Quirites was the earliest name of the citizens of Ancient Rome. The singular is quiris (meaning "spear"). Sources derive the term from Cures, the capital of the Sabines, who were assimilated by the Romans early on in their traditional ethnogenesis.
Combined in the phrase populus Romanus quirites (or quiritium) it denoted the individual citizen as contrasted with the community. Hence ius quiritium in Roman law is full Roman citizenship. Subsequently the term lost the military associations due to the original conception of the people as a body of warriors, and was applied (sometimes in a deprecatory sense, cf. Tac. Ann. ~. 42) to the Romans in domestic affairs, Romani being reserved for foreign affairs.
- "cry". Oxford English Dictionary.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Quirites". Encyclopædia Britannica. 22 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 763.
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