The Equites Cornuti iuniores

This page created 21 June 2014, and last modified: 10 December 2015 (Maier reference numbers added)


The Equites Cornuti iuniores is listed (102/5.8 in Ingo Maier's numbering scheme) as the sixth of the vexillationes palatinae in the Magister Equitum's cavalry roster. Its shield pattern (100#7) as shown in various manuscripts, under the label (100.g) Cornuti iuniores, 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"

The shield pattern, except in the printed Froben edition (B), features a red boss (yellow in M) encircled by a number of bands; working outwards, they are yellow (blue and then red in W), green (faded to yellow in M, white in W), yellow (white in W), blue (red in W), and then indigo (faded to pink in M, blue in W). Consequently, it does not particularly resemble the pattern of any of the other cavalry units, and especially not that of the Equites Cornuti seniores (102/5.7) - except that in the Froben edition (B), the patterns of both of the Equites Cornuti units are both strangely similar to each other and thus that of the Froben Equites Cornuti iuniores is wildly divergent from those of the other manuscripts, as shown below:

Shield patterns

The Equites Cornuti iuniores is not assigned to any command in the Notitia, while the Equites Cornuti seniores is assigned to both the Magister Peditum's Italian command and the Magister Equitum's Gallic command. Clearly one of the two disposition listings should say iuniores rather than seniores, but it is not clear which; the balance of probabilities lies with the more senior Italian command getting the senior unit, and thus the Gallic command getting the Equites Cornuti iuniores.

The name Cornuti is usually taken to mean "the horned ones" (though other etymologies have been advanced); the shield pattern here does not reveal any association with this derivation of unit name, unlike with the (infantry) Cornuti seniores (98/9.34), for example.


1. Ingo Maier; "Appendix 4: Numeration of the new edition of the compilation 'notitia dignitatum' (Cnd)"; last accessed 7 December 2015. See also for here for numbering examples. Return


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