This page created 7 November 2014, and last modified: 7 November 2014
The fourth of the auxilia palatina units listed under the Magister Militum per Illyricum is the Sagittarii lecti. Its shield pattern is shown in various manuscripts as below:
The pattern is essentially a wheel. The shield boss (i.e. hub) is yellow (orange-red in B), encircled by a yellow band (red in W). This is in turn encircled by another yellow band from which radiate eight yellow spokes and then a further yellow band. The shield's rim (i.e. the wheel's tyre) is green (blue in M, red in W) while the sectors between the spokes are indigo (purple in B, faded to maroon in M, but white in W). Other wheel-type pattens in the Notitia are those of the
Lanciarii seniores, one of the legiones palatina under the Magister Militum Praesentalis IOf these, the pattern of the Solenses Gallicani is probably most similar to that of the Sagittarii lecti, as can be seen below from the following patterns taken from the Paris manuscript:
Lanciarii iuniores, one of the legiones palatina under the Magister Militum Praesentalis II
Secunda Flavia gemina, one of the legiones comitatenses under the Magister Militum per Thracias
Solenses Gallicani, another of the legiones comitatenses under the Magister Militum per Thracias
Gratianenses, an uncharacterised unit under the Magister Militum per Thracias
Britones seniores, a legio palatina under the Magister Militum per Illyricum
Equites armigeri (seniores), one of the vexillationes comitatenses in the Magister Equitum's Gallic command
Pannoniciani seniores; one of the legiones palatina in the Magister Peditum's Italian command
Secundani Britones, one of the legiones comitatenses in the Magister Equitum's Gallic command
Romanenses, one of the pseudocomitatenses units in the Magister Equitum's Gallic command
The sagittarii part of the unit's implies (but does not establish) the unit was bow-armed; it may conceivably, for example, have just been partially bow-armed, and just distinguished itself for its archery at some point; or perhaps it may even have been formerly bow-armed, but no-longer necessarily so. The word lecti means "chosen, picked, selected, excellent", implying they were not only archers, but good archers.
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