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Author Topic: Batavi Seniores and Regii  (Read 492 times)

Offline Colonel Chabert

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Batavi Seniores and Regii
« on: April 19, 2021, 09:09:42 PM »
These are a pair of Auxilia Palatina depicted as they would have been in the second half of the 4th century.

The Batavi seniores are named after a Germanic people, the Batavi, who lived along the lower Rhine in what is now the Netherlands. By the 4th century references to them as a tribal group have disappeared and it is assumed they were absorbed by the Frankish confederation. Their name lived on however in many units attested in the Notita Dignitatum (ND, c395-425). The Batavi had been supplying auxiliaries to the Romans since the days of the Early Empire and in considerable numbers as well: for example one series of cohorts raised in the 1st century was eight units strong.
The unit shown here is the Batavi Seniores of the army of the Magister Militum Praesentalis I in the Eastern half of the Empire. This is in all probability a different unit from the identically named one found in the West which was brigaded with the Heruli Seniores. The origins of this unit are unclear. It may have grown out of one of the old Batavian cohortes or it may have been recruited from scratch. Given its seniority in the ND it was probably already in existence by the end of the 3rd century.
In the mid 4th century the regiment was part of Julian's army in Gaul and, in the company of the Regii, it distinguished itself at the battle of Argentoratum/Strasbourg in 357 (Ammianus Marcellinus 16.12.45, Batavi cum Regibus). Two decades later it had been transferred to the East and took part in the disastrous defeat at Adrianople (Ammianus 31.13.9).
The name Regii, the Kings, indicates that this unit was probably once a royal bodyguard, perhaps that of the Alemannic king, Crocus, who helped Constantine I to power in 306 (Speidel). By the time of the ND this regiment too is in the East, this time in the army of the Magister Militum Praesentalis II (the army "in the Imperial Presence" was split in two at some point, probably post-Adrianople and probably for political reasons, in such a way that all the brigaded pairs of Auxilia were separated).

The figures are mostly Footsore with a few Foundry and Black Tree Design. The Batavi shields are hand-painted, those of the Regii have LBMS transfers.
My Ancients figures were originally part of a DBA project, hence the minimalist unit sizes.

First the Batavi seniores:

The Regii:

The two units together:

Offline MGH

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Re: Batavi Seniores and Regii
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2021, 04:03:24 PM »
Great job on these gentlemen!

Offline Captain Blood

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Re: Batavi Seniores and Regii
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2021, 07:32:53 PM »
Very nice paintwork on those. Some of my favourite Footsore figures.

Offline Bloggard

  • Scatterbrained Genius
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Re: Batavi Seniores and Regii
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2021, 08:51:49 AM »
lovely work  :-*

also great film, as regards your moniker (if that's where it derives from, anyway ...)

Offline aphillathehun

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Re: Batavi Seniores and Regii
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2021, 12:39:38 PM »
hand painted shields are nice!

Offline Ninefingers

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Re: Batavi Seniores and Regii
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2021, 03:18:39 PM »
Superb stuff.

Offline Ten Fingered Jack

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Re: Batavi Seniores and Regii
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2021, 03:48:29 PM »
I too am a Late Roman buff. Great figs!

Offline Byblos

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  • Les Echelles du Levant ...
Re: Batavi Seniores and Regii
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2021, 10:41:47 PM »
Excellent job ! Bravo !