This page created 2 August 2014, and last modified: 26 September 2014 (Jones commentary added)
The first of the pseudocomitatenses units in the Magister Peditum's infantry roster is listed as the Legio Prima Alpina; it is assigned his Italian command under the name Iulia Alpina. Its shield pattern in various manuscripts, under the label Alpini, is as shown below:
The pattern is has a white rim, a green main field (faded to yellow in M), and a mammal of some description in the bottom half of the field facing left (right in B, which being printed, reverses all the shield facings). The animal could be a wolf (especially in O, where it is depicted in grey, as it is in P, but here the body looks more bear-ish), or a dog (M, B); in W it looks, if anything, like an unexpectedly thin-legged brown hippopotamus!
The name Iulia Alpina would appear to refer to the Julian Alps, and this unit is clearly the first of a series of three legions with the same thematic name; there is also a Secunda Iulia Alpina, another pseudocomitatenses legion, serving under the Comes Illyricum; and a Tertia Iulia Alpina, a comitatenses legion, but also serving in the Magister Peditum's Italian command (Jones, p 99 of his 3rd volume, instead thought it referred to one of Constantine I's sons: Julius Crispus, Julis Constantius, or Julius Constantine). These units obviously once belonged to the now-defunct command of the Comes Italiae; their shield patterns are shown together below, using the patterns taken from the Paris manuscript show:
Legio III Iulia Alpina, being a comitatenses unit, seems to have been given a "different" pattern from the other two; it may be the patterns shown for the First and Second are their "original" ones from when they were under the command of the Comes Italiae.
Return to the Notitia alphabetical unit list page.
Return to my Notitia index page.