Cohors II Dalmatarum

This page created 15 November 2015, and last modified: 15 November 2015


The eleventh officer listed (154.27 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 secundae Dalmatarum, said to be stationed at Magnis.

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 secundae Dalmatarum, being a cohort commanded by a tribune, are neither a "Dalmatian" cavalry unit, nor a legionary detachment (cf. the Praefectus militum Dalmatarum, 151.10, under the Dux tractus Armoricani et Nervicani), but a typically auxiliary infantry unit. Other sources, such as diplomata usually give the unit as the cohors II Delmatarum, with an "e", but "Dalmatarum" with an "a" is also attested occasionally (e.g. CIL 16,82).

The cohors II Dalmatarum is the only Dalmatian auxiliary cohort recorded in the Notitia, despite the existence of two other such units being attested epigraphically in Britain alone (the cohortes I & IIII Delmatae; cohors IIII seems to have left Britain between 117-127). The unit's station, Magnis, is the fort adjacent to the line of the wall at modern Carvoran (this placement is unusual - most wall forts are physically connected to it). An altar (RIB 1795) found at Carvoran dedicated by an imagnifer of the unit confirms its presence there.

Although no other Dalmatian infantry cohorts are attested in the Notitia, many Dalmatian cavalry units are. Two of them are listed as being in Britian: the equites Dalmatae Branodunenses (132.5) under the Comes litoris Saxonici per Britanniam, and the equites Dalmatae (154.3), under the Dux. These units were presumably originally recruited in Illyrian Dalmatia, although to what extent they maintained any ethnic connections over the years with the region is unclear. Records from other units (e.g. RIB 3332) demonstrate that they must have recruited purposefully (if not exclusively) from their "homeland" for centuries.

As with all limitanei units in the Notitia, the shield pattern of the cohors II Dalmatarum 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. R.S.O. Tomlin, R.P. Wright, & M.W.C. Hassall; "The Roman Inscriptions of Britain, Volume III, Inscriptions on Stone"; Oxbow, Oxford (2009); at p 225, regarding RIB 3219. Return


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