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Vexillatio Equitum, Equites, Numerus Equitum
#1
The modern theory states that the vexillatio equitum was first created during the reigns of Valerian and Gallienus. They say the proof of this fact are these two inscriptions:
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722. A UZIA  (Sour El-Ghozlane, Algérie) Base (104 x 64 x ? cm), conservé dans le musée de Sour El-Ghozlane. CIL, VIII, 9045 (D. 2766) ; Benseddik, 1982, n°76. Lecture de Benseddik :

P(ublio) Ael(io), P(ublii) filio, Q(uirina tribu), Primiano, | eq(uiti) r(omano), trib(uno) coh(ortis) IIII Syn|g(am)b(rorum), a m(il(itiis) primo p(ilo) trib(uno) | coh(ortis) IIII Vig(ilum), ex dec(urione) al(ae) | Thrac(um), pr(ae)p(osito) uex(illationis) eq(uitum) | Mauror(um), defenso|ri prou(inciae), suae dec(urioni) (trium)| col(oniarum) Auz(iensis) et Rusg(uniensis) | et Equiz(etensis). P(ublius) Aeli|us Primus, dec(urio) col(oniae) | Auz(iensis), prius morte | praeuentus quam | ded(icaret) pat(ri) piissimo, | Ael(ia) Audif fil(ia) pat(ri) | d(e)d(icauit) (tertio decimo ante) Kal(endas) | Mar(tias) (anno) p(rouinciae) CCXVI.

Date : 16 février 255 p.C.
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723. A UZIA  (Sour El-Ghozlane, Algérie) Base (117 x 65 x ? cm) Conservé dans le musée de Sour El-Ghozlane. CIL, VIII, 9047 (D. 2767) ; Benseddik, 1982, n°131. Lecture de Benseddik :

[Q(uinto) G]argilio, Q(uinti) f(ilio), Q(uirina tribu), Martiali, eq(uiti) r(omano), | [pr]aef(ecto) coh(ortis) I Astyrum(sic) pr(ouinciae) Britta|[n]iae, trib(uno) coh(ortis) Hisp(anorum) pr(ouinciae) Maur(etaniae) Caes(ariensis), | [a] mil(itiis) praep(osito) coh(ortis) Sing(ularium) et uex(illationis) | [e]q(uitum) Mauror(um) in territorio | [A]uziensi, praetendentium | dec(urioni) duarum co(loniarum) Auziensis et Rusguniensis et pat(rono) | prou(inciae) ob insignem in ci|ues amorem et singula|rem erga patriam adfec|tionem et quod eius uir|tute ac uigilantia Fa|raxen rebellis cum sa|tellitibus suis fuerit | captus et interfectus. | Ordo col(oniae) Auziensis | insidiis Bauarum de|cepto p(ecunia) p(ublica) f(ecit) d(e)d(icauitque) VIII (ante diem) Kal(endas) | [A]pr(iles) (anno) pr(ouinciae) CCXXI.

Date : 26 mars 260 p.C. Remarques : l’inscription est discutée par Christol 1975, ANRW II, 2, p.812.
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But I question, is this correct?
If one does not know the answer to a problem, the solution is to look to the past. The vexillatio equitum already existed:
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CIL XVI Suppl. 164 = Radnóti – Barkóczi, Arch. Ért. 78, 1951, 78 ff. mit Taf. 36f. = Acta Archaeol. Acad. Scient. Hungar. 1, 1951, 192ff. mit Abb. – Militärdiplom vom 2. Juli 110. – Tokod (Distrikt Komorn. Pann. inf.)

Equitibus et peditibus, qui militant in alis quattuor et cohortibus decem, quae appellantur – et vexillationis equitum ex Syria et sunt in Pannonia inferior sub T(ito) Iulio Maximo Manliano –
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publication: CIL 06, 32933 (p 3846) = D 02723 = IDRE-01, 00021          EDCS-ID: EDCS-23201535
province: Roma         place: Roma

L(ucio) Paconio L(uci) f(ilio) Pal(atina) / Proculo / praef(ecto) coh(ortis) I Fl(aviae) Hisp(anorum) eq(uitatae) / P(iae) F(idelis) trib(uno) mil(itum) leg(ionis) XI Cl(audiae) P(iae) F(idelis) / praef(ecto) vexillation(is) eq(uitum) Moe/siae infer(ioris) et Daciae eunti(!) / in expeditione Parthic(a) donis / militar[ib(us)] donato praef(ecto) eq(uitum) / alae pr(imae) Aug(ustae) Parthorum / patrono et curatori / municipi(i) / d(ecreto) d(ecurionum) / publice
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publication: CIL 16, 00075 = CIL 03, p 0876 (p 1977) = IDR-01, 00010
dating: 129 to 129         EDCS-ID: EDCS-12300279
province: Dacia         place: Gurapadin

