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The Legions of the Roman Empire


Legio I Germanica (or Augusta)

    One of the original 28 Augustan Legions

    Foundation:
    Probably 48 BC by Julius Caesar. Raised in Italia. Also possibly raised by the Consul Pansa in 43 BC to aid Octavian against Antonius.
    The emblem was likely the bull as this was the emblem of all the Caesarian legions.

    Permanent Bases:
    I. 9 AD Colonia Agrippinensis (Cologne, Germany)
    II. 28 AD Bonna (Bonn, Germany)

    Events:
    48 BC: Possible campaigns with Caesar in the civil war include the battles of Dyrrachium and Pharsulus, but there is no solid complete evidence for this.
    46 - 45 BC: Hispania: possible engagements against the holdout armies of Pompeius, including the battle of Munda.
    43 - 42 BC: Possibly the Battles of Mutina (43 BC) and Phillippi in Italia (42 BC) with Octavian against Antonius.
    38 - 36 BC: Campaigns against Sextus Pompeius, mainly in Sicilia.
    25 - 13 BC: Hispania, campaign against the Cantabrians. At some point between the Pompeius and the Cantabrian campaigns it earned the cognoment Augusta but was stripped of it due to disloyal and minor mutinous behavior.
    9 - 69 AD: Germania. During its time in Germania it earned the cognoment Germania under either Drusus or Germanicus.
    69 AD: Supported Vitellius in his revolt against Galba and was later defeated by Vespanian. The legion was disbanded and never reconstituted at this point.

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Legio I Adiutrix ("helper", later Pia Fidelis "loyal and faithful")

    Foundation:
    Recruited from sailors at Misenum by Nero starting in 66 AD, but Nero died before formal acceptance. Formally established by Galba in 69 AD.
    Its standard was the Capricorn.

    Permanent Bases:
    I. 70 - 86 AD: Moguntiacum, Germania (Mainz, Germany)
    II. 86 - 100? AD: Brigetio, Pannonia (Szhony, Hungary)
    III. 100? - 108 AD: Apulum, Dacia (Alba Iulia, Romania)
    IV. 108 - 440 AD: Brigetio, Pannonia (Szhony, Hungary)

    Events:
    69 AD: Battle of Bedriacum (Civil War in support of Otho).
    86 - 90 AD: Dacian/Sarmatian campaigns.
    96 AD: Earned the name Pia Fidelis from Trajan for forcing Nerva to adopt him as Caesar.
    101 - 106 AD: Dacian wars.
    113 - 117 AD: Parthian campaign.
    166 - 180 AD: Marcommanic wars.
    193 - 195 AD: Civil war in support of Septimius Severus.
    215 - 217 AD: Parthian campaign.
    236 - 237 AD: Dacian War.
    244 AD: Persian War.
    259 AD: Defense of Italy against Alemanni.

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Legio I Italica

    Foundation:
    Recruited by Nero in 66 AD for his planned expedition against the Albani tribe along the Caspian Sea, which never took place.
    Its standard was the boar.

    Permanent Bases:
    I. 68 - 69 AD: Lugdunum, Gaul (Lyon, France)
    II. 69 - 5th Century AD: Novae (near Svishtov, Bulgaria)

    Events:
    69 AD: First and second battles of Bedriacum (civil war, supporting Vitellius).
    86 - 90 AD: Dacian-Sarmatian campaigns.
    101 - 106 AD: Dacian wars.
    166 - 180 AD: Marcommanic wars.
    190's AD: Built the Limes Transalutanus fortifications along the Danube and Olt rivers.

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Legio I Macriana Liberatrix ("Macer's Liberators")

    Foundation:
    Formed by Lucious Clodius Macer, rebellious Governor of Africa, in 68 AD, to be used against Nero.

    Events:
    69 AD: Galba, distrustful of Macer and his new legion, ordered the death of the Legions commander and for it to be disbanded.

