This page created 18 January, 2003, and last modified: 26 October 2014 (various links added)
Eight units of clibanarii are apparently noted in the Notitia:
Equites clibanarii, under the Comes Africae
Equites sagittarii clibanarii, a comitatenses vexillation listed in the Magister Equitum's cavalry roster
Equites primi clibanarii Parthi, a comitatenses vexillation under the Magister Militum Praesentalis I
Equites Persae clibanarii, a palatine vexillation under the Magister Militum Praesentalis II
Equites secundi clibanarii Parthi, a comitatenses vexillation under the Magister Militum Praesentalis II
Equites quarti clibanarii Parthi, a comitatenses vexillation under the Magister Militum per Orientem
Cuneus equitum secundorum clibanariorum Palmirenorum, another comitatenses vexillation under the Magister Militum per Orientem
Schola scutariorum clibanariorum, under the eastern Magister Officiorum
Of these, the first two units are clearly one and the same. Accordingly, the number of units of clibanarii is one less that the number of units of catafractarii; like the catafractarii, the western empire has just a single example of the type. The word catafractarii, as with clibanarii, implies (especially?) heavily armoured cavalry. The distinction between catafractarii and clibanarii, if any, is still the subject of much debate. Mielczarek's hypothesis (Mariusz Mielczarek, 'Catafracti and Clibanarii', Oficyna Naukowa MS, Lodz, 1993) while interesting (a distinction based on tactical usage), has in my opinion too many holes to be seriously entertained. An inscription (AE 1984,825; photo here) from Klaudioplis, modern Bolu in Turkey, and dated to the late 3rd-early 4th century, gives a soldier who spent time in vexillatione eqq cat clib, i.e. "in a catafract clibanarii cavalry detachment", and the 4th century historian Ammianus mentions (15.10.8) the "catafracti equites, clibanarios dicitant" - i.e "the catafract cavalry, which they call clibanarii". Nikonorov (1998, available here) attempts to draw a distinction between "catafracti" on the one hand and "catafractarii/clibanarii" on the other.
It is interesting to note that, unlike the names of the catafractarii, which despite being mostly stationed in the east, have a western flavour, the names of the clibanarii are clearly eastern in origin: Persia, Palmyra, and above all, Parthia.
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