The Salii iuniores Gallicani

This page created 26 June 2014, and last modified: 30 October (Frankfurt fragment image added)


The Salii Gallicani is a unit of auxilia palatina listed in the Magister Peditum's infantry roster; it is assigned to the "Comes" Hispenias under the name Salii iuniores Gallicani. Its shield pattern as shown in various manuscripts is as below:

Shield patterns

Disclaimer: remember, I'm not an expert in the field of Notitia studies, so take my comments with a grain of salt...

The pattern is relatively simple, and shows an indigo boss (white in B) encircled in red with a plain white main field. The rim is red, with an inner indigo band (absent in B and Ff); the indigo features are faded to maroon in M and W, and almost white in Ff; the Ff fragment has also been damaged and stained due to being used as a book cover before being recognised for what it is.

Although there is evidence that many labels attached to the shield patterns illustrating the western auxilia platina have been shifted from their proper places, it is not clear that this has happened to this unit; it may well be labelled with the correct shield pattern.

The name Salii is tribal in origin, and refers to the Salian Franks, whose "Salic Law" governing inheritance later assumed great importance in feudal Europe; the word may have something to do with salt, as they lived near the sea. Other units bearing the name in the Notitia are the Salii, a unit of auxilia palatina under the Magister Militum Praesentalis I in the eastern half of the empire; and another unit of auxilia palatina called the Salii, under the Magister Peditum in the western half of the empire, and assigned to the Magister Equitum's Gallic command, where it is called the Salii seniores. Neither has a pattern similar to that of the Salii (iuniores) Gallicani. No plain Salii iuniores is listed in the Notitia to accompany the Salii seniores; it is of course possible that the Salii (iuniores) Gallicani is the Salii iuniores rather than the Salii iuniores being simply missing.


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