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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(cohors), a military term used by the Romans to denote a company generally composed of 600 foot soldiers; a legion consisted of ten cohorts, every cohort being composed of three maniples, and every maniple of 200 men; a legion, consequently, contained in all 6000 men. Others allow but 500 men to a cohort, which would make 5000 in a legion. It is probable that cohorts among the Romans, as companies among the moderns, often varied as to their number. (See ARMY). Besides the regular legionary cohorts, there were certain others separate and distinct from any legion, as the Cohortes Urbanoe and Praetorioe. Such appears to have been the "Italian band" mentioned in Acts 10:1, which was in attendance on the Roman governor, who at that time was residing at Caesarea. Of the same description also was the "Augustan band" or cohort (Acts 27:1), which most probably derived its name from Sebaste, the capital of Samaria. The commanding officer of an ordinary cohort was called Tribunus Cohortis if it was composed of Roman citizens, or Prefectus Cohortis if composed of auxiliary troops. (See BAND).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Cohort'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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