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The term has been used since the times of Ancient Greece, where the place of the rank in the military hierarchy differed from city-state to city-state. For example, Xenophon reported that a lochagos of Sparta served under a polemarch. Aristotle reported that his counterpart in Athens served under a taxiarchos. In military manuals, the file is often called a lochos and as such its leader is also called a lochagos. Thus, the lochagos can also be the promachos protostates.
The rank of lochagos could also represent an officer roughly equivalent to that a Roman army centurion. The term was however also used by later writers to describe the civilian leader of a curia. The rank was still in use in the military of the Byzantine Empire.
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