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Legio I Minervia (later Pia Fidelis, "loyal and faithful")

    Foundation:
    Formed by Domitian in 82 or 83 AD, and named for his favorite goddess, Minerva.
    Its standard was either the likeness of Minerva or a Ram, her zodiac sign.

    Permanent Bases:
    I. 83 - 5th Century AD: Bonna (Bonn, Germany)
    II. Subunits served various stations all over Germania. During the reign of Septimius Severus (193 - 211), subunits garrisoned Lugdunum, Gaul (Lyon, France).

    Events:
    89 AD: Supported Domitian against the rebellion of Saturninus in Germania earning the name Flavia Pia Fidelis. Flavia, the family name of Domitian was dropped after his death in 96 AD.
    101 - 106 AD: Fought in Trajan's Dacian wars, the later part of which was under the direct command of the future Emperor Hadrian.
    162 - 166 AD: Served in Lucius Verus' Parthian campaigns.
    193 - 195 AD: Supported Septimius Severus in the civil war.
    260 - 274 AD: Served the breakaway Gallic empire.
    351 - 353 AD: Defeated by the Franks and Bonna destroyed, but returned a few years later, remaining until the 5th century.

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Legio I Parthica

    Foundation:
    Founded in 197 AD by Septimius Severus for his campaign against the Parthians.

    Permanent Bases:
    I. 197 - 360 AD: Singara, Mesopotamia (Sinjar).
    II. 360 - 5th Cent. AD: Nsibis, Mesopotamia.

    Events:
    197 - 198 AD: Parthian Campaign.

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Legio II Adiutrix ("helper") Pia Fidelis

    Foundation:
    Possible recruitment as early as 67 by Nero, but formally accepted by Vespasian in 70 AD.
    Recruited from marines stationed in Ravenna.
    Its standard was the capricorn and the pegasus.

    Permanent Bases:
    I. 71 - 77? AD: Lindum, Brittania (Lincoln)
    II. 77? - 87 AD: Deva, Britannia (Chester)
    III. 87 - 102 AD: Acumincum or Sirmium (Sremska Mitrovica), Pannonia
    IV. 102 - 106 AD: Singidunum (Belgrade), Dacia
    V. 106 - 5th C.: Aquincum (Budapest), Pannonia

    Events:
    70 AD: Suppressed the Batavian revolt of Julius Civilis at the battle of Xanten.
    71 - 87 AD: In Britain, suppressed the Brigantes revolt under Venutius, and defeated the Ordivices including the occupation of the Isle of Mona (Anglesey).
    102 - 106 AD: Fought in Trajan's Dacian campaigns.
    117 - 136 AD: Various construction projects in Pannonia druing the reign of Hadrian including the road from Singidunum (Belgrade) to Aquincum (Budapest).
    162 - 166 AD: Active in Lucius Verus' Parthian campaigns.
    171 - 173 AD: Involved in Marcus Aurelius Marcomanni wars and sustained heavy losses requiring reinforcements from Legio III in Africa.
    193 - 195 AD: Supported Septimius Severus in the civil war.
    238 AD: Likely fought with Gordian III against the Sassanids.
    269 AD: Also likely campaigned with Claudius II against the Goths.

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Legio II Augusta

    One of the original 28 Augustan Legions.

    Foundation:
    Likely formed by Consul Gaius Vibius Pansa and Octavian in 43 BC.
    Its standard was the capricorn and later awarded the pegasus under Vespasian.

    Permanent Bases:
    I. 25 - 13 BC: Hispania Tarraconensis (Spain), possibly Colonia Acci which the legion built.
    II. 9 - 17 AD: Moguntiacum, Germania (Mainz, Germany)
    III. 17 - 43 AD: Argentoratum, Germania (Strasbourg, Germany)
    IV. 48 - 74? AD: Isca Dumnoniorum, Britannia (Exeter)
    V. 74 - 139? AD: Isca Silurum, Britannia (Caerleon, Wales)

