Dictionary of historical terms

Dictionary of historical terms

This section will be a dictionary / glossary, where we will place the links towards all articles containing definitions of basic terms of History, Arts and Humanities usually.

We will gradually expand it as we write the articles, so that everything is compiled in one place. It is noteworthy that we will not include biographies they will be in their corresponding category in the Homepage.

Note: by using the "ctrl + F" commands on Windows or "cmd + F" on Mac and typing the word in the search engine that will appear, you can find a certain word more quickly.

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Abdicate: Resign a monarch as head of state.

Absolutism: Political regime in which the power of the state is exercised exclusively by the King.

Abstentionism: Attitude of inhibiting oneself in politics.

Lead: Head or direct something or someone as a leader.

Events: Important events, used for great historical events.

Battleship: Large armored warship.

Acracia: Doctrine of the Acrats.

Acrat: Supporter of a society without government.

Acropolis: Highest and most fortified place in the Greek cities.

Aqueduct: Artificial canal to transport water through different levels of terrain.

Adamism: Doctrine and sect of certain heretics of the 2nd and 3rd centuries who practiced nudism and denied marriage.

Frenchified: During the Spanish War of Independence, the term named the Spaniards who collaborated with José Bonaparte.

Afrika Korps: German Army commanded by Marshal Rommel that acted in North Africa during World War II.

Afrikaner: Individual of Dutch or French origin who colonized South Africa in the 17th century, also called Boer.

Ager publicus: Denomination that in ancient Rome was applied to the territory owned by the state.

Agone: «Now" In latin. Expression used primarily to initiate a sacrifice.

Agonistic: Science of fighting.

Agora: Generally arcaded public square of the cities of ancient Greece. It had a religious, commercial and political character. The public meetings that were held here are also called that way.

Isolationism: Foreign policy doctrine contrary to intervention in international affairs.

Albala: Letter or royal certificate in which a grant was granted or something was ordered.

Album: Plastered wooden board on which the Romans wrote and published official provisions and news of public interest.

Alcabala: Tribute that was paid in sales and exchanges. Local in the twelfth century, Alfonso XI generalized its perception.

Warden: Vassal of the king who was temporarily in charge of guarding and defending a fortress.

Alcazaba: Fortress of Muslim Spain and other Islamic countries.

Alcazar: Medieval palace that had fortifications, but without having a strong military character.

Almogávar: Mercenary soldier who was used during the Catalan-Aragonese Reconquest to make rapid incursions into enemy territory.

Almohad: Follower of the Muslim religious and political movement that proclaimed the dogma of divine unity.

Almoravid: Individual belonging to the political-religious movement founded by Abd Allahb Yasin in the first half of the 11th century.

Allodium: Land free of all burden in the Middle Ages.

Amasia (Hypothetical Supercontinent): Theory developed by University of Cape Town geologist Chris Hartnady in 1992, in which Amasia is a possible supercontinent that will form over the North Pole in approximately 50 to 200 million years, through the merger of Asia and North America.

Amazon: Woman of a warrior race that lived in the Caucasus.

Anarcho-syndicalism: Anarchist doctrine and movement that attributes to the unions a fundamental role in the struggle for the emancipation of the working class and proclaims apoliticism, direct negotiation between workers and employers and the revolutionary general strike.

Anarchy: Utopian form of social organization that excludes the state and is maintained without coercion.

Anarchism: Political-social doctrine destroying the authority or subversive of the social order, which advocates the absolute freedom of the individual.

Anti-abolitionist: It is said of the ideas and movements that accept the political, economic or cultural domination of one people over another.

Anticlericalism: Ideological movement totally opposed to the Catholic Church and its existence.

Anti-communism: Doctrine and political practice contrary to communist ideology, parties or regimes.

Antidemocratic: Contrary to democracy.

Antimonarchical: Contrary to the monarchy.

Antisemitism: Doctrine or hostile attitude to the Jewish race, its culture and influence.

Apoliticism: Attitude of inhibition with respect to doctrines or the participation of citizens in political life.

Araucanian: Amerindian peoples that the Spanish conquerors found in Chile.

Argonauts: Greek mythological heroes under the command of Jason, who went to look for the Golden Fleece at Colchis in the ship Argos.

Aryan: Name that the German racist ideology gave to a supposed superior race, destined to rule the others.

