The Anglevarii

This page created 24 April 2014, and last modified: 13 December 2014 (Froben image added)


The Anglevarii is the 11th unit of auxilia palatina out of 18 listed (9.34 in Ingo Maier's numbering scheme) under the command of the first Master of the Soldiers in the Imperial Presence (i.e. the Magister Militum Praesentalis I). Its shield pattern (8#9) as shown in various manuscripts, under the matching label (8.i) Anglevarii, is as below:

Shield patterns

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

Like many other patterns of the other units assigned to the same command, the shield pattern of the Anglevarii shows an indigo-coloured ground (purple in B, daed to maroon n W and to pink in M) with a red rim. The boss is red (yellow in B); the pattern also shows a twin-headed zoomorphic motif that is extremely common in the Notitia (over a dozen examples), especially amongst auxilia palatina; the example borne by the Anglevarii is in red. In addition to its numerous appearances in the Notitia, the twin-headed zoomorphic motif is known from a range of sources; some further examples are given below:

Torslunda die

Bronze die press from Torslunda, Sweden.
Late 7th century?; object number 4325 in the
Statens Historiska Museum, Stockholm.
Public domain image taken from a 1903 book.
Belt buckle

Bronze belt buckle from Monceau-le-Neuf, Aisne, France.
Early 5th century?; and now in the Laon Museum.
Photo by "Vassil" and released into the public domain.
Finglesham buckle

Gold belt buckle from Finglesham, Kent, England.
Late 6th century; private collection.
Photo from York Digital Library.

The name Anglevarii relates to the Germanic tribe the Anglii (as in "England" via i-mutation) who in Roman times lived in what is now southern Denmark; this is the only unit in the Notitia featuring the name. The 11th unit under the command of the second Master of the Soldiers in the Imperial Presence is the Falchovarii, which lacks the red-rim to the shield pattern common to the units under the first Magister, but retains the indigo ground, and also bears a similar twin-headed zoomorphic motif, albeit in blue, and a bit more "spikey". The two units would thus appear to be yet another example of a twinned pair of units split between the two praesental Magistri.


Return to the Notitia alphabetical unit list page.
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