Imp(erator) Caes(ar) divi Traiani Parthici f(ilius) divi Nerv(ae) / nepos Traianus Hadrianus Aug(ustus) pont(ifex) / max(imus) trib(unicia) pot(estate) XIII co(n)s(ul) III p(ater) p(atriae) / eq(uitibus) et pe<d=P>(itibus) qui mil(itaverunt) in al(a) I et vexill(atione) eq(uitum) Illyr(icorum) et coh(ortibus) / IIII quae app(ellantur) I Hisp(anorum) et I Hisp(anorum) veter(ana) et II F<l=T>(avia) / Num(idarum) et II Fl(avia) Bessor(um) et III Gallor(um) et sunt / in Dacia i<n=M>feriore sub Plautio Caesiano / quin(is) et vicen(is) <p=F>lu(ribus)ve stip(endiis) emer(itis) dim(issis) hon(esta) / miss(ione) quor(um) nom(ina) subscrip(ta) sun<t=F> ips(is) lib(eris) / post(erisque) eor(um) civit(atem) ded(it) et conub(ium) cum uxor(ibus) / quas tunc hab(uissent) cum est civit(as) iis dat(a) aut si q(ui) / cae<l=T>ibes ess(ent) cum iis quas post(ea) dux(issent) dumtax(at) / sing(uli) singulas [a(nte)] d(iem) XI K(alendas) Apr(iles) / P(ublio) Iuven<t=I>io Celso II Q(uinto) Iulio Balbo co(n)s(ulibus) / vexill(atio) equit(um) Illyricor(um) / ex grega<l=T>e / Eupatori Eumeni f(ilio) Sebastopol(i) / et Eupateri f(ilio) eius et Eupatori f(ilio) eius / et Eumeno fil(io) eius et Thrasoni fil(io) eius / et Phi<l=T>opatrae fil(iae) eius / [descriptum et recognitum // Imp(erator) Caes(ar) divi Traiani Parthici f(ilius) divi / Nervae nepos Traianus Hadrianus Aug(ustus) / pontif(ex) max(imus) trib(unicia) potest(ate) XIII co(n)s(ul) III p(ater) p(atriae) / equitib(us) et peditib(us) qui militaver(unt) in ala I et / vexillation(e) equit(um) Illyricor(um) et coh(ortibus) IIII quae / appellant(ur) I Hispanor(um) et I Hispanor(um) veteran(a) / et II Flav(ia) Numidar(um) et II Flav(ia) Bessor(um) et III Gal/lor(um) et sunt in Dacia i<n=M>feriore sub Plautio / Caesiano quin(is) et vicen(is) pluribusve sti<p=I>en/di(i)s emeritis dimissis honesta missio/ne quorum nomina subscripta sunt / ipsis liberis posterisque eorum civita/tem dedit et conubium cum uxoribus / quas tunc habuissent cum est civitas iis / data aut si qui caelibes essent cum iis q[u]as / postea duxissent dumtaxat singuli / singulas a(nte) d(iem) XI K(alendas) Apr(iles) / P(ublio) Iuventio Celso II Q(uinto) Iulio Balbio co(n)s(ulibus) / vexillatio equitum Illyricor(um) / ex gregale / Eupatori Eumeni f(ilio) Sebastopol(i) / et Eupatori f(ilio) eius et Eupateri f(ilio) eius / et Eumeno fil(io) eius et Thrasoni fil(io) eius / et Philopatrae fil(iae) eius / descriptum et recognitum ex tabula / aenea quae fixa est Romae in muro post / templum divi Au<g=C>(usti) ad Minervam // L(uci) Vibi Vibiani / Q(uinti) Lolli Festi / L(uci) Pulli Daphni / L(uci) Equiti Gemelli / L(uci) Pulli Anthi / Ti(beri) Claudi Menandri / C(ai) Vettieni Hermetis
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publication: IDRE-02, 00445 = AE 1956, 00124 = AE 1959, 00183 = AE 1962, 00390 = AE 1976, 00359 = AE 2009, +00077 = AE 2010, +00083          EDCS-ID: EDCS-13600417
province: Numidia         place: Ain Zana / Ain Beda / Mergueb el-Zana / Mergueb ez-Zana / Diana Veteranorum Date: Marcus Aurelius Markomannenkriege (Saxer)

