1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Quirites

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QUIRITES, (literally "spearmen"; see QUIRINUS), the earliest name of the burgesses of Rome. 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. i. 42) to the Romans in domestic affairs, Romani being reserved for foreign affairs. (For the distinction between Quiritary and praetorian ownership, see ROMAN LAW.)