The Equites quarto sagittarii

This page created 24 August 2014, and last modified: 29 October 2015 (Ammianus reference added)


The Equites quarto sagittarii is listed (102/5.31 in Ingo Maier's numbering scheme) as one of the vexillationes comitatenses in the Magister Equitum's cavalry roster; it is assigned (102/5.242) to the Comes Africae. Its shield pattern (101#9), as shown in various manuscripts under the label (101.i) Quarto sagittarii, is as below:

Shield patterns

Disclaimer: remember, I'm not an expert in the field of Notitia studies, so take my comments with a grain of salt...

The pattern shows a yellow rim, and working inwards, a broad blue band, a narrow yellow band, a green band (faded to yellow in M), a narrow yellow band, and a white boss quartered with blue (with white in M, B).

The name sagittarii implies (but does not establish) the unit was bow-armed; while quarto establishes the unit as the fourth in a series of similarly-named units recorded in the Magister Equitum's cavalry roster, other members of which are the Equites primo sagittarii (102/5.28), the Equites secundo sagittarii (102/5.29), and the Equites tertio sagittarii (102/5.30); their shield patterns are not particularly similar, although a comparison of their patterns, as taken from the Parisian manuscript below, shows those of the 3rd and 4th regiments to be somewhat more similar to each other than to the others:

Shield patterns

The Equites quarto sagittarii is mentioned by Ammianus has having joined Firmus' revolt in 371; its men were demoted by Theodosius when the rebellion was crushed.


1. 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
2. Ammianus Marcellinus ("Ammianus"); "Res gestae a fine Corneli Taciti", 29.5.20; available here in Latin and here in English (last accessed 29 October 2015). Return


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