M(arco) Valerio Maximiano M(arci) Valeri Maximiani quinq(uennalis) s[ac(erdotalis)] / f(ilio) pont(ifici) col(oniae) Poetovionens(ium) equo p(ublico) praef(ecto) coh(ortis) I Thrac(um) trib(uno) coh(ortis) I (H)am(iorum) / civium R(omanorum) praep(osito) orae gentium Ponti Polemoniani don(is) don(ato) bel/lo P{h}art(hico) a<d=L>lecto ab Imp(eratore) M(arco) Antonino Aug(usto) et misso in procinctu / Germanic(ae) exped(itionis) ad deducend(a) per Danuvium quae in annonam Panno(niae) / utriusq(ue) exercit(uum) denavigarent praepos(ito) vexillation(um) clas(sium) praetor(iarum) / Misenatis item Ravennatis item clas(sis) Brit{t}an(n)ic(ae) item equit(um) Afror(um) et Mauror(um) / elector(um) ad curam explorationis Pannoniae praef(ecto) al(ae) I Aravacor(um) in procinc/tu Germanico ab Imp(eratore) Antonino Aug(usto) coram laudato et equo et phaleris / et armis donato quod manu sua ducem Naristarum Valaonem / interemisset et in eade(m) ala quartae militiae honor(em) adepto praef(ecto) al(ae) / contar(iorum) don(is) don(ato) bello Ger(manico) Sar(matico) praep(osito) equitib(us) gent(ium) Marcomannor(um) Narist(arum) / Quador(um) ad vindictam Orientalis motus pergentium honor(e) centenariae dig/nitatis aucto salario adeptus procurationem Moesiae inferioris / eodem in tempore praeposito vexillationibus et a<d=T> detrahen/dam Briseorum latronum manum in confinio Macedon(iae) et Thrac(iae) / ab Imp(eratore) misso proc(uratori) Moesiae super(ioris) proc(uratori) prov(inciae) Daciae Porolis/sensis a Sacratissimis Impp(eratoribus) in amplissimum ordinem inter prae/torios a<d=L>lecto et mox leg(ato) leg(ionis) I Adiut(ricis) item leg(ato) leg(ionis) II Adiu(tricis) praep(osito) vexil(lationum) / Leugaricione hiemantium item leg(ato) leg(ionis) / V Mac(edonicae) item leg(ato) leg(ionis) I Italic(ae) item leg(ato) leg(ionis) / XIII Gem(inae) item leg(ato) Aug(usti) pr(o) pr(aetore) [[[leg(ionis) III Aug(ustae)]]] don(is) don(ato) a nobilissimo / [[[principe M(arco) Aurelio Commodo Aug(usto)]]] expeditione secunda Ger(manica) / splendidissimus ordo Dian[ensium Veteran(orum)] aere conlato
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The modern theory states that there is no difference between the vexillatio equitum, numereus equitum and equites, and that the expression vexillatio equitum replaced the expression equites. Here is a list of inscriptions clearly stating equites not vexillatio equitum units:
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312. A D  H ERCULEM (Pilismarot, Hongrie)
Autel d’andésite (79 x 41 x 17 cm) Lieu de conservation inconnu. S. Soproni, 1989, Acta Arch. Hung. 41, 108-110 [photo] (AE, 1990, 822). Ma lecture :

[D]eo Mart[i], | pro salute dd(ominorum) nn(ostrorum) | AAuugg(ustorum) et Caess(arum), | eqq(uites)Dalmat(a)e, | s(ub) c(ura) Luciani pr(a)ep(ositi) | u(otum) p(osuerunt).

Date : 285-305 p.C. d’après la mention des deux empereurs et des deux césars correspondant à la période de laTétrarchie.
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659. T HANTIA (Umm al-Jumal, Jordanie) Linteau complet et rectangulaire (47 x 154 x 19 cm), au dessus de la porte sud de la cathédrale. W. Waddington, I, Syrie, n°2058 (CIL, III, 88 ; D.773) ; E. Littmann, PAES III A, 233 ; I.Jordanie, 5, 127 [photo]. Lecture des I.Jordanie :

Saluis d(ominis) nostris Valentiniano Valente et Gratiano | victoriosissimis semper Aug(ustis), dispositione Iuli |u(iri) c(larissimi) com(itis) magistri equitum et peditum, fabri|catus est burgu[s] ex fundamento mano deuo|tissimorum equitum IX Dalm(atarum), s(ub) c(ura) Vahali, trib(uni) | in consulatum d(omini) n(ostri) Gratiani perpetui Aug(usti) iterum | et Probi u(iri) c(larissimi).

Date : 371 p.C. d’après l’année du deuxième consulat de Gratien et de Probus. Remarques : Les cavaliers cités appartiennent aux equites IX Dalmatae répertoriés dans la N.D.Or.5.30.
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21. C OL . I ULIA  C ONCORDIA  (Concordia Sagittaria, Italie)Sarcophage (dimensions inconnues), lieu de conservation inconnu. CIL, V, 8777 (ILCV, 498). Lecture des ILCV :

- - -]tergo ducen(arius) qu[i mil(itauit) | ann(os)] unu (sic) equ(ites) VIII Dalm(atarum) [- - - | - - - de propi]o suo arca[m - - - | - - -] eam aper(ire) uol[u(erit) - - - | - - -] arge(nti) pond[o - - - | - - -] deo meo ecu[- - - | - - -]uera[- - -].

Date : 394-395 p. C. d’après Hoffmann.
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There are three particular inscriptions that are worthy of diligent study:
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publication: CIL 12, 02228 = D 00569 = ILN-05-02, 00365 = CAG-38-01, p 85 = Rosso 00100
dating: 269 to 269         EDCS-ID: EDCS-09200636
province: Gallia Narbonensis         place: Grenoble / Cularo / Gratianopolis

Imp(eratori) Caesar[i] / M(arco) Aur(elio) Claudio / Pio Felici Invicto / Aug(usto) Germanico / max(imo) p(ontifici) m(aximo) trib(uniciae) potes/tatis II co(n)s(uli) patri pa/triae proc(onsuli) vexil/lationes adque / equites itemque / praepositi et duce/nar(ii) protect(ores) ten/dentes in Narb(onensi) / prov(incia) sub cura Iul(i) / Placidiani v(iri) p(erfectissimi) prae/fect(i) vigil(um) devoti / Numini maiesta/tiq(ue) eius
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This inscription serves as an indication of separate infantry and cavalry?
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CJ. 7.64.9. Veteranis, qui in legione vel vexillatione militantes post vicesima stipendia honestam vel causariam missionem consecuti sunt…

Date:285 AD
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The modern theorists state this inscription as proof that in 285 AD vexillations denotes cavalry. Was it not so that during the third century vexillationes often did not return to their parent unit and so became independent?
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Jones (1964) I, 55, with III, 7.n.35, quoting CJ vii 64.9 (293/305); CJ x 55.3 (286/93) and FIRA I 2  93, tam legionarii milites quam etiam equites in vexillationibus constitute Inlyriciani.

