The Stone Eagle Glossary


Angel of Death

The high priestess of the Goth clans. They believed she could hear the will of the gods and/or could read the future using runes, patterns in nature (e.g. birds' flight patterns, or patterns in the clouds, etc.), or from her vision and dreams. She presided over religious ceremonies which often included sacrifices of objects, animals, or even human captives taken in battle. 

A non-citizen military unit which fought alongside the Roman legions in exchange for pay and eventual citizenship. However, by 355 AD, the terminology was fuzzy. Sakarig’s unit of Goths would probably not have been called auxiliary. More likely they would have been a combination of comitatenses—high grade interception forces—and limitanei—lower-grade border troops. I use auxiliary for simplicity and flow.

Auxiliary Unit

Military housing where the cadets, officers and trainers slept and stored their personal belongings. Usually, Roman soldiers cooked and ate their meals in/outside their barracks, too.


Camp Prefect

The second highest ranking officer in a legionary garrison. He reported to the commander of the legion—the legate. The camp prefect was in charge of basic legion organization, equipment and training. He could also command the legion in the absence of the legate.

A professional officer in the Roman Army; commander of a group of around 80 men (a century). Senior centurions could also take senior staff rolls and/or command multiple centuries.


A group of people connected by a common ancestor; an extended family unit. The Goths would have called this unit a kuni (e.g. Matthi would have belonged to the Amal kuni). But, this story has several unfamiliar words and I chose to use the more recognizable word for simplicity.


A collection of troops (soldiers) stationed in a particular location. It could be a fort, city, castle, ship and often just meant "home base". In Roman times, a garrison was usually designed in a rectangular shape (like a playing card), with four entrances and a standardized internal layout. See a map of a standard Legionnary garrison here.


An Ancient Germanic group often associated with the Goths; In Gothic, Gepid means “slow one.”


singular: Gepid

An Ancient (East) Germanic group of people thought to be of Scandinavian descent. Historians often break the Goths into two main groups: Visigoths and Ostrogoths, which is how Romans sources often referred to them. These groups controlled large areas to the north and west of the Black Sea before other tribes (e.g. Alani, Huns) pushed the Goths south to the Danube River. Many modern scholars use the names Greuthungi (associated with the Ostrogoths) and Tervingi (associated with the Visigoths) to reflect how the Goths would have referred to each other. Again, another gray area.


The fictional name (stolen from the German word for border) for the creek that marks the boundary of the laeti lands. Grenz Creek cuts through the north tip of Hel's Forest. The clans use the northern patch of forest to hunt and gather berries and wood, but do not venture south of the boundary.


Once semi-nomadic Goths that controlled large areas north of the Black Sea. Greuthungi might translate as “steppe dweller” or “people of the pebbly coast.” They may be the same people as the Ostrogoths. (Thank you Wikipedia and Peter Heather.)


Singular: Greuthung

Land given to “refugees” within the Roman Empire, often in exchange for a pledge of service to the Roman Army. On completion of their years of service, refugee soldiers could be granted citizenship for themselves and their children. Sources indicate the Romans allowed the inhabitants on laeti land to largely govern themselves.


The largest unit of the Roman army. The size of a legion evolved over time. At the time of  Julius Caesar, a legion had around 5000 men. In the 4th Century, the Legion of the V Macedonica (Oescus), might have contained no more than 1000 men.

Legions could also be split (cohorts splintered off and repositioned). Sources suggest the legion of the V Macedonia -- the legion based at Oescus -- was aiding in the conflicts in Gaul and Persia at the time of The Stone Eagle. In 355 AD, there might only have been a small presence (a couple hundred men) left guarding the border at Oescus, so the region would have relied heavily on comitatenses and limitanei. (see Auxiliary above).


A river (today Iskar) running through modern day Bulgaria, that feeds into the Danube (Goth: Danau; Latin: Danubius). The garrison and city were named for the river. Oescus garrison stood near where Gigen, Bulgaria stands today.


A spear/javelin. Around two meters (six and a half feet) long. It had a two foot iron shank at the tip.


plural: Pila

A goth prince. This prince usually came from a “royal” family, but a reiks was considered “a first among equals.” He held a leadership position by election.


Letters/symbols used in Ancient Germanic cultures. Early examples are not standardized. Spears and shields with runic marking have been dated from 200 AD in Elder Futhark, the oldest form of the runic alphabets.


A longer sword; the blade was around 30 inches. It replaced the gladius (the shorter sword often seen in gladiator movies) as the standard legionary weapon.


Tervingi might mean “forest people” (thank you Wikipedia). Another translations is “people of the earth.” They settled into a farming lifestyle in the plains northwest of the Black Sea. They might have been the same people as the Visigoths. (Thank you Peter Heather.)


singular: Terving

Roman baths; a place not only to bathe, but to socialize and conduct business.


The fictional name given by the Goth clans for the land beyond their laeti border. Specifically, the Verbode is the name for the part of Hel's Forest to the south of the Grenz.