Cohors I Thracum milliaria

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A military diploma from 160 AD (AE 2011 , 1810)

The Cohors I Thracum milliaria (German 1.Kohorte der Thraker milliaria ) was a Roman auxiliary unit. It is attested by military diplomas, inscriptions, brick stamps and the Notitia dignitatum. In the military diploma of 88 it is called Cohors I milliaria,[A 1] in an inscription[1] as Cohors I milliaria Thracum and in the Notitia dignitatum as Cohors prima miliaria Thracum.

Name components

  • Cohors: The cohort was an infantry unit of the auxiliary troops in the Roman army.
  • I: The Roman numeral stands for the ordinal number the first (Latin prima). Therefore, the name of this military unit is pronounced as Cohors prima ….
  • Thracum: the Thracian. The soldiers of the cohort were recruited from the Thracian people in the territory of the Roman province of Thrace when the unit was formed.
  • milliaria: 1000 men. Depending on whether it was an infantry cohort(cohors milliaria peditata) or a mixed unit of infantry and cavalry(cohors milliaria equitata), the unit’s nominal strength was either 800 or 1040 men. The addition occurs in the military diplomas of 88 to 186, in two inscriptions[2] and on bricks[3] on bricks. In the military diplomas from 139 to 186, in the two inscriptions and on the bricks, instead of milliaria, the sign


Since there is no evidence of the name suffix equitata (partly mounted), it can be assumed that it was a Cohors milliaria peditata, a pure infantry cohort. The target strength of the unit was 800 men, consisting of 10 centurions with 80 men each.


The cohort was stationed in the provinces of Syria, Syria Palaestina and Arabia (in that order). It is recorded on military diplomas[4] for the years 88 to 186 AD.[5][6][A 2]

The first evidence of the unit in Syria is based on a diploma dated to 88. The diploma lists the cohort as part of the troops (see Roman Forces in Syria) that were stationed in the province. Other diplomas, dated 91 to 93, provide evidence of the unit in the same province.

At an unspecified date, the unit was transferred to the province of Syria Palaestina, where it is first attested by a diploma dated 139. Other diplomas, dated 158 to 186, attest the unit in the same province.

In the 3rd or 4th century the cohort was transferred to the province of Arabia.[7] The unit is mentioned for the last time in the Notitia dignitatum[8] with the designation Cohors prima miliaria Thracum for the location Adtitha. It was part of the troops under the high command of the Dux Arabiae.[9]


Unit locations in Arabia and Syria Palestine may have been:

  • Adtitha: The unit is listed in the notitia dignitatum for this location.
  • Eleutheropolis (Beit Guvrin): two bricks[10] with the stamp of the unit were found here.[11]
  • Hebron: a brick[12] with the stamp of the unit was found here.[7]
  • En Gedi: a deputation from the unit was stationed here on 6 May 124, as is evident from a papyrus[13] …shows. Between 6 May 124 and 16 April 128 the detachment was presumably withdrawn.[14]

Near Aleppo, an inscription[1] of the unit was found.


The following members of the cohort are known:[5]


  • Ποπλιος Κλαυδιος Πολλιω, an επαρχος (IGR 4.1565)


See also

  • List of Roman Auxiliary Units
  • List of military units in the Notitia dignitatum
  • Roman forces in Arabia
  • Roman forces in Syria

Web links

Commons: Cohors I Thracum milliaria– Collection of images, videos and audio files


  • John Spaul: Cohors² The evidence for and a short history of the auxiliary infantry units of the Imperial Roman Army, British Archaeological Reports 2000, BAR International Series (Book 841), ISBN 978-1-84171-046-4


  1. The scenario given here assumes that the Cohors I Thracum milliaria is identical to the Cohors I milliaria.
  2. The scenario given here assumes that Cohors I Thracum milliaria is distinct from both Cohors I Thracum (Arabia) and Cohors I Thracum (Iudaea).
  3. The papyrus represents a contract between the centurion Magonius Valens and a certain Judah; Valens had lent Judah money, and Judah confirms in the papyrus that he has pledged a plot of land in En Gedi as security for it.

Individual references

  1. a b Inscription from Aleppo(ZPE-60-113).
  2. Inscription with milliaria(AE 2007, 1616, ZPE-60-113).
  3. Brick with milliaria(AE 2014, 1400, ZPE-35-171, ZPE-188-305).
  4. Military diplomas of 88(CIL 16, 35), 91(Chiron-2006-221, RMD 1, 4), 93(ZPE-165-219), 139 (CIL 16, 87), 158 (ZPE-159-283), 160(AE 2005, 1730, AE 2011, 1810, RMD 3, 173, RMM 41) and 186( RMD 1, 69).
  5. a b John Spaul, Cohors², pp. 353-354, 359-360.
  6. Jörg Scheuerbrandt: Exercitus. Tasks, organization and command structure of Roman armies during the imperial period. Dissertation, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau 2003/2004, pp. 172-173 Tables 14-15(PDF).
  7. a b Michael P. Speidel: A Tile Stamp of Cohors I Thracum Milliaria from Hebron/Palestine In: Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik (ZPE), vol. 35 (1979), pp. 170-172, here pp. 170-171(online).
  8. Notitia dignitatum in partibus Orientis XXXVII(Online).
  9. Margaret M. Roxan: Pre-Severan auxilia named in the Notitia Dignitatum In: British Archaeological Reports, vol. 15 (1976), pp. 59-80, here pp. 65, 74.
  10. Brick from Eleutheropolis: Stamp C

    {displaystyle infty }

    T(AE 2014, 1400, ZPE-188-305).

  11. Boaz Zissu, Avner Ecker: A Roman Military Fort North of Bet Guvrin/Eleutheropolis? In: ZPE, vol. 188 (2014), pp. 293-312, here pp. 304-305(online).
  12. Brick from Hebron: Stamp C

    {displaystyle infty }


  13. a b p.babatha.11 = HGV P.Yadin 1 11 = Trismegistos, retrieved 14 October 2019 (English).
  14. a b Hannah M. Cotton: Courtyard(s) in Ein-Gedi: P.Yadin 11, 19 and 20 of the Babatha Archive In: ZPE, vol. 112 (1996), pp. 197-201, here pp. 197-198(online).
  15. a b Werner Eck, Andreas Pangerl: Syria unter Domitian und Hadrian: Neue Diplome für die Auxiliartruppen der Provinz In: Chiron, vol. 36 (2006), pp. 205-247, here pp. 219-221(Online).
  16. §43 Magonius Valens.Database of Military Inscriptions and Papyri of Early Roman Palestine, retrieved October 14, 2019 (English).