The Antianenses

This page created 28 September 2014, and last modified: 28 September 2014


The Antianenses is listed as one of the pseudocomitatenses units in the Magister Peditum's infantry roster. Its shield pattern is shown in various manuscripts as below:

shield patterns

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

The pattern features a white boss (purple in O) encircled by a red band with a red pillar beneath. The red band and pillar are encircled and flanked with purple (faded to pink in M, W, and white in P); this is in turn encircled by another red band (lacking in B). Next comes a yellow band, another red band, and finally a white rim (the last two are reversed in B). The colour scheme most closely resembles that of the Tertio Augustani, one of the legiones comitatenses under the Comes Africae, while the pattern resembles that of the next unit in the Magister Peditum's infantry roster: the Pontinenses, under the Magister Peditum's Italian command; the following patterns taken from the Bodleian manuscript shows these relationships:

Shield patterns

The Antianenses is not apparently assigned to any field command in the Notitia. The unit was thought by Jones to be the same as the Auxilia Novensia under the Dux Provinciae Pannoniae secundae ripariensis et Saviae, although that unit is said to be stationed at "Arsaciana or Novas" in the Notitia (according to Seeck, given as "Arsatiana or Novas" in the Vienna manuscript, which I have not seen); Arsaciana is otherwise unknown. However, a Roman station named Antiana is known (it is mentioned in the Peutinger table, for example); the online Digital Atlas of the Roman Empire, gives its location as the modern Popovac, between Beli Manastir in Croatia, and Mohacs in southern Hungary, which would however better fit with a command under the Dux Provinciae Valeriae ripensis than under the Dux Pannonia II, although the border between the two commands appears to be very close to the station's location. Further, the Auxilia Novensia is clearly an auxiliary unit, whereas the units surrounding the Antianenses are legionary units (save the previous unit in the Magister Peditum's infantry roster, which is the similarly-unassigned Taurunenses, and thus also of unknown type), suggesting the Antianenses might well be legionary. However, since the Taurunenses appear to have come from Tauruno, under the command of the Dux Pannonia II, and which is garrisoned by a unit called the Auxilia ascarii, this is no great objection. Indeed, the "pillar" of the shield patterns is typical of auxiliary units: the only legionary unit bearing it is the Pontinenses, and this unit is only suggested to be legionary because a Legio I Pontica is known: but other derivations of Pontinenses are possible, in particular, from the auxiliary Cohors I Cornoviorum.

In any case, whatever province the Antianenses came from, Valeria or Pannonia II, it was not alone in being removed from its general region of the frontier; as the three preceding units in the Magister Peditum's infantry list, the Legio Secunda Iulia Alpina, the Lanciarii Lauriacenses, and the Lanciarii Comaginenses, are all assigned to the Comes Illyricum, this suggest the Taurunenses and the Antianenses might also have been so-assigned.


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