The Prima Flavia Gallicana Constantia

This page created 23 March 2014, and last modified: 15 September 2015 (Maier reference numbers added)


The Prima Flavia Gallicana Constantia is listed (98/9.138 in Ingo Maier's numbering scheme) as the 8th of the 18 pseudocomitatenses units in the Magister Peditum's infantry roster; it is assigned (102/5.142) to the Magister Equitum's Gallic command as the Prima Flavia Gallicana. Its shield pattern (97#10), as shown in various manuscripts under the label (97.k) Constantia, is as below:

Prima Flavia Gallicana Constantia 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 is relatively simple, showing a green boss (faded to yellow in M), an indigo main field (purple in B; faded to pink in M, W), and a red rim; some sort of red-brown mammal (white in B, and near-white in M) leaps above the boss; the leaping animal motif is not a particularly rare one in the Notitia.

It is clear that the men of the Prima Flavia Gallicana Constantia are to ne equated with those commanded by the Praefectus militum primae Flaviae (151.8), stationed at Constantia (modern Coutances, in France), under the Dux tractus Armoricani et Nervicani; see under his entry for details. The unit is thus apparently not related to the very similarly-named Prima Flavia Constantia (15.21) found under the command of the Magister Militum per Orientem (and presumably raised by Constantine Chlorus).

Some other units bearing the names Prima Flavia are the Prima Flavia Theodosiana (15.24), another legiones comitatenses under the command of the Magister Militum per Orientem; the Prima Flavia gemina (18.18), a legiones comitatenses under the Magister Militum per Thracias; the Prima Flavia Pacis (98/9.123), a legiones comitatenses under the command of the Comes Africae; the Prima Flavia Augustae (141.30), a fleet under the Dux Pannoniae secundae; the Prima Flavia Raetorum (147.11), an ala under the Dux Raetiae; the Prima Flavia Sapaudica (156/8.36), a cohort stationed in Gaul, but not part of the Magister Equitum's Gallic command; the Prima Flavia Metis (98/9.143), another pseudocomitatenses unit under the Magister Equitum's Gallic command; and the Prima Flavia (59.28), a cohort under the Dux Palaestinae. As can be seen, "the First Flavian..." was a very common title borne by units in the 4th century!

Exactly to what degrees these various "First Flavian" units may have related to each other, or maintained entirely separate identities, is hard to discern.


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