This page created 2 August 2014, and last modified: 26 September 2014 (Jones commentary added)
The one of the legiones comitatenses listed in the Magister Peditum's infantry roster is called the Tertia Iulia Alpina; it is assigned to his Italian command under the name Tertia Iulia. Its shield pattern in various manuscripts is as shown below:
The pattern is very simple, with a white boss, a red rim, and a purple main ground (faded to pink in M, W). It is thus identical to that ascribed to the Honoriani Atecotti seniores, a unit of auxilia palatina under the Magister Equitum's Gallic command; and very similar to those ascribed to the Comites seniores, a unit of vexillationes palatinae in the Magister Peditum's Italian command; the Honoriani Atecotti iuniores, a unit of auxilia palatina in the Magister Peditum's Italian command; the Fortenses, a unit of legiones comitatenses under the "Comes Hispenias"; the Undecimani, another unit of legiones comitatenses under the "Comes Hispenias"; the Secunda Flavia Constantiniana, a unit of legiones comitatenses under the Comes Tingitaniae; the Prima Flavia Gallicana Constantia, a pseudocomitatenses unit under the Magister Equitum's Gallic command; the Martenses, another pseudocomitatenses unit under the Magister Equitum's Gallic command; the Atecotti iuniores Gallicani, assigned to the Magister Equitum's Gallic command, and presumably a unit of auxilia palatina; and the Secundani, a unit of legiones comitatenses in the eastern half of the empire, under the Magister Militum per Illyricum.
The name Iulia Alpina would appear to refer to the Julian Alps, and this unit is clearly the first of a series of three legions with the same thematic name; there is also a Prima Iulia Alpina, a pseudocomitatenses legion also serving in the Magister Peditum's Italian command; and a Secunda Iulia Alpina, another pseudocomitatenses legion, and assigned to the command of the Comes Illyricum (Jones, p 99 of his 3rd volume, instead thought it referred to one of Constantine I's sons: Julius Crispus, Julis Constantius, or Julius Constantine). These units obviously once belonged to the now-defunct command of the Comes Italiae; their shield patterns are shown together below, using the patterns taken from the Paris manuscript show:
Legio III Iulia Alpina, being a comitatenses unit, seems to have been given a "different" pattern from the other two; it may be the patterns shown for the First and Second are their "original" ones from when they were under the command of the Comes Italiae.
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