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Knights Templar on horseback. This drawing was made in the 13th century.

Milites is the Latin word for "soldiers". In Ancient Rome the milites were the foot soldiers of the Roman army. There were many different types and ranks of milites in the Roman army [1][2]

In the early Middle Ages the word "milites" was used to describe free men using weapons. Later, the term applied to soldiers on horseback, then to the social class of knights, and finally to the nobility in general. The Knights Templar were known as "Milites Templi".[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. Berger, Adolf (1968). Encyclopedic Dictionary of Roman Law. American Philosophical Society. p. 582. ISBN 978-0-87169-432-4.
  2. James, Charles (1810). A New and Enlarged Military Dictionary: In French and English; in which are Explained the Principal Terms.. of All the Sciences that are.. Necessary for an Officer and Engineer. T. Egerton.
  3. Kostick, Conor (2008). "Milites". The Social Structure of the First Crusade. BRILL. pp. 159-186. ISBN 978-90-04-16665-3. JSTOR 10.1163/j.ctt1w8h1gw.10.