The Equites scutarii

This page created 23 March 2014, and last modified: 27 May 2014 (Froben image added)


The Equites scutarii is listed as one of the Vexillationes comitatenses under the Magister Equitum's cavalry list; it would appear to be assigned to the Comes Tingitaniae as the Equites scutarii seniores (but see below for the Comes Africae). 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 shield pattern is extremely simple: a plain red field with a yellow boss.

"Another" unit called the Equites scutarii seniores is assigned to the Comes Africae; the two units would appear to be either one and the same, perhaps separated by time, or perhaps detachments of the same unit (but see also below).

It is interesting that a unit with such an apparently highly-ranked name as the Scutarii (seniores) is stationed in distant Morocco (whether western - Tingitania, or eastern - Africa), and also listed relatively far down the ranks of the western vexillationes comitatenses units. Perhaps they had been demoted at one point, maybe for backing a failed usurper. But perhaps more likely yet they are not the Scutarii seniores, but just a Scutarii seniores, and their name has been contracted from some longer name - many of the names recorded in the Notitia are revealed to be longer when encountered in other sources, such as gravestones. In such a way the two Equites scutarii seniores from Tingitania and Africa might even be different units. However, if this is the case, only one shield pattern is recorded between them, and there is no way of knowing which one it belongs too.


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