Date: 311 AD
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The Brigetio Tablet, can this be used as evidence that vexillations denotes cavalry? Or are these equites just organized in vexillations on this particular occasion?
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Sources:
A.H.M. JONES AND THE ARMY OF THE FOURTH CENTURY Roger Tomlin
Corentin Mea. La cavalerie romaine des Severes à Theodose. Histoire. Universite Michel de Montaigne - Bordeaux III, 2014. Francais.
Robert Saxer. Untersuchungen zu den vexillationen des Romischen Kaiserheeres von Augustus bis Diokletian.
Reply
#2
(09-06-2017, 10:58 AM)Julian de Vries Wrote: They say the proof of this fact are these two inscriptions:

I'd always assumed that the theory rested on the note in Cedrenus that Gallienus first created the hippeon tagmata - which seems to refer to the 'new style' equites units that certainly seem to have appeared by the end of the third century.

The two North African inscriptions are very interesting, but perhaps relate to a particular sort of anti-bandit force in the province in the mid third century. The careers of the officers commanding the uexillationis equitum Maurorum are certainly unusual!


However...

(09-06-2017, 10:58 AM)Julian de Vries Wrote: The vexillatio equitum already existed:

Indeed they did. We see vexillations assembled for the Dacian war, and there was the one we looked at before which apparently comprised auxiliaries, or the mounted troops of cohortes equitata, dated the reign of Hadrian.

Surely the question we ought to ask is when this common word for a detachment came to be used instead for a single unit of cavalry. Most likely it seems to have been a gradual thing, rather in the way that numerus changed in meaning over the centuries, from an irregular unit to a generic term for all units.


(09-06-2017, 10:58 AM)Julian de Vries Wrote: The modern theory states that there is no difference between the vexillatio equitum, numereus equitum and equites, and that the expression vexillatio equitum replaced the expression equites. Here is a list of inscriptions clearly stating equites not vexillatio equitum units:

I don't know of that theory! As far as I know, units called equites could also be described as vexillationes or numeri equitum; the one term did not supplant or erase the others.

The ND lists numerous units with the title Equites under the heading vexillationes. I suspect this is part of the flexibility of military nomenclature in the later empire!

These two inscriptions from the tetrarchy are quite illustrative, I think:

CIL 03, 00405 (Asia): ...Val(erius) Iuventinus exarcus / qui militavit annos XX in vexilla/tion(e) eqq(uitum) Dal(matarum) comit(atensium) Ancial/itana...

CIL 03, 5565 (Noricum, AD310): ...Val(eri) Sam/barrae p(rae)p(ositi) eqq(uitum) Dalm(atarum) Aq/u(a)esianis comit(atensium)...

These are not the same unit, but the titling indicates that they're the same type of unit, I think: The Equites Dalmatae Comitatensis Ancialitana could also be referred to as the Vexillatione Eq(q)uitum Dalmaturum Comitatensium Ancialitana. In other inscriptions we have the numero equitum VIII Dalmatarum, the vexillatione Dalmatorum V, and the equitum IX Dalmatarum - these too, I think, all refer to the same types of units, with the titles written in different ways.

I think we looked recently at a cavalry unit from Egypt that distinguished itself with the comitatensis title in the same way - presumably to set it apart from any provincial alae in the area!

There's also this one, from Viminacum:

AE 1903, 00297: Eq(uites) Dal(matae) Ar() s(ub) c(ura) Verac(i) p(rae)p(ositi) f(ecit) Mucianu(s) - I can't find a pic of the stone, but I would guess the Ar() possibly relates to a place name like the Ancialitata and Aquaensianis in the ones above.

(see also AE 1904, 00093: Eqq(uites) D(almatae) Aur(eo) & AE 1990, 822: pro salute dd(ominorum) nn(ostrorum) / AAuugg(ustorum) et Caess(arum) / eqq(uites) Dalmat(a)e / s(ub) c(ura) Luciani pr(a)ep(ositi) )

And what are we to make of AE 1999, 1612, from Jordan: trib(uno) m(ilitum) vex(illationis) dd(ominis) nn(ostris) Valentinia[no] / et Valente II co(n)s(ulibus) / per vex(illationem) VIIII Dalmatam devotissimam? Clearly, I think, this is also a cavalry unit - otherwise known as Equites VIIII Dalmatae!


(09-06-2017, 10:58 AM)Julian de Vries Wrote: The modern theorists state this inscription as proof that in 285 AD vexillations denotes cavalry.

