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But right around this time, he was brutally murdered and plans for the Parthian invasion were called off. Mark Antony seized the opportunity to tap in the Macedonica force and actively involved it in his campaigns in eastern Italy.
It has been documented that the Roman commander was particularly impressed by the bravery and heroics of Legio IX in the battle against the Nervians.
When Caesar fell, the legion was again levied into the Roman military by his heir Octavian. Commander Octavian immediately tasked it with annexing the city of Sicily which was then under the control of his arch enemy Sextus Pompeius.
The Legio Hispana Triumphalis, along with other legions enlisted in the campaign by Octavian, soon brought the whole of Sicily under Roman rule.
Once Sicily was annexed, Octavian declared himself the emperor and became Augustus. He also sent the Ninth Legion to maintain control of the Balkans.
It was around 43 AD when the legion was brought back into action in the Roman invasion of Britain. Historians state that the legion suffered a massive defeat at the Battle of Camulodunum during the infamous rebellion of Boudica.
A huge number of legionaries was killed and whatever force remained was then used to reinforce the Germania provinces. Contrary to the popular belief that it got the Germanica cognomen because its soldiers originated in Germany, almost all the Germanica legionaries were Roman.
It was their outstanding service in contemporary Germany that earned them the said cognomen. The Germanica then took part in a decade-long conflict against the Cantabrians under the leadership of Augustus.
Together with the Second Augusta Legion, Germanica helped build the whole new colony of Acci in Spain during the same period. Of course, new recruits were regularly enlisted and soon the legion was stationed to defend the Rhine where, historians suggest, Germanica might have helped Tiberius in his war against the Celtic kingdom of Vindelicia.
The First Germanica Legion remained active from the year of its formation up until the waning days of 70 AD. Also known by the name Legio II Augusta, one can easily conclude that this famous legion got its cognomen from the legendary emperor of imperial Rome, Augustus himself.
It is rather unclear if the legion was actually formed by Augustus during his command days or if he renamed an existing legion Legio II Augusta.
The first known documentation of Augusta dates back to around 26 BC, when it took on the Cantabrians alongside seven or more other legions in the Cantabrian Wars of 29 to 19 BC.
Once the war was won, Augusta legionaries stationed themselves in Spain alongside other legions.
Sadly, the legion had a shameful defeat and disbanding in the civil war that followed with Julius versus Pompey.
In one battle, they were told to retreat by Julius, fearing they might be destroyed. But, this proved fatal, as this was the first time the legion had retreated at all, the rest of the army routed, causing the legion itself to be routed as well.
For their cowardice, they asked to be disbanded, but Julius merely demoted their standard bearers. Not fulfilling their last chance to redeem themselves and their reputation, the legion disbanded in Rome as they sought payment.
Highly regarded and one of the longest lasting legions was Legio III. This legion is debated for some inconsistencies for their appearance in history.
The legion itself was founded by Mark Anthony in 36 B. If we were to take it as multiple legions bearing the number III, then this legion had been involved in most battles, conflicts and wars during the entire existence of Rome.
It fought to secure the territories of Northern Africa for Rome, enforcing the law, as well as deterring would-be opposition by being stationed there.
Later the legion would be used in securing the Levant and the Arabian Peninsula. These men twenty maniples of men, and ten maniples of 60 men , together with about velites and cavalry gave the mid Republican "manipular" legion a nominal strength of about men.
The Marian reforms of Gaius Marius enlarged the centuries to 80 men, and grouped them into 6-century "cohorts" rather than two-century maniples.
Each century had its own standard and was made up of ten units contubernia of eight men who shared a tent, a millstone, a mule and cooking pot. Following the reforms of the general Marius in the 2nd century BC, the legions took on the second, narrower meaning that is familiar in the popular imagination as close-order citizen heavy infantry.
At the end of the 2nd century BC, Gaius Marius reformed the previously ephemeral legions as a professional force drawing from the poorest classes, enabling Rome to field larger armies and providing employment for jobless citizens of the city of Rome.
However, this put the loyalty of the soldiers in the hands of their general rather than the State of Rome itself.
This development ultimately enabled Julius Caesar to cross the Rubicon with an army loyal to him personally and effectively end the Republic.
The legions of the late Republic and early Empire are often called Marian legions. He justified this action to the Senate by saying that in the din of battle he could not distinguish Roman from ally [ citation needed ].
This effectively eliminated the notion of allied legions; henceforth all Italian legions would be regarded as Roman legions, and full Roman citizenship was open to all the regions of Italy.
At the same time, the three different types of heavy infantry were replaced by a single, standard type based on the Principes : armed with two heavy javelins called pila singular pilum , the short sword called gladius , chain mail lorica hamata , helmet and rectangular shield scutum.
The role of allied legions would eventually be taken up by contingents of allied auxiliary troops, called Auxilia.
Auxilia contained specialist units, engineers and pioneers, artillerymen and craftsmen, service and support personnel and irregular units made up of non-citizens, mercenaries and local militia.
These were usually formed into complete units such as light cavalry, light infantry or velites , and labourers. There was also a reconnaissance squad of 10 or more light mounted infantry called speculatores who could also serve as messengers or even as an early form of military intelligence service.
As part of the Marian reforms, the legions' internal organization was standardized. Each legion was divided into cohorts.
Prior to this, cohorts had been temporary administrative units or tactical task forces of several maniples, even more transitory than the legions themselves.
Now the cohorts were ten permanent units, composed of 6 centuries and in the case of the first cohort 12 centuries each led by a centurion assisted by an optio.
The cohorts came to form the basic tactical unit of the legions. Ranking within the legion was based on length of service, with the senior Centurion commanding the first century of the first cohort; he was called the primus pilus First File , and reported directly to the superior officers legates and tribuni.