    Events:
    43 - 41 BC: Civil war in support of Octavian, fought against Antonian forces at Phillipi and Perugia.
    25 - 13 BC: In Hispania fighting the Cantabrians and Asturians.
    14 - 16 AD: Served under Germanicus in his Germanian campaigns.
    43 AD: Invasion of Britannia under Claudius.
    69 AD: Civil War in support of Vitellius, after defeated by Vespasian the legion was returned to Britain.
    122 - 128 AD: Vexillations helped build Hadrian's Wall.
    139 - 142 AD: Built the Antonine Wall.
    155 - 158 AD: Widespread revolt in Britannia caused significant casualties requiring reinforcement from Legions in Germania.
    196 AD: In support of Clodius Albinus were defeated by Septimius Severus in the civil war.
    208 AD: Invasion of Caledonia (Scotland) under Severus.
    407? AD: The final defense of Britain at Rutupiae (Richborough) and the withdrawal from Britannia.

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Legio II Italica (Pia) (faithful)

    Foundation:
    Founded in 165 or 166 AD by Marcus Aurelius for use in his campaigns against the Germanian Marcomanni tribe.
    Its emblem was the she-wolf with the legendary founding brothers of Rome. Remus and Romulus. Perhaps this symbol was an indication of it being founded while both Marcus Aurelius and his brother Lucius Verus were co-emperors.

    Permanent Bases:
    I. 180 - 5th century AD: Lauriacum, Noricum (Lorch, Switzerland)

    Events:
    166 - 180 AD: Active in Marcus Aurelius Marcomannii campaigns and the securing of Noricum and Raetia provinces.
    193 AD: Supported Septimius Severus in the civil war.
    236 - 237 AD: Active in the Dacian Wars of Maximinus.
    269 AD: Likely active with Clodius against the Goths.
    300? AD: During the reign of Diocletian a sub-unit was transfered and established a base at Divitia (Deutz) near Cologne. It eventually became an independent legion, II Italica Divitensium, and was active in Constantine's march on Rome and the battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312 AD.

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Legio II Parthica

    Foundation:
    Founded in 197 AD by Septimius Severus for his campaign against the Parthians.
    Its standard was the Centaur.

    Permanent Bases:
    I. 202? AD: Albanum, Italia (near Rome)

    Events:
    197 - 198 AD: Parthian Campaign.
    202 AD: Became the first permanent (non-Praetorian) legion to be stationed in Italia. It not only policed central Italia but acted as a strategic reserve to fill in the gaps when other legions were active in various campaigns.
    208 - 211 AD: Britannian/Caledonian campaign of Septimius Severus.
    213 AD: Served with Caracalla vs. the Alamanni.
    214 - 214 AD: Active in the Parthian campaigns.
    231 AD: Fought the Sassanids under Alexander Severus.
    234 - 235 AD: Campaign against the Germanic Alamanni.
    235 - 238 AD: Supported Maximinus vs. the Sarmatians in Pannonia and against a Senate revolt in Italia.
    242 - 244 AD: Persian War.
    Second half of the 3rd Century AD: Various assignments throughout the empire including Gallia, Palmyra, Thracia, Numidia and Cilicia.
    312 AD: Served with Maxentius against Constantine and was likely disbanded after being defeated at the Milvian Bridge.
    4th Century AD: A legion with the same name was stationed at Bezabde (Cizre), on the Tigris. After its failing to stop the Persians from capturing Bezsabde in 360 AD, II Parthica disappears from recorded history.

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Legio II Traiana Fortis (Trajan's strong or brave legion)

    Foundation:
    Founded in 105 AD by Trajan, needing reinforcements for his Dacian campaigns.
    The standard was the demi-god Hercules.

    Permanent Bases:
    I. 125 - 5th Century AD: Alexandria, Aegyptus.

