Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Two Batavi Iuniores?
So for some reason, the Batavian units really interest me. And I recently became really interested in the army of the Late Empire. Anyways, I noticed that the Batavi Iuniores are listed twice in the Notitia Dignitatum. Some books and websites I've come across claim that there were the Batavi Iuniores and another unit called the Batavi Iuniores Britones (or Batavi Iuniores Britanniciani). So were there two Batavi Iuniores? Or is it just an error made when the ND was first made or copied?

Here are some of the websites and books: (A living history group)

Armies and Enemies of Imperial Rome by Phil Barker (Page 164)
The Notitia Dignitatum is not a document written and published at one point in time. There have been additions and editions added to the document as we have it in it's current form. That is to say, the troops mentioned in the eastern half (Notitia Dignitatum in partibus Orientis) were not edited and are shown where they existed during the original edition in c. 394AD. The troops of the wester half (Notitia Dignitatum in partibus Occidentis) though sometimes moved about inbetween several editions, and they get to mentioned twice or even more (but no longer in their original spot). Sometimes though a vexillation of a unit was sent elsewhere, but still retaining the name of the parent units, and the unit would indeed exist be in two places at the same time.
Robert Vermaat
FECTIO Late Romans
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
(07-31-2017, 07:20 PM)Robert Vermaat Wrote: the troops mentioned in the eastern half (Notitia Dignitatum in partibus Orientis) were not edited and are shown where they existed during the original edition in c. 394AD.

Yes, it does all seem very muddled. I can think of three possibilities for the dual Batavi Iuniores in the western section:

1. It's just a hopeless mess / transcription error.

2. As the websites above suggest, the second iuniores derives from a unit in Britain - perhaps the old Cohors I Batavorum? - that was sent to Gaul at some point. However, it would seem unusual for troops of an old limitanei unit to be upgraded to the elite auxilia palatina like that - but we know very little about how various units may have changed their designations or status.

3. One of the two Batavi iuniores in the western list was originally based in the east - there is no unit of that name on the eastern list, just a single Batavi (seniores?).

In slight support of the third suggestion, there is no Cornuti Iuniores listed in the east either - but a unit by this name is attested on an inscription from Constantinople dated AD413. So either the eastern section of the ND missed this unit out, or they arrived in the east after c.AD394.

One idea might be that, at some point shortly before 394, both the Batavi Iuniores and Cornuti Iuniores of the eastern army were sent west - for one of Theodosius's campaigns, perhaps? So neither appear on the eastern list of that date. Subsequently, the Cornuti Iuniores returned to their old post in the east (where they appear on the inscription of 413), while the Batavi Iuniores remained in the west, joining the Gallic army and therefore appearing on the updated western list, along with the original western Batavi Iuniores... confusing, but that's the late Roman army for you!
Nathan Ross

Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Late Roman Army - seniores and iuniores Robert Vermaat 36 12,697 10-21-2017, 02:30 PM
Last Post: Steven James
  Hoffmann and the Seniores - Iuniores Holtingar 23 4,321 10-19-2010, 04:11 PM
Last Post: D B Campbell

Forum Jump: