The Iovii iuniores Gallicani

This page created 18 October 2014, and last modified: 30 October (Frankfurt fragment image added)


The Iovii iuniores Gallicani is one of the auxilia palatina units listed in the Magister Peditum's infantry roster; it is assigned to the Magister Equitum's Gallic command. Its shield pattern as shown in various manuscripts, under the label Iovii iuniores, 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 shield pattern shows a red rim and an violet main field (more indigo in P, more purple in B, and faded to maroon in W and to pink in M). The rim is red, and encircled with a yellow band, except directly underneath the rim, where the yellow is instead red, thus forming a keyhole shape; in P the keyhole extends downwards to the rim, producing a pillar of the kind found with the Mattiaci iuniores Gallicani, and closer to the more commonly found kind in the Notitia, where the pillar is the same colour as the encircling band (e.g. the Pontinenses) than the shorter version of the Iovii iuniores Gallicani shown in the non-P manuscripts. The pattern shown in the Frankfurt fragment, Ff, is not only extremely faded, but has also been heavily damaged, stained, and overlain with a label, due to being used as a book cover before being recognised for what it is.

Although there is evidence that many labels attached to the shield patterns illustrating the western auxilia platina have been shifted from their proper places, it is not clear that this has happened to this unit; it may well be labelled with the correct shield pattern.

In addition to the Iovii iuniores Gallicani, there is a plain Iovii iuniores listed in the Magister Peditum's infantry roster (ironically, it is labelled as the plain Iovii in most mansucripts) and assigned to the Comes Illyricum. Presumably the Gallicani unit was split off from the Iovii iuniores at some point for service in Gaul; perhaps when the rest of the Iovii iuniores was assigned to the Illyrian command.

Inscriptional evidence for "the" Iovii iuniores comes from the cemetery at Colonia Iulia Concordia (modern Portogruaro in Veneto, Italy), which produced an inscription (CIL 5, 8753) mentioning the unit in the form of the militum Ioviorum iuniorum. See here for Hoffmann's 1963 analysis (in German). This probably refers to the Illyrian unit, possibly before the Gallic unit was even created.


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