Armed priests

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File:Vukajlo Božović.jpg
Serbian Orthodox archpriest Vukajlo Božović was a guerilla leader in the Kosovo Vilayet.

Throughout history, armed priests or soldier priests have been recorded. Distinguished in the modern era from military chaplains who served the military or civilians as spiritual guidance (non-combatans), these priests took up arms and fought in conflicts (combatants). The term warrior priests is usually used for armed priests of the antiquity and middle ages, and of historical tribes.


In Greek mythology, the Curetes were identified as armed priests.[1] In Ancient Rome, the Salii who were armed priests carried sacred shields through the city during the March festivals.[2] Livy (59 BC–17 AD) mentions armati sacerdotes (armed priests).[3] The Aztecs had a vanguard of warrior priests who carried deity banners and made sacrifies on the battlefield.[4]


The "Pyrrhic" dance in Crete is said to have been the ritual dance of armed priests.[5]

Notable groups

Notable people

Eastern Orthodoxy

See also


  1. Jürgen Trabant (2004). Vico's New Science of Ancient Signs: A Study of Sematology. Psychology Press. pp. 64–. ISBN 978-0-415-30987-5.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Cyril Bailey (1932). Phases in the Religion of Ancient Rome. University of California Press. pp. 69–. GGKEY:RFYRJLHJJDQ.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Roger D. Woodard (28 January 2013). Myth, Ritual, and the Warrior in Roman and Indo-European Antiquity. Cambridge University Press. pp. 73–. ISBN 978-1-107-02240-9.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Manuel Aguilar-Moreno (2007). Handbook to Life in the Aztec World. Oxford University Press. pp. 90–. ISBN 978-0-19-533083-0.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. The Origin of Attic Comedy. CUP Archive. pp. 65–. GGKEY:QTK5DG53LT2.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Hitomi Tonomura (1 January 1992). Community and Commerce in Late Medieval Japan: Corporate Villages of Tokuchin-ho. Stanford University Press. pp. 216–. ISBN 978-0-8047-6614-2.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>