noun, plural ancilia /ænˈsɪliə, ɑŋˈkɪl-/Show Spelled[an-sil-ee-uh, ahng-kil-]Show IPA. Roman Religion.
a shield given by Mars to Numa Pompilius as the palladium of Rome.
any of 11 counterfeits of this shield, carried with it on ceremonial occasions.
Origin: 1590–1600; < Latinancīle, traditionally said to be equivalent to an- (variant of ambi-ambi- before c-) + -cīle (-cīd- combining form of caed(ere) to cut (cf. -cide) + *-sl- noun suffix + -e, earlier *-i, stem vowel for compounds), referring to the deep indentations in the waist of the shield