This page created 1 July 2015, and last modified: 10 December 2015 (references rearranged)
The second-last of the 32 vexillationes comitatenses listed (102/5.43 in Ingo Maier's numbering scheme) in the Magister Equitum's cavalry roster is the Equites sagittarii seniores; it is assigned (102/5.259) to the Comes Tingitaniae, as the Equites sagittarii seniores comitatenses. As with the following and final unit in the Magister Equitum's cavalry roster, the Cuneus equitum promotorum (102/5.44), its shield pattern is not shown.
The position of the Equites sagittarii seniores in the Magister Equitum's cavalry roster, coupled with its lack of accompanying shield pattern, together suggest that the unit is a recent addition to the roster. Given the simplicity and seniority of the unit's name, this implies the unit was recently transferred to the command of the Comes Tingitaniae rather than being newly-raised. If the unit had been transferred from elsewhere in the west, its previous listing(s) elsewhere in the western section seem to have been successfully deleted, in contrast to many other transferrals; alternatively, the unit may have been transferred from the east, and indeed, a unit called the Equites sagittarii seniores is listed (18.8) as a vexillationes comitatenses under the Magister Militum per Thracias (but see below).
The name sagittarii implies (but does not establish) the unit was bow-armed. A similarly-named unit, the (Equites) sagittarii iuniores is listed (102/5.36) as a vexillationes comitatenses in the Magister Equitum's cavalry roster, and would appear to be assigned to the Comes Africae, as the mislabelled (102/5.246) Equites scutarii iuniores comitatenses. This too may have been drafted in from the east; a unit called the Equites sagittarii iuniores is similarly listed (18.9) as a vexillationes comitatenses under the Magister Militum per Thracias. Confusingly, yet another instance of a unit called the Equites sagittarii seniores is listed (21.3) as a vexillationes comitatenses under the Magister Militum per Illyricum. Theses multiple indications of an Equites sagittarii seniores may indicate one unit being transferred around the empire; it may also indicate there were multiple units so-named: possibly two, possibly three. There is evidence that many, perhaps even most, of the apparently duplicated units in the Notitia were in reality separate formations, and when attested epigraphically, are sometimes given expanded - and differentiated - names.
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
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