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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional Law [MPECCoL]

Militias

Niccolò Ridi

Subject(s):
Military forces — Military service — Permanent military — Militias

Published under the direction of the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law.
General Editors: Rainer Grote, Frauke Lachenmann, Rüdiger Wolfrum.

1. The term ‘militia’ may be defined as ‘[a] military force that is raised from the civil population to supplement a regular army in an emergency’ (Oxford English Dictionary). The word, first recorded in the English language around the end of the 16th century, comes from the Latin term militia (‘military service’), which in turn descends from miles (‘soldier’). This dictionary description offers a solid starting point, reflecting a meaning assigned to the term in most contexts, though with the obligatory caveat that each and every one of its elements must be...
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