Late Roman Shield Patterns

Dux Raetiae primae et secundae

This page created 15 January, 2003, and last modified: 30 December 2014 (Maier reference numbers added)


Frontpiece showing towns
Above: Frontpiece from the Bodleian manuscript (O).
The stations depicted are: Augustanis, Phebianis,
Submuntorio, Vallato, Ripa prima, Cambidano,
Guritia, Foetibus, Teriolis, Quintanis.
The following units, and tribunes and prefects along with their units, are listed as being under the command of the Duke of first and second Raetiae (i.e. Switzerland; the numbers in front of the names refer to Ingo Maier's numbering scheme):

147.2 Equites stablesiani seniores, at Augustanis
147.3 Equites stablesiani iuniores, at Ponte Aoni, near Febiens
147.4 Equites stablesiani iuniores, at Submuntorio
147.5 Praefectus legionis tertiae Italicae parti superioris, at Castra Regina, near Vallato
147.6 Praefectus legionis tertiae Italicae parti superioris deputatae ripae primae, at Submuntorio
147.7 Praefectus legionis tertiae Italicae proparte media praetendentis, from Vimania Cassiliacum to Cambidano
147.8 Praefectus militum Ursariensium, at Guntiae
147.9 Praefectus legionis tertiae Italicae transvectioni specierum deputatae, at Foetibus
147.10 Praefectus legionis tertiae Italicae transvectioni specierum deputatae, at Teriolis
147.11 Praefectus alae primae Flaviae Raetorum, at Quintanis
147.12 Tribunus cohortis novae Batavorum, at Batavis
147.13 Tribunus cohortis tertiae Brittorum, at Abusina
147.14 Praefectus alae secundae Valeriae singularis, at Vallatio
147.15 Tribunus cohortis sextae Valeriae Raetorum, at Venaxamodorum
147.16 Tribunus cohortis primae Herculeae Raetorum, at Parraduno
147.17 Tribunus cohortis quintae Valeriae Frygum, at Pinianis
147.18 Tribunus cohortis tertiae Herculeae Pannoniorum, at Caelio
147.19 Tribunus gentis per Raetias deputatae, at Teriolis
147.20 Praefectus numeri barbaricariorum, at Cofluentibus or Brecantia
147.21 Praefectus alae secundae Valeriae Sequanorum, at Vimania
147.22 Tribunus cohortis Herculeae Pannoniorum, at Arbore

Disclaimer: Remember, a lot of what comes below is speculation. Hopefully informed speculation, but speculation nonetheless. Comments welcome! (lukeuedasarson "at"

In addition to the five detachments of Legio III Italica noted above under the Dux, a further attachment is recorded (98/9.111) in the Magister Peditum's infantry roster, and assigned (102/5.104) to the Comes Illyricum. Its shield pattern is as given below:


That under O comes from the Bodleian manuscript in Oxford, that under P from the Paris manuscript, that under M from the first portion of the Munich manuscript, that under W from the second portion of the Munich manuscript, and that under B from the Froben edition. This is unlikely to have been the pattern born by the detachments of Legio III Italica still in Raetia, however, as units transferred to a field army from a garrison station seem to have been given new shield patterns. The legion was a creation of Marcus Aurelius in the mid-2nd century, along with it sister unit, Legio II Italica, which in the Notitia is based in neighbouring Noricum.

The men under the Praefectus militum Ursariensium might possibly be the same unit as the Ursarienses of the Magister Equitum in his Gallic command, although a detachment with the same name under the Dux tractus Armoricani et Nervicani looks a better bet for that.

The men under the Praefectus numeri barbaricariorum are distinctively named. Firstly, not many units are called numeri in the Notitia; the others are all in Britain. Secondly barbaricariorum would appear to mean "an embroider working with gold"; although there are several Fabricae (workshops) barbaricariorum mentioned in the civilian sections of the Notitia, its usage as a military name is unusual.


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