This page created 2 August 2014, and last modified: 13 September 2015 (Maier reference numbers added)
The 25th of the 32 legiones comitatenses listed (98/9.122 in Ingo Maier's numbering scheme) in the Magister Peditum's infantry roster is called the Tertia Iulia Alpina; it is assigned (102/5.86) to his Italian command under the name Tertia Iulia. Its shield pattern (96#15) as shown in various manuscripts, under the label (96.p) Tertia Iulia Alpina (except for P, which has Tertia alpina), is as shown below:
The pattern is very simple, with a white boss, a red rim, and a purple main ground (more indigo in P, and faded to pink in M, W). It is thus identical to that ascribed to the Honoriani Atecotti seniores (98/9.72), a unit of auxilia palatina under the Magister Equitum's Gallic command; and very similar to those ascribed to the Comites seniores (102/5.3), a unit of vexillationes palatinae in the Magister Peditum's Italian command; the Honoriani Atecotti iuniores (98/9.75), a unit of auxilia palatina in the Magister Peditum's Italian command; the Fortenses (98/9.99), a unit of legiones comitatenses under the "Comes Hispenias"; the Undecimani (98/9.108), another unit of legiones comitatenses under the "Comes Hispenias"; the Secunda Flavia Constantiniana (98/9.127), a unit of legiones comitatenses under the Comes Tingitaniae; the Prima Flavia Gallicana Constantia (98/9.138), a pseudocomitatenses unit under the Magister Equitum's Gallic command; the Martenses (98/9.139), another pseudocomitatenses unit under the Magister Equitum's Gallic command; the Atecotti iuniores Gallicani (98/9.092.1), assigned to the Magister Equitum's Gallic command, and presumably a unit of auxilia palatina; and the Secundani (21.19), a unit of legiones comitatenses in the eastern half of the empire, under the Magister Militum per Illyricum.
The name Iulia Alpina would appear to refer to the Julian Alps, and this unit is clearly the first of a series of three legions with the same thematic name; there is also a Legio prima Iulia Alpina (98/9.131), a pseudocomitatenses legion also serving in the Magister Peditum's Italian command; and a Legio secunda Iulia Alpina (98/9.132), another pseudocomitatenses legion, and assigned to the command of the Comes Illyricum (Jones, p 99 of his 3rd volume, instead thought "Iulia" referred to one of Constantine I's sons: Julius Crispus, Julis Constantius, or Julius Constantine, but this has found little favour). These units appear to have once belonged to the now-defunct command of the Comes Italiae; their shield patterns are shown together below, using the patterns taken from the Paris manuscript show:
Legio III Iulia Alpina, being a comitatenses unit, seems to have been given a "different" pattern from the other two; it may be the patterns shown for Legio I Iulia Alpina and Legio II Iulia Alpina are their "original" ones from when they were under the command of the Comes Italiae, but more likely they are related because they were assigned to the same field army when removed from the command of the Comes Italiae.
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