All career soldiers could be promoted to the higher ranks in recognition of exceptional acts of bravery or valour. A newly promoted junior Centurion would be assigned to the sixth century of the tenth cohort and slowly progressed through the ranks from there.
Every legion had a large baggage train which included mules 1 mule for every 8 legionaries only for the soldiers' equipment.
To make this easier, he issued each legionary a cross stick to carry their loads on their shoulders. The soldiers were nicknamed Marius' Mules because of the amount of gear they had to carry themselves.
This arrangement allowed for the possibility for the supply train to become temporarily detached from the main body of the legion, thus greatly increasing the army's speed when needed.
A typical legion of this period had 5, legionaries as well as a large number of camp followers, servants and slaves.
Legions could contain as many as 6, fighting men when including the auxiliaries, although much later in Roman history the number was reduced to 1, to allow for greater mobility.
Numbers would also vary depending on casualties suffered during a campaign; Julius Caesar 's legions during his campaign in Gaul often only had around 3, men.
Tactics were not very different from the past, but their effectiveness was largely improved because of the professional training of the soldiers.
A re-enactor, showing a Roman miles , 2nd century. After the Marian reforms, and throughout the history of Rome's Late Republic, the legions played an important political role.
By the 1st century BC the threat of the legions under a demagogue was recognized. Governors were not allowed to leave their provinces with their legions.
When Julius Caesar broke this rule, leaving his province of Gaul and crossing the Rubicon into Italy, he precipitated a constitutional crisis.
This crisis and the civil wars which followed brought an end to the Republic and led to the foundation of the Empire under Augustus in 27 BC. The Roman empire under Hadrian ruled —38 , showing the legions deployed in Generals, during the recent Republican civil wars, had formed their own legions and numbered them as they wished.
During this time, there was a high incidence of Gemina twin legions, where two legions were consolidated into a single organization and was later made official and put under a legatus and six duces.
At the end of the civil war against Mark Antony , Augustus was left with around fifty legions, with several double counts multiple Legio Xs for instance.
For political and economic reasons, Augustus reduced the number of legions to 28 which diminished to 25 after the Battle of Teutoburg Forest , in which 3 legions were completely destroyed by the Germanics.
Beside streamlining the army Augustus also regulated the soldiers' pay. At the same time, he greatly increased the number of auxiliaries to the point where they were equal in number to the legionaries.
He also created the Praetorian Guard along with a permanent navy where served the liberti , or freed slaves. Augustus' military policies proved sound and cost effective, and were generally followed by his successors.
These emperors would carefully add new legions, as circumstances required or permitted, until the strength of the standing army stood at around 30 legions hence the wry remark of the philosopher Favorinus that It is ill arguing with the master of 30 legions.
With each legion having 5, legionaries usually supported by an equal number of auxiliary troops, the total force available to a legion commander during the Pax Romana probably ranged from 11, downwards, with the more prestigious legions and those stationed on hostile borders or in restive provinces tending to have more auxiliaries.
Some legions may have even been reinforced at times with units making the associated force near 15,—16, or about the size of a modern division.
It was also named Legio X Equestris. Later, when it was combined with soldiers from other legions, it became Legio X Gemina.
By the time of the first Roman emperor, Augustus , there were already 28 legions, most of which were commanded by a senatorial legate. During the Imperial period, there was a core of 30 legions, according to military historian Adrian Goldsworthy.
Roman ancient historians Livy and Sallust mention that the Senate set the size of the Roman legion each year during the Republic, based on the situation and available men.
According to 21st-century Roman military historian and former National Guard officer Jonathan Roth, two ancient historians of Rome, Polybius a Hellenistic Greek and Livy from the Augustan era , describe two sizes for Roman legions of the Republican period.
One size is for the standard Republican legion and the other, a special one for emergencies. The size of the standard legion was infantry and cavalry.49 rows · The Roman legions were the fighting force which allowed Rome’s territories to expand . In the Roman army, a full strength legion was officially made up of 6, men, but typically all legions were organized at under strength and generally consisted of . 9/23/ · Increasing Number of Legions. When the Roman Republic started, with two consuls as leaders, each consul had command over two legions. These were numbered I-IV. The number of men, organization and selection methods changed over time. The tenth (X) was Julius Caesar's famous legion. It was also named Legio X Equestris. Main articles: Roman army, Imperial Roman army, and Roman legion When Augustus became sole ruler in 31 BC, he disbanded about half of the over 50 legions then in existence. The remaining 28 legions became the core of the early Imperial army of the Principate (27 BC – AD ), most lasting over three centuries. Highly regarded and one of the longest lasting legions was Legio III. This legion is debated for some inconsistencies for their appearance in history. The legion itself was founded by Mark Anthony in 36 B.C., yet there was a Legio III Gallica, Cyrenaica and Augusta. Roman legions formed the largest units in the Roman army. In the early days of the republic, each legion consisted of around 3, well-trained men. This number was later expanded to up to 5, men in each legion during the imperial era. A typical Roman legion would have 10 cohorts (about 5, men). The Roman legion was the largest military unit of the Roman army.A legion was roughly of brigade size, composed of 4, infantry and cavalry in the republican period, extended to 5, infantry and auxilia in the imperial period. ROMAN LEGIONS: SYMBOLS & FLAGS Many of the legions founded before 40 BC were still active until at least the fifth century, notably Legio V Macedonica, which was founded by Augustus in 43 BC and was in Egypt in the seventh century during the Islamic conquest of Egypt. From BC onwards, each legion used an aquila (eagle) as it's standard symbol.