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Latin phrase for Roman Army?
#1
Hi. I'm trying to find out the Latin words that mean Roman Empire. I've seen both Imperium Romanum and Imperium Romanorum.

Does anyone know the difference, and which is correct?

Thanks.
Dirk
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#2
Imperium Romanum - The Roman empire
Imperium Romanorum - The empire of the Romans

Remember that this is not the original Latin spelling!
(aka Niels)
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#3
Thank you. Just out of curiosity, what is the original Latin spelling?

Dirk
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#4
It is:
IMPERIVM ROMANVM
IMPERIVM ROMANORVM

That is how they wrote it.
(aka Niels)
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#5
Thanks again!
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#6
Quote:It is:
IMPERIVM ROMANVM
IMPERIVM ROMANORVM
Unless you're CreateSpace, of course, who don't believe U was represented by V in the Roman alphabet (not that I'm bitter, you understand ...) :mad:

Mike Bishop
You know my method. It is founded upon the observance of trifles

Blogging, tweeting, and mapping Hadrian\'s Wall... because it\'s there
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#7
I am not at all sure that the Romans used the word imperium in the same sense that we use 'Empire'. Imperium essentially means 'power, control, jurisdiction'. It can mean 'empire' but in the sense of 'having empire (i.e., control) over'. I have had a look at Vegetius' use of imperium. There are two instances in which imperium Romanum is translated by Milner as 'Roman Empire' but, in context, imperium could also be translated as 'control' or 'power', so that does not help much. Vegetius seems to use populus Romanus as representing the Roman state and, at one point, speaks of respublica Romana without any sense that this would be incongruous some 400 years after the end of the Republic. In addition to these, it occurs to me, but without authority as yet, that civitas Romana is a possibility.

Thus, it seems to me that populus Romanus, respublica Romana and civitas Romana are more likely usages than imperium Romanum. Nevertheless, I would be interested to see other opinions.
Michael King Macdona

And do as adversaries do in law, -
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
(The Taming of the Shrew: Act 1, Scene 2)
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#8
On the occasion of the Roman army of Gaul being incorporated into the Frankish army of Clovis (AD 486), the phrase used is exercitus Romanorum. No idea whether that was the official terminology.
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR
FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
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#9
To add to my earlier post, I think that all my suggestions, except perhaps civitas, relate to the Empire as the Roman State in a political, rather than a geographical, sense. I do not think that the Romans saw 'empire' as a firm geographical entity, as we tend to do, but as the more nebulous concept of 'sphere of influence'.
Michael King Macdona

And do as adversaries do in law, -
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
(The Taming of the Shrew: Act 1, Scene 2)
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#10
Renatus, that last post is perfect. Literally. That is how pretty much all modern scholarship agrees the Romans saw their "empire."
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#11
Quote:I am not at all sure that the Romans used the word imperium in the same sense that we use 'Empire'.

That was my first thought too. However, it does seem that the usage developed over time. This is one of those interesting-looking books I've long been meaning to read - the chapter here has some discussion of a later Roman 'shift in meaning' of the word imperium to denote 'a bounded territory of empire' rather than a sphere of authority:

News and Frontier Consciousness in the Late Roman Empire

Respublica, meanwhile, I've always taken to refer to the Roman state generally, the 'public affairs', rather to a specific style of government or geographical area of control.
Nathan Ross
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#12
Quote:the phrase used is exercitus Romanorum. No idea whether that was the official terminology.

This phrase was also used, I think, to describe the militia troops raised to defend Rome against the Lombards in the 6th century. I don't have a reference for that though!

Simon James, In Rome and the Sword, makes an interesting point: "Startlingly, the Romans had no term equivalent to our phrase 'the Roman Army', because no such entity or concept existed." He goes on to describe the Roman military as not a 'monolithic state instittion', like a modern army, but a combination of units and territorial forces with a 'bottom up' organisation: 'armies' plural rather than singular. The troops of the governor of Syria were called the exercitus Syriae, for example.

"During the republic and empire, to describe their armed forces Romans normally spoke of 'the armies' (exercituus), or 'the legions', in plurals... Romans also commonly spoke of milites, 'the soldiers', of men rather than of institutional collectives." (James, p.22)
Nathan Ross
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#13
Quote:Simon James, In Rome and the Sword, makes an interesting point: "Startlingly, the Romans had no term equivalent to our phrase 'the Roman Army', because no such entity or concept existed."
Can we say Tacitus is the exception that proves the rule? He uses the phrase exercitus Romanus twice ([i]Hist[/i]. 4.57; 75), as anyone who has got Ut Milites Dicuntur will know (it's on p.25, and you'll find all the different exercituseseses listed on pp.24-5) ;-)

Mike Bishop
You know my method. It is founded upon the observance of trifles

Blogging, tweeting, and mapping Hadrian\'s Wall... because it\'s there
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#14
Quote:Respublica, meanwhile, I've always taken to refer to the Roman state generally, the 'public affairs', rather to a specific style of government or geographical area of control.

Agreed, and remember, Augustus reconstituted the res publica. And this never changed, even not after Diocletian asfaik.
Ut desint vires, tamen est laudanda voluntas
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#15
Quote:Can we say Tacitus is the exception that proves the rule? He uses the phrase exercitus Romanus twice ([i]Hist[/i]. 4.57; 75), ...

I remember the term exercitus germaniae or exercitus syricus (different grammar but same meaning). So exercitus romanus, exercitus romanorum or exercitus rei publicae was always obvious for me.
Ut desint vires, tamen est laudanda voluntas
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