This page created 1 October 2014, and last modified: 1 October 2014
The fourth of the eight legiones comitatenses listed under the command of the Magister Militum per Illyricum is called the Germaniciani seniores; its shield pattern in various manuscripts is as shown below:
The pattern is extremely simple, being a plain yellow field with a red rim and boss (W gives the boss a small yellow inner disc); the pattern is this the same as that borne by several other units in the Notitia; but none bear both the same pattern and the same colours, although the Cimbriani comes very close, as it essentially just reverses the colours, as a comparison of the corresponding images from the parisian manuscript shows:.
The name Germaniciani means "from Germany"; presumably the unit was either recruited there, or served there before joining the field army (there is an outside chance the unit could be named after a legon that bore the cognomen "Germanica", such as Legio II Traiana Fortis Germanica, which in the Notitia is stationed in Egypt under the Dux Thebaidos as Legio secunda Traiana, at Appollonos superioris. That the Cimbriani not only has a similar shield pattern, but a similarly Germanic-sounding name is suggestive of a similar "from Germany" origin). Note that in the Notitia as has come down to us, coverage of the province of Germania secunda is much reduced, while that of Germania prima is almost entirely absent, reflecting the aftermath of the Germanic invasions across the Rhine in 406/7).
Complementing the Germaniciani seniores in the east is the Germaniciani iuniores in the west, a legio comitatenses in the Magister Peditum's Italian command. Further, also serving under the Magister Militum per Illyricum a vexillatio comitatenses called the Equites Germaniciani seniores (there is apparently no Equites Germaniciani iuniores in the Notitia).
In addition to the above-mentioned units of Germaniciani, there is a cavalry Ala Germanorum under the Dux Thebaidos. The name for this unit likely means "squadron of the Germans", but could also translate to "squadron of the brothers"; in a Roman military context, however, units sharing a "parent" formation are usually termed Gemina, which derives from "geminus"; examples in the Notitia include the Septima gemina and the Decima gemina under the Magister Militum per Orientem.
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