This page created 4 November 2014, and last modified: 4 November 2014
The seventh of the eight legiones comitatenses listed under the command of the Magister Militum per Illyricum in the eastern half of the Empire is called the Minervii. Its shield pattern as shown in various manuscripts is as below:
The pattern is extremely simple, with a yellow boss, a green main field (faded to yellow in M, and white in W), and a red rim. Accordingly, the pattern resembles that of several other units in the Notitia, but most of all, that of the Propugnatores seniores under the "Comes" Hispenias; indeed, the pairs shown in O, P, and M are essentially identical to each other.
The name Minervii clearly refers to the goddess Minerva, although indirectly, via Legio I Minervia, long stationed at Bonna (modern Bonn in Germany), but which was overrun by the Franks in the early 350s. Detachments of Legio I Minervia are recorded in inscriptions found in many parts of the empire before this date, but not later. It is possible the Primani that Ammianus describes (16.12.49) at the battle of Strasbourg in 357, and which was responsible for stopping the Alamannic breakthrough in the Roman centre, is another detachment of the unit (however, another candidate is the legio palatina under the Magister Militum Praesentalis II called the Primani).
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