Aristocracy: Form of government in which notable figures exercise power.

Armatolos: Christian civic militia constituted in Greece under Turkish rule.

Scryer: Priest who in ancient Rome made omens with the entrails of animals.

Arx Hasdrubalis: One of the main hills of ancient Qart Hadasht for the Carthaginians.

Ace: Currency of legal tender at the end of the 3rd century in the Mediterranean.

Besiege: Fence a place to prevent those who are in it from leaving or receiving help.

Attramentum: Name of black ink in Rome in the 1st century BC.

Atrian: highest ranking slave in a Roman domus.

Augur: Roman priest capable of performing visions.

Auschwitz: German name of the Polish capital Oswieçim. Famous for being the main center during the Nazi Holocaust.

Auspex: Family Augur in Ancient Rome.

Autarchy: Power to govern oneself.

Autocracy: Political regime in which a single individual holds power.

Self determination: Faculty of the inhabitants of a territory to freely decide their political future.


fool: Name of the horse of the Cid.

Bagaudes: Rebellious peasants of the Roman Empire.

Trivial: Member of the first Arab community that settled in the Iberian Peninsula in 711-716.

Barbarian: Individual of any of the tribes or peoples located outside of the Roman or Greek civilization.

Bardiot: Soldier of the Byzantine Empire in charge of guarding the emperor and his family.

Enough: Old Hispanic town that inhabited the current Granada and Almería.

Bastille: Old fortress of Paris begun in 1370. Its assault by the popular masses made it a symbol of the French Revolution.

Behetria: In the Castilian Middle Ages, a population that could choose who they wanted as a lord.

Belligerent: Nation that is at war.

BENELUX: Economic Union between Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, established in 1958 and in force since 1960.

Betica: Former Hispanic region turned into a Roman province that included part of present-day Andalusia.

Biarca: Officer who in the Roman militia was in charge of food and payments.

Bolshevism: Political current led by Lenin and developed within the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party.

Brahman: Member of the upper caste of India in charge of the priestly function.

Noise: Medal / amulet worn around the neck by the children of Roman nobles, whose function was to ward off evil spirits.

Papal Bull: Pontifical document issued by the Apostolic Chancellery or the Pope on religious, political, civil or military matters, according to the time.

Bund: General Union of Jewish Workers of Russia and Poland, founded in Vilna in 1897.

Bourgeoisie: Social class historically gestated with the creation of the boroughs or commercial transaction centers in the Middle Ages.


gentlemanIn Greece the knights constituted a noble or rich social class and in Rome they were wealthy citizens who ended up forming the class of the Romani equites, dominators of great commerce and banking.

Cacique: Indigenous chief.

Caliph: Title given to the supreme head of Islam.

Cantabrians: Ancient town of pre-Roman Spain that lived in Cantabria.

Cantonalism: Political system that aspires to divide the State into independent cantons.

Capitalism: characteristics and philosophy of capitalist system. Economic regime of production based on individual ownership of capital.

Capitulation: Agreement between two armed forces at war stipulating the surrender conditions of one of them.

Face face: American Indian who lived on the banks of the Paraná at the time of the Spanish conquest.

Carlism: Ideology and political regime advocated by the Carlists, followers of the infant Carlos María Isidoro, brother of Fernando VII who ignored the Salic law, leaving Isabel II, daughter of Fernando, as heir to the throne.

Carolingian: Of Charlemagne, his dynasty or his time.

Carpe Diem: Latin expression that means “enjoy the present”.

Cassis: Helmet crowned with a plume adorned with purple or black feathers.

Castilleria: Right that was paid to pass through the territory of a castle.

Castle: Fortified building of a chief, lord, king or nobleman.

Castro: Castle or Celtic fortification.

Catacombs: Underground gallery where ancient Christians buried their dead.

Catervaria: Roman gladiators who fought in groups.

Wilson's Fourteen Points: Wilson's 14 Points were a declaration of principles to achieve peace in the negotiations after the end of the First World War, outlined in a speech given by US President Woodrow Wilson.

Celtic: Indo-European language town that formerly spread throughout western and central Europe.

Celtiberian: Descendants of the Celts, who during the final stage of the Bronze Age settled on the Castilian plateau. Here you can meet the Celtiberian gods.

