Thursday, June 25, 2009

Legion List

Legions were given titles in several ways. Their name could be based on the province where they won honor (eg: V Macedonica). It could reflect the name of their commander. Or it could denote a specific deed or quality.(ex: X Equestris) These titles could be changed over time or they could have new titles added on.

Notes on specific titles: Gemina, Latin for "twin," was given to a legion that was composed of 2 or more pre-existing legions. Augusta is Latin for "venerable" or "majestic." Octavion was re-named using this same title when he became emperor. Pia fidelis, meaning "loyal," was awarded to Legions which remained loyal to the Emperor during times of revolt. Victrix meaning "victorious," was given after winning a note-worthy comflict.

I-IV The Consular Legions of the Republic. These were not part of any standing army. They were formed quickly when the need arose and then disbanded once the threat was gone.

I Augusta, Germanica Probably originally raised by Caesar. Took part in civil war of 69AD Disbanded in 70 AD for collusion with a rebel

I Adiutrix pia fidelis "Assistant" Raised by Nero in 66 or 67 from sailors at Misenum to supplement the legionary strength 54-68AD Took part in the civil war of 69 AD, in Dacian wars under the command of Domitian and then Traian and probably in the Parthian war in 114-117

I Italica Raised by Nero probably in 66AD for the planned Caspian expedition. Took part in the civil war of 69 AD.

I Macriana liberatrix Raised by L. Clodius Macer, the rebellious governor of Africa in 68 AD (during the reign of Nero). Disbanded by Emperor Galba in 68 or 69AD.

I Flavia Minervia Raised by Domitian in 83. Took part in Trajan's Dacian Wars (101-102, 105-106) and the Parthian campaign (162-166) of the co-emperor L. Verus

I Parthica Raised by Septimius Severus to fight the Parthians 193AD-211

II Adiutrix pia fidelis"Assistant" Raised by Vespasian to supplement the legionary strength.

II Augusta Raised by Augustus. Took part in the invasion of Britain in 43AD

II Italica pia Raised by Marcus Aurelius to fight Marcomanni 165AD

II Parthica Raised by Severus to fight the Parthians 193AD-211

II Traiana fortis "Strong" Raised by Trajan around 105AD. Named after himself. (the Romans did not use the letter "J")

III Augusta pia fidelis Probably raised by Octavian in 41 or 40BC. Split up by Emperor Gordianus III in 238 for supporting its rebellious legate. Reinstated by Emperor Valerian in 253AD

III Cyrenaica Named for the province where it gained distinction. Took part in Trajan's Parthian War 115-117 AD

III Gallica Formed by Caesar in 48-42 BC Took part in Gallic and Civil War. Took part in the civil war of 69 AD for Vespasian. Disbanded for sedition against Emperor Elagabalus in 218AD or 219AD. Reconstituted by Emperor Severus Alexander.

III Italica concors "United" Raised by Marcus Aurelius to fight Marcomanni 165AD

III Parthica Raised by Severus to fight the Parthians 193AD-211

IV Macedonica Raised by Caesar in 48 BC Gained distinction in Macedonia. Took part in the civil war of 69 AD. Disbanded by Vespasian, replaced by Legio IV Flavia firma

IV Flavia firma Raised by Vespasian in 70AD from former Legio IV Macedonica. Took part in Trajan's Dacian Wars (101-102, 105-106AD)

IV Scythia Raised before 30BC possibly by M. Antony. Probably took part in the campaigns against Scythians in 29-27 BC

V Alaudae "The Larks" Raised by Caesar in 52BC from native people of Transalpine Gaul. Reconstituted by M. Antony in 44 BC. Took part in the civil war of 69 AD supported Emperor Vitellius. Probably disbanded by Emperor Vespasian or later by Emperor Domitian

V Macedonica Raised in 43BC or by Octavian in 41BC or 40BC. Gained distinction in Macedonia. Under Vespasian in the Jewish War. Took part in the Parthian campaign (162-166AD) of co-emperor L. Verus.

VI Ferrata fidelis constans "Iron-sides" Raised by Caesar in 52 BC in Cisalpine Gaul. Reconstituted in 44BC. Taken over by Antony in 43BC and later by Octavian as part of Octavian's army stationed in Syria. Took part in the civil war of 69AD and marched as part of Flavian army on Italy. Supported emperor Septimius Severus against Pescennius Niger

VI Victrix Served under Caesar in Egypt and Augustus at Actium

VII Macedonica Claudia pia fidelis Raised in 59 BC or earlier. Reconstituted by Octavian in 44BC. Remained loyal to emperor Claudius in the revolt of Scribonianus, governor of Dalmatia. Took part in the civil war of 69AD supporting emperor Vespasian.

VII Hispana (later Gemina) Raisedy Galba in 68AD. in Spain (nicknamed Galbiana) Participated in the civil war of 69AD: accompanied emperor Galba to Rome. Later fought for emperorVespasian. Reconstituted in 70AD, perhaps incorporating soldiers of Legio I and given name Gemina

VIII Augusta Mutinensis Reformed by Augustus in 43BC. Gained distinction in Mutina in 43BC.

