Cohors Tertiae Batavorum Antoniniana milliaria equitata

The Cohors Tertiae Batavorum Antoniniana milliaria equitata, also known as the German 3rd cohort of the Batavians Antoninian, consisting of 1000 men and partly mounted, was a notable Roman auxiliary unit, documented through military diplomas and inscriptions.

Parts of the name explain its characteristics:

  • Batavorum: Soldiers of the cohort were recruited from the Batavian people during the formation of the unit.
  • Antoniniana: Named “the Antoninian,” this designation appears in the inscription (AE 1935, 163).
  • milliaria: Indicates the unit was 1000 men strong. As a milliaria unit, it could be either an infantry cohort (Cohors milliaria peditata) or a mixed unit of infantry and cavalry (Cohors milliaria equitata), with target strengths of 800 or 1040 men, respectively. In military diplomas, the symbol ∞ represents ‘milliaria.’
  • equitata: Signifies the unit was partly mounted, combining infantry and cavalry. This is also noted in the inscription (AE 1935, 163).

The unit’s total strength was 1040 men, comprising 10 centuries of infantry with 80 men each and 8 turmae of cavalry with 30 riders each.

Historically, the unit is evidenced in the province of Britannia by two Vindolanda tablets, dating to the late 90s and early 100s. The first record of the unit in the province of Raetia is from a military diploma dated 107 AD, and subsequent diplomas from 116 confirm its presence there. According to Barnabás Lőrincz, the unit participated in Trajan’s Parthian War before moving to Pannonia, with the first evidence in Pannonia inferior from a 135 AD diploma. Additional diplomas from 143 to 193 further attest to its presence there.

Cohort locations included:

  • In Britannia: Vindolanda (Chesterholm), with presence indicated between 98 and 102/103, though stationing there is not certain.
  • In Pannonia: Vetus Salina (Adony), evidenced by bricks and inscriptions.
  • In Raetia: Sorviodurum (Straubing).

Known members of the cohort include commanders like Paternus, Severus, Cl(audius) Tyrannus, Grattius Crispinus, Marcus Flavius Miles, Marcus Simplicius Quietus, Valerius Timothy, and others like Lucilianus, Domit. Niger, Equester, and Lentinus Prudentis.