Chancery: Court of royal jurisdiction in Castilla.

Shiites: Supporters of sia (party) one of the three great branches of Islam.

Cimmerians: Ancient town of SE Europe.

Civilization: Set of ideas, arts and customs typical of a people or a race. Action of civilizing or civilizing, referring to the moment that man organized himself in cities, with a set of specific characteristics such as the economy, political organization and collective mentality.

Clergy: Class of clerics, its members being men belonging to the Church. They were differentiated into High Clergy (upper class, cardinals, bishops, etc.) and Low Clergy (lower class, made up of monks and priests, etc.).

Cognomen: Third element of a Roman name that indicated the family to which they belonged.

Suburb: Politically non-autonomous territorial unit, owned and administered by a State that integrates it into its empire.

Colonialism: Attitude and doctrine favorable to the policy of acquisition of territories through conquest and establishment.

Columbia (Supercontinent)Also known as Nuna or Hudsonia, it is the name of the fourth supercontinent of the Earth, formed approximately 2,500 (others say 1,800) to 1,300 million years ago, during the Paleoproterozoic.

Elections: In ancient Rome people's assembly. At present, meetings and electoral events.

Comitia centuriata: Military unit known as century, composed of 100 men during the imperial era.

Commonwealth: Set of sovereign States that were former British colonies and that once obtained their independence continued to maintain close political and economic relations with the United Kingdom.

Community: In the Middle Ages, a group of villas nestled around a city.

Communism: characteristics and philosophy.

Congress: Legislative assembly formed by the deputies to the Cortes.

Verona Congress: The Verona Congress is the last of the Restoration congresses and signified the end of Metternich's Europe, where it was clear that the absolutist model had its days numbered.

Congress of Vienna: In this Congress, Europe met to dictate the general lines of what would be the international politics of the 19th century. It also sought to ensure the different monarchical postulates that had ruled Europe during the last century, against the revolutionary ideas coming from theFrench Revolution. It would be the first congress of theRestoration.

‘European Concert’: During the Restoration, nations that had different interests to defend, apart from those exposed in the Congress of Vienna. These countries were: Austria, Russia, Prussia, Great Britain and France.

Constitution: Fundamental law of the organization of a State.

Koran: Holy Book of Muslims.

Buskin: Sandal with a large platform used in classical theater.

29 'CrackAlso called "Great Depression", it was one of the greatest economic crises in history, occurring after the First World War.

Creole: Son or descendant of Europeans born in one of the Spanish colonies of America.

Crusade: Each one of the military expeditions organized in the 12th to 15th centuries by the Christian kingdoms of the West, under the patronage of the Holy See, in order to expel the Muslims from the Holy Places.

Quadrireme: Military vessel with four rows of oars.

Cultarius: Person who was in charge of cutting the neck of an animal during a sacrifice in Ancient Rome.

Culture: Every creation of man as a result of social invention, transmitted and preserved through communication and language.

Cursus honorum: Name of the political career in Rome.


Democracy: Form of government in which public power is in the hands of the people.


Expansion: Extension action, expand. In History it is taken as conquering new horizons in order to enlarge its own territory.



War: fight, conflict, combat, mainly armed and referring to the breakdown of peace between powers or countries, pursuing a certain ideal.

Cold War: Term used in 1947 that refers to a time of international relations characterized by a state of constant tension.

World War: warlike confrontation between several countries on an international scale. So far two have been developed: Big war (World War I) and the WWII.


To you: First line of the Roman legions during the Second Punic War.

Hilarotragedy: Mix of comedy and tragedy created by Rintón.

Hypogeum: Underground or rock-cut construction with vaulted ceilings, used as a burial site by some ancient civilizations

History: definition of History and part of his past.

Hymenaneus: Roman god of weddings.


In extremis: Expression that means "at the last moment."

Insulae: Apartment building.

Impediment: Military belongings that the Roman legionaries carried with them.

Imperium: Originally in Rome, it was the embodiment of the projection of the power of Jupiter in the consuls.

Impluvium: Small pool or pond that was located in the center of the atriums.

Ipso facto: In Latin it means «immediately«.


Jacobins: French political organization of moderate orientation, but radicalized by Robespierre.

Khalifa: Person with greater authority (delegated by the Sultan), in the old Spanish protectorate of Morocco.

