This page created 5 April 2014, and last modified: 28 November 2014 (Maier reference numbers added)
In the eastern half of the empire, the third of the 18 units of unit of auxilia palatina listed (9.26 in Ingo Maier's numbering scheme) under the command of the first Master of the Soldiers in the Imperial Presence (i.e. the Magister Militum Praesentalis I) is called the Salii. Its shield pattern (8#1) as shown in various manuscripts, under the matching label (8.a) Salii, is as below:
The pattern has an indigo main field (purple in B, faded to pink in M; white in W) with a yellow boss (white in W) encircled by a red band. The shield's rim is also red; a yellow pillar (brown in W) stretches between the two red bands at the 6 o'clock position. The Bodleian (O) and Parisian (P) manuscripts both also appear to show the forequarters of two brown animals facing each other, with some other indistinct brown device in between (i.e. at the 12 o'clock position); the two Munich illustrations (M, W) and the Froben edition (B) do not show these. Other units bearing two facing animal foreparts can be found in the Notitia as the following patterns taken from the Paris manuscript show; they all appear to feature wolves or some other form of canid:
These units are all found in the western half of the empire. It is notable that in the west there is another auxilia palatina unit, called the Salii in the Magister Peditum's infantry roster but the Salii seniores in the Magister Equitum's Gallic command. The western Salii are the very next unit illustrated after the Grati, and it is evident that in this part of the Magister Peditum's section the labels and the shield pattens are one position out of alignment. Thus the shield labelled Grati actually belongs to the Salii seniores, and both the eastern Salii and the western Salii seniores therefore carried a shield showing two brown wolves. Another unit of Salii, the Salii (iuniores) Gallicani, is found under the "Comes" Hispenias; its shield pattern is unrelated.
The name Salii is tribal, deriving from the Salian Franks; it is where the term "Salic law" (Lex Salica) comes from.
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