The ruling of Diocletian distinguishes men serving in 'legions or vexillations' from men serving in cohorts, in terms of veteran privileges. It could be that the reference is to men in detachments of legions, but it seems more likely that, as we see in Brigetio tablet as well, the combination is intended to indicate infantry or cavalry of the field army as opposed to the frontier forces of the old-style auxilia.

It is complicated, and there seems to be no definite cut-off point at which vexillatio became purely a term for a cavalry unit - we see legion detachments still referred to by this name in Egypt in AD320, I think. But it does seem to have been a growing trend from the later 3rd century onwards, which had become official by the later 4th century at the earliest.
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#3
Nathan Ross said: “I'd always assumed that the theory rested on the note in Cedrenus that Gallienus first created the hippeon tagmata - which seems to refer to the 'new style' equites units that certainly seem to have appeared by the end of the third century.”
 
I am currently researching the possibility that the cavalry tagma of Cedrenus are the Scholae:
 
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George the Monk:
p. 461.1 – 19:
31. About Jounor (Gordianus III)
And after Pouplianus (Maximus), Jounor (Gordianus III) reigned 3 months, he who first formed Candidates and Protectores and, having organized the detachment of the Scholarii, he called it “Jounor” in his own name.
 
[01904] Μετὰ δὲ Πούπλιον ἐβασίλευσε Βαλβῖνος Ἰου νίωρ μῆνας γʹ ,  ὃς πρῶτος ἐποίησε κανδιδάτους καὶ προτήκτορας·
[01905]  καὶ τὸ τάγμα τῶν σχολαρίων συστησάμενος ἐκάλεσεν αὐτὸ Ἰουνιώρων εἰς τὸ ἴδιον ὄνομα.
 
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Cedrenus:
p. 450.21 – 452.3:
After him, Junior (Gordianus III) reigned three months, he who first formed Candidates and Protectores, and, having organized the detachment (tagma) of the Scholarii, he called it the “Juniors,” in his own name.
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Chronicon Paschale:
pp. 501.3 – 504.6:
Indiction 4 (AD 243). (Year) 3. Consuls: Aurelianus (sic, PIR2 A 635) and Pappus (PIR2 C 684).
Gordianus (III) Augustus made a unit (arithmon) of those called Candidates, having elevated them by selection as mature, strong, and of magnificent appearance, from the formation (tagmatos) of those called Scholarii, having called the school of the same unit (arithmou) “Seniors” in his own name. These are those of the sixth school.

Indiction 11 (AD 250). (Year) 4. Consuls: Decius (PIR2 M 520) and Gratianus (sic, PIR2 V 328)
The sovereign Philippus, together with his son Philippus, constituted a unit (arithmon) of those called Candidates, elevating chosen young men from the Scholarii, having called the school of the formation (tagmatos) they constituted “Juniors,” by the name of Philippus, the father. These are those of the Sixth School.
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Also the Passion of Sergius and Bacchus (BHG 1624) Analecta Bollandia XIV 1895 p.376:
It states a Schola Gentilium for the year 303 AD.
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The equites units are probably not created by Gallienus, for there is an earlier historical example of “equites” (if one forgoes the existence of the equites legionis, and equites singulares):

In the Historia Augusta, Caracalla, 6, 7 one can read: “equitibus extraordinariis” or the equites extraordinarii.
The text does not say: vexillationi equitibus extraordinariis.
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Mr. Dogmatius said: “Surely the question we ought to ask is when this common word for a detachment came to be used instead for a single unit of cavalry. Most likely it seems to have been a gradual thing, rather in the way that numerus changed in meaning over the centuries, from an irregular unit to a generic term for all units.”

Warren Treadgold says: The reason historians of Byzantium lag behind cannot be a lack of information, because their evidence is, if anything, better than that for the Roman Army…
Yet what one reads about the Byzantine army in general works is usually vague. While Roman military reforms are always attributed to specific emperors, Byzantine military changes are commonly spoken of as processes of gradual evolution, as if soldiers simply decided for themselves whether they were soldiers or not, what and how they should be paid, where to gather in units, and how those units should be organized. Tongue
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Sources:
Warren Tradgold Byzantium and its Army 284-1081
The History of Zonaras, from Alexander Severus to the death of Theodosius the Great, translation by Thomas M.Banchich and Eugene N.Lane
Documenta Catholica Omnia MIGNE JP Georgius Cedrenus - Compendium Historiarum (MPG 121 0023 1166) [1100-1200]
Documenta Catholica Omnia  MIGNE JP  Georgius Monachus - Chronicon breve [Tomus 2] [0800-0900]
Chronicon Paschale, Volume 1 Ludwig August Dindorf
Reply
#4
(09-07-2017, 08:11 PM)Julian de Vries Wrote: George the Monk

Crikey, you really are delving into some obscure sources! [Image: shocked.png]

Buy why do George and Cedrenus think that Gordian III and the elder Philippus were called either 'Junior' or 'Senior'? It does sound a bit like an attempt to explain the seniores/iuniores unit division... all very curious... (and as the Praetorians and Equites Domini Nostri still existed prior to 312, the mid 3rd century seems a bit early for the Candidati, I think?)