Jones: Indo-European people who entered Greece in the second millennium BC.

JONS: Acronym for «Unionist National Offensive Boards«. Created in 1931 by Ramiro Ledesma and Onésimo Redondo, it was a political group with fascist ideology that finally merged with the Primo de Rivera phalanx.

Juntism: They appear in the War of Independence of the XIX century as a group of citizens who claimed national sovereignty.


Kalendae: First day of each month in the Roman Empire, which corresponded to the new moon.

Kenorland: It is the third supercontinent of the Earth (afterVaalbara YUr) and the first of which there is evidence, formed 2,700 million years ago.

Koljos: This is how kollektivnoye joziástvo is abbreviated: that was the collective farm in the USSR.

Kombed: In the USSR, that's what the committee of poor peasants was called.

Kraikom: It was the territorial committee of the CPSU.

Kraussism: Ethical and thinker movement founded by Krauss, the German philosopher, and characterized by faith in reason, education, knowledge and science.


Economic liberalism: definition and history of Liberalism.

Firewood: Owner of a brothel in Rome. Meretriz or manager of it.

Leon: Pimp from a brothel in Ancient Rome.


Marxism: definition and characteristics. Definition of dialectical materialism and historical materialism.

Monarchy: Form of government in which power resides in the monarch (Prince or King).


Narthex: Portico or vestibule that in the old Christian basilicas was reserved for catechumens and certain penitents.

New Deal: set of measures taken by F.D. Roosevelt to solve the economic situation of the United States after the Crisis of 29 '.

Novopangea (Supercontinent): Hypothetical supercontinent devised by Roy Livermore in the late 1990s, which will emerge after the closure of the Pacific Ocean, which will cause the fusion of Eurasia with North America. In addition, Australia would dock with East Asia and Antarctica would be pushed north, while Africa would fully merge with southern Europe.



Obkom: It was the regional committee of the CPSU.

Oblast: In Russian it means region.

Oikumene: The known world, in the time of Alexander, although it also used to be used as a reference to non-barbarian territories.

Olympus: Abode of the Greek gods.

Umayyad: Individual of an ancient Arab lineage.

Oretano: Ancient Hispanic town that lived in Alto Guadiana, Alto Segura and the neighboring region and the adjacent portion of the Guadalquivir basin

Ostracism: Term used in Athens for the exile of 10 years, although the citizen did not lose his rights.

Osmanli: Ottoman Turkish. Turkish tribe of the Kayi.

Ostrogoth: Germanic town that was located between the Dniester and the Don.


Pangea: The supercontinent Pangea existed between the end of the Paleozoic era and the beginning of the Mesozoic era and included most of the landmass on the planet. It was formed approximately 335 million years ago and began to separate about 175 million years ago, disintegrating until reaching the current situation of the continents.

Pangea Ultima (or Pangea Proxima): Pangea Ultima, or also called Pangea Proxima, Pangea II or Neopangea, is a possible configuration of a future supercontinent raised by Christopher Scotese that could occur within the next 250 million years, being the successor of Pangea.

Pannotia (Supercontinent): The supercontinent Pannotia probably existed between 650 and 500 million years ago, which is also known as the Vendiano Supercontinent or Great Gondwana, forming after the breakup of the supercontinent Rodinia, its predecessor.

Pentarchy: Government together of five people.
Christianity: Term in the history of Christianity that refers to the idea of ​​universal authority over Christianity by the bishops of five episcopal sees of the Roman Empire, called patriarchs and who had ecclesiastical powers superior to those of the metropolitan bishops, these being : The Pope and the Patriarchs of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem.
Restoration (European Concert): During the Restoration, nations that had different interests to defend, apart from those exposed in the Congress of Vienna. These countries were: Austria, Russia, Prussia, Great Britain and France.

Marshall plan: The European Recovery Program (ERP), popularly known as the Marshall Plan was an economic recovery program organized by the United States for the reconstruction of European countries after World War II.

Cops: term that was given to cities in ancient Greece.

Processes: development or unfolding of something, in history it is taken as stages through which a certain event has passed, for example the French Revolution, where the storming of the Bastille is just one point among everything that happened. It differs from events since they refer to an isolated event.


Qart Qadash: Name of the Carthaginian capital in Hispania, known as Cartago Nova by the Romans (current Cartagena, in Murcia).