VIII Augusta First raised by Caesar in 59 BC or earlier. Fought in Gallic War and Civil War. Disbanded in 46BC Reconstituted by Octavian in 44BC. Operated victoriously under the command of Emperor Augustus.

IX Hispana Either raised by Caesar and disbanded in 46 or 45BC, or a new formation by Octavian in 41 or 40BC. Took part in the war against Tacfarinas. Participated in the invasion of Britain in 43. Suffered heavy losses in Boudiccas rebellion. Legion survived at least into the mid-120sAD but its exact end is unknown.

X Equestris "Mounted" or "Knightly." Raised by Caesar in 59 BC or earlier. (His favorite) Named for the time when they posed as cavalry when Caesar met Ariovistus, a German king. Disbanded after rebeling against Octavian before he was emperor. The legoion may have been mixed into Leg. X Gemina.

X Fretensis Raised by Octavian 41 or 40BC. Named after the naval battle between Octavian and Sextus Pompeius in Frectum Siculum (the straits of Messina). Took part in the Jewish War.

X Gemina Formed from two half strength legions

XI Claudia pia fidelis Probably raised by Caesar in 58BC Disbanded in 46BC. Remained loyal to emperor Claudius in the revolt of Scribonianus, governor of Dalmatia (42AD). Supported Vespasian in the civil war of 69AD. Helped suppress the rebellion of Julius Civilis in 70AD.

XII Fulminata "Lighting-hurler" Raised by Caesar in 58BC. Reconstituted in 44 or 43BC. Served with Antony in the east. Fought in Armenia and Judea. Took part in the failed invasion of Armenia in 62AD and the legion was disgraced by capitulation to the Parthians at Rhandeia. Later fought in the Jewish War and may have temporarily lost its eagle in the retreat from Jerusalem 66AD. Took part in the campaigns of Marcus Aurelius against Quadi in 170s AD.

XIII Gemina pia fidelis Raised by Caesar in 57BC. Disbanded in 46BC. Reconstituted by Octavion in 41 or 40BC. Took part in Trajans second Dacian War and possibly also at the first.

XIV Gemina Martia Victrix Raised by Caesar raised in 57BC Disbanded in 46-25BC. Took part in the invasion of Britain in 43AD and in the suppressing of the rebellion of Boudicca in 60-61AD. Took part in the campaign against Iulius Civilis in 70AD. Supported the rebellion of Saturninus in 89. A detachment took part in the Dacian Wars of emperor Trajan in 101-102AD and 105-106AD.

XV Apollinaris Raised by Augustus in 41 or 40BC. Named after the god. Fought in the Jewish War in 66-70AD. A detachment took part in the Dacian Wars of emperor Trajan in 101-102AD and 105-106AD.

XV Primigenia Formed by Claudius along with Legio XV Primigenia perhaps in 39AD. Took part on the march of emperor Vitellius to Rome in 69AD.

XVI Flavia firma "Steadfast to the Flavians" Raised by Vespasian in 70AD. Took part in Traian's Parthian War (114-117AD).

XVI Gallica Raised by Octavion in 41 or 40BC. Part of the legion took part in Vitellius' invasion of Italy in 69AD. In 69 remainder of the legion surrendered to the rebel Julius Civilis. Subsequently, the disgraced legion was disbanded by emperor Vespasian and reconstituted as Legio XVI Flavia firma.

XVII, XVIII, XIX Raised by Octavian in 41 or 40BC or possibly after Actium. Wiped out by germans in the Teutoburg Forest 9AD Under the command of P. Quintctilius Varus. These legionary numbers were never used again. The eagle standards of Leg. XIX and one of the others were recovered by Germanicus in 15-16AD and the remaining one in 42AD.

XX Valeria victrix Raised by Augustus around 40BC. Remianed loyal to Emperor Domitian in the revolt of L. Antonius Saturninus in 89AD. "Valiant and Victorious" in Boudicca's revolt in Britain.

XXI Rapax "Greedy" raised by Octavian in 41 or 40BC or possibly after Actium. Took part in the invasion of Italy of emperor Vitellius. Fought against Julius Civilis in 70AD. Supported the rebellion of L. Antonius Saturninus in 89AD. Annihilated, probably in 92AD in battle against Sarmatians.

XXII Deiotariana Formed by King Deiotarus of Galatia, trained and equipped on the Roman model. Incorporated into the Roman army by Augustus probably before 25BC. The legion may have been destroyed in the Jewish Revolt of 132-135AD

XXII Primigenia pia fidelis After the Roman godess, Fortuna Primigenia. Caligula raised by by emperor Claudius in 39AD for his intended German campaign at Mogontiacum. A detachment took part in emperpor Vitellius' invasion of Italy in 69AD. In 69AD after a siege at Vetera remainder of the legion surrendered to the rebel Julius Civilis and the legion disappeared from army lists.

XXX Ulpia victrix Raised around 105AD by Trajan to fight the Dacians. Participated in the Second Dacian War (105-106 AD).

References:
1.The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire : From the First Century A.D. to the Third, by Edward Luttak
2. Roman Army from Caesar to Trajan, by Michael Simkins

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