BATTLE , ageneral engagement between the armed forces,
See also:naval or military, of enemies . The word is derived from the Fr. bataille, and this, like the Ital.
See also:battaglia, and Span. batalla, comes from the popular
See also:Lat. battalia for battualia .
See also:Cassiodorus Senator (48o–?575) says: Battualia quae vulgo Batalia dicuntur . . exercitationes militum vel gladiatorum significant (see Du Cange, Glossarium, s.v . Batalia) . The verb battuere, cognate with "
See also:beat," is a rare word, found in Pliny, used of beating in a
See also:mortar or of
See also:meat before cooking, Suetonius (Caligula, 54 . 32) uses it of
See also:fencing, battuebat pugnatoriis armis, i.e. not with blunted weapons or foils . Battalia or batalia was used for the array of troops for battle, and hence was applied to the
See also:body of troops so arranged, or to a division of an army, whence the use of the word "
See also:battalion " (q.v.) . A "pitched battle," loosely used as meaning almost a decisive engagement, is strictly, as the words imply, one that is fought on ground previously selected (" pitched " meaning arranged in a fixed
See also:order) and in accordance with the intentions of the commanders of both sides; the French
See also:equivalent is bataille arrangee, opposed to bataille manceuvree, which is prearranged but may come off on any ground . With " battle," in its usual meaning of a general engagement of hostile forces, are contrasted " skirmish,".' a fight between small bodies ("skirmishing" technically means fighting by troops in extended or irregular order), and "
See also:action," a more or less similar engagement between large bodies of troops .
JONATI BATTISHILL (N (1738-1801)
BATTLE ABBEY ROLL
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