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Title: Quirites  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Cures, Titus Tatius, Quirinus, Ancient Roman society, Battle of the Lacus Curtius
Collection: 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica Articles with No Significant Updates, Ancient Roman Society
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Quirites was the earliest name of the citizens of Ancient Rome. The singular is quiris (meaning "spear"). Sources derive the term from Cures, the capital of the Sabines, who were assimilated by the Romans early on in their traditional ethnogenesis.

Combined in the phrase populus Romanus quirites (or quiritium) it denoted the individual citizen as contrasted with the community. Hence ius quiritium in Roman law is full Roman citizenship. Subsequently the term lost the military associations due to the original conception of the people as a body of warriors, and was applied (sometimes in a deprecatory sense, cf. Tac. Ann. ~. 42) to the Romans in domestic affairs, Romani being reserved for foreign affairs.[1]

In identifying this name as the possible source of the word cry, the Oxford English Dictionary cites Varro.[2]

See also


  1. ^ Chisholm 1911.
  2. ^ "cry".  


  • "cry".  
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