Late Roman Shield Patterns



Magister Peditum



This page last modified: 14 October 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:

12 Legiones palatinae:

Ioviani seniores
Herculiani seniores
Divitenses seniores
Tongrecani seniores
Pannoniciani seniores
Moesiaci seniores
Armigeri propugnatores seniores
Lanciarii Sabarienses
Octavani
Thebei
Cimbriani
Armigeri propugnatores iuniores

65 Auxilia palatina:

Cornuti seniores
Brachiati seniores
Petulantes seniores
Celtae seniores
Heruli seniores
Batavi seniores
(see notes)
Mattiaci seniores (see notes)
Mattiaci iuniores
Ascarii seniores
Ascarii iuniores
Iovii seniores
Cornuti iuniores
Sagittarii Nervii
Leones seniores
Leones iuniores
Exculcatores seniores
Sagittarii Tungri
Exculcatores iuniores
Tubantes
Salii
Grati
Felices seniores
Felices iuniores
Gratianenses seniores
Invicti seniores
Augustei
Iovii iuniores
Victores iuniores
Batavi iuniores
Bructeri
Ampsivarii

Gratianenses iuniores
Valentianenses iuniores
Reti
Sequani
Sagittarii venatores
Latini
Sabini
Brachiati
(see notes)
Honoriani Atecotti seniores
Honoriani Marcomanni seniores
Honoriani Marcomanni iuniores
Honoriani Atecotti iuniores
Brisigavi seniores
Brisigavi iuniores
Honoriani Mauri seniores
Honoriani Mauri iuniores
Celtae iuniores
Invicti iuniores Britanniciani

Batavi iuniores (see notes)
Exculcatores iuniores Britanniciani
Felices Valentinianenses

Mattiaci iuniores Gallicani
Salii Gallicani
Sagittarii Nervii Gallicani
Iovii iuniores Gallicani
Seguntienses
Galli victores
Honoriani victores iuniores
Honoriani ascarii seniores

Felices iuniores Gallicani
Atecotti iuniores Gallicani (see notes)
Tungri
Honoriani Gallicani
Mauri tonantes seniores
Mauri tonantes iuniores

32 Legiones comitatenses:

Menapii seniores
Fortenses
Propugnatores seniores
Armigeri defensores seniores
Septimani seniores
Regii
Pacatianenses
Vesontes
Mattiarii iuniores
Mauri cetrati
Undecimani
Secundani Italiciani
Germaniciani iuniores
Tertiani siue Tertia Italica
Tertia Herculea
Lanciarii Gallicani Honoriani
Propugnatores iuniores
Legio Secunda Britannica siue Secundani
Septimani iuniores
Praesidienses
(see notes)
Ursarienses
Cortoriacenses
Geminiacenses
Honoriani felices Gallicani
Tertia Iulia Alpina
Prima Flavia Pacis
Secunda Flavia Virtutis
Tertia Flavia Salutis
Flavia victrix Constantina id est Constantici
Secunda Flavia Constantiniana
Tertio Augustani
Fortenses

18 Pseudocomitatenses:

Legio Prima Alpina
Legio Secunda Iulia Alpina
Lanciarii Lauriacenses
Lanciarii Comaginenses
Taurunenses
Antianenses
Pontinenses
Prima Flavia Gallicana Constantia
Martenses
Abrincateni
Defensores seniores
Mauri Osismiaci
Prima Flavia Metis
Superventores iuniores
Constantiaci
Corniacenses

Septimani
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, because its shield pattern is clearly illustrated in the corresponding place (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 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.

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.

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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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And below are the corresponding pictures from the Froben edition:

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