Quechua: Tribe located west of Cuzco, in Peru.

Quinquerreme: Roman military ship with five rows of oars.

Quo Vadis: Latin expression that means «where are you going?«.


Restoration: Historical moment that begins in 1815 with the Congress of Vienna and lasts until 1830, the year in which a series of explosions of revolutionary ideas take place throughout Europe. The central idea of ​​this period is to restore the society and the norms that existed before 1789: absolutism.

Revolution: Fundamental change in an order of things, mainly in the government of a nation.

Rodinia (Supercontinent): Rodinia, from the Russian "rodít" which means "to engender" or "give birth", or from "ródina" (Homeland), is a Neoproterozoic supercontinent that was formed between 1.3 - and 900 million years ago, gathering a large part of the earth emerged from the planet by accretion and collision of fragments of the former supercontinent, Columbia.


Sahib: Treatment given to Europeans in the colonial era of India.

Manor: Mode of possession of land and political power in the Old Regime, of a hereditary nature, being of two very well defined types: territorial and jurisdictional.

Socialism: Ideology contrary to capitalism that aims to emancipate the working class.

Society of nations: It is the embryo of what now known as un. It was created in 1919 after the First War with the aim of uniting all nations and guaranteeing the independence and integrity of all of them.

Sovereignty: Political concept that indicates the power of the free state and not subject to any other.

Socialism: Political doctrine that attributes to the State the power to order civil, economic and political life. Ideology that designates those theories and political actions that defend in principle a political and economic system based on equal ownership or possession of production systems.

Estate Society: It is structured around closed and rigid estates, being particular in the agrarian-based economy and the Old Regime.

Secret Societies: Organizations that oblige their members to hide certain activities. They emerge with great force during the heyday of liberalism.

Suffrage: Synonym of vote.

Supercontinents: A supercontinent is an assembly of most or all of the continental blocks of the Earth, which become a single large land mass. The best known is Pangea, but it has not been the only one, we have had at least five clearly identified, and two others, the first, which are hypothetical.



Locate your Gaius, ego Gaia: It means "Where you Gayo, I Gaya«, And was used during Roman weddings.

Ultimatum: Diplomatic document by which one State threatens another with serious measures in case of not satisfying certain demands.

Unionism: Doctrine that favors and defends the union of parties or nations.

Ur (Supercontinent): Ur was the hypothetical second supercontinent of the Earth, formed during the Archaic Aeon 3.1 billion years ago, according to some hypotheses.


Vaalbara: It is the name of the first supercontinent that existed (hypothetically, although its existence is practically confirmed) on our planet. Earth formed 4.567 million years ago, and it is estimated that this supercontinent was born between 3.8 - 3.6 billion years ago.

Gaps: Ancient Hispanic town of Celtiberian origin, whose main populations were Cuenca, Palencia, Salamanca, Simancas and Zamora.

Vandal: Germanic people from Scandinavia.

Vassal: During feudalism, man was linked to another by ties of dependence and fidelity.

Vascones: Old Hispanic town that occupied the Basque Country, whose main cities were Alfaro, Calahorra, Jaca and Pamplona.

Velites: Light infantry to support the regular forces of a Roman legion. They were the first to enter combat.

Venus: Roman goddess of grace and fertility. Simile of Aphrodite in Greek mythology.

Vestal: Priestess of the college of the Vestals dedicated to the cult of the Goddess Vesta.

Vicalvarada: Action that started the Spanish revolution of 1854.

Vikings: Scandinavian people.

Viceroy: Ruler in the name of the King and with the same authority.

Visigoth: Individual of a Germanic people established between the Dnieper and the Danube during the 4th century.

Vizier: Minister of a Muslim sovereign.

Visnu: Supreme God of Hinduism together with Siva.




Yama: According to the Hindu Rig-Veda, the first man.

Yanacona: Designation that was applied to the servants of the Inca court.

Yuródivi: (crazy for Christ) is a central figure in Russian spiritual and literary life.


Zapotecs: Amerindian people that lived in the eastern part of Oaxaca, in Mexico.

Czar: Title given to the Emperor of Russia and the sovereign of Bulgaria.

Zemstvo: Name given to the bodies of administrative autonomy established in a large number of Russian provinces.

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