The Equites Cornuti seniores

This page created 21 June 2014, and last modified: 11 December 2015 (Maier reference numbers added)


The Equites Cornuti seniores is listed (102/5.7 in Ingo Maier's numbering scheme) as the fifth of the vexillationes palatinae in the Magister Equitum's cavalry roster. Its shield pattern (100#g) as shown in various manuscripts, under the label (100.f) 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 is simple, featuring a blue boss encircled by a red band (but purple edged in yellow in B); the rest of the shield is plain white. Despite this simplicity, it does not look particularly like those of any of the other cavalry units, and especially not that of the Equites Cornuti iuniores (102/5.8) - except that in the Froben edition (B), the patterns of both Equites Cornuti units are very similar.

The Equites Cornuti seniores is apparently assigned to both the Magister Peditum's Italian command and the Magister Equitum's Gallic command, while the Equites Cornuti iuniores is assigned to neither; 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.

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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