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sacrāmentum


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The oath of allegiance, sworn by a Roman recruit; the most strictly observed of all Roman oaths, acc. to Dionysius of Halicarnassus' Roman Antiquities. Its content stressed obedience to the consuls or commanding officers and good discipline; in the mid‐2nd cent. bc the military tribunes administered it. After the reforms of Marius soldiers swore the oath to their general, and it took on a personal hue, thus encouraging the personal armies of the late republic. From Augustus loyalty was sworn to the emperor, before the standards (see signa militaria); the oath was renewed annually on New Year's Day or the anniversary of the emperor's accession. In the Christian empire soldiers swore much the same oath but by God, Christ, and the Holy Ghost. See oaths.

Subjects: Classical Studies.


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