This page created 23 August 2014, and last modified: 23 August 2014
The Equites Honoriani seniores is listed as the seventh of the vexillationes comitatenses in the Magister Equitum's cavalry roster; it is assigned to his Gallic command under the simple label Honoriani. Its shield pattern as shown in various manuscripts is as below:
The pattern has a yellow boss (white in B) and a red main ground; it is charged with the front halves of two canids depicted in blue, probably wolves, facing each other. Accordingly, the pattern is essentially the same as that of the next unit in the Magister Equitum's cavalry roster, the Equites Mauri feroces, except with different colours, as a comparison of the following patterns taken from the Parisian manuscript shows:
The same motif of the front parts of two wolves adorsed is also used in the pattern ascribed to the infantry unit the Grati, a unit of auxilia palatina.
Note that "another" unit of Equites Honoriani seniores is listed under the Comes Britanniae; the two units are likely one and the same.
The name Honoriani refers to the emperor Honorius, who succeeded his father Theodosius I in 395, around the time the Notitia was first compiled. Note, however, that Honorius had been declared co-Augustus two years earlier, at the age of 7, so the presence of units named after Honorius does not therefore prove they must have been entered into the document so-named at 395 at the earliest. Nonetheless, the presence of large numbers of units named after Honorius in the western half of the Notitia, compared to very few in the east, is one of the clearest indications the eastern portion was not amended much, or even at all, after the death of Theodosius, while the western half was extensively updated.
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