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Glossary of Roman terms and phrases - "'A"

 
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Aerarium
The Roman treasury
Ad Bestias
'To the beasts' A form of execution performed publicly in the amphitheatre. The condemned was led into the arena and often tied to a stake. Then wild animals, mainly wolves, were released to rip the victim apart and eat him
Agger
A flat area on either side of a Roman road which was between 30-40 ft (12-15 metres) wide
Ala
A unit in the cavalry comprising 500 men
Alimenta
A scheme devised to help the poor by providing allowances
Amica Principis
A rank that was not actually official, but gave credence to friends of the emperor
Amphitheatre
An open air arena surrounded on three sides by seating. It was used for the more violent blood sports and public executions
Amphora
A large container made from clay that was used in the transport of wine, oil and non perishable items that could not be placed in a wooden case. It later became a unit of measure for liquids
Andabatae
Gladiators who wore wore helmets without eye holes
Annona
A form of taxation that was paid not by money, but in the form of grain. This was used to help supply the legions with basic rations";
case "Annona militaris
Antesignani
One name for the light cavalry in a legion. The other name was Lancearii
Antoninianus
A silver coin worth about 2 denarii
Aqueduct
A channel that was built to carry water from springs and rivers to the towns
Aquila
The standard that was carried into battle and was the symbol of the legion. It was highly honoured by the units and they would consider it a great disgrace to have it fall into enemy hands. The carrier of the standard was know as the Aquilifer
Aquilifer
The soldier designated to carry the legion's standard (Aquila)
Augurate
A distinction rather than a position of office
Augurs
One of the four orders of priesthood
Augustus
A distinction instigated by Octavius in 27BC and assumed by all subsequent emperors. Previously 'Caesar' had been the highest accolade
Aureus
A gold coin that was superseded by the Solidus
Auxilia
Auxiliary military units attached to the legions. There were about 150,000 soldiers serving a auxiliaries. They were not Roman citizens, but were granted citizenship on retirement

Terms starting with :
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