Early in A.D.363 he addressed a letter to the Armenian monarch, requiring him to levy a considerable force, and hold himself in readiness to execute such orders as he would receive within a short time.

History of the Sasanian Empire: The Annals of the New Persian Empire, George Rawlinson, pub. e-artnow 2018

What does "such orders as" mean here?

  • 1
    Welcome to ELU. What did your research tell you? For instance, see sense 2 in Lexico: "to execute such orders as he would receive" — "carry out any orders that he would receive".
    – Andrew Leach
    May 17, 2020 at 15:26
  • The Lexico definition gives the sense of 'such as' = 'of the type about to be mentioned'. But this is not the meaning here; the sense must be 'such Xs as' = 'all the Xs that'. May 17, 2020 at 15:34
  • "such" is kind of like a adjective pronoun here if that makes sense.
    – shawnt00
    Mar 8, 2023 at 23:04

1 Answer 1


It's not too easy to find this sense of 'such N/s as [there are/were // he would receive // might occur ...]

Collins gives:

  • ... 5. such as ...

    c. of the (usually small) amount, etc[, that there is / was ...]:

  • The food, such as there was, was excellent.

So 'to execute such orders as he would receive' means simply 'to execute whatever orders he received / would receive'. This particular example, unlike that provided by Collins, is a formal usage, probably only met with in legal circles nowadays.

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