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In the military language of the Romans, a deserter. Those who deserted in time of peace were punished by reduction to the ranks (gradus deiectio), corporal chastisement, fines, or ignominious dismissal from the service (missio ignominiosa). Those who left the standards in time of war were usually punished with death. The transfugae, or deserters to the enemy, when taken, were sometimes deprived of their hands or feet (Liv.xxvi. 12), but generally were put to death. In imperial times they were exposed to wild beasts.

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    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 26, 12
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