Taifali Military Units

A list of military Units recorded as serving the Holy Roman Empire which consisted of Taifal tribal warriors

The surviving copies of the Notitia Dignitatum, the "List of Offices" or the "Register of Dignitaries" include pictures showing the shield patterns of hundreds of units in the Roman army as it existed at the start of the 5th century AD.

 

The Taifals were listed as having a number of units stationed at various locations in the Roman Empire.

The Magister Equitum lists 42 units being under the overall command of the Master of the Horse:

32 Vexillationes comitatenses: (Latin: companies of court)

Equites Honoriani Taifali iuniores
Equites Honoriani seniores (were considered a Taifali unit)

The Magister Militum Praesentalis I lists 36 units being under the command of the first Master of the Soldiers in the Imperial Presence:

5 Vexillationes palatinae: (Latin: companies of court)

Equites promoti seniores
Comites clibanarii
Comites sagittarii iuniores
Comites Taifali
Equites Arcades

The Comes Britanniarum was a military post in Roman Britain, with command of the mobile field army from the mid 4th century onwards.

It is listed in the Notitia Dignitatum as being one of the three commands in Britain, along with the Dux Britanniarum and Comes litoris Saxonici. His troops were the main field army in Britain or comitatenses and not the limitanei or frontier guard commanded by the other two.

3 infantry units are listed as being under the command of the Count of Britain, drawn from those under the overall command of the Magister Peditum:

Victores iuniores Britanniciani
Primani iuniores
Secundani iuniores

along with 6 cavalry units, said to be drawn from those under the overall command of the Magister Equitum:

Equites catafractarii iuniores
Equites scutarii Aureliaci
Equites Honoriani seniores (ie. a vexillationes comitatenses unit)
Equites stablesiani
Equites Syri
Equites Taifali

The shield of the Equites Taifali, a mercenary corps serving under the Comes of Britain

 

The Equites Taifali could possibly be another of the units listed under the Dux Britanniarum (there is no epigraphic evidence for any Taifalian units in Britain it seems); they are probably the same as the Equites Honoriani Taifali iunores listed as being in Gallia under the Magister Equitum .

 

Shield of the Equites Honoriani Taifali iuniores unit based in Gaul.

 

 

Intra Gallias cum viro illustri magistro equitum Galliarum - (latin - In France, with the illustrious French cavalry)

12 cavalry units are listed as being with the Master of Horse in his Gallic command:


Equites Batavi seniores (a vexillationes palatinae unit)
Equites cornuti seniores (ie. Equites cornuti iuniores?, a vexillationes palatinae unit)
Equites Batavi iuniores (a vexillationes palatinae unit)
Equites brachiati iuniores (a vexillationes palatinae unit)
Equites Honoriani seniores (a vexillationes comitatenses unit)
Equites Honoriani iuniores (ie. Equites Honoriani Taifali iuniores, a vexillationes comitatenses unit)
Equites armigeri seniores (a vexillationes comitatenses unit)
Equites octavo Dalmatae (a vexillationes comitatenses unit)
Equites Dalmatae Passerentiaci (a vexillationes comitatenses unit)
Equites primi Gallicani (a vexillationes comitatenses unit)
Equites Mauri alites (a vexillationes comitatenses unit)
Equites Constantiani feroces (ie. Equites Constantiani felices, a vexillationes comitatenses unit)

In addition to these units, a prefect of Sarmatian and Taifalian settlers is mentioned:

Praefectus Sarmatarum et Taifalorum gentilium, Pictavis (The Governor Sarmede Taifali Gentiles, Poitiers)