The Felices Arcadiani seniores

This page created 11 May 2014, and last modified: 11 May 2014


The Felices Arcadiani seniores is the first of just two auxilia palatina units listed under the Magister Militum per Orientem. 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 shield pattern shows a white ground with a red rim. The boss is yellow, surrounded with blue; surrounding this is what appears to be a red ring made of rope, but possibly intending to depict a wreath; if so, it one of very few wreathes shown in the Notitia (the only clearer example is that of the Salii seniores).

The name Arcadiani in the unit title refers to the emperor Arcadius, who succeeded Theodosius in 395, around the time the Notitia was first compiled, and died in 408; few units bear his name, despite him having been declared co-Augustus as far back as 383, at the age of 5 or 6. Felices means "fortunate" or "lucky", and was a common moniker for Roman units; over twenty units in the Notitia incorporate it into their name.

The shield pattern bears no resemblance to that of the Felices Arcadiani iuniores, which is listed as being under the command of the Magister Militum Praesentalis II; however this is because there is strong evidence that the label that says "Felices Arcadiani iuniores" is attached to the wrong shield (not least because there are in fact two such labels!).


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