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Legio IX Hispana – The Lost Roman Legion

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One of the most debated mysteries from the Roman period involves the disappearance of the Legio IX Hispana, a legion of the Imperial Roman Army that supposedly vanished sometime after AD 120.






The fate of the legion has been the subject of considerable research and speculation. One theory proposes that the legion was wiped out campaigning in northern Britain after AD 108 by the northern tribes, which was popularised in a novel called “The Eagle of the Ninth”.

This theory is now contested by modern scholars after the discovery of successive inscriptions of IX Hispana discovered at the Roman fortress of Noviomagus Batavorum in Nijmegen (Netherlands), suggesting elements of the 9th were stationed there from AD 120, although some scholars argue that this was simply a detachment of the 9th and not the whole legion.

According to the 19th-century German classicist Theodor Mommsen, the 9th was wiped out during Brigante raids against Eboracum, with Mommsen stating “under Hadrian there was a terrible catastrophe here, apparently an attack on the fortress of Eboracum and the annihilation of the legion stationed there, the very same Ninth that had fought so unluckily in the Boudican revolt.”



guy also known as gaius

Edited by guy

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Fronto mentions significant losses in Britannia during a British rebellion. Hadrian arrives in the region shortly afterward and establishes the project to build a wall on the northern frontier, but there wasn't any mention of issues on that frontier at that time (how else was the large scale project able to be completed without pictish interdiction?).

I suggest a possible if unlikely scenario. What if the IX Hispania had rebelled or mutinied in Britain?

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