The Notitia Dignitatum

Auxiliares pseudocomitatenses

This page created 31 October 2015, and last modified: 31 October 2015


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

Pseudocomitatenses units were those that had been assigned to a field army, but without formally being classified as a field army ("comitatenses") unit: such pseudocomitatensesstatus drew received less salary than regular comitatenses units. Most of the units listed in the Notitia as having pseudocomitatenses status are either explicitly stated as also being legionary units rather than auxilary, or are likely to have been so. However, for some units, an auxiliary status is entirely possible (the numbers the units' names refer to Ingo Maier's numbering scheme):

Under the Magister Militum per Illyricum:
Timacenses auxiliarii (21.24)
Felices Theodosiani iuniores (21.25)
Bugaracenses (21.26)
Scupenses (21.27)
Ulpianenses (21.28)
Merenses (21.29)
Secundi Theodosiani (21.30)
Scampenses (21.32)
In the Magister Peditum's Italian command:
Pontinenses (98/9.137)
In the Magister Equitum's Gallic command:
Superventores iuniores (98/9.144)
Cursarienses iuniores (102/5.156)
Musmagenses (102/5.157)
Insidatores (102/5.159)
Truncensimani (102/5.160)
Abulci (102/5.161)
Exploratores 102/5.162.
Listed in the Magister Peditum's Infantry roster but not listed in any field command:
Taurunenses (98/9.135)
Antianenses (98/9.136).
Finally, the following pseudocomitatenses units are almost certainly auxiliary units:
In the Magister Equitum's Gallic command:
Corniacenses (98/9.146).
In the Magister Peditum's Italian command:
Romanenses (98/9.148).
As noted above, the other units of pseudocomitatenses listed in the Notitia without statement as to whether they are legionary or not are most likely to have been legionary, even the Fortenses auxiliarii (15.28) under the Magister Militum per Orientem.

Assuming half the "possible" units listed above are auxiliary, as well as both the "almost certainly" ones, this makes approximately 11 pseudocomitatenses auxiliary units in all. The shield patterns of the six units mentioned above that have patterns recorded in the Notitia are given below, taken from the Parisian manuscript (P):


It is a curious feature that there are no plain comitatenses units of auxilia in the Notitia; those in the the field armies are either implictly pseudocomitatenses or explicitly auxilia palatinae.


1. Codex Theodosianus; 8.1.10 (25 May 365); available here, in Latin (last accessed 31 October 2015). Return
2. 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


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