    Events:
    105 - 106 AD: Trajan's Dacians campaigns, and was likely garrisoned on the Danube prior to transfer to Egypt.
    115 - 117 AD: Parthian campaigns.
    117 - 125 AD: Stationed in Judaea to quell Jewish resistance.
    132 - 136 AD: Vexillations served with Hadrian against the Jews.
    194 AD: Originally supporting Pescennius Niger against Septimius Severus, it switched sides and helped swing the course of history in Severus' favor.
    213 AD: Fought with Caracalla against the Alamanni and seemed to have at least temporarily gained the cognomen Germanica.
    260 - 268 AD: In the civil war vs. the breakaway Gallic empire, it served Gallienus against Posthumus but eventually was returned to Egypt when Aurelian re-conquered Gallia.
    298 AD: Fought the Moors in Mauretania.
    Remained in Egypt until the 5th Century AD stationed in such towns as Panospolis, Thebes, Syene and Pselchis. Its final known garrison being on the southern frontier guarding the Meroitic kingdom of Nubia.

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Legio III Augusta

One of the original 28 Augustan Legions

    Foundation:
    Recruited by Octavian and likely by Consul Gaius Vibius Pansa in 43 BC.
    Its emblem was the Pegasus.

    Permanent Bases:
    I. 30 BC - 75? AD: Ammaedara, Africa.
    II. 75? - 98? AD: Theveste, Africa.
    III. 98? - 5th cent. AD: Lambaesis, Africa.

    Events:
    43 - 36 BC: Supported Octavian (Augustus) against Antonius in the Civil war and may have been present and Philippi. Campaigned against Sextus Pompeius in Sicilia.
    17 - 24 AD: Fought against Mauretanian and Numidian tribes organized under Tacfarinas.
    18 AD: Legatus Lucius Apronius subjected III Augusta to decimation (the killing of every tenth soldier by their fellow legionaries) after a defeat to Tacfarinas.
    69 AD: Under African Governor Clodius Macer, and with Legio I Macriana Liberatrix, revolted against Nero in favor of Galba. Galba disbanded Legio I and Legio III saw no action in the civil war that eventually saw Vespasian take the throne.
    138 - 161 AD: During the reign of Antoninus Pius, III Augusta was involved in a lengthy ongoing war with Berber tribes.
    193 AD: Awarded the title Pia Vindex (Faithful avenger) by Severus for supporting his claim to the purple. Severus oversaw the construction of a series of desert fortifications to control the Berbers.
    238 AD: Active against Gordian I and II in a bid for the throne. Gordian III, winning the civil war, disbanded the legion as punishment.
    253 AD: Reconstituted by Valerian and awarded the title Iterum Pia Iterum Vindex (Again faithful, again avenger).
    253 - 260 AD: Fought against the "5 peoples" federation of Berber tribes.
    289 - 297 AD: Under the command of Maximianus again campaigned against the Berbers.
    Maintained Roman presence in North Africa through the 5th century.

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Legio III Cyrenaica

One of the original 28 Augustan Legions

    Foundation:
    Likely formed by Marcus Aemilius Lepidus or Marcus Antonius between 43 and 31 BC, as both men served as Governor of the province between those years.
    Possibly given the name Cyrenaica later as an award for service in the African province.
    The standard is unknown.

    Permanent Bases:
    I. 30 BC - 7? AD: Possibly Thebes, Aegyptus.
    II. 7? - 106 AD: Alexandria, Aegyptus.
    III. 106 - 119 AD: Bostra, Arabia.
    IV. 119 - 125 AD: Alexandria, Aegyptus.
    V. 125 - 5th Cent. AD: Bostra, Arabia.

    Events:
    26 - 25 BC: Vexillations involved in the Arabia Felix (Yemen), invasion.
    24 BC: Repulsed the Nubian invasion of Egypt.
    66 - 70 AD: War against the Jews and the siege of Jerusalem.
    132 - 136 AD: Likely involved in suppressing the Jewish revolt in Judaea.
    197 - 198 AD: Possibly involved in the Parthian campaigns.
    215- 217 AD: Fought the Parthians in Caracalla's campaigns.
    260 - 272 AD: Upon the capture and death of Valerian, the eastern provinces became independent. Palmyran Emperor Odenaethus and his wife Zenobia launched an invasion of Persia. The Emperor Aurelian eventually reconquered Palmyra and sent Legio III Cyrenaica back to Egypt.

