One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(in ancient Rome) a class of citizens who originally formed the cavalry of the Roman army and at a later period were a wealthy class of great political importance.
- ‘One such type was that of the equites, literally ‘horsemen’, so called because they entered the arena on horseback, although for the crucial stage of the combat they dismounted to fight on foot.’
- ‘These brokers included members of the familia or the amici Caesaris (‘the family and friends of the Emperor) such as the equites, senators and other people who stood in close relationships with the emperor.’’
- ‘Though Pompey was still an eques, Sulla grudgingly allowed him to triumph; and in 80, after the death of his wife Aemilia, Sulla's stepdaughter, he married Mucia Tertia, a close connection of the Metelli.’
- ‘He was born at Reate, in the Sabine hills, the son of a member of the equites.’
Latin, plural of eques ‘horseman’.
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