This page last modified: 22 December 2015 (Commentary about two apparent Masters of Horse added)
The following cavalry units are listed as being with the Master of Horse in his Gallic command; the numbers in front of the names refer to Ingo Maier's numbering scheme):
102/5.218 Equites Batavi seniores (a vexillationes palatinae unit)
along with the following infantry units, mostly drawn from those nominally under control of the Magister Peditum:
102/5.115 Mattiaci iuniores (an auxilia palatina unit)
The following prefects and tribunes along with their limitanei units are also listed as being stationed in Gallia, but not under the Magister Equitum's direct command (they are listed as being under the overall command of the Magister Peditum):
156/8.33 Praefectus classis fluminis Rhodani, at Viennae or ArelatiIn addition to these units, a prefect of Sarmatian and Taifalian settlers is mentioned:
156/8.82 Praefectus Sarmatarum et Taifalorum gentilium, at Pictavis (Poitiers)and the following prefects of Sarmatian settlers:
156/8.83 Praefectus Sarmatarum gentilium, throughout the Chora Parisios (Paris district)and the following prefects in charge of German settlers:
156/8.51 Praefectus laetorum Teutonicianorum, at Carnunta (Chartres) in Senoniae Lugdunensis
No illustrations accompany the listings of the units comprising the Gallic
military forces. Even the civil officials get short shrift compared to the
equivalent Italian officials: not even the Praetorian Prefect of Gaul
himself gets a picture; the only civil illustration related to Gaul is the
picture below accompanying the Vicar of the Seven Provinces:
Following the entry (85/6.4) for the Magister peditum in praesenti, the first list of dignitaries for the western portion of the empire gives both a Magister equitum in praesenti (85/6.6) and a Magister equitum per Gallias (85/6.6), who should thus be separate officers. However, while the Magister Peditum has both a nominal command listed (essentially all the infantry and naval forces in the west, albeit spread over sections of the compilation) and an actual command (the Italian field army), this is not the case for either of the two Masters of Horse. The Magister equitum in praesenti has only a nominal command (102/5.1-52; the non-scholae non-limitanei cavalry of the west), while it is the Magister equitum per Gallias who has an actual command: the Gallic field army outlined above (102/5.114-169; 102/5.217-229). It would thus appear the "two" Masters of Horse were in practice one and the same person, and this is how how I treat them - hence my references to "the Master of Horse's Gallic command". Nonetheless, caution is advised: entry 102/5.64 states that the chief of staff of the Magister equitum per Gallias is drawn every other year from that of the Magister equitum in praesenti. While this is already a somewhat odd formulation if the two officers were one and the same, it is incomprehensible if the two offices (without an "r") were the same. The best way to reconcile these contrasting lines of evidence is to take the meaning of magister equitum per Gallias as not "the (officer styled the) 'Master of Horse of Gaul'" but "the (officer styled the) 'Master of Horse', (who just happens to be) in Gaul".
The Batavi entry (102/5.123) was omitted by Seeck. Perhaps Seeck was influenced by the fact that, as Ingo Maier reports, the entry is not present in the Bodleian and Trento manucripts, although it is present in the Parisian and Munich manuscripts, as well as the Vatican manuscript (which Seeck never consulted) and the Froben printed edition (and the other early printed versions which Seeck ignored when preparing his edition). Seeck however didn't mention any of this in the notes accompanying his edition... See the following entry, the Batavi iuniores (102/5.124), for more details.
An Equites Cornuti seniores is assigned to both the Gallic (102/5.219) and the Italian (102/5.123) field armies, while the Equites Cornuti iuniores (102/5.8) is unassigned; clearly either the Gallic or the Italian unit is the seniores while the other is the iuniores. There seems no way of decisively determining which is which. For the sake of simplicity in illustrating their shield patterns below, I will assume that Equites Cornuti iuniores is in the Gallic army, and the Equites Cornuti seniores is in the Italian army.
Only one of the two Equites Brachiati units has its pattern illustrated (100#4), and while it is not entirely clear if it is the Equites brachiati seniores (102/5.5) or iuniores (102/5.221), the pattern is much more likely to be that of the seniores given its position (the Equites Brachiati iuniores comes after the Equites Batavi iuniores (102/5.220) in the Gallic list, while the shield pattern labelled (100#d) Brachiati comes, like the position of the Equites brachiati seniores, before it in the Magister Equitum's cavalry roster). Similarly, only one of the two Mattiaci units has a matching illustration - see here for details.
There is a Brachiati listed (98/9.71) in the Magister Peditum's infantry list, albeit in a position inconsistent with the position (102/5.117) of the Brachiati iuniores in the above Gallic list, and its shield pattern is also not recorded (or, at least, it is not labelled as such).
Similarly, a Valentinianenses is also listed under the Comes Illyricum (102/5.112); see the discussion under the Valentianenses iuniores (98/9.065).
