Of immediate Latin origin, but ultimately a derivative of haireomai in the sense of its cognate heilisso; a coil (spira, "spire"), i.e. (figuratively) a mass of men (a Roman military cohort; also (by analogy) a squad of Levitical janitors) -- band.
see GREEK heilisso
see GREEK haireomai
a. Latinspira; anything rolled into a circle or ball, anything wound, rolled up, folded together.
b. a military cohort (Polybius 11, 23, 1 τρεῖς σπείρας. τοῦτο δέ καλεῖται τό σύνταγμα τῶν πεζῶν παρά Ῥωμαίοις κωρτις), i. e. the tenth part of a legion (i. e. about 600 men (i. e. legionaries), or if auxilialies either 500 or 1,000; cf. Marquardt, Römisch. Alterth. III. ii., p. 371. But surely τοῦτο τό σύνταγμα in the quotation comprehends the τρεῖς σπεῖρα; hence, Polybius here makes a σπεῖρα equal to a maniple, cf. 2, 3, 2; 6, 24, 5; cf. Zonaras, Lex., p. 1664, σπεῖρα σύνταγμα διακοσίων ἀνδρῶν. On the other hand, "the later Greek writings almost uniformly employ σπεῖρα as the representative of cohors" (Smith, Dict. of Antiq., edition 2, under the word exercitus, p. 500); and the rise of χιλίαρχος (which was the equivalent of tribunus, the commander of a cohort) in connection with it (John 18:12; Acts 21:31), together with the uniform rendering of the word by cohors in the Latin versions, warrants the margin cohort uniformly added in R. V. to the rendering band): Matthew 27:27; Mark 15:16; Acts 10:1; Acts 21:31; Acts 27:1, and often in Josephus; a maniple, or the thirtieth part of a legion, often so in Polybius ((see above)); any band, company, or detachment, of soldiers (2 Macc. 8:23; Judith 14:11): John 18:3, 12.