servant" because he was subordinate to the king, I suppose.
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Re: Latin names for modern army officer ranks

Postby adrianus » Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:39 am

Vel mariscalus, pro mareschalli vocabulo. Est ut dicis.
Secundum dictionarium de Ainsworth suprà citatum, et habes hoc: field marshal, Castrensis praefectus.

Sure. But you must expect many modern latin words (and modern military latin words) to be influenced by, or derived from, the vernacular and to vary accordingly.
Certum est, quaedam vernacula lingua nova vocabula latina mutat vel gignit, de quo variant illa vocabula.
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: Latin names for modern army officer ranks

Postby adrianus » Sat Jan 18, 2014 1:18 am

Anthony Appleyard wrote:"colonel" from "columnalis"?

colonel (anglicè, francicè) < coronel (Francicè) || colonnella (Italicè) < columna (militum, / columnalis, Latinè), ut dicis.
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: Latin names for modern army officer ranks

Postby Shenoute » Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:14 am

Anthony Appleyard wrote:For marshal, "marescallus" is not really a Latin word, but Germanic: marh-skalk = "horse-servant" or "man in charge of the horses" :: "servant" because he was subordinate to the king, I suppose.
As you are trying to find Latin equivalents for modern army ranks, I somehow assumed that non classical Latin would be ok, sorry if I assumed wrongly.

And I don't understand your argument about "marescallus". Its origin is germanic but that doesn't mean the word isn't Latin.
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Re: Latin names for modern army officer ranks

Postby Anthony Appleyard » Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:48 am

Thanks. For "sergeant" these are suggested:
* 'optio', but the word has other meanings also.
* 'decurio', but the word has other meanings also.

(Likely it may be a bit too unclassical to Latinize the usual international modern word as sergens, sergent- decl3.)
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Re: Latin names for modern army officer ranks

Postby adrianus » Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:14 pm

Anthony Appleyard wrote:(Likely it may be a bit too unclassical to Latinize the usual international modern word as sergens, sergent- decl3.)

Sergentus, secundae declinationis
Vide hoc: http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Hj0PAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA431&lpg=PA431&dq=%22sergentus%22+est&source=bl&ots=QdLs0PRpWT&sig=tsZlEpXJKt-YxJYsIIWF5XboQ7M&hl=en&sa=X&ei=LsvmUsWGGIfH7AabjYHwDQ&ved=0CEYQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=%22sergentus%22%20est&f=false
+ colonellus + capitaneus
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: Latin names for modern army officer ranks

Postby adrianus » Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:43 pm

Anthony Appleyard wrote:..."sergeant" from "serviens"; like with "minister", a word meaning "servant" has come to mean "subordinate official", but its literal Latin meaning looks a bit unsuitable to use for an army officer.

Originally "serjent/serjeant/sergeant" it didn't mean an officer but a lowest-rank soldier ("a serving soldier"), I believe. Its original meaning can't disqualify it, because it applies in any language. Meanings change.
Id non sic primitùs significabat sed humilem militem servientem denotabat, ut credo. Non negat usum sensus pristinus nisi incongruus cuicunque linguae. Variant sensus.
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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