The Regii (West)

This page created 3 August 2014, and last modified: 23 September 2015 (Maier reference numbers added)


The sixth of the 32 units of legiones comitatenses listed (98/9.103 in Ingo Maier's numbering scheme) in the Magister Peditum's infantry roster is called the Regii; it is assigned (102/5.83) to his Italian command. Its shield pattern (95#17), as shown in various manuscripts under the matching label (95.r) Regii, 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 pattern shows a white main ground and a red rim. The boss is also encircled by a red rim; the boss itself is also red in B, white quartered with maroon in O, P, and M, and white quartered with white in W. The main ground is also crossed with four radiating spokes coloured indigo (faded to maroon in M and W, except that in W the two horizontal spokes are red); the sides of the spokes are straight in O & P but curved in M, W, and B. The pattern (but not the colours) therefore has close similarities to that of the Armigeri propugnatores seniores (98/9.27) under the Comes Africae.

The name Regii means "the kings", or alternatively "the king's" (perhaps referring to Crocus, a king of the Alamanni who, according to the Epitome de Caesaribus (41.3) proclaimed the young Constantine I as Augustus at York, in 306), and is shared with the most senior of the auxilia palatina units (12.23) under the Magister Militum Praesentalis II, in the eastern half of the empire. A unit of Regii fought for Julian at the battle of Argentoratum in 357, but as they were brigaded with a unit of Batavi, i.e. an auxila palatina unit, the Regii at that that battle was presumably the auxilia palatina unit, and not the western legion.

The eastern Regii has been linked with an inscription (CIL 5, 8764) from the cemetery at Colonia Iulia Concordia (modern Portogruaro in Veneto, Italy), which mentions a NUM REG EMES IUDERU, which has been expanded to "num(ero) Regi(orum) Emes(enorum) Iud(a)e(o)ru(m)"; this interpretation has not found universal favour, and in any case, it might well refer to the western Regii, which is found in an Italian command, after all. See here for Hoffmann's 1963 analysis (in German).


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