The Notitia Dignitatum

Auxilia palatina

This page created 4 January 2016, and last modified: 17 January 2016 (some links added)


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

The following units are listed as being auxilia palatina in the Notitia (the numbers in front of each name refer to Ingo Maier's numbering scheme):

Under the first Magister Militum Praesentalis:
9.24 Batavi seniores
9.25 Brachiati iuniores
9.26 Salii
9.27 Constantiani
9.28 Mattiaci seniores
9.29 Sagittarii seniores Gallicani
9.30 Sagittarii iuniores Gallicani
9.31 Tertii sagittarii Valentis
9.32 Defensores
9.33 Raetobarii
9.34 Anglevarii
9.35 Hiberi
9.36 Visi
9.37 Felices Honoriani iuniores
9.38 Victores
9.39 Primi Theodosiani
9.40 Tertii Theodosiani
9.41 Felices Theodosiani [I]sauri
Under the second Magister Militum Praesentalis:
12.23 Regii
12.24 Cornuti
12.25 Tubantes
12.26 Constantiniani
12.27 Mattiaci iuniores
12.28 Sagittarii seniores Orientales
12.29 Sagittarii iuniores Orientales
12.30 Sagittarii dominici
12.31 Vindices
12.32 Bucinobantes
12.33 Falchovarii
12.34 Thraces
12.35 Tervingi
12.36 Felices Theodosiani
12.37 Felices Arcadiani iuniores
12.38 Secundi Theodosiani
12.39 Felices Arcadiani iuniores (sic)
12.40 Secundi Theodosiani (sic)
12.41 Quarti Theodosiani
Under the Magister Militum per Illyricum:
21.8 Ascarii seniores
21.9 Ascarii iuniores
21.10 Petulantes iuniores
21.11 Sagittarii lecti
21.12 Invicti iuniores
21.13 Atecotti
In the Magister Peditum's Italian command:
102/5.60 Cornuti seniores
102/5.61 Brachiati seniores
102/5.62 Petulantes seniores
102/5.63 Celtae seniores
102/5.64 Heruli seniores
102/5.65 Batavi seniores
102/5.66 Mattiaci seniores
102/5.67 Iovii seniores
102/5.69 Cornuti iuniores
102/5.70 Leones iuniores
102/5.71 Exculcatores seniores
102/5.72 Grati
102/5.73 Savini (= Sabini)
102/5.74 Felices iuniores
102/5.75 Atecotti Honoriani iuniores (= Honoriani Atecotti iuniores)
102/5.76 Brisigavi iuniores
102/5.77 Mauri Honoriani iuniores (= Honoriani Mauri iuniores)
102/5.78 Galli victores
102/5.88 Gratianenses iuniores
Under the Comes Illyricum:
102/5.92 Sagittarii Tungri
102/5.93 Iovii iuniores
102/5.94 Sequani
102/5.95 Retii
102/5.96 Sagittarii venatores
102/5.97 Latini
102/5.98 Valentinianenses felices (= Felices Valentinianenses)
102/5.99 Honoriani victores (= Honoriani victores iuniores)
102/5.100 Seguntienses
102/5.101 Tungri
102/5.102 Mauri Honoriani seniores (= Honoriani Mauri seniores)
102/5.103 Mattiarii Honoriani Gallicani (= Honoriani Gallicani)
In the Magister Equitum's Gallic command:
102/5.117 Brachiati iuniores (= Brachiati)
102/5.118 Salii seniores (= Salii)
102/5.119 Gratianenses (= Gratianenses seniores)
102/5.120 Brocteri (= Bructeri)
102/5.121 Ampsivarii
102/5.122 Valentinianenses (likely = Valentianenses iuniores, 98/9.65)
102/5.123 Batavi
102/5.124 Batavi iuniores
102/5.125 Britones (likely = Exculcatores iuniores Britanniciani, 98/9.82)
102/5.126 Atecotti Honoriani seniores (= Honoriani Atecotti seniores)
102/5.127 Sagittarii Nervi Gallicani
102/5.128 Iovii iuniores Gallicani
102/5.129 Mattiaci iuniores Gallicani
102/5.131 Ascarii Honoriani seniores (= Honoriani ascarii seniores)
Under the "Comes" Hispenias:
102/5.171 Ascarii seniores
102/5.172 Ascarii iuniores
102/5.173 Sagittarii nervi
102/5.174 Exculcatores iuniores
102/5.175 Tubantes
102/5.176 Felices seniores
102/5.177 Invicti seniores
102/5.178 Victores iuniores
102/5.179 Invicti iuniores Britones (= Invicti iuniores Britanniciani)
102/5.180 Brisigavi seniores
102/5.181 Salii iuniores Gallicani (= Salii Gallicani)
Under the Comes Africae:
102/5.193 Celtae iuniores.
Further, the following units, while not explicitly identified as such, almost certainly units of auxilia palatina
Under the Magister Militum per Orientem:
15.13 Felices Arcadiani seniores
15.14 Felices Honoriani seniores
In the Magister Peditum's Italian command:
102/5.68 Victores seniores
102/5.87 Placidi Valentinianici felices
102/5.89 Marcomanni
Under the Comes Illyricum:
102/5.112 Valentinianenses
In the Magister Equitum's Gallic command:
102/5.130 Atecotti iuniores Gallicani
Under the Comes Britanniae:
102/5.206 Victores iuniores Britanniciani.
Further, the following units, are quite possibly units of auxilia palatina, despite not being so-labelled:
Under the Magister Militum per Thracias:
18.30 Augustenses
18.31 Valentinianenses
18.31.1 [Gratianenses].
This makes 109 units all-told, or 107 if the duplications of 12.37 = 12.39 and 12.38 = 12.40 are taken into account. Of course, its is possible that other merely apparent duplications might be real (e.g. 21.8 = 102/5.171?), while some apparent duplications might not be real (e.g 102/5.125 =/= 98/9.82?). Of these 107 units, 44 are in the east, and 63 in the west.

The first units of auxilia palatina were raised in the late 3rd century, under the Tetrarchs, as a part of the Comital, or field army, forces being raised at the time. They seem to have formed a increasing proportion of the army as the 4th century progressed, and to judge from the Notitia, this trend was accelerated in the west at the start of the 5th century. Approximately 50 of the Notitia's units have an "ethnic" name, depending on what you count as such, while approximately 30 have an "imperial" name (i.e. named after an emperor). The "ethnic" names are essentially western in origin: the only possible exceptions are the Felices Theodosiani [I]sauri (9.41), assuming "Sauri" is correctly amended as "Isauri", and the Hiberi (9.35), assuming Hiberi refers to the Caucasian Iberia, as opposed to the Spanish Iberia, which is by no means certain; in any case, either might be better referred to as "geographical".


1. Maier, Ingo; "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. Speidel, M.P.; "Raising New Units for the Late Roman Army"; Dumbarton Oaks Papers, 50 (1996), pp 163-170; available here (last accessed 23 December 2015). Return


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