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Roman Legion Total Fighting Strength of a Legion VideoBrutal Ambush Battle - Roman Legion March to war A miniature vexillum, mounted on a silver base, was sometimes awarded to officers as a recognition of their service upon retirement or reassignment. In the military operations of Flatexde Cornelius Sulla and Julius Caesar, a legion was composed of 10 cohorts, with Zielwurf cohorts in Slotty first line and 3 each in the second and third lines. Download as PDF Printable version. The legion itself was founded by Mark Anthony in 36 B.C., yet there was a Legio III Gallica, Cyrenaica and Augusta. 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. Top 10 Ancient Roman Legions 1. Augusta Legion 2. Germanica Legion Founded by Julius Caesar to bolster his warring campaign against Pompey, the Legio I Germanica or 3. Hispana Triumphalis Legion Originally known as the Legio IX Hispania, the Hispana Legion was amongst the first 4. Macedonica. Factors in the legion's success Roman organization was more flexible than those of many opponents. Over time, the legions effectively handled challenges Roman discipline (cf. decimation (Roman army)), organization and systematization sustained combat effectiveness over a The Romans were more. They were further divided into: Scholae: the personal guard of the Emperor, created by Constantine I to replace the Praetorian Guard; Palatinae: "palace troops" were the highest ranked units, created by Constantine I after he disbanded the Praetorian Comitatenses: regular field units, some were. Organization of the Roman Imperial Legion 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 approximately 5, fighting men including officers.
From then on, historians state that the legion was under the command of either Lepidus or Marc Antony, both being members of the Second Triumvirate.
The legion went on to stay in Egypt for more than a century and a half and became so adapted to Egyptian culture that many Cyrenaica legionaries started to worship the Egyptian god Ammon.
Many of the conservative Roman republicans had fled to Greece. The Legio IV got its first taste of action in the battles of Dyrrhachium and Pharsalus when Caesar scored a decisive victory over Pompey.
The legion then settled in the province of Macedonia whereupon it became known as the Macedonica Legion. Soon, Caesar enlisted the Macedonica Legion to fight in his campaign against the Parthians.
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. There were also auxiliaries, cavalry, and non-combatant hangers-on.
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. 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.
It could have been either decorative, protection for the genitals or a combination of both. The standard tunic worn over linen undergarments and underneath a legionary's armor.
These were red, it is thought, so that the enemy would not be able to easily see a legionary bleed if wounded during battle.
Chain mail that was used extensively throughout Roman history and well after its fall. It provided excellent protection and flexibility, but was very heavy and time consuming to make.
Plate Armor. A name translated by modern scholars, as we don't know what the Romans actually called it. This armor was made up of many pieces of laminated iron all bound together to form a very flexible, strong and the most effective of Roman body protection.
It seemingly replaced chain mail as the favored Legionary issue but due to budgeting constraints its length of service seems to have been a relatively short period of time roughly Rome's golden era in the early empire and through the late 2nd century.
Scale Armor, actually translated to Armor of Feathers. Scale armor consisted of row upon row of overlapping bronze or iron scales, which resembled a coat of feathers.
Scale seemingly began to replace Plate late in the 2nd Century CE, as it was easier and less expensive to make than the other forms, but was less flexible and is often considered far less capable.
Common thought is that it was especially vulnerable from an upward stab, but this theory is highly debated.
The Roman short sword. It was a double-edged weapon about 18 inches long and two inches wide, often with a corrugated bone grip formed to the Legionaries hand.
A large round ball at the end helped with the balance. The primary use was for thrusting at short range. It was carried high on the right hand side so as to be clear of the legs and the shield arm.
The Roman javelin. It was seven feet long and very light, as it was thrown before just prior to engaging the enemy in melee, to disarm as much as wound them.
The top three feet were of iron with a hardened point. It is probable that more sturdy types of spear of the same name were available for defense against cavalry in formation such as the turtle.
The Roman dagger was anywhere from 7 to 11 inches long in similar width to the gladius. It could be highly decorative or very plain, but was a very useful secondary weapon in case of being disarmed.
It was attached to the belt on the left hand side. A centurion's equipment was notably different from that of a legionary. He wore a transverse, side to side, crest along his helmet that would serve as an easily recognized point of reference for the men.
The crest was made either of feathers or horsehair and colors could signify various ranks. Rather than the Lorica Segmentata of the Legionary, they would wear either chain or scale.
It was generally about waist length with a lower edge similar to the muscled cuirass. The armor and helmet could be silver-plated as well.
He did not wear the apron like the Legionary but had a double-pleated kilt like piece. They also wore a cloak, of fine material, which hung from the left shoulder and a very ornate belt.
Read More on This Topic. Though its exact origins are unknown, the Roman legion seems to have developed from the phalanx.
In fact, it was a collection of small, Get exclusive access to content from our First Edition with your subscription.
Subscribe today. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. In fact, it was a collection of small, well-integrated, well-coordinated phalanxes arrayed in checkerboard formation and operating as a team.
Hellenistic heavy infantry relied on the pike almost…. These became permanent formations, each with its own number and name; the soldiers serving in them were called legionaries.
Besides the legionaries there was a somewhat smaller…. Without raising pay rates to attract recruits more easily, a large force was seemingly beyond reach—which probably….