This page created 2 August 2014, and last modified: 15 September 2015 (Maier reference numbers added)
The first of the 18 pseudocomitatenses units in the Magister Peditum's infantry roster is listed (98/9.131 in Ingo Maier's numbering scheme) as the Legio Prima Alpina; it is assigned (102/5.85) to his Italian command under the name Prima Iulia. Its shield pattern (97#3), as shown in various manuscripts under the label (97.c) Alpini, is as below:
The pattern is has a white rim, a green main field (faded to yellow in M), and a mammal of some description in the bottom half of the field facing left (right in B, which being printed, reverses all the shield facings). The animal could be a wolf (especially in O, where it is depicted in grey, as it is in P, but here the body looks more bear-ish), or a dog (M, B); in W it looks, if anything, like an unexpectedly thin-legged brown hippopotamus!
The name Iulia Alpina would appear to refer to the Julian Alps, and this unit is clearly the first of a series of three legions with the same thematic name; there is also a Legio secunda Iulia Alpina (98/9.132), another pseudocomitatenses legion, and assigned to the command of the Comes Illyricum, and a Tertia Iulia Alpina (98/9.122), a legio comitatenses also assigned to the Magister Peditum's Italian command (Jones, p 99 of his 3rd volume, instead thought "Iulia" referred to one of Constantine I's sons: Julius Crispus, Julis Constantius, or Julius Constantine, but this has found little favour). These units appear to have once belonged to the now-defunct command of the Comes Italiae; their shield patterns are shown together below, using the patterns taken from the Paris manuscript show:
Legio III Iulia Alpina, being a comitatenses unit, seems to have been given a "different" pattern from the other two; it may be the patterns shown for Legio I Iulia Alpina and Legio II Iulia Alpina are their "original" ones from when they were under the command of the Comes Italiae, but more likely they are related because they were assigned to the same field army when removed from the command of the Comes Italiae.
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