The Britones (102/5.125) is most likely to be equated with the Exculcatores iuniores Britanniciani (98/9.82); see under that unit, and also the discussion under the Batavi iuniores (98/9.081.1).
Both a Septimani iuniores (98/9.116) and a Septimani (98/9.147) are listed under the Magister Peditum; as the Septimani iuniores (98/9.116) is a comitatenses unit, it seems that the Septimani iuniores of the Gallic list (102/5.155) is not the same unit, but rather the Septimani (98/9.147), which is a pseudocomitatenses unit. Both would appear to be part of the old Legio VII Gemina Felix; see the comments under the Comes "Hispenias".
The position of the Lanciarii Sabarienses (102/5.134) would indicate it was a comitatenses unit when the Notitia was first drawn up, but later promoted to the palatine status it is recorded having under the list of the Magister Peditum. Half of the 12 palatine legions in the western empire would appear to be such recently upgraded units.
The Martenses, the Abrincateni, the Prima Flavia Gallicana Constantia, the Mauri Osismiaci, the Superventores iuniores, the Garronnenses, and the Ursarienses all appear to be units drawn from the limitanei force of the Dux tractus Armoricani et Nervicani. The Balistarii, the Defensores iuniores, the Anderetiani. and the Acincenses (and possibly the Martenses) all appear to be units drawn from the Dux Mogontiacensis; the Romanenses possibly from the Dux Pannoniae secundae, and the Insidiatores from the Dux Valeriae ripensis. The Abulci and possibly the Truncensimani appear to be drawn from the men under the Comes litoris Saxonici per Britanniam (note, however, that the Truncensimani is often instead equated with the Tricensimani of e.g. Ammianus). Similarly, the Defensores seniores would appear to come from the forces of the Dux Britanniarum, and the Exploratores from there and/or the identically named unit under the Comes litoris Saxonici per Britanniam. The Prima Flavia Metis was evidently stationed in Mettis (modern Metz in France), a town in Belgicae Secundae, in the not too distant past, although it is no longer listed under the Dux of that region. The Secundani Britones seems to be also listed under the command of the Comes Britanniarum.
The origins of the Cursarienses iuniores (102/5.156) are hard to discern. See the unit's page for details.
The Musmagenses (102/5.157) is no doubt from Mosomagus (modern Mouzon, Ardennes, France), another town in Belgicae Secundae, although it too is no longer listed under the Dux of that region. Archaelogical work there reveals Roman coins up to the date of Theodosius (to 395 AD), but not later.
The shield patterns that can be positively or plausibly identified are shown below, as taken from the Parisian manuscript, P. Note that many of the shield patterns listed matching the Magister Peditum's infantry list are in fact mislabelled; see here for more details. Where the label is clearly wrong, but the correct identity is not clear, I have given the illustrated label in quote marks. Where the label is clearly wrong, and the correct label is also reasonably clear, I have given illustrated label in quote marks, and the correct pattern for the correct label, which is identified by appending "i.e.".
While prefects commanding settlers may have commanded "their" laeti as separate military "units", it is at least equally plausible that these prefects were not military officers at all, and if their settlers were conscripted to fight, it would have been in the same way as any other men in the area - by joining "regular" units.
1. Maier, I.G.; "Appendix 4: Numeration of the new edition of the compilation 'notitia dignitatum' (Cnd)"; last accessed 26 October 2015. See also for here for numbering examples. Return
2. Thus Jones, A.H.M.; "The Later Roman Empire, 284-602; A Social, Economic, and Administrative Survey"; Blackwell, Oxford, 1964 (3 volumes); at p 351 of volume 3 talks of the Magister equitum, singular, without comment that there are apparently two such officials listed in the document! Return
3. Elton, Hugh; "Warfare in Roman Europe, AD 340 - 425"; Clarendon, Oxford, 1996, at p 209. Return
4. Seeck, Otto (Ed.); "Notitia Dignitatum accedunt Notitia urbis Constantinopolitanae et Latercula prouinciarum", Weidmann, Berlin, 1876; available here (last accessed 26 October 2015). Return
5. Maier, I.G.; "The Barberinus and Munich codices of the 'Notitia Dignitatum omnium'"; Latomus 28.4 (1969) pp. 960-1035; available here (last accessed 12 December 2015). Return
6. "Ammianus" (Ammianus Marcellinus); "Res gestae a fine Corneli Taciti"; 18.9.3; available here in Latin and here in English translation (last accessed 23 December 2015). Return
7. Société Archéologique du Sillon Mosan; "Aspects d'une moyenne capitale régionale à travers les siècles: Mouzon, autrefois Mosomagus" (last accessed 23 December 2015). Return
8. Elton, Hugh; "Warfare in Roman Europe, AD 340 - 425"; Clarendon, Oxford, 1996, at p 130. Return
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