The Ursarienses

This page created 23 March 2014, and last modified: 12 May 2014 (CIL text added)


The Ursarienses ("the Bears") is listed as one of the Legiones comitatenses under the Magister Peditum and assigned to the Magister Equitum's Gallic command. Its shield pattern is shown in various manuscripts as below:

Ursarienses 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 field with a yellow rim; the boss centre is white, then middle, and edged with yellow. Projecting from the boss to the edge of the yellow rim is a purple 8-pointed star (except 16 points in the Froben edition, B).

It is likely this unit is the same as (formerly) commanded by the Praefectus militum Ursariensium at Rotomago (modern Rouen) under the Dux tractus Armoricani et Nervicani; see under his entry for more details. A gravestone from Amiens (CIL 13.3492) belonging to an imag[i]n(ifer) n(umeri) Ursarien(sium) surely refers to this unit, Amiens being just 100 kilometres from Rouen as the crow flies.

The pattern is somewhat similar to the previous unit in the Magister Peditum's list, the Praesichantes (which appears, however, to be the next unit listed after the Ursarienses in the Gallic list, and where it is called the Praesidienses), as can be seen by comparing their patterns, using the appropriate Parisian manuscript pictures, as shown below:

Shield patterns


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