Cohors I Batavorum

This page created 14 November 2015, and last modified: 14 November 2015


The seventh officer listed (154.23 in Ingo Maier's numbering scheme) under the command of the Dux Britanniarum following the subsection headed "along the line of the Wall" (item 154.16, per lineam valli), is the Tribunus cohortis primae Batavorum, said to be stationed at Procolitia.

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

The men under the Tribunus cohortis primae Batavorum are frequently attested as a part-mounted auxiliary cohort, i.e. a cohors equitata. The unit's station, the fort of Procolitia (i.e. Brocolitia), is modern Carrawburgh in Northumberland, and was garrisoned by a succession of units as evidenced by a plethora of inscriptions; the earliest dateable inscriptions mentioning the cohors I Batavorum (RIB 1544, RIB 1545) come from the first quarter of the 3rd century.

Batavians, a Germanic group living in what is now the Netherlands, supplied Rome with a very large number of auxiliary units over the centries. Cohors IX Batavorum, for example, one of many units of Batavi recruited in the first century; it is found in the Notitia (147.12) under the Dux Raetiae primae et secundae, and is attested (e.g. Tab.Vindol.I.12) from Britain at Vindolanda, ca. 100 AD. Much closer to the date of the Notitia is Ammianus' history detailing the 3rd quarter of the 4th century, in which a unit of Batavi figures prominently, usually paired with a unit of Heruli (e.g. at 20.1.3; 20.4.2; 27.1.6; 27.8.7); the last of these mentions concerns an expedition of Theodosius to suppress disturbances in Britain; the unit soon returned to the continent.

It is notable that several of the inscriptions from Carrawburgh declare their dedicators to be Germani, attesting to a continuing ethnic identity within cohors I Batavorum.

As with all limitanei units in the Notitia, the shield pattern of the cohors I Batavorum is not illustrated.


1. Ingo Maier; "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. Ammianus Marcellinus ("Ammianus"); "Res gestae a fine Corneli Taciti"; available here in Latin and here in English (last accessed 5 November 2015). Return


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