This page created 20 April 2014, and last modified: 13 December 2014 (Froben image added)
The Raetobarii is the 10th unit of auxilia palatina listed (9.33 in Ingo Maier's numbering scheme) under the command of the first Master of the Soldiers in the Imperial Presence (i.e. the Magister Militum Praesentalis I). Its shield pattern (8#8) as shown in various manuscripts, under the label (8.h) Retobarii (Raetobarii in M, W), is as below:
Like many other patterns assigned to units of the same command, the shield pattern of the Raetobarii shows an indigo-coloured ground (purple in B, faded to maroon in W and to pink in M) with a red rim; it further shares a yellow band just inside the rim with the patterns ascribed to three of these units: the Sagittarii seniores Gallicani, the Sagittarii iuniores Gallicani, and the Tertii sagittarii Valentis. What distinguishes that of the Raetobarii is that it lacks the imago (portrait) and winged Victory charges that these other three units show.
The name Raetobarii is a tribal one, and refers to a sub-group of the Germanic Alamanni; the Alamanni were one of the main groupings of peoples attempting to establish themselves across the Rhine during the 4th century; they finally succeeded in doing so in the first decade if the 5th - after the eastern section of the Notitia had been compiled, but before the western section had last been modified. The name may have been influenced by the province of Raetia (Switzerland) in which they lived. In the Notitia, in addition to the Raetobarii, various other units bear a Raetian name:
R(a)eti, an auxilia palatina unit under the Comes Illyricum;In addition to the three limitanei units under the Dux Raetiae primae et secundae, the same officer also has at his disposal a Tribunus gentis per Raetias deputatae. i.e. a tribune in command of the "People allocated to Raetia". The 10th unit of auxilia palatina listed under the command of the second Master of the Soldiers in the Imperial Presence (i.e. the Magister Militum Praesentalis II) also bears a Raetian name: the Bucinobantes. These two units would thus appear to be another example of a twinned pair of units split between the two praesental Magistri.
Ala quinta Raetorum, a limitanei cavalry ala under the Comes limitis Aegypti;
the men under the Praefectus alae primae Flaviae Raetorum, a limitanei cavalry ala under the Dux Raetiae primae et secundae;
Cohors quarta Raetorum, a limitanei infantry cohort under the Dux Armeniae;
the men under the Tribunus cohortis sextae Valeriae Raetorum, a limitanei infantry cohort under the Dux Raetiae primae et secundae;
and the men under the Tribunus cohortis primae Herculeae Raetorum, another limitanei infantry cohort under the Dux Raetiae primae et secundae.
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