The Equites armigeri iuniores

This page created 9 August 2014, and last modified: 1 November 2014 (inscription commentary added)


The Armigeri iuniores is listed as the first of the vexillationes comitatenses in the Magister Equitum's cavalry roster; it is assigned to the Comes Africae as the Equites armigeri iuniores. Its shield pattern as shown in various manuscripts is 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 has a red rim bordered with an inner yellow rim. The main ground is plain red (but white in B). The boss is is spiked (except in W, which is shown normally); the actual spike is black (O, M W), white (P), or yellow (B), while the supporting boss is green (O, P), yellow (B), white (W), or white and yellow (M). Among cavalry units, a spiked boss is shown for the Equites stablesiani Italiciani, and among infantry, for the eastern Batavi seniores and the Brachiati iuniores, and possibly for the Honoriani Atecotti iuniores an the western Batavi seniores.

The name Armigeri should probably imply 'armoured', and given most soldiers were armoured to some extent, likely 'heavily armoured'. Accordingly, some have taken the cavalry armigeri units to be the equivalent of horse catafracts. However, this is just one of many possible explanations of the title - see my discussion on Armigeri for more details. In the Notitia, seven other cavalry units carry the title, as do three of infantry.

Inscriptional evidence (CIL 8.9255) for the Equites armigeri iuniores comes from Bordj El Bahri in Algeria in the form of EQITUM ARMICERORUM VUNIOR, i.e. the "eq(u)itum armi(g)erorum (i)unior(um)".


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