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The comitatenses and later the palatini were the units of the field armies of the late Roman Empire.


Comitatenses is the Latin plural of comitatensis, originally the adjective derived from comitatus ('company, party, suite'; in this military context it came to the novel meaning of 'the field army'), itself rooting in Comes ('companion', but hence specific historical meanings, military and civilian).

However, historically it became the accepted (substantivated) name for those Roman imperial troops (legions and auxiliary) which were not merely garrisoned at a limes (fortified border, on the Rhine and Danube in Europe and near Persia and the desert tribes elsewhere) — the limitanei or ripenses, i.e. 'along the shores' — but more mobile line troops; furthermore there were second line troops, named pseudocomitatenses, former limitanei attached to the comitatus; palatini, elite ("palace") units typically assigned to the magister militum; and the scholae palatinae of actual palace guards, usually under the magister officiorum, a senior court official of the Late Empire.[citation needed]

List of comitatenses units

Among the comitatenses units listed by Notitia Dignitatum there are:

under the Western Magister Peditum

under the Magister Militum per Orientem

under the Magister Militum per Thracias



Primary Sources

Secondary Sources

(none yet)

External links

  • - Britannia - Late Roman reenactment group. Biggest, most well known and oldest late roman reenactment group in Britain

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