The Pannoniciani iuniores

This page created 14 September 2014, and last modified: 26 July 2015 (San Giovanni image added)


The Pannoniciani iuniores is listed (18.26 in Ingo Maier's numbering scheme) as the 15th of the legiones comitatenses under the Magister Militum per Thracias. Its shield pattern (17#10) as shown in various manuscripts, under the matching label (17.k) Pannoniciani iuniores, is as below:

Shield patterns

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

The shield pattern has a white main field featuring a blue crescent at the 12 o'clock position, cusps upwards. Between the crescent and the edge of the shield (which has no delineated rim) is a partial rosette of 5 blue dots (4 in M, and none in B, which only has the crescent, and which is larger than in the other manuscripts). The boss is encircled by a green band (faded to yellow in M, and white in W); the boss itself is rather complex, being yellow, and featuring a small central disc surrounded by an outer band divided into 6 sectors (5 in B); in W the sectors alternate blue and yellow. The shield pattern is this very similar to that of the following unit, the Tzaanni (18.27), as can be seen from the following patterns taken from the Paris manuscript (below left); presumably they were brigaded together:

Shield patterns
The motif of an upturned crescent in the 12 o'clock position as a shield emblem is carried by several other units in the Notitia, e.g. the Matiarii seniores (12.16), the Matiarii iuniores (9.22), and the eastern Batavi seniores (9.24). It is, however, not restricted to units depicted in the Notitia. To the right is my interpretation of a fresco painted on a wall of the catacombs of San Giovanni in Syracuse, Italy. A crescent with horns turned upward can be clearly made out on the soldier's shield; it is yellow in the original, albeit badly damaged by pitting (the main ground of the shield is white). The damage to the fresco makes it unclear what smaller charge is shown (if any) between and above the horns of the crescent. That the painting appears to accurately depict a soldier with equipment contemporary (or roughly contemporary) with the Notitia can be seen by looking at the helmet, which well depicts an "Intercisa"-style example. The San Giovanni shield pattern also shows a pillar beneath the boss (which is yellow, perhaps representing a copper alloy; the shield's rim is shown in the same colour); the pillar is a dark colour, perhaps purple, and there is some sort of flowing motif in yellow to the left and right of the boss that does not correspond well to any of the patterns found in the Notitia.
Via maria frescoe

The name Pannoniciani refers to either (or both) of the two provinces named Pannonia. Presumably the original Pannoniciani legion was recruited from or had been stationed there at some point; when the Pannoniciani iuniores was differentiated from the Pannoniciani seniores (98/9.25), which in the Notitia is in the western Magister Peditum's Italian command, is unknown. Possible progenitors for the Pannoniciani include, for example, Legio V Iovia and Legio VI Herculia, which in the Notitia are stationed in Pannonia II.


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