C. L. Ward gunnora at vikinganswerlady.com
Tue Sep 7 17:54:56 PDT 2004

>Or you could make it a job title:
>something like "Optionis Ansteorrum"
>might work.

<Optio> is a masculine third declension noun:

Nom. sing. optio
Gen. sing. optionis
Dat. sing. optioni
Acc. sing. optionem
Abl. sing. optione

Nom. plur. optiones
Gen. plur. optionum
Dat. plur. optionibus
Acc. plur. optiones
Abl. plur. optionibus

<Ansteorra> declines like a first declension a-stem noun:

Nom. sing. Ansteorra
Gen. sing. Ansteorrae
Dat. sing. Ansteorrae
Acc. sing. Ansteorram
Abl. sing. Ansteorra

(There's only one Ansteorra, so we shouldn't need the plurals.)

"The Optios of Ansteorra" would be "Optiones Ansteorrae".  One "Optio of
Ansteorra" would be "Optio Ansteorrae".

Just doing some Googling, a new problem I have with "Optio" is that it
doesn't always indicate military rank - prison guards and hospital orderlies
were also optiones, and I think the term medievally was used to indicate
some position in monastic institutions.  I'll have to check more on medieval
usages of the term. I haven't anything useful here for medieval Latin, but I
will try and get by the UT library tomorrow and do some more looking.

"Varro, Isidorus, and others think the optiones were so called ab optando,
as being doubtless chosen as assistants to the decuriones and military
adjutants. They were also attached to various offices: and hence there were
artisan optiones, and those belonging to official or prison life..."

Hmm.  Check out the military glossary s.v. "optio" at

 'Chosen one'.
 A - NCO.
 B - private with special responsibilities.

Optio ad spem ordinis
 NCO selected for promotion to centurionate.

Optio candidatus
 NCO singled out for promotion to rank of centurio .

Optio carceris
 NCO in charge of the prison cells.

Optio centuriae
 'Chosen men of the company'. NCO serving as rearrank
 officer of a centuria, in the imperial army classed
 as a duplicarius , a NCO on double basic pay.

Optio centurionis
 'Chosen man of the centurion'. NCO serving as rearrank officer of a

Optio equitum
 NCO of the legionary or praetorian horsemen.

Optio fabricae
 Soldier or NCO in charge of a work shop.

Optio navaliorum
 NCO or specialist soldier in charge of boats.

Optio praetorii
 Specialist soldier or NCO attached to headquarters.

Optio principalis
 NCO. not all optiones were noncommissioned officers,
 called principales from the second century on.

Optio speculatorum
 NCO of elite cavalry bodyguards.

Optio spei
 NCO selected for promotion to centurionate.

Optio statorum
 NCO of military constabulary.

Optio tribuni
 Assistant to tribune.

Optio valetudinarii
 Orderly in charge of hospital.


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