Cohors amicorum


Cohors amicorum

Cohors amicorum is a Latin term, literally meaning "cohort of friends". The notion cohort is to be taken not in the strict, military sense (primarily the constitutive unit of a Roman legion; circa battalion), but indicated a fairly large number; accordingly, friend is to be taken in a loose sense, rather as in amicus curiae, compare the Hellenistic Aulic title philos (basilikos).

Roman history

  • Originally, since the Roman republic proper (i.e. before the Principate), the cohors amicorum was synonymous with the cohors praetoria (so called after the praetorium, the tent -in the field- or more permanent dwelling of a Roman commanding general, military headquarters but also site of his other actions, e.g. as a judge, possibly on an adjoining podium called tribunal) : the military (including or annexing various logistic, domestic, financial and administrative) staff company functioning as suite and bodyguard of a high Roman official, such as a Roman governor (who brought a trusted staff of most kinds with him to his post), especially in command of one or more legions.
  • In the Principate, high administrative offices tended to be separated from military command (transferred to imperial legates), but the various not strictly military functions still had to be acquitted, so there was a mainly civilian 'company' of clerks, advisors, retainers etcetera, still referred to be such terms as cohors (amicorum), amici (possibly specified by the pivotal personality, e.g. Amici principis around the Emperor). In fact, the administration was to be streamlined in a rather typical officium (see that article) with ever more detailed rules on competences, career etcetera.

The 'company' remained at least as a social notion, if now very informal, and seems to have existed with other persons of high rank, such as imperial princes.

  • its members were termed cohortalis (plural cohortales); the diminutive cohortalinus became a generic term (like apparitor) for non-cadre clerks in a high dignitary's officium (mainly administrative staff)

See also

  • For an interestingly alternative, highly formalised evolution of and from the originally parallel notion comitatus (also 'company'), see the article Comes
  • From this sense of cohors derives the Italian corte '(a princely etc.) court' and hence corteggio 'cortège', which again came to mean a train of attendants or retinue, a similarly elastic notion
  • the modern military also knows special units performing various services to a command and its headquarters, by such terms as staff company or staff battalion

Sources and references

  • Pauly-Wissowa (German-language encyclopaedia on nearly everything relevant to Classical Antiquity)
  • EtymologyOnLine

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • COHORS — περίβολος est, quâ plurima aedificia continentur. Varro, Cohors, quod, ut in villa ex pluribus tectis coniungitur ac quiddam fit unum, sic haec ex manipulis copulatur Cohors. Unde et cohortem pro villa dixêre. Addit, a coercendo dictam. Sed… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Cohors — (lat.), 1) ursprünglich irgend ein beliebiger Truppenkörper; 2) ein Legionstheil im römischen Heere, welcher aus je einem Manipulus Hastaten, Principen u. Triariern bestand u. in der alten Zeit der Republik nur eine Bedeutung im Zug od. Lager… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Cohort (military unit) — This article is part of the series on: Military of ancient Rome (portal) 753 BC – AD 476 Structural history Roman army (unit types and ranks …   Wikipedia

  • Gouverneur (Rome) — Gouverneur romain Monarchie romaine 753 – 509 av. J. C. République romaine 509 – 27 av. J. C. Empire romain 27 av. J. C. – 476 Empire byzantin 395 – 1453 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Gouverneur Romain — Monarchie romaine 753 – 509 av. J. C. République romaine 509 – 27 av. J. C. Empire romain 27 av. J. C. – 476 Empire byzantin 395 – 1453 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Gouverneur romain — Monarchie romaine 753 – 509 av. J. C. République romaine 509 – 27 av. J. C. Empire romain 27 av. J. C. – 476 Empire byzantin …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Kohorte — Die Kohorte (lateinisch: cohors = umfriedeter Raum) war im Römischen Reich eine militärische Einheit, insbesondere eine Untereinheit der römischen Legion. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Römische Republik 2 Römische Kaiserzeit 3 Literatur …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Kohorten — Die Kohorte (lateinisch: cohors = umfriedeter Raum) war im Römischen Reich eine militärische Einheit, insbesondere eine Untereinheit der römischen Legion. Römische Republik Kohorten erscheinen in der Frühzeit der römischen Republik als… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Cohorte — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Sur les autres projets Wikimedia : « Cohorte », sur le Wiktionnaire (dictionnaire universel) Cohorte, provenant du latin Cohors… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Garde Prétorienne — Monarchie romaine 753 – 509 av. J. C. République romaine 509 – 27 av. J. C. Empire romain 27 av. J. C. – 476 Empire byzantin 395 – 1453 …   Wikipédia en Français


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