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Legio III Gallica

One of the original 28 Augustan Legions

    Foundation:
    Founded by Julius Caesar in 49 or 48 BC, recruited for his effort against Pompeius Magnus and the Republicans.
    Its standard was the bull.

    Permanent Bases:
    I. 58 - 66 AD: Ziata, Armenia.
    II. 66 - 70 AD: Oescus, Moesia.
    III. 70? - 219 AD: Raphanaea, Syria.
    IV. 222? - 4th Century AD: Near Damascus, Syria.

    Events:
    48 BC: Battles of Dyrrhachium and Pharsalus.
    45 BC: Battle of Munda.
    42 BC: With Marcus Antonius fought the Republicans at Philippi.
    41 BC: Retired veterans besieged and surrendered to Octavian at Perugia.
    36 BC: Involved in Marcus Antonius Parthian campaign. Possibly saved the entire army through hard fighting during retreat.
    20 BC: Under the command of Tiberius, retrieved the lost standards of Marcus Crassus from the Parthians that were captured in 53 BC.
    58 AD: War in Armenia vs. the Parthians.
    132 - 136 AD: Suppressed the Jewish revolt and besieged Jerusalem.
    161 - 166 AD: Parthian campaigns of Lucius Verus.
    197 - 198 AD: Likely involved in Severus' Parthian campaigns.
    219 AD: Legio II revolted and was disbanded by Heliogabalus.
    222 AD: Reconstituted by Severus Alexander.
    Disappears from recorded history in about 320 AD.

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Legio III Italica Concors (Harmonius)

    Foundation:
    Founded by Marcus Aurlelius in 165 or 166 AD for his wars against the Germanic Marcomanni.
    Its emblem was the stork.

    Permanent Bases:
    I. 171 - 5th century AD: Regina Castra, Raetia (Regensburg, Germany)
    Also active throughout the province of Raetia including Augusta Vindelicum (Augsburg, Germany)
    II. 5th Century AD: with the collapse of the Danube frontier, was transferred to Illyricum.

    Events:
    166 - 180 AD: Responsible for securing Raetia and Noricum during M. Aurelius' Marcomanni campaigns.
    213 AD: Caracalla's Alamanni campaign.
    260 AD: Likely overrun by Germanic invaders who were in turn defeated by local militia. The Legion was reinforced, however.
    273 AD: Campaigned with Aurelian against the breakaway Palmyric empire.
    End of the 4th century AD: Divided into 6 vexillations responsible for guarding river passes against Germanic invaders in Illyricum. Was the twin legion of Legio III Herculia.



Index:

Page 1:
Legio I Germanica
Legio I Adiutrix
Legio I Italica
Legio I Macriana Liberatrix
Legio I Minervia
Legio I Parthica
Legio II Adiutrix
Legio II Augusta
Legio II Italica
Legio II Parthica
Legio II Traiana Fortis
Legio III Augusta
Legio III Cyrenaica
Legio III Gallica
Legio III Italica Concors

Page 2:
Legio III Parthica
Legio IV Flavia Felix
Legio IV Macedonia
Legio IV Scythia
Legio V Alaudae
Legio V Macedonia
Legio VI Ferrata
Legio VI Victrix
Legio VII Claudia Pia Fidelis
Legio VII Hispana
Legio VIII Augusta
Legio IX Hispana
Legio X Fretensis
Legio X Gemina
Legio XI Claudia Pia Fidelis

Page 3:
Legio XII Fulminata
Legio XIII Gemina
Legio XIV Gemina
Legio XV Apollinaris
Legio XV Primigenia
Legio XVI Gallica
Legio XVI Flavia Firma
Legio XVII
Legio XVIII
Legio XIX
Legio XX Valeria Victrix
Legio XXI Rapax
Legio XXII Deiotariana
Legio XXII Primigenia
Legio XXX Ulpia Victrix

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Index of Roman Legions - Related Topic: Military Tribunate


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