Late Roman Shields

Looking to paint my new Late Imperial Romans from Legio Heroica. One of the attractions of LIR is the shield patterns from the Notita Dignitatum (spelling optional). LittleBigMenStudios provide some of the best and most detailed shield transfers out there, but unfortunately don’t have any for Legio Heroica. They do have some for Khurasan Miniatures though and Lord Mather has some Khurasan LIRs for me to compare. The figures are very similar, such that I would add some in for variety if Khurasan had a UK distributor, and the shields are a similar shape if a tad smaller, so the transfers will fit.

The next step is to work out which units the transfers are for, which is possible with a moderate level of accuracy given the aforementioned Notita. Using Luke Ueda-Sarson’s excellent website on the Notita, I have identified some of the patterns, as shown in the table below.  Some of them are also pre-Notita, so I have divided them by period as well.

Middle Imperial Roman

Herculani Seniores Herculani Seniores (one of the most senior active legions in the Empire, created by Diocletian) LIRI(KSM)2 15mm


Iovani Seniores Ioviani Seniores (the other senior legion of the Empire, created by Diocletian) LIRI(KSM)1 15mm
Blue Dura style shield   One of the Dura shields I think. Probably a bit earlier than the other shields in the Notita. LIRC(GB_SMALL)4 25mm
lircgb_small5  Another one of the Dura shields. Also probably should be for an earlier period than the shields in the Notita. LIRC(GB_SMALL)5 25mm

Late Imperial Roman (Western)

All of these shields do appear in the Notitia, so are extant at the end of the western empire).

lircgb_small2 Schola unit? LIRC(GB_SMALL)2 25mm
Herculani Seniores Herculani Seniores Legio Palatina LIRI(KSM)2 15mmLIRI(GB_LARGE)1 25mm
Iovani Seniores Ioviani Seniores Legio Palatina LIRI(KSM)1 15mm
Secunda Britannia Secunda Britannia Legio Comitatenses LIRI(KSM)4 15mmLIRI(OG 15’S)3 15mm
Secundani Italiciani Secundani Italiciani Legio Comitatenses LIRI(OG 15’S)2 15mmLIRI(GB_LARGE)6 25mm
Lanciarii Gallicani Honoriani Lanciarii Gallicani Honoriani Legio Comitatenses LIRI(OG 15’S)5 15mm
Menapii Seniores Menapii Seniores Legio Comitatense LIRI(GB_LARGE)7 25mm
Septimani Seniores Septimani Seniores Legio Comitatense LIRI(GB_LARGE)8 25mm
Prima Flavia Gallicana Constantia Prima Flavia Gallicana Constantia Legio Pseudocomitatense LIRI(GB_LARGE)2 25mm
Petulantes Seniores Petulantes Seniores Auxilia Palatina LIRI(KSM)6 15mmLIRI(GB_LARGE)10 25mm
Leones Iuniores Leones Iuniores Auxilia Palatina LIRI(KSM)3 15mmLIRI(OG 15’S)1 15mmLIRI(GB_LARGE)4 25mm
Equites Cetrati Seniores Equites Cetrati Iuniores Vexillia Comitatenses LIRI(OG 15’S)4 15mm
Scholae Scholae of some kind Vexillia Palatina? LIRC(KSM)1 15mm
Equites Honoriani Equites Honoriani Vexillia Comitatenses LIRC(KSM)1 15mmLIRC(GB_SMALL)6
Equites Mauri Feroces Equites Mauri Feroces Vexillia Comitatenses LIRC(KSM)1 15mm
Comites Iuniores Comites Iuniores Vexilliatione Comitatenses LIRC(GB_SMALL)1 25mm

Late Imperial Roman (Eastern Empire)

All of these shields are in the Notitia. There are no eastern cavalry shields in the Notitia unfortunately – those pages have been lost.

Quinta Macedonia Quinta Macedonia Legio Comitatenses LIRI(KSM)8 15mm
Falchovarii Falchovarii Auxilia Palatina LIRI(GB_LARGE)5 25mm

These look like they have been inspired by Byzantine frescos, especially those at Ravenna.

Guards Chi-Rho Not in the Notitia, apparently some sort of guard shield from the Column of Theodosius. LIRI(KSM)7 15mm
Guard Dragons Can’t Find in Notitia – looks like a bodyguard from the Chi-Rho symbol. LIRI(KSM)5 15mmLIRI(GB_LARGE)3 25mm
lircgb_small3 Don’t know LIRC(GB_SMALL)3 25mm


The oval ones are for Khurasan miniatures, the round ones for Old Glory (who presumably have LIR legionaries with round shields because they have read the Notitia rather than looking at the sculptures).

So unfortunately for me most of them are Western, and I fancied an Eastern army. Not many people will notice, but somehow it feels wrong.

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