|This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2008)|
|Naval officer ranks|
Admiral of the fleet • Fleet admiral • Grand admiral
The rank is generally thought to have originated in Sicily from a conflation of Arabic: أمير البحر, amīr al-baḥr, "commander of the sea", with Latin admirabilis ("admirable") or admiratus ("admired"), although alternative etymologies derive the word directly from Latin, or from the Turkish military and naval rank miralay.
In the Commonwealth and USA, a "full" admiral is equivalent to a "full" general in the army, and is above vice admiral and below admiral of the fleet (or fleet admiral). In NATO, admirals have a rank code of OF-9.
The word "admiral" in Middle English is believed to from the French word amiral, although the inclusion of a "d" from classical Latin shows that English-speakers were conscious of a similar Latin word. The first written record of the French word is from 1249. The French amiral is generally believed to derive from Medieval Latin. It also resembles the Ottoman title miralay, especially its Arabic version amīralay (أمير آلاي).
The original Sicilian term was ammiratus, but the terms in Italian (ammiraglio), French (amiral) and English (admiral) all include an "l" ending, suggesting a switch from the Latin title admiratus to the similar Latin title admirabilis, and/or a conflation with an Arabic title beginning amīr-al-..., before the oldest French recorded use of amiral of 1249.
The oldest known use of the title, or at least a similar title, was in Sicily during the reign of the Norman ruler Roger II (1095–1154). Roger II employed a Greek Christian called George of Antioch as his naval commander. He had previously had served as a naval commander for North African Muslim rulers. Roger gave George the title "ammiratus ammiratorum". "Ammiratus ammiratorum" (in classical Latin admiratus admiratorum) means "the [most] admired of the admired". The change from "adm-" to "amm-" is standard in the evolution of Classical Latin to modern Italian, as seen in Italian words such as ammirare ("admire"), amministrare ("administer"), and ammettere ("admit").
Many sources assert a link between ammiratus ammiratorum and Arabic. Some sources assert a link it to a hypothetical Arabic title amīr al-baḥr (Arabic: أمير البحر, English: "commander of the sea" or "prince of the sea") while some sources claim "ammiratus ammiratorum" is a medieval vulgar Latin version of the Abbasid title amir al-umara (i.e. "emir of emirs"). Sources that derive admiral from Arabic still see the "d" in the word as derived from a conflation with Latin, either admirabilis ("admirable") or admiratus ("admired").
The Sicilians use was followed by the Genoese. The Spanish and Portuguese used the word almirante. As the word was used by people speaking Latin or Latin-based languages it gained the "d" and endured a series of different endings and spellings leading to the English spelling "admyrall" in the 14th century and to "admiral" by the 16th century.
The word "admiral" has today come to be almost exclusively associated with the highest naval rank in most of the world's navies, equivalent to the army rank of (full) general. However, this wasn't always the case; for example, in some European countries prior to the end of World War II, admiral was the third highest naval rank after general admiral and grand admiral.
The rank of admiral has also been subdivided into various grades, several of which are historically extinct while others remain in use in most present day navies. The Royal Navy used colours (red, white, and blue, in descending order) to indicate seniority of its admirals until 1864; for example, Horatio Nelson's highest rank was vice admiral of the white. The generic term for these naval equivalents of army generals is flag officer. Some navies have also used army-type titles for them, such as the Cromwellian "general at sea".
Admiral insignia by country
The rank insignia for an admiral often involves four stars and/or 3 stripes/rings over a broad stripe/ring, but as one can see below, there are many cases where the insignia do not involve four stars.
- Arlmirante armada chile.jpeg
- Almirante EC.jpg
- Indian Admiral.jpg
- Pdu laksamanatni komando.png
- Almirante hombrera SEMAR.png
- POL PMW pagon1 admirał.svg
Romanian Naval Forces
Romanian Naval Forces
- Russian Imperial Navy OF9 Admiral.png
Imperial Russian Navy
- Rus Navy FADM shoulder2.png
Royal Saudi Navy
- Almirante (Armada Española).png
- Thai navy O9.png
Royal Thai Navy
- Ukraine Admiral shoulderboard.svg
- Vietnam People's Navy Admiral.jpg
Vietnam People's Navy
Imperial Iranian Navy
- Admiral Pakistan Navy Insignia.JPG
- See also
Admiral of Castile was a post with a long and important history in Spain.
- Comparative military ranks
- Laksamana, native title for naval leaders in Indonesia and Malaysia
- Ranks and insignia of officers of NATO Navies
- Nebraska admiral
- "Online Etymology Dictionary". etymonline.com. Retrieved 4 May 2015.
- "Admiral - Definition of admiral by Merriam-Webster". m-w.com. Retrieved 4 May 2015.
- Abulafia (2011)
- Abulafia, David (2011) The Great Sea: A Human History of the Mediterranean. (London: Allen Lane). ISBN 978-0-7139-9934-1
Lua error in Module:Authority_control at line 346: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).