The Bird of Prey (Aquila) Few symbols are as firmly associated with Rome as the eagle. This fearsome hunting bird, perched atop the legionary standard with its wings extended, signified the length of the Roman Empire. The image was originally used by soldiers as a badge for armor. Today it is often used as a logo by companies dealing in insurance, banking, and travel.
The first recorded use of the term "Eagle" by the Romans was in 472 BC, when they invaded Greece. Because Greeks worshipped many different types of birds of prey, they probably didn't have a specific name for this animal. Instead, they called it an "eagle" after the shape of its body and because it had powerful talons capable of ripping open pigskins for food. In Latin, the word "aquila" means "eagle."
When the Romans conquered more land, they needed a way to identify their soldiers from the troops of other nations. So they created a flag that included an image representing the strength of each nation they defeated. The Greeks used to hide their flags during battle to protect them from being captured or destroyed by the enemy, but the Romans didn't know this so they made their flags visible during combat.
An aquila (Classical Latin: ['akIla], "eagle") was a popular emblem in ancient Rome, particularly as a Roman legion's standard. Each legion was armed with one eagle. The eagle held quasi-religious importance to the Roman soldier, extending beyond its role as a legion symbol. When an officer killed in action was found dead with an aquila attached to his body, it is assumed that he had taken it off an enemy soldier.
The origin of the term "aquila" is uncertain. It may come from the Greek oinos ("wine"), because the image usually shows an eagle drinking from a cup or beaker held by a human hand. However, some scholars believe it comes from the Greek word eikon, which means "image". In this case, the reference would be to the silver statue of Juno used by priests to make sacrifices during times of need.
The eagle was chosen as the symbol of the Roman army because it was believed to be a very loyal and protective bird. It would follow the commander who had captured it and fight for him against all other armies. The eagle also has great flying skills that made it suitable for use as a mode of transportation. Finally, the eagle's size made it useful for displaying in public places.
During Ancient Rome's rise to power, commanders often used captives taken in battle to help train their own soldiers. These prisoners included artists who could create images of gods and heroes for temples.
It usually represents the power and prestige of Rome itself.
The origin of this emblem dates back to the early days of the Roman Republic when two priests called Aquilinus invented it. They used an eagle as a model for their symbol because eagles were believed to be very powerful birds that could stay aloft for long periods of time.
In English, an aquila usually means "eagle's wing". However, this name comes from the classical Latin word aquilae, which means "eagles".
During the Imperial era, individuals or institutions using an aquila meant they sought to represent Rome. This representation could be through political power, religion, or even culture. Usage of the aquila increased during times of trouble, such as war or natural disasters. Thus, it can be said that the aquila is a symbol of authority and strength.
It is also worth mentioning that the term "eagle" has several other meanings besides the one mentioned above. For example, it can also mean a person who has great skills or talent.