(09-07-2017, 08:11 PM)Julian de Vries Wrote: the Passion of Sergius and Bacchus... states a Schola Gentilium for the year 303 AD.

I find David Woods's theory (here) that Sergius and Bacchus date to Julian, with aspects drawn from an earlier passio, quite convincing.


(09-07-2017, 08:11 PM)Julian de Vries Wrote: there is an earlier historical example of “equites”

The word is used very frequently for all sorts of horsemen, so we probably shouldn't draw too much from it (and particularly not from the HE!).


(09-07-2017, 08:11 PM)Julian de Vries Wrote: Mr. Dogmatius

Ha! Well spotted... [Image: tongue.png]
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#5
Just out of interest, I've been looking a bit more at these 'new cavalry' units (particularly the Dalmatae, as they're most numerous) as listed in the Notitia and as they appear in inscriptions.

In the Notitia, these units are divided between the field army (comitatensis) forces of the Magistri Militum, and the limitanei forces commanded by the provincial duces. Interestingly, most (but not all) of the field army units have a numerical designation, whereas the limitanei units are mostly distinguished by the name of their garrison post.

ND. Pars Occ. Vi lists Vexillationes comitatenses, featuring Equites octavo Dalmatae and Equites Dalmatae Passerentiaci. The second of these appears to have been a formerly-limitanei unit, named for its old garrison, moved to the comitanesis. Octavo Dalmatae appears in two inscriptions from Concordia, probably c.AD400 (CIL 05, 08777: nu(mero) equi(tum) VIII Dalm(atarum) & AE 1891, 00105: numero octava Dalmata). Both times called a numerus.

ND. Pars Or. V lists Vexillationes comitatenses featuring Equites quinto Dalmatae and Equites nono Dalmatae. The first of these appears in CIL 13, 03458, but is in the west rather than the east, at Lyons: vexil(l)atione Dalmatorum V. The second appears in the east under Valentinian and Valens, at Umm al Jimal in Jordan, but appears to be a garrison (limitanei?) unit: AE 1996, 01612: vex(illationem) VIIII Dalmatam. Both times the units are called vexillationes.

ND. Pars Or VI lists, under Vexillationes comitatenses, the Equites sexto Dalmatae. This unit is (probably) also attested, but again in the west (CIL 10, 00268 from southern Italy: n(umero) eq(uitum) de sexta / Dalmata). This time the unit is called a numerus. [Edit - it also appears on a 5th-6th century papyrus (P.Vindob. G 30121) from Heracleopolis in Egypt as 'Sextodalmati'].

ND Pars Or VII lists, under the Vexillationes comitatenses for the magistri militum per Orientem, Equites tertio Dalmatae. This unit seems to be unattested in epigraphy.

There are 23 Equites Dalmatae units listed among the limitanei forces in the west, none with a number but most with a location name. In the east there are 13, distinguished as cuneii or Equites Dalmatae Illyricani.

There are several other units known from inscriptions, without a number and in only a few cases with a garrison location name. One of these (CIL 03, 00405), also has the title 'comitatensium', indicating that it once formed part of the field army. Others are called n(umero) [equitu]m Dal(matarum) (CIL 03, 10527), eqq(uites) Dalmat(a)e (AE 1990, 00822) and num(eri) Dal(matarum) (CIL 05, 7000).

Some units from the limitanei seem to have been moved to the comitatensis (eg Equites Dalmatae Passerentiaci), while some comitatensis units appear to have been used as garrison troops (VIIII Dalmatam at Umm al-Jimal and CIL 03, 00405 / 5565). Certain units also appear to have moved from east to west (and presumably vice versa!) at some point in their career, or numbered units were duplicated.

It seems, therefore, that all of these units are effectively the same, whether called a vexillatione (equitum), a numerus (equitum) or simply equites. There appears to be no chronological development in these titles, or any regional difference.

The earliest dated unit is CIL 03, 5565 (AD310: [vexillatione?] eqq(uitum) Dalm(atarum) Aq/u(a)esianis comit(atensium, from Noricum). Also perhaps CIL 05, 7000, if we relate the inscription to the battle at Turin in AD312. The next, I think, is IGLS-14-02, 00561a, from Syria - a (n)u(me)ri eq(uitum) Dal(matarum) with a dedication to Licinius Augustus (AD313-324).

So - is there any certain dated reference to one of these equites units prior to Diocletian?
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#6
Here is my hypothesis:

The Tagma Scholarii is not the units known as Scholae Palatinae. The Tagma in question is named Scholarii:

From Warren Treadgold Byzantium and its Army:

The Tagmata of Constantine V

To limit the power of the Opsician Theme, Constantine put up several units called tagmata or regiments, which he made distinct from all the themes. Three senior tagmata, the Scholae, Excubitores, and Watch, had the names of old companies of guards, but Constantine turned them into crack cavalry regiments.

The CP says that an arithmon named Candidati is formed from the tagma named Scholarii.

The schola of the Arithmon named Candidati is either called juniors or seniors, or as I reckon the Arithmon named Candidati has two scholae since the one implies the other: the Juniors and the Seniors. These scholae are probably the units known as Scholae Palatinae.

