The Equites tertii stablesiani

This page created 3 August 2014, and last modified: 24 October 2104 (links tidied)


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

The Equites tertii stablesiani is listed as one of the vexillationes comitatenses under the Magister Militum per Orientem. Like all eastern cavalry units, save for that of the Domestici equites and (potentially) some of the Scholae under the Magister Officiorum, its shield pattern is not recorded in the Notitia.

Unlike many eastern cavalry units, however, its existence is noted outside the Notitia. Firstly, a letter dated 432/3 from Theoderet, bishop of Cyrrhus (modern Nebi Huri in northern Syria), and preserved in a 12th century codex made in Monte Cassino, records that he had given a letter to a diaconus (deacon) of the tertio stabilisianorum who happened to be heading to Samosata. Secondly, emperor Justin I wrote in 520 to Hypatius, then Magister Militum per Orientem, instructing him to investigate certain religious irregularities alleged to have been committed by soldiers from the numero tertio stabilisianorum, apparently still stationed in Cyrrhus, and if proven, to expel them from the unit and then torture them; the letter is preserved as part of the recordings of Fifth Ecumenical Council of 533. See: Philip Rance, "The Third Equites Stablesiani at Cyrrhus", Chiron 42 (2012), 347-360, available here.


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