The Cuneus equitum Dalmatarum Divitensium

This page created 26 December 2015, and last modified: 27 December 2015 (AE 1938,97 commentary added)


In the eastern half of the empire, there are two entries listed (80.3 and 80.5, respectively, in Ingo Maier's numbering scheme) under the command of the Dux Daciae ripensis that read Cuneus equitum Dalmatarum Divitensium.

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

Frontpiece showing towns
Above: Frontpiece from the Bodleian manuscript.
The stations depicted are:
Dortico, Bononia,
Cebro, Drobeta, Augustae,
Varina, Almo, Aegetae,
While these two entries may represent two separate units, they almost certainly are instead two detachments of a single unit. The first detachment (80.3) is said to be stationed at Dortico (Dorticum, modern Vrâv in Bulgaria), while the second (80.5) is missing its station in the text as it has come down to us; however, this can be be supplied with near certainty as Drobeta (modern Drobeta-Turnu Severin in Romania), since this is what is stated in the appropriate (79.e) label in the frontpiece illustration (79#5; see left): the order in which the stations are illustrated on the compilation's page 79 corresponds to the order in which they are listed in page 80.

Like all limitanei units of cavalry cunei, the shield pattern of the Cuneus equites Dalmatarum Divitensium is not recorded in the Notitia.

A gravestone (CIL 3,7415) found at Serdica (modern Sofia in Bulgaria) of one Flavius Felix, a signifer in the unit (whose name is abbreviated as the N DIVIT in the stone's third panel) shows one of the unit's troopers bearing a round shield. The monument (see right; further photos here) is badly worn, obscuring any shield pattern that may have been shown, but a relatively deep arcuate incision remains; it would not surprise me if this depicted a draco in real life.

The Divitensium in the unit's name refers to Divitia (modern Köln-Deutz in Germany), which was re-established as Casellum Divitia / Castrum Divitensium by Constantine I in 310 AD as a bridgehead across the Rhine opposite Colonia to better guard the Gallic frontier; the unit was evidently soon transferred east from Divitia to the Danube. The unit is also apparently mentioned in an inscription (AE 1938,97) from Makresh, in Vidin, Bulgaria, giving a NVMERVM DALMAT[.]RVM [..]VI[....], on the assumption "[..]VI[....]" can be read as "Divitens".

Flavius Felix
Photo by Lyudmil F. Vagalinski,
and taken from reference 2.

Epigraphical evidence dating to before the unit's move eastwards is rather more plentiful, with three records mentioning the unit having been found in Augusta Taurinorum (Turin, Italy): CIL 5,7000 (= ILS 2629) gives the unit as NVM DAL DIVIT; CIL 5,7001 gives N DELM DIVIT; and CIL 5,7012 gives DELM DIVIT; the unit was likely part of Maxentius' army before Constantine I moved it to northern Gaul, and then to Dacia.


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. Woods, David; "Flavius Felix and the signum of the numerus Divitensium"; Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik, 156 (2006), pp 242-244, available here (last accessed 26 December 2015). Return

3. Speidel, M.P.; "Who Fought in the Front?", in G. Alföldy, B. Dobson, and W. Eck (Eds.), Kaiser, Heer und Gesellschaft in der Römischen Kaiserzeit, Stuttgart, 2000, pp 473-82, at p 481. Return


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