George and Cedrenus says that Gordianus III formed the Candidates AND Protectores. So my theory is that from the Tagma named Scholarii, two units of Arithmoi are formed: the Arithmon named Candidati, and the Arithmon named Protectores. Both these Arithmoi each forms two Scholae Palatinae.

1 Tagma named Scholarii, two Arithmoi named Candidati and Protectores, 4 Scholae Palatinae of which two Juniors and two Seniors.

So, is there any example of a cavalry arithmon in the third century AD? Yes there is: :

P.Oxy. 41 2951                  26. Mai 267

http://papyri.info/ddbdp/chla;47;1415
[/url]
(19) ἀριθμοῦ καταφράκτων

Corentin Mea(page 394) says this arithmon was part of the ALA NOVA  FIRMA MILLIARIA CATAFRACTARIA.
 
You can find the thesis here:

https://tel.archives-ouvertes.fr/tel-01135338/file/These_Corentin_MEA.pdf
[url=https://tel.archives-ouvertes.fr/tel-01135338/file/These_Corentin_MEA.pdf]
It contains a very impressive list of all the cavalry units( Alae, cohors equitatae, equites) and its officers, and a list of 750 inscriptions.

Nathan Ross: So - is there any certain dated reference to one of these equites units prior to Diocletian?

22. B RIXIA  (Brescia, Italie) Base (82 x 25 x ? cm) conservée au musée de Brescia. CIL, V, 4320 (InscrIt, X, 5, 104 [photo]) ; G. Migliorati, 2007, Epigraphica 69, p.424-429 (AE 2007, 642). Lecture de Migliorati :

Imp(eratori) [Caes(ari)] | L(ucio) Do[mitio] | Aur[eliano] | Pio Fe[lic(i) Inuic]|to Au[g(usto), p(ontifi) m(aximo), trib(unicia)] | pot(estate), p(atri) [p(atriae), co(n)s(uli), proco(n)s(uli)], | M(arcus) Au[relius ?] | Rufin[ianus ( ?)] | p(rae)p(ositus) n(umeri) e[q(uitum) Dalm(atarum) ?] | Fort[ensium ?].

Date : 270-271 p. C. d’après la titulature d’Aurélien. Remarques : Selon Migliorati, Marcus Aurelius Rufinianus aurait voulu commémorer la victoire d’Aurélien en Lombardie contre les Alamans qui avaient dévasté le territoire de Brescia.
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#7
(09-13-2017, 12:48 PM)Julian de Vries Wrote: So my theory is that from the Tagma named Scholarii, two units of Arithmoi are formed: the Arithmon named Candidati, and the Arithmon named Protectores. Both these Arithmoi each forms two Scholae Palatinae.

But are you talking about the 8th century here, or the 3rd-4th? In the 3rd-4th the language of the military was Latin, rather than the 'Byzantine' mixture of Latin and Greek. So 'arithmoi' would be numeri, and there would not be a unit called a 'tagma'.

Constantinus Porphyrogenitos, de ceremoniis aulae 1.86, mentions that the Candidati comprised only 40 men. These seem to have been selected specially from the Scholae Palatina, and existed at least as early as Julian (cf Ammianus). Such a small body of men could hardly have been subdivided into other units.

The Protectores Domestici, on the other hand, form four scholae in the Notitia Dignitatum - Iuniores and Seniores Equitum and Peditum. The Protectores appear to have begun under Valerian and Gallienus as a title of distinction for senior officers; they did not form their own particular unit until (probably) Diocletian, and even then were perhaps just a single schola protectorum until the middle of the 4th century.

I think both George and Cedrenus (one quoting the other?) are wrong about the links between these guard units and Gordianus and/or Philippus.


(09-13-2017, 12:48 PM)Julian de Vries Wrote: Corentin Mea(page 394) says this arithmon was part of the ALA NOVA  FIRMA MILLIARIA CATAFRACTARIA.

Or the whole of ala catafractaria, perhaps? Numerus/Arithmos could mean any military unit, so it could be used to refer to an ala as well, perhaps.


(09-13-2017, 12:48 PM)Julian de Vries Wrote: CIL, V, 4320... Imp(eratori) [Caes(ari)] | L(ucio) Do[mitio] | Aur[eliano]... p(rae)p(ositus) n(umeri) e[q(uitum) Dalm(atarum) ?] | Fort[ensium ?].

Good one! I'd missed that completely. Although the 'dalmatarum' part is restored from a lacuna, it seems a pretty secure bet. And we have n(umeri) e(quitum) at least...
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#8
(09-13-2017, 12:48 PM)Julian de Vries Wrote: Corentin Mea(page 394) says this arithmon was part of the ALA NOVA  FIRMA MILLIARIA CATAFRACTARIA.
 

No, he doesn't. He asks if we should see the arithmos as being the ala, which is entirely different. In fact, there does not seem any reason to see the two units as being the same. As far as I am aware, there is no evidence for the ala ever having been stationed in Egypt.
Michael King Macdona

And do as adversaries do in law, -
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
(The Taming of the Shrew: Act 1, Scene 2)
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#9
(09-13-2017, 05:47 PM)Renatus Wrote: there does not seem any reason to see the two units as being the same. As far as I am aware, there is no evidence for the ala ever having been stationed in Egypt.

