This page created 6 July 2014, and last modified: 27 October (Frankfurt fragment image added)
In the western half of the empire, the Gratianenses seniores is listed as one of auxilia palatina units in the Magister Peditum's infantry roster; it assigned to the Magister Equitum's Gallic command, under the name Gratianenses. Its shield pattern as shown in various manuscripts is as below:
The shield has a red rim and an white main ground. The pattern's main feature is a face that is probably intended to be a solar visage rather than a human head: in O, M, and W a tracing that suggests a hill from which the sun has risen behind is depicted. Ff is different however, the "tracing" is filled out to depict something like a shawl, , and the head's hair and beard has been turned into a brown headscarf.
However, it is evident that this is the "wrong" shield pattern; like that of some other western auxilia platina units, it has been shifted from its proper place (or, to be more exact, the label has likely been shifted from its proper place). This particular pattern likely belongs to the previous unit listed in the Magister Peditum's infantry roster, the Felices iuniores, and which is assigned to the Magister Peditum's Italian command. It is likely the true pattern of the Gratianenses seniores is that assigned to the next unit in the Magister Peditum's list, the Invicti seniores; these relationships are shown below, using the corresponding patterns taken from the Parisian manuscript, P:
The name Gratianenses refers to the emperor Gratian (Flavius Gratianus Augustus), who reigned from 367 to 383; he was the senior western emperor from 375. Other units named after him recorded in the Notitia are the Gratianenses iuniores, a unit of auxilia palatina under the Magister Peditum's Italian command; the Auxilium Gratianense, a unit of auxilia under the Dux Moesiae primae; and in the eastern half of the empire, the Milites primi Gratianense, a unit of auxilia under the Dux Scythiae; the Cohors secunda Gratiana, a cohort under the Dux Palaestinae; and the Gratianenses, illustrated but not listed under the Magister Militum per Thracias. Also possibly named after Gratian is the Grati, another unit of auxilia palatina in the Magister Peditum's Italian command; the name "Grati" however has other possible derivations.
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