Late Roman Shield Patterns

Dux Foenicis

This page created 1 January 2003, and last modified: 3 July 2015 (AE 1996,1623 commentary and photo link added)


Frontpiece showing towns
Above: Frontpiece from the Bodleian manuscript.
The stations depicted are:
Otthara, Euhara, Saltatha,
Latavi, Avatha, Nazala, Abira,
Casama, Calamona, Betproclis, Thelsee,
Adatha, Palmyra, Danaba.
These correspond exactly to the stations listed in the
text above the "lesser register".
The following units or detachments of units, and prefects and their units, are listed as being under the command of the Duke of Phoenecia (the numbers in front of the names refer to Ingo Maier's numbering scheme):

63.2 Equites Mauri Illyriciani, at Otthara
63.3 Equites scutarii Illyriciani, at Euhari
63.4 Equites promoti indigenae, at Saltatha
63.5 Equites Dalmati Illyriciani ("Dalmatae" in Seeck), at Latavi
63.6 Equites promoti indigenae, at Avatha
63.7 Equites promoti indigenae, at Nazala
63.8 Equites sagittarii indigenae, at Abina
63.9 Equites sagittarii indigenae, at Casawa
63.10 Equites sagittarii indigenae, at Calamona
63.11 Equites Saraceni indigenae, at Betproclis
63.12 Equites Saraceni, at Thelsee
63.13 Equites sagittarii indigenae, at Adatha
63.14 Praefectus legionis primae Illyriciorum, at Palmira
63.15 Praefectus legionis tertiae Gallicae, at Danaba

along with the following units from a "lesser register":

63.17 Ala prima Damascena, at Monte Iovis
63.18 Ala nova Diocletiana, at Veriaraca
63.19 Ala prima Francorum, at Cunna
63.20 Ala prima Alamannorum, at Neia
63.21 Ala prima Saxonum, at Verofabula
63.22 Ala prima Foenicum, at Rene
63.23 Ala secunda Salutis, at Arefa
63.24 Cohors tertia Herculia, at Veranoca
63.25 Cohors quinta pacta Alamannorum, at Onevatha
63.26 Cohors prima Iulia lectorum, at Vale Alba
63.27 Cohors secunda Aegyptiorum, at Valle Diocletiana
63.28 Cohors prima Orientalis, at Thama

Disclaimer: Remember, a lot of what comes below is speculation. Hopefully informed speculation, but speculation nonetheless. Comments welcome! (lukeuedasarson "at"

The men under the Praefectus legionis tertiae Gallicae are the old Legio III Gallica, which had been stationed in Phoenicia since the second century AD; in the Notitia, however, its base is recorded as being at Danaba (near Damascus in modern Syria).

In contrast, Legio I Illyricorum seems to have been founded by Aurelian after his reconquest of Palmyra in 273 AD, in order to garrison the area with Illyrian soldiers with no local ties. Evidently, the legion was still based there when the Notitia was first compiled. However, a joint detachment of this unit together with Legio III Gallica is recorded in Egypt in 315/6 (at Coptos, ILS 8882, in Greek) and in 321 under the same commander (at Syene; see Lenksi, 2006, The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Constantine, at page 327). An inscription (AE 1996,1623; pictures here) from modern Qasr al-Azraq in Jordan, over 300 km south of Palmyra, praises the bravery of its soldiers, and also mentions the legions XI Claudia, VII Claudia, I Italica, IIII Flavia, and III Cyrenaica. Such a grouping of legionary detachments implies a major campaign indeed.

A Tetrarchic inscription (CIL 3,6726 = AE 1993,1607) from Avatha (Al-Bakhra in modern Syria) mentioning an officer of the EQ PROMOT [...] INDG confirms the stationing of the Equites promoti indigenae at this location - the Tetrarchic fort was 1.5 ha in size (see D. Genequand in Levant 36 (2004), p225-242). This inscription is the only one I am aware of mentioning a unit of Equites promoti indigenae, although Genequand reports others have been found mentioning the unit from the same site (note an Avatha is also listed as a station under the Dux Arabiae).

Below are shown the frontpieces from the Parisian manuscript, P; and the Froben printed edition, B:

Frontpiece showing forts Frontpiece showing forts

And below are shown the frontpieces from the first set of pictures in the Munich manuscript, M; and the second set, W.

Frontpiece showing forts Frontpiece showing forts

Note that Danaba is missing from W.


Return to the Notitia index page.