RomanArmyTalk

Full Version: The origin of the word \'Clibanarii\' solved?
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Pages: 1 2 3
Recently more information about the Perge fragments has surfaced which has caused a degree of excitement.

This has led to some comparisons between figures and ranks given in Vegetius and Lydus. Whilst looking at the Lydus information I came across this part of the Bandy translation of Lydus which I am not sure everyone has picked up on yet-

'Clibanarii, those who wear coats of mail, for the Romans call iron coverings celibana, namely celmina'

Is this the first recording of where the term 'clibanarii' originated from?
Sources?
Quote:Sources?

Bandy's translation of Johannes Lydus 'De Magistratibus rei publicae Romanae 1.46. 4-7 is the section you need.

I have noted however that the relevant passage noted above could also be rendered as-

'Clibanarii- those who wear coasts of mail, for the Romans call iron coverings celibana instead of Celamine'
Quote:for the Romans call iron coverings celibana instead of Celamine'

Both words sound rather mangled - copyist's error?

I think Renatus has suggested on another thread that the word clibanus may have meant 'armoured', or relate somehow to the cuirass; I prefer the idea that it may derive simply from a word meaning 'covered', or 'enclosed', (which could be applied equally to an armoured man or a cooking oven/baking cover!) and have a connection to the word cataphractos, also meaning 'covered'.

We'd need a source earlier than Lydus, I think, to fully solve the mystery!
Quote:I think Renatus has suggested on another thread that the word clibanus may have meant 'armoured', or relate somehow to the cuirass; I prefer the idea that it may derive simply from a word meaning 'covered', or 'enclosed', (which could be applied equally to an armoured man or a cooking oven/baking cover!) and have a connection to the word cataphractos, also meaning 'covered'.
I think that this is the thread that you have in mind:

http://www.romanarmytalk.com/17-roman-mi...=45#350581

I begin with my suggestion that clibanarius derives from clivanus ('v' and 'b' seem to be interchangeable in later Latin), although there is some interesting stuff earlier. Your suggested etymology occurs towards the end of the thread.
Quote:
Nathan Ross post=367348 Wrote:I think Renatus has suggested on another thread that the word clibanus may have meant 'armoured', or relate somehow to the cuirass; I prefer the idea that it may derive simply from a word meaning 'covered', or 'enclosed', (which could be applied equally to an armoured man or a cooking oven/baking cover!) and have a connection to the word cataphractos, also meaning 'covered'.
I think that this is the thread that you have in mind:

http://www.romanarmytalk.com/17-roman-mi...=45#350581

I begin with my suggestion that clibanarius derives from clivanus ('v' and 'b' seem to be interchangeable in later Latin), although there is some interesting stuff earlier. Your suggested etymology occurs towards the end of the thread.

This is what I always thought, especially considering the later Greek term for Armor is "Klivanion."
Quote:
Nathan Ross post=367348 Wrote:I think Renatus has suggested on another thread that the word clibanus may have meant 'armoured', or relate somehow to the cuirass; I prefer the idea that it may derive simply from a word meaning 'covered', or 'enclosed', (which could be applied equally to an armoured man or a cooking oven/baking cover!) and have a connection to the word cataphractos, also meaning 'covered'.
I think that this is the thread that you have in mind:

http://www.romanarmytalk.com/17-roman-mi...=45#350581

I begin with my suggestion that clibanarius derives from clivanus ('v' and 'b' seem to be interchangeable in later Latin), although there is some interesting stuff earlier. Your suggested etymology occurs towards the end of the thread.

This is what I always thought, especially considering the later Greek term for Armor is "Klivanion."
Quote:'Clibanarii, those who wear coats of mail, for the Romans call iron coverings celibana, namely celmina'


Quote:I have noted however that the relevant passage noted above could also be rendered as-

'Clibanarii- those who wear coasts of mail, for the Romans call iron coverings celibana instead of Celamine'
The Greek reads:
κλιβανάριοι, ὁλοσίδηροι. κηλίβανα γὰρ οἱ Ῥωμαῖοι τὰ σιδηρᾶ καλύμματα καλοῦσιν, ἀντὶ τοῦ κηλάμινα

I would translate this as, 'clibanarii, all iron; for the Romans call iron coverings celibana, instead of celamina'. This is not so different from the second alternative but note that 'coats of mail' is a mistranslation. Celibana and celamina are unknown to my dictionary and to Lewis & Short.
Victorians and Georgians used the word "mail" to refer to any kind of metal armour - even plate. That's why they invented "chain mail" - to distinguish it from all the other types of armour such as plate mail, scale mail, etc.

http://www.arador.com/armour/chain-mail/

Whenever you see a translation rendered as "coat of mail", it is usually a generic phrase that just means "armour". You have to read the original language to get a proper sense of the author's intention.


Quote:The Greek reads:
κλιβανάριοι, ὁλοσίδηροι. κηλίβανα γὰρ οἱ Ῥωμαῖοι τὰ σιδηρᾶ καλύμματα καλοῦσιν, ἀντὶ τοῦ κηλάμινα

I would translate this as, 'clibanarii, all iron; for the Romans call iron coverings celibana, instead of celamina'. This is not so different from the second alternative but note that 'coats of mail' is a mistranslation.
Agreed completely
κηλάμινα, ( celamina), might have some connection to Latin lamina - meaning a thin sheet of metal, stone etc.
So, we agree then that according to one ancient source the term 'Clibanarii' derived from a Latin word 'Celamina', whatever 'Celamina' means of course.

If it is connected to the root word for a covering of iron as someone else here has suggested then I think we may have stumbled upon the actual basis for the term 'Clibanarii', which in fact has no connection to either the Sasanid baking oven or to the Greek term for armour, it is in fact an original latin word which may have been totally overlooked by historians, may be due to the fact that the word has been lost to us.
Quote:κηλάμινα, ( celamina), might have some connection to Latin lamina - meaning a thin sheet of metal, stone etc.

That would work. But did writers of Lydus's day (or anybody else) use lamina to refer to armour generally?



Quote:the term 'Clibanarii' derived from a Latin word 'Celamina'

Isn't it that the word derives from 'celibana' (or clibana), instead of / namely 'celamina' (lamina, perhaps?)
What I am saying Nathan is that we have possibly for the first time found a contemporary reference to a latin word from which Clibanarii was derived from, and that as far as I am aware no academic historian has actually commented on this before, or anyone else until I drew people's attention to it.
What Lydus seems to be saying is that celamina was a word for iron coverings but that the Romans used celibana instead. A possible etymology for celamina might be a combination of celo, 'to hide, conceal' and, therefore, possibly 'to cover', and lamina, 'a thin piece of metal, plate' and, therefore, 'scale'. So, celamina could mean 'covered with scales'. I can find no relevant etymology for celibana but Lydus may have assumed it to be the origin of clibanarius because of the similarity in the sound of the two words. In the absence of any other authority, this should be treated with some caution. It seems very like some of the dubious etymologies of Isidorus Hispalensis.
Page 132 of Nikoronov's essay: 'Cataphract, Cataphractarii and Clibanarii: Another Look at the Old problem of their Identifications' 1998, covers Lydus and his use in Greek of the term clibanus.

You can find it on Academia.edu.

The use by Lydus has been covered as far back as that - if not earlier, I am afraid.
Pages: 1 2 3