True - although there don't seem to be any other candidates for the ἀριθμοῦ καταφράκτων either! There are no catafract units in Egypt mentioned anywhere except this, as far as I know. So was it a new unit, or a colloquial reference to some other formation?

The latin text refers to Aurelius Apollonius as optio, a legion rank - so presumably Apollonius is a soldier of II Traiana. Barsimes Bassus, on the other hand, is called decurion (dekadarchos in the Greek) of the numero supra scripto - presumably this is the catafract unit.

If this was a unit of equites promoti we might expect all the men to hold legion ranks. Alternatively, a unit of 'new cavalry' (equites) would use the ranks exarch, biarchus or centenarius. The use of the old rank decurion suggests that this was indeed an old-style ala.

Can we tell from the text where the unit was based? Pelusium is mentioned, as is (I think) the winter camp of II Traiana. The ND has a unit of Equites Stablesiani at Pelusium, which doesn't help much...
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#10
(09-13-2017, 08:20 PM)Nathan Ross Wrote: There are no catafract units in Egypt mentioned anywhere except this, as far as I know. So was it a new unit, or a colloquial reference to some other formation?

There are other catafract units and individuals mentioned in papyri but they are all later. Several numeri catafractariorum are attested in other provinces and this may be another such. However, if I am right in my contention that catafracti and catafractarii are different, this could be a unit of what would later be called clibanarii.

(09-13-2017, 08:20 PM)Nathan Ross Wrote: The use of the old rank decurion suggests that this was indeed an old-style ala.

The papyrus is dated 26 May 267, so I am not sure if the new-style ranks would have come in by then.
Michael King Macdona

And do as adversaries do in law, -
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
(The Taming of the Shrew: Act 1, Scene 2)
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#11
(09-13-2017, 09:41 PM)Renatus Wrote: The papyrus is dated 26 May 267, so I am not sure if the new-style ranks would have come in by then.

I'm assuming that the new rank structure would have come into use at the time that the new units were raised, rather than being 'retrofitted' onto units which had previously used the traditional Roman cavalry rank system with decurions etc.

If so, this 'arithmos katafractos' was not a new-style vexillatione equitum, but an old-style cavalry ala or something similar.

However, I'm not sure of that! The earliest dated biarchus is from c324 (I think), and while a number of centenarii and circitores (particularly of numeri catafractariorum, eg CIL 13, 1848) may be earlier it doesn't seem possible to establish a dating.

Is there anything in the papyri evidence to link a decurion or similar old rank specifically to a new-style equites unit?
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#12
(09-13-2017, 10:37 PM)Nathan Ross Wrote:
(09-13-2017, 09:41 PM)Renatus Wrote: The papyrus is dated 26 May 267, so I am not sure if the new-style ranks would have come in by then.

I'm assuming that the new rank structure would have come into use at the time that the new units were raised, rather than being 'retrofitted' onto units which had previously used the traditional Roman cavalry rank system with decurions etc.
If so, this 'arithmos katafractos' was not a new-style vexillatione equitum, but an old-style cavalry ala or something similar.
However, I'm not sure of that! The earliest dated biarchus is from c324 (I think), and while a number of centenarii and circitores (particularly of numeri catafractariorum, eg CIL 13, 1848) may be earlier it doesn't seem possible to establish a dating.
Is there anything in the papyri evidence to link a decurion or similar old rank specifically to a new-style equites unit?

Several scholars (such as Rance) think that the new ranks were not 'retrofitted' into old-style units, at least not as a rule.

Nathan, you're way more into this than I am - do we have many 'new ranks' in old-style units? The old style units seem to continue for a long time, until all were either destroyed or reorganised into new-style ones?

My guess would be that the new-style ranks belonged to the new-style units, with some appaering in old-style units (due to transfers perhaps?) until these disappaerd.
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#13
(09-14-2017, 09:40 AM)Robert Vermaat Wrote: My guess would be that the new-style ranks belonged to the new-style units

That would be my guess too, but we're suffering from shortage of sources as usual!

P.Oxy. LV 3793, 9 (ChLA 18 660) lists some men of Ala Tertia Assuriorum (Assyriorum?), dated c.AD319-326. The ala is still commanded by a Prefect and has decurions, but there's also a rank called catafractarius.

ChLA 43 1248, from AD401 (I think) also has a catafracta(rius) prou(ectus) decur(io), and an eq(ues) prou(ectus) catafra(ctarius), so it seems catafractarius was a late cavalry rank in the alae between ordinary trooper and decurion.

This papyrus also mentions a scholam catafractariorum, which I would take to be an association of catafractarii within the unit, rather than a separate unit!

The only old-style unit I can find that featured one of the 'new' ranks is P. Dura 82 (ChLA 7 337), from c.AD230, in which a couple of circitores appear alongside the decurions and a sesquiplicarius in the cavalry section of Cohors XX Palmyrenorum.

(I also notice that P. Dura 92 (ChLA 7 347) of the same approximate date appears to feature a numerus equitum with 389 men in it - this is presumably the mounted section of XX Palmy again. It does seem to have 30 decurions though...!)
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