Yesterday night I finished my last roman unit. This is a very particular unit from my point of view because, for the first time, I can give a name to a miniature: the signifer.
The Petulantes seniores were an auxilaia palatina assigned to the Italian command. The pattern of their shields were relatively simple with a yellow ground and a blue twin-headed zoomorphic motiv. This pattern is frequent in Notitia Dignitatum even if with a different colors combination (ie Cornuti: Brachiati).
Below the Notitia Dignitatum in the Oxford version:
Here the free links to Notitia Dignitatum resources:
The Petulantes were of Germanic origin while the name means "headstrong"
Below a detail of my unit:
It is possible that Petulates fought in the battle of the Milvian Bridge for Constantine the Great. They are reported many times by Ammianus and during the 4th century they are part of Julian army. They are generally associated with the Celtae seniores.
They took part in the Strasbourg Battle and they received the order from Constantius II to reach him in the east. Unfortunately the troops revolted because Julian had promised them to keep near their families. It was the signifer of this unit to put a kind of crown (a torque) to Julian's head when he was named Imperator from his army.
The name of the signifer was "Maurus". Ammianus reported that later he became comes and that he was defeated by the "Succorum". (Ammianus 17-18. XX)
Considering that this unit was involved in Julian's proclamation I decided to paint the detail of their tunics (orbiculi and clavi) in purple even if no historical sources attested it. In the late Empire the purple was a color that only the Imperator could wear. My idea was to use this color for the unit only to indicate that they were a "choosen" unit.
Based on Ammianus's book with the Celate the Petulantes fought against the Alamanni near Sanctium in the Raetia while Julian was in the east.
If someone is interested to the Roman army of the late Empire it is possible to find more details in these books:
- A companion to the Roman Army - Paul ErdKamp - Blackwell Publishing
- The grand strategy of the Roman Empire: from the first century AD to the third - Edward Luttwak
- L'esercito romano vol III - Giuseppe Cascarino e Carlo Sansilvestri - Ed Il cerchio
- L'esercito romano vol IV - Giuseppe Cascarino e Carlo Sansilvestri - Ed Il cerchio
- L'esercito romano: da Augusto alla fine del terzo secolo - Yann Le Bohec - Ed Carocci
- 9 agosto 378. Il giorno dei barbari - Alessandro Barbero - Ed Laterza
- Le Storie - Ammiano Marcellino - Ed Utet
- L'arte della guerra - Flavio Vegezio - Ed Bur