Late Roman Shield Patterns



Magister Peditum



This page last modified: 8 November 2014 (many changes starting from March 2014...)

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The following units are listed as being under the overall command of the Master of the Foot (the numbers beside the names refer to Ingo Maier's numbering scheme):

12 Legiones palatinae:

98/9.021 Ioviani seniores
98/9.022 Herculiani seniores
98/9.023 Divitenses seniores
98/9.024 Tongrecani seniores
98/9.025 Pannoniciani seniores
98/9.026 Moesiaci seniores
98/9.027 Armigeri propugnatores seniores
98/9.028 Lanciarii Sabarienses
98/9.029 Octavani
98/9.030 Thebei
98/9.031 Cimbriani
98/9.032 Armigeri propugnatores iuniores

65 Auxilia palatina:

98/9.034 Cornuti seniores
98/9.035 Brachiati seniores
98/9.036 Petulantes seniores
98/9.037 Celtae seniores
98/9.038 Heruli seniores
98/9.039 Batavi [seniores] (see notes)
98/9.039.1 Mattiaci seniores (see notes)
98/9.040 Mattiaci iuniores
98/9.041 Ascarii seniores
98/9.042 Ascarii iuniores
98/9.043 Iovii seniores
98/9.044 Cornuti iuniores
98/9.045 Sagittarii nervi
98/9.046 Leones seniores
98/9.047 Leones iuniores
98/9.048 Exculcatores seniores
98/9.049 Sagittarii Tungri
98/9.050 Exculcatores iuniores
98/9.051 Tubantes
98/9.052 Salii
98/9.053 Grati
98/9.054 Felices seniores
98/9.055 Felices iuniores
98/9.056 Gratianenses seniores
98/9.057 Invicti seniores
98/9.058 Augustei
98/9.059 Iovii iuniores
98/9.060 Victores iuniores
98/9.061 Batavi iuniores
98/9.062 Bructeri
98/9.063 Ampsivarii
98/9.064 Gratianenses iuniores
98/9.065 Valentianenses iuniores
98/9.066 Reti
98/9.067 Sequani
98/9.068 Sagittarii venatores
98/9.069 Latini
98/9.070 Sabini
98/9.071 Brachiati (see notes)
98/9.072 Honoriani Atecotti seniores
98/9.073 Honoriani Marcomanni seniores
98/9.074 Honoriani Marcomanni iuniores
98/9.075 Honoriani Atecotti iuniores
98/9.076 Brisigavi seniores
98/9.077 Brisigavi iuniores
98/9.078 Honoriani Mauri seniores
98/9.079 Honoriani Mauri iuniores
98/9.080 Celtae iuniores
98/9.081 Invicti iuniores Britanniciani
98/9.081.1 [Batavi iuniores] (see notes)
98/9.082 Exculcatores iuniores Britanniciani
98/9.083 Felices Valentinianenses
98/9.084 Mattiaci iuniores Gallicani
98/9.085 Salii Gallicani
98/9.086 Sagittarii Nervii Gallicani
98/9.087 Iovii iuniores Gallicani
98/9.088 Seguntienses
98/9.089 Galli victores
98/9.090 Honoriani victores iuniores
98/9.090 Honoriani ascarii seniores
98/9.092 Felices iuniores Gallicani
98/9.092.1 [Atecotti iuniores Gallicani] (see notes)
98/9.093 Tungri
98/9.094 Honoriani Gallicani
98/9.095 Mauri tonantes seniores
98/9.096 Mauri tonantes iuniores

32 Legiones comitatenses:

98/9.098 Menapii seniores
98/9.099 Fortenses
98/9.100 Propugnatores seniores
98/9.101 Armigeri defensores seniores
98/9.102 Septimani seniores
98/9.103 Regii
98/9.104 Pacatianenses
98/9.105 Vesontes
98/9.106 Mattiarii iuniores
98/9.107 Mauri cetrati
98/9.108 Undecimani
98/9.109 Secundani Italiciani
98/9.110 Germaniciani iuniores
98/9.111 Tertiani siue Tertia Italica
98/9.112 Tertia Herculea
98/9.113 Lanciarii Gallicani Honoriani
98/9.114 Propugnatores iuniores
98/9.115 Legio Secunda Britannica siue Secundani
98/9.116 Septimani iuniores
98/9.117 Praesidienses (see notes)
98/9.118 Ursarienses
98/9.119 Cortoriacenses
98/9.120 Geminiacenses
98/9.121 Honoriani felices Gallicani
98/9.122 Tertia Iulia Alpina
98/9.123 Prima Flavia Pacis
98/9.124 Secunda Flavia Virtutis
98/9.125 Tertia Flavia Salutis
98/9.126 Flavia victrix Constantina id est Constantici
98/9.127 Secunda Flavia Constantiniana
98/9.128 Tertio Augustani
98/9.129 Fortenses

