Arms, armour and siege-craft of the Graeco-Roman world between 2000 BC and 200 AD: the use and translation of terminology
Bezuidenhout, Wynand Mauritz
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The purpose and aim of this study is to identify translations of Greek and Latin words for weapons, armour, siege engines and naval warfare from the Graeco-Roman world between the the years 2000 BC and 200 AD and to determine whether or not these translations do justice to their meaning. In cases where existing translations are not adequate, new translations are developed. The methodology applied both for determining the accuracy of existing translations and searching for new translations is to compare the semantics, etymology and context of words with their archaeological, historical and technological background. The study will also illustrate how these disciplines can be mutually beneficial to each other. Questions such as “what did these arms/war machines look like?”, “for what function was it designed?”, “what context and clues did ancient writers provide?” and “what clues do the origins of the words that represent these weapons, armour and war machines provide?” are raised. These questions give rise to an equally important question: “How can the appearance and/or function of specific arms, armour or war machines be put into words that can still be read smoothly in translated literature and texts?”. This study attempts to answer these questions as best it can and to indicate where further study is necessary to answer the unanswered questions.