This page created 9 June 2014, and last modified: 9 June 2014
The Secunda Flavia Virtutis is listed as one of the legiones comitatenses in the Magister Peditum's infantry list, and is presumably the unit assigned to the Comes Africae as the Secundani. Its shield pattern as shown in various manuscripts is as below:
The shield pattern is simple, and features a white boss, edged in red, and further surrounded by a yellow band. The main field is white, and bordered by a yellow band and finally a red rim. Despite this relative simplicity, the pattern is not particularly similar to that of any other unit in the Notitia. In particular, it is different from the two very similarly named units: the Prima Flavia Pacis and the Tertia Flavia Salutis, which precede and follow the Secunda Flavia Virtutis, respectively, in both the Magister Peditum's list, and also that of the Comes Africae (where they are called the Primani and the Tertiani, respectively), as a comparison of the following patterns taken from the Parisian manuscript show:
The sequentially ordered names of these three units, plus their adjacent listing in the command lists, indicate that despite the disparate shield patterns, they are a matching set, either raised at the same time by the same Flavian emperor, or perhaps rather than raised, reformed; the most likely candidate is either Constantine I or II.
Epigraphic evidence for the Secunda Flavia Virtutis comes from Thelepte in western Tunisia, in the form of an inscription (CIL 08, 23181) recording the legionis secunde Flavie Virtutis.
Other units with similar names to the Secunda Flavia Virtutis are the Secunda Flavia Constantia Thebaeorum under the command of the Magister Militum per Orientem (seemingly unrelated, as raised by Constantine Chlorus), and the Secunda Flavia Constantiniana, which is likely the same as the Constantiniani under the Comes Tingitaniae and/or the Comes Africae, and which may well have originated as detachments of the same unit as the Secunda Flavia Virtutis, given the similarity both in name and stationing. Virtutis incidentally means "manly", "virtuous", "courageous".
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