This page created 6 September 2014, and last modified: 26 July 2015 (Maier reference numbers added)
The 17th of the units under the heading "legiones comitatenses" (18.11 in Ingo Maier's numbering scheme) in the section of the Magister Militum per Thracias is listed (18.28) as the Solenses Gallicani. Its shield pattern (17#12) as shown in various manuscripts, under the matching label (17.m) Solenses Gallicani, is as below:
The shield pattern features a red boss (yellow in P, white in B) encircled by a blue band (white in B). Surrounding this is a yellow band, radiating from which are 8 (B, M) or 9 (O, P, W) spokes; the spokes terminate in a second yellow band giving the impression of the tyre of a wheel. The spaces between the spokes are red; outside the wheel's tyre is the shield's rim, which is green (faded to yellow in M, and white in W, B).
The shield pattern is similar to both those of the Secunda Flavia gemina (18.19) and the Gratianenses(18.31.1), both under the Magister Militum per Thracias, as well as that of the Britones seniores (21.6) and the Sagittarii lecti (21.11), both under the Magister Militum per Illyricum, and the Pannoniciani seniores (98/9.25) in the western Magister Peditum's Italian command, as can be seen below from the following patterns taken from the Paris manuscript:
The name Solenses derives from the sun, Sol. In particular, it probably derives from either Constantine the Great (who was devoted to the worship of Sol before converting to Christianity), or, even more likely, from his father, Constantius Chlorus, who was associated with Sol in the same way Diocletian was with Jupiter, Maximianus with Hercules, and Galerius with Mars. Other units named after Sol in the Notitia are the Solenses seniores (18.12), also under the Magister Militum per Thracias; the Cuneus equitum Solensium (74.3) under the Dux Scythiae; another unit so-named (76.3) under the Dux Moesiae secundae; and the men under the Praefectus numeri Solensium (154.12), serving under the Dux Britanniarum. It is possible the Solenses Gallicani are a detachment of the Solenses seniores, in which case they were presumably detached in Gaul, given the name Gallicani; however, it should be noted that there is no unit named the Solenses iuniores in the Notitia, so there is always the possibility the Solenses Gallicani is the Solenses iuniores Gallicani in full (cf. the Atecotti iuniores (Gallicani), 98/9.92.1).
The similarity of the shield pattern of the Solenses Gallicani with those of the Secunda Flavia gemina and the Britones seniores is intriguing - see my speculation under the Britones seniores. On the other hand, the pattern may be said to be even more similar to those of the Gratianenses, the Pannoniciani seniores, and the Sagittarii lecti, and thus the unit be more likely to be connected with one these two units.
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