This page created 11 April 2014, and last modified: 30 November 2014 (Maier reference numbers added)
In the eastern half of the empire, the fifth of the 17 units of unit of auxilia palatina listed (12.27 in Ingo Maier's numbering scheme) under the command of the second Master of the Soldiers in the Imperial Presence (i.e. the Magister Militum Praesentalis I) is called the Mattiaci iuniores, just as the the fifth unit under the Magister Militum Praesentalis II is the Mattiaci seniores. The corresponding shield pattern (11#3) as shown in various manuscripts, under the matching label (11.c) Mattiaci iuniores, is as below:
The pattern shows a dark (black?) inner boss disc (lighter in P, and white in B) with the outer boss being blue (O, P), white (M, W) or red (B). Encircling this is a yellow band (white in B) and then a red band (absent in B). The shield's main ground is blue, and the rim is red (yellow in M). In O and B a circular blue imago (imperial portrait) bearing two black figures is found in the 12 o'clock position; this feature is absent in P, M and W. In B, this is flanked by two winged victories in black; these two figures are also present in W, but in a very debased form, looking more like legless birds.
However, it is apparent that the shield pattern for the Mattiaci iuniores has been misplaced one position: the previous pattern, labelled Constantiniani, should actually bear the label Mattiaci iuniores (see also under the Mattiaci seniores for further discussion). The following patterns taken from the Paris manuscript show these relationships:
Why this shift is evident can be seen from comparing the pattern ascribed to the Mattiaci iuniores with those of various Sagittarii units under the two Praesental Magistri, again using the patterns taken from the Paris manuscript, save that for the Mattiaci iuniores, which is take from the Froben edition:
It can be seen that the "Mattiaci iuniores" pattern illustrated in the Froben edition fits in nicely with those of the four other units: all bear an imago flanked by winged Victories, leading me to conclude its true assignation is that of the Sagittarii seniores Orientales. Why the manuscript illustrations for O, P, M, and W all fail to reproduce one or both of these features is something a mystery - perhaps the Codex Spirensis version was damaged in some way. Note that W shows identically debased Victories in the case of the Sagittarii seniores Gallicani as it does with the Mattiaci iuniores, and M omits them completely in both cases. Incidentally, two other units that show similar paired Victories are the Domestici equites and the Domestici pedites, under the commands of the eastern Count of the Household Horse and Count of the Household Foot, respectively.
Note that there is also another auxilia palatina unit called the Mattiaci iuniores, in the western half of the empire, and assigned to the Magister Equitum's Gallic command. Its shield pattern rather different from that ascribed to the eastern Mattiaci iuniores, although it does share the theme of a cross.
The name Mattiaci is tribal; according to Tacitus in the 1st century, belonging to a German tribe that were neighbours of the Batavians. Many units in the Notitia carry such apparently tribal names inherited from units of auxilia raised centuries in the past, although in many cases, the tribal name had been transferred to a locality; such is the case here, as "Aquis Mattiacorum" was a famous spa town rom the second century; it is now known as Wiesbaden. Which former Cohors Mattiacorum (if any) the eastern Mattiaci iuniores may have been descended from is unknown; by far the best attested unit is Cohors II Mattiacorum, which is known from scores of inscriptions and military diplomas dating to the early 2nd century in particular; an example is a statue base from Carnuntum in Austria that bears an inscription (AE 1992, 1431) mentioning a TRIB COH II MATTIACOR M EQ, which expands to "trib(unus) coh(ortis) II Mattiacor(um) m(illiariae) eq(uitatae)" (photos here).
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