The Secunda Flavia Constantiniana

This page created 23 March 2014, and last modified: 3 November 2014 (Ammianus citation corrected)


The Secunda Flavia Constantiniana is listed as one of the legiones comitatenses in the Magister Peditum's infantry list and is presumably the unit assigned to the Comes Tingitaniae (and also the Comes Africae; see below) as the Constantiniani. Its shield pattern as shown in various manuscripts, and labelled as the plain Constantiniani, is as below:

Shield patterns

Disclaimer: remember, I'm not an expert in the field of Notitia studies, so take my comments with a grain of salt...

The patten is simple, and shows a red rim and an undifferentiated purple/indigo ground; the boss is quartered with two of (except in W) white, green, indigo, or black, depending on the manuscript. It is thus similar to the patterns of several other units in the Notitia; but it most closely matches that born by the Martenses of the Magister Equitum's Gallic command.

As with the Equites scutarii, "another" unit called the Constantiniani is assigned to the Comes Africae in addition to the Comes Tingitaniae; the two units are likely either one and the same, perhaps separated by time, or perhaps more likely, detachments of the same unit. Ammianus records (29.5.20) that a portion of the infantry of the "Constantiani" had gone over to Firmus during his revolt; given the spelling, this reference is more likely to equate to the Flavia victrix Constantina id est Constantici than the Secunda Flavia Constantiniana.

The name Flavia Constantiniana would appear to derive from either Constantine I or II; accordingly the unit is apparently not related to the similarly-named Secunda Flavia Constantia Thebaeorum found under the command of the Magister Militum per Orientem, which is named after Constantius Chlorus. However, the unit may be related to the Secunda Flavia Virtutis, also under the Comes Africa, and likely raised (or reformed) by Constantine I or II, along with the similarly stationed Prima Flavia Pacis and the Tertia Flavia Salutis. A name derived from Constantine III, western Augustus in 421, and father of Valentinian III, and whose name was Flavius Constantius, can be ruled both because one would expect any legionary units bearing his name to have pseudocomitatenses status, and also the name would be expected to have one less "n" in it.


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