This page created 14 June 2014, and last modified: 14 June 2014
The Tertia Flavia Saluis 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 Tertiani. Its shield pattern as shown in various manuscripts is as below:
The shield pattern features a red boss centred indigo (O, P), white (M, B) or yellowish (W); the shield's outer rim is red (white in W), with the inner rim being yellow (absent in W). The boss is edged with two yellow bands (one in B; none in W), with 8 yellow (red in W) spokes radiating outwards (13 in B); the spaces between the spokes are indigo (faded in M; white in W). In O and P additional thin yellow bands line the outer (O) or both inner and outer (P) spaces between alternating sets of spokes. As a result, it bears no resemblance the two similarly named units preceding it in both the Magister Peditum's infantry list, the Prima Flavia Pacis and the Secunda Flavia Virtutis, in the list of the Comes Africae (where they are called the Primani and the Secundani, respectively), as a comparison of the following patterns taken from the Parisian manuscript shows:
The sequentially ordered names of these three units, plus their adjacent listing in the command lists, indicate that, despite their 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.
The pattern does, however, resemble that of the next unit in the list, the Flavia victrix Constantina, also known as the Constantici, as a comparison of the following patterns taken from the Parisian manuscript shows:
Given their similar shield patterns and adjacent list positions, it is likely that these two units were brigaded together.
The Salutis part of the unit's name has several meanings, and it is not sure which is intended: having security/safety/health; having salvation/deliverance; having a greeting/salutation. Any of these are possible: a military unit might well value a name implying it was fit and safe from harm; a meaning of Christian salvation might be apposite for a unit coming from Africa, which had a higher percentage of Christians than other parts of the empire in the Tetrarchy; and that African units could take pride in having been saluted by an emperor is demonstrated by the famous Lambaesis inscription.
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