The Equites scutarii iuniores scholae secundi

This page created 15 April 2014, and last modified: 3 January 2015 (Maier reference numbers added)


In the western half of the empire, the 28th out of the 32 vexillationes comitatenses listed (102/5.40 in Ingo Maier's numbering scheme) in the Magister Equitum's cavalry roster is the Equites secundi scutarii iuniores; it is assigned (102/5.248) to the Comes Africae, as the Equites scutarii iuniores scholae secundi. Its shield pattern (101#18), as shown in various manuscripts under the plain label (101.s) Scutarii, 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 pattern shows a red rim with a blue inner band, a yellow main field, and a blue band around the boss (red in M); the boss itself is variously coloured.

Note that the Equites scutarii iuniores scholae secundi is the only one of the 13 units called Scholae in the Notitia that is not under command of either the eastern Magister Officiorum or the western Magister Officiorum (since the eastern Magister Officiorum lists 7 units of scholae, but shows only 6 shield patterns, and the western Magister Officiorum lists but 5 units while showing 7 patterns, the Equites scutarii iuniores scholae secundi brings the number of Scholae units up to 13. Unfortunately, it also brings the number of shields up to 14).

Because the Equites secundi scutarii iuniores is listed as relatively lowly vexillationes comitatenses, it is tempting to see this ranking (coupled with a posting in provincial Africa) as a demotion brought about by some disgrace. On the other hand, since a palatine vexillation implies a cavalry unit serving near the imperial seat (which in the west, at the time of the Notitia, was Ravenna in Italy), a posting to Africa would probably require a ranking of comitatenses (but cf. the Armigeri propugnatores seniores, also listed as being in the command of the Comes Africae, and yet given palatine statss in the Magister Peditum's infantry roster).


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