The Roman Army A to Z: arcanus

arcanus (m. pl. arcani)

An organisation of scouts in Roman Britain, disbanded by Theodosius after they became corrupt. Ammianus refers to them as ‘areani’ which has been assumed to be a scribal error, but there appears to be subliterary corroboration for the name. Amm. 28.3.8; Tab. Vind. 162. [Goldsworthy 2003]