Legio XX Valeria Victrix
The Legio XX Valeria Victrix (lat. The strong and victorious ) was a legion of the Roman army. It was probably made around 25 BC. Set up by Octavian (later Augustus ). Their symbol was the boar , and during the first century AD, the capricorn (mythological figure: half ibex, half fish).
The legion was probably given the nickname Valeria Victrix after the successful defeat of the Boudicca uprising of 60/61, which was very dangerous for Roman rule on the island . The Legio XIIII Gemina , also involved in this campaign, was given the honorary name Martia Victrix , whereby Valeria and Martia should refer to the properties of the god of war Mars . In 43 the XX. at least not this award yet.
Victrix is the name of the victorious , but the exact meaning of Valeria is still controversial: It is probably derived from "valere" and stands for "strong", "brave" or "brave". Another view relates the nickname Valeria to Valeria Messalina , the wife of Emperor Claudius . The view that it goes back to the former legate Marcus Valerius Messalla Messallinus , under whose command a revolt in Pannonia / Dalmatia was ended, is now considered to be largely out of date. Another argument against this thesis is that the XX. Legion would then have been the only legion in the Roman Army with a cognomen of a commander.
The details of their recruitment have not been passed down, but the high number indicates a rather late formation. According to Tacitus , the Legion received its standard from Tiberius , who started his military career around 25 BC. Began in Spain.
Presumably, the Legion was also dug up in that year and first transferred to Hispania Tarraconensis , a Roman province on the Iberian Peninsula, where it fought in the so-called Cantabrian War (29-19 BC). The Legion's camp at that time is unknown. Vexillations of the Legion were made around 20 BC. Moved to the Dalmatian Burnum ( Kistanje in Croatia), which became the headquarters of the Legion at the turn of the century. At least one vexillation was also in the province of Moesia ( Moesia ), in the camp of Oescus .
In the year 6 Tiberius prepared a campaign against Marbod , the king of the Marcomanni . A total of twelve legions, including Legio XX , and auxiliary troop cohorts were drawn together. Shortly after the campaign began in the spring of the same year, however, Tiberius stopped his advance and instead concluded a friendship treaty with Marbod, as he received news of the outbreak of the so-called Pannonian uprising . From 6 to 9 AD Tiberius put down the rebellion in Pannonia and Illyria with the greatest effort and with the deployment of an army of 15 legions in total, which represented half of the total military potential of the Romans at that time . Legion under their praepositus Marcus Valerius Messalla Messallinus - as already mentioned - was also significantly involved. Following the Varus Battle , Tiberius moved the now battle-tested Legion in 9/10 AD to the Rhine front, where they formed the core for the re-establishment of the Rhine army.
After Augustus