18 Pseudocomitatenses:

98/9.131 Legio Prima Alpina
98/9.132 Legio Secunda Iulia Alpina
98/9.133 Lanciarii Lauriacenses
98/9.134 Lanciarii Comaginenses
98/9.135 Taurunenses
98/9.136 Antianenses
98/9.137 Pontinenses
98/9.138 Prima Flavia Gallicana Constantia
98/9.139 Martenses
98/9.140 Abrincateni
98/9.141 Defensores seniores
98/9.142 Mauri Osismiaci
98/9.143 Prima Flavia Metis
98/9.144 Superventores iuniores
98/9.145 Constantiaci
98/9.146 Corniacenses
98/9.147 Septimani
98/9.148 Romanenses



Disclaimer: remember, I'm not an expert in the field of Notitia studies, so take my comments with a grain of salt...


This should make 127 units all-told, but the 65 units of auxilia palatina are problematic; for one thing, only 64 are given (except in the Froben edition). The Atecotti iuniores Gallicani is not actually listed in the manuscripts, and was interpolated by Seeck (OC.V.218), because its shield pattern is clearly illustrated in the corresponding place (albeit as the Atecotti iuniores; it is only called the Atecotti iuniores Gallicani in the Magister Equitum's Gallic command list). See here for some commentary by Ingo Maier. Note also that Seeck listed (OC.V.163-165) three units, the Batavi seniores, Mattiaci seniores, and Mattiaci iuniores, for what appear to be just two units, the Batavi matriciaci seniores and the Mattiaci iuniores, listed in the manuscripts (see page 20 of Ingo Maier's notes) - but not in the Froben edition, which indeed gives the Batavi seniores and the Mattiaci seniores; Seeck was almost certainly right to do soto split as in the frobe edition in this case (in as much as "right" refers to what the "original" Notitia probably said, rather than what the copies that have come down to us actually do say).

Further, the Batavi iuniores in between the Invicti iuniores Britanniciani and the Exculcatores iuniores Britanniciani is not actually listed in any of the manuscripts, but its shield pattern and accompanying label is; I have inserted it above for easy reference. As a shield pattern labelled Batavi is depicted in the correct place for the actually-listed Batavi iuniores, that labelled Batavi iuniores would seem to correspond to another unit. That its full name was Batavi iuniores Britones is not beyond the realm of possibility; see the discussion here.

Note that the Legio Secunda Britannica siue Secundani are just given as the plain Secunda Britannica in Seeck; likewise the Tertiani siue tertia italica are given as the plain Tertia Italica; and he listed the Flavia victrix Constantina id est Constantici as just the Flavia victrix Constantina. The Praesidienses also appear as the Praesichantes in the manuscripts, but that is clearly a copying error. The Brachiati was also amended to Brachiati iuniores by Seeck; no doubt to match the Brachiati iuniores appearing in the Magister Equitum's Gallic list, despite their relative list positions being somewhat inconsistent.

The units' shield patterns are illustrated below from top to bottom, left to right, in the order given above, using the Bodleian manuscript pictures, except that only one pattern is given for Seeck's supposedly two Mattiaci units; the three contiguous units Exculcatores seniores, Sagittarii Tungri and Exculcatores iuniores are not illustrated; the Brachiati is also not illustrated.

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It should be noted that there seems to be a mismatch between the shield patterns and the names accompanying them starting from the problematic Mat(t)iaci. It is apparent that the shields labelled Matiaci and Ascarii seni(ores) are essentially identical. Either they have been accidentally duplicated, or belong to two related units. Duplication is easy for text, but barely conceivable for such an elaborate illustration. If the shield labelled Ascarii seni(ores) in fact belongs to the "missing" Mattiaci iuniores, then the shield patterns should be shifted along one position. This means the two Ascarii units have similar shields; the two Leones units similar shields, etc. See here for more details.

The Taurunenses, Antianenses, and Augustei are unassigned to any of the various officers; all three might be units drawn from the Dux Provinciae Pannoniae secundae ripariensis et Saviae.

Below are the corresponding pictures from the Paris manuscript:

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Below are the corresponding pictures from the Munich manuscript: each respective page from the first portion first, then the second.

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Below are the corresponding pictures from the Froben edition:

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And below are the two surviving pages from the Frankfurt fragment:

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