In the Roman Republic, the word comitia was used for the various popular assemblies (e.g. comitia centuriata). I can't find any clear indication online as to its etymological roots.

I was wondering whether it could be derived from the word comes, meaning companion or comrade. Its derivation could be analogous to that of militia from miles. Does this make sense linguistically? And is there some possible evidence out there that could be used for or against this theory?

  • Welcome to the site and thanks for an excellent first question!
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    May 5 '20 at 10:20

Comitia is indeed derived from comes. Both come from the prefix com- "with, together" plus the root i- "go": a companion is someone who goes with you, and an assembly is a place where people go together.

Here's the entry from de Vaan's etymological dictionary of Latin:

enter image description here


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.