Delmatius - Roman Caesar: 335-337 A.D.
Bronze AE4 15mm (1.06 grams) Siscia mint, struck 337 A.D.
Reference: RIC 256
FL DELMATIVS NOB C, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
GLORIA EXERCITVS "the glory of the Army", two soldiers standing, spear in outer hand; one military standard between them; BSIS in exergue.
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Roman military standards. The standards with discs, or signa (first three on left) belong to centuriae of the legion (the image does not show the heads of the standards - whether spear-head or wreathed-palm). Note (second from right) the legion's aquila. The standard on the extreme right probably portrays the She-wolf (lupa) which fed Romulus, the legendary founder of Rome. (This was the emblem of Legio VI Ferrata, a legion then based in Judaea, a detachment of which is known to have fought in Dacia). Detail from Trajan's Column, Rome
Modern reenactors parade with replicas of various legionary standards. From left to right: signum (spear-head type), with four discs; signum (wreathed-palm type), with six discs; imago of ruling emperor; legionary aquila; vexillum of commander (legatus) of Legio XXX Ulpia Victrix, with embroidered name and emblem (Capricorn) of legion
Each tactical unit in the imperial army, from centuria upwards, had its own standard. This consisted of a pole with a variety of adornments that was borne by dedicated standard-bearers who normally held the rank of duplicarius. Military standards had the practical use of communicating to unit members where the main body of the unit was situated, so that they would not be separated, in the same way that modern tour-group guides use umbrellas or flags. But military standards were also invested with a mystical quality, representing the divine spirit (genius) of the unit and were revered as such (soldiers frequently prayed before their standards). The loss of a unit's standard to the enemy was considered a terrible stain on the unit's honour, which could only be fully expunged by its recovery.
The standard of a centuria was known as a signum, which was borne by the unit's signifer. It consisted of a pole topped by either an open palm of a human hand or by a spear-head. The open palm, it has been suggested, originated as a symbol of the maniple (manipulus = "handful"), the smallest tactical unit in the Roman army of the mid-Republic. The poles were adorned with two to six silver discs (the significance of which is uncertain). In addition, the pole would be adorned by a variety of cross-pieces (including, at bottom, a crescent-moon symbol and a tassel). The standard would also normally sport a cross-bar with tassels.
The standard of a Praetorian cohort or an auxiliary cohort or ala was known as a vexillum or banner. This was a square flag, normally red in colour, hanging from a crossbar on the top of the pole. Stitched on the flag would be the name of the unit and/or an image of a god. An exemplar found in Egypt bears an image of the goddess Victory on a red background. The vexillum was borne by a vexillarius. A legionary detachment (vexillatio) would also have its own vexillum. Finally, a vexillum traditionally marked the commander's position on the battlefield. The exception to the red colour appears to have been the Praetorian Guard, whose vexilla, similar to their clothing, favoured a blue background.
From the time of Marius (consul 107 BC), the standard of all legions was the aquila ("eagle"). The pole was surmounted by a sculpted eagle of solid gold, or at least gold-plated silver, carrying thunderbolts in its claws (representing Jupiter, the highest Roman god. Otherwise the pole was unadorned. No exemplar of a legionary eagle has ever been found (doubtless because any found in later centuries were melted down for their gold content). The eagle was borne by the aquilifer, the legion's most senior standard-bearer. So important were legionary eagles as symbols of Roman military prestige and power, that the imperial government would go to extraordinary lengths to recover those captured by the enemy. This would include launching full-scale invasions of the enemy's territory, sometimes decades after the eagles had been lost e.g. the expedition in 28 BC by Marcus Licinius Crassus against Genucla (Isaccea, near modern Tulcea, Rom., in the Danube delta region), a fortress of the Getae, to recover standards lost 33 years earlier by Gaius Antonius, an earlier proconsul of Macedonia. Or the campaigns of AD 14-17 to recover the three eagles lost by Varus in AD 6 in the Teutoburg Forest.
Under Augustus, it became the practice for legions to carry portraits (imagines) of the ruling emperor and his immediate family members. An imago was usually a bronze bust carried on top of a pole like a standard by an imaginifer.
From around the time of Hadrian (r. 117-38), some auxiliary alae adopted the dragon-standard (draco) commonly carried by Sarmatian cavalry squadrons. This was a long cloth wind-sock attached to an ornate sculpture of an open dragon's mouth. When the bearer (draconarius) was galloping, it would make a strong hissing-sound.
The Roman army awarded a variety of individual decorations (dona) for valour to its legionaries. Hasta pura was a miniature spear; phalerae were large medal-like bronze or silver discs worn on the cuirass; armillae were bracelets worn on the wrist; and torques were worn round the neck, or on the cuirass. The highest awards were the coronae ("crowns"), of which the most prestigious was the corona civica, a crown made oak-leaves awarded for saving the life of a fellow Roman citizen in battle. The most valuable award was the corona muralis, a crown made of gold awarded to the first man to scale an enemy rampart. This was awarded rarely, as such a man hardly ever survived.
There is no evidence that auxiliary common soldiers received individual decorations like legionaries, although auxiliary officers did. Instead, the whole regiment was honoured by a title reflecting the type of award e.g. torquata ("awarded a torque") or armillata ("awarded bracelets"). Some regiments would, in the course of time, accumulate a long list of titles and decorations e.g. cohors I Brittonum Ulpia torquata pia fidelis c.R..
Delmatius - Roman Caesar: 335-337 A.D.
| Grandson of Constantius I and Theodora | Brother of Hanniballianus | Brother-in-law and half-cousin of Constantina (wife of Hanniballianus & Constantius Gallus) | Nephew of Licinius I and Constantia | Cousin of Constantius Gallus, Julian II, Licinius II and Nepotian | Half-nephew of Constantine the Great | Half-cousin of Crispus, Constantine II, Constantius II, Constans and Helena the Younger (wife of Julian II)
Flavius Delmatius (died 337), also known as Delmatius Caesar, was a Caesar (335-337) of the Roman Empire, and member of the Constantinian dynasty.
Dalmatius was son of another Flavius Dalmatius, censor, and nephew of Constantine I. Dalmatius and his brother Hannibalianus were educated at Tolosa (Toulouse) by rhetor Exuperius.
On 18 September 335, he was raised to the rank of Caesar, with the control of Thracia, Achaea and Macedonia. Dalmatius died in late summer 337, killed by his own soldiers. It is possible that his death was related to the purge that hit the imperial family at the death of Constantine, and organized by Constantius II with the aim of removing any possible claimant to the throne.
Division of the Roman Empire among the Caesars appointed by Constantine I: from west to east, the territories of Constantine II, Constans I, Dalmatius and Constantius II. After the death of Constantine I (May 337), this was the formal division of the Empire, until Dalmatius was killed and his territory divided between Constans and Constantius.