This page created 2 April 2014, and last modified: 30 November 2014 (Maier reference numbers added)
The Mattiaci seniores was interpolated by Seeck (OC.V.164) into the list of the auxilia palatina units under the Magister Peditum, by splitting the manuscripts' "Batavi matriciaci seniores" (98/9.039 in Ingo Maier's numbering scheme) into a Batavi seniores and a Mattiaci seniores; a Matiaci seniores, so-spelled, is listed under the Magister Peditum's Italian command in the correct place (102/5.066) for such a split to make perfect sense. As such, there is no shield pattern for the "Mattiaci senioress", although there is one (92#20) labelled (92.u) plain Mattiaci, and which is is shown in various manuscripts as below (note the label is Matiaci in the Bodleian manuscript, O):
The Mattiaci pattern has a red rim (yellow in W), a white main field, and a cruciform pattern of yellow circles or perhaps chain links; in O and P, and to a lesser extent, B,these appear to be presented in front of a black background to the cross. It is this pattern above that I believe corresponds to that of the putative Mattiaci seniores - see here for further details. The pattern is very similar to that labelled "Ascarii seniores" in the manuscripts, but which I believe is actually that of the Mattiaci iuniores, and which is shown in various manuscripts as below:
Note that there is also another auxilia palatina unit called the Mattiaci seniores, in the eastern half of the empire, under the command of the first Master of the Soldiers in the Imperial Presence. Its shield pattern is not particularly similar, but does also featuring a cross-shape and a red rim, as the following patterns taken from the Paris manuscript show:
The name Mattiaci is tribal; according to Tacitus in the 1st century, belonging to a German tribe that were neighbours of the Batavians. Many units in the Notitia carry such apparently tribal names inherited from units of auxilia raised centuries in the past, although in many cases, the tribal name had been transferred to a locality; such is the case here, as "Aquis Mattiacorum" was a famous spa town rom the second century; it is now known as Wiesbaden. Which former Cohors Mattiacorum (if any) the western Mattiaci seniores may have been descended from is unknown; by far the best attested unit is Cohors II Mattiacorum, which is known from scores of inscriptions and military diplomas dating to the early 2nd century in particular; an example is a statue base from Carnuntum in Austria that bears an inscription (AE 1992, 1431) mentioning a TRIB COH II MATTIACOR M EQ, which expands to "trib(unus) coh(ortis) II Mattiacor(um) m(illiariae) eq(uitatae)" (photos here). It is worth noting that a "Castello Mattiacorum" is attested (e.g. AE 1905, 169 with photos here) in the area of what is now Mainz in the 3rd century, with associated soldiers (AE 1889, 64, photos here), from which the unit may derive its name in a more direct manner than from a recruitment locality such as Aquis Mattacorum.
Inscriptional evidence for the Mattiaci seniores comes from the cemetery at Colonia Iulia Concordia (modern Portogruaro in Veneto, Italy), which produced an inscription (CIL 5.8737) mentioning the unit in the form of the NUMERUMATTIACORU SENIORUM, and another (CIL 5.8739 = ILS 2800) in the form of the N MMATTIACORUM SEN; see here for Hoffmann's 1963 analysis (in German). Another inscription, from Bordeaux in France (ILS 9215; photo here), gives the unit as the NUMERO NATTIACORUM SENIORUM.
Return to the Notitia alphabetical unit list page.
Return to my Notitia index page.