After the Gallic Wars, there existed a commanders order to plunder the cities of the vanquished. What was that Latin command?

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    As this is a question about a specific historic military order (albeit one that I doubt really existed), not about the Latin language, it was perfectly well suited for History SE and should be moved back. We can here discuss what verbs one might use for "plunder", but that is clearly not what the question was about. Aug 18, 2020 at 9:06
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    @SebastianKoppehel: Either my comment above is trivially correct - making the question unsuitable for history - or it isn't and the Latin required is more complex than history cares to deal with,again making it unsuitable for History. Aug 18, 2020 at 11:36
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    @PieterGeerkens Why would you even attempt to answer the question without finding out first whether the supposed order really existed, who gave it and what exactly was ordered (which are all matters of history)? If someone asked what Brezhnev's order for the invasion of Afghanistan was, in the original Russian, would you attempt a one-word answer from a Russian dictionary and move the question to Russian SE "if the Russian required is more complex"? Aug 18, 2020 at 13:33
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    @PieterGeerkens and Sebastian: This is not a translation question at all. If it was, it would be "how should I phrase this order in Latin?" instead of "what was the order given in Latin?" as it is now. // There is no tool for accepting a migrated post; it just appears on the target site and the local mods don't even get notified. If it's closed on the new site, it automatically returns to the original site. // I think this is essentially a passage request (and that tag would probably fit), and I think it fits the site. I think it needs some more explanation to be easier to answer, though.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Aug 18, 2020 at 15:59
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    @R.Frank: Please create an account on this site too so that you can edit your post and communicate otherwise and get notified when you get an answer. When a question is migrated, a new account is not created automatically. To help get an answer, can you tell where you heard about this order and give all any details that you might have? That will make locating it easier.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Aug 19, 2020 at 13:17

1 Answer 1


ferre et agere is used to mean: to carry off (whatever you can take)

depopulari means directly to "plunder" as does despoliare, diripere, expilare, expugnare, exspoliare as well as a few other words. So using the imperative of any of these would work fine. Though I'd imagine they'd never have the soldiers lined up in formation after battle and say "Ok, now go plunder!"

  • I think OP is looking for a quote but has not yet provided an author Oct 2, 2020 at 14:26
  • Thank you all for your gracious time you have given this subject. I have attempted to find the command in Latin sources but my ignorance obstructs me. The Roman army after the Gallic Wars brought the Germanic tribes into the military. The discipline required was far greater than before. This is the time for disobedience a "centuria" was decimated, that is one tenth was put to death. Discipline was tantamount. To keep the "new" soldiers content they were authorized to plunder to supplement their meager wages BUT only on command.
    – R. Frank
    Feb 15, 2021 at 1:11

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