A Short Guide To Ranks and Titles

A Short Guide To Ranks and Titles
In The Ancient!John 'verse

So, I throw a lot of Latin around in the Ancient!John 'verse, calling it Alteran and hoping you'll remember what it means for later fics. But I'm tired [read: I got off work at 3:30am, slept 'til noon, and am not awake enough yet to write real fic] and figured I might as well help you out.

So, at the top of the food chain on Atlantis is the praefectus or praefecta - masuline and feminine respectively. In Ancient Rome, this meant you were basically a military commander, or Prefect, in charge of an administrative area, or prefecture, of varying size or stature. Here it means colonial governor. Ie, for the Atlantis Expedition, this is Elizabeth Weir.

Below the praefecta, you have the civilian and military heads.

I'll leave most the civilian stuff for another post, but just know now that the head of the civilian contingent for the Lanteans was, traditionally, also the head of their university and called a rector. As the Expedition has no university, this defults to the head of the science department, ie, Rodney. Before the Exodus, this post was held by Ianus Ishachidus Ianitos Rector (Janus), ie, John's father. From approximately 60 - 88 AL, it was held by Janus' paternal uncle, Elernus Ival Asuras Rector.

Also directly below the praefecta, on the same level with the rector, is the head of the Lantean Gaurd, called a praetor. In Ancient Roman times, this meant military commander as well, and roughly is equivelent to a 3 or 4 star General. Before the Exodus, the last one was Gulcherius Col Praetor. While this is the post that John now holds, being head of the Expedition's military contingent, he chooses not to adopt this title, for a variety of reasons that won't be gotten into now.

Below the praetor are the legati (plural). A legatus or legata was a general officer in Ancient Rome and is one here as well, roughly equivolent to a lieutenant colonel (O-5) or colonel (O-6), holding much the same responsibilites as those of similiar rank do in modern armies. Amongst those of John's family who were legati at the time of their deaths/Ascensions were: his mother, Alianora Cado Trebal Legata; his mother's paternal grandfather, John's namesake, Iohannes Alder Legatus; and John's paternal grandmother, Beatrix Aona Nebriae Tribuna.

A special kind of legatus is the navarchus or navarcha. These are ship's captains, slightly more equivolent to a Naval commander or captain than an army/air force/marine colonel, but of the same rank. Additonally, as the Lantean army and navy were fully intergrated, there is no difference between a normal legatus and a navarchus, except for the fact the later captains a linter. Examples from John's family tree (at the time of their deaths/Ascensions) include: his father's parallel first cousin, Danielia Ival Helia Navarcha; and his mother's paternal uncle, Antonious Alder Navarchus.

Below the legati are the tribuni. A tribunus or tribuna holds a rank equivolent to a major (O-4) or lieutenant colonel (O-5) and do much the same as those in modern armies. This is the rank John held at the time of the Exodus and continues to consider himself, though his style of pastor takes presidence over his military rank and therefore is the one he uses in introductions. Besides John, another member of his family who held this rank at the time of his Ascension was his maternal grandfather, Festus Alder Tribunus.

Below the tribuni are the vicarii. A vicarius or vicaria holds a rank equivolent to a first lieutenant (O-2) or captain (O-3), doing duties much the same as modern officers of the same rank.

Below the vicarii are the lictores, who are entry-level officers equivolent to a second lieutenant (O-1). The singular of this is lictor. John's mother's paternal grandmother, Ilaria Noval Pastor, held this rank when she flew Atlantis from Avalon to the Pegasus galaxy in the year 8343 BC.

There are other, specialized titles that someone of the Lantean Gaurd might hold or use instead of their rank. These inclue pastor and custodia, which take priority over all other ranks/titles/honors, as well as:
  • immunes, a medic
  • gubernator, a pilot or helmsman
  • heres, an executive officer
  • subadiuva, an adjunct

Use of these four above titles (and others I may come up with) is completely subjective, so one solider who is also a medic may style himself immuenes, while another might call himself vicarius for his rank.

Or, to simple it down further:


  • Rector
    • various civilian positions
  • Praetor
    • Legatus/Legata
      • Tribunus/Tribuna
        • Vicarius/Vicaria
          • Lictor
  • Current Mood: sleepy
  • Current Music: The Weepies "How You Surivied the War"
This is fascinating and really helpful :) Generally speaking, when I can't remember the precise definition of a latin term in the fic, I can usually figure out what/who they're getting at by context.

But this is helpful :D
thanks. and no problem. I try not to spell things out too much, but I also don't want to leave people hanging, so...

It's also probably a sign of my incroaching insanity, but what can you do?
You're welcome! You don't spell out things too much, I wouldn't worry :) You do well balancing between giving us the information in Info Posts and waiting to give explanations in the fic itself.