The Funditores

This page created 8 April 2014, and last modified: 13 April 2014


The Funditores are listed as one of the units of pseudocomitatenses under the Magister Militum per Orientem. Their 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 8-pointed star shield pattern is somewhat similar to that of the previous unit listed under the same commander, that of the Fortenses auxiliarii, but not very similar (the shape of the star of the Fortenses auxiliarii is much more like that of the Fortenses under the command of the first Master of the Soldiers in the Imperial Presence). Rather, its closest likeness is the Ursarienses in the West, under the Magister Peditum and assigned to the Magister Equitum's Gallic command, as can be seen below from the following patterns taken from the Paris manuscript:

Shield patterns

Whether this indicates the two units share any history is however hard to say. The name Funditores means "the slingers", but that need not imply they were armed with the sling, as it was standard Roman practice to train soldiers to have a certain degree of proficient with the sling - the cheapest of all weapons beyond a bare stick or stone. Perhaps the Funditores were just a normal unit that just happened to have actually used slings profitably in some now-unknown action, and the unit gained the title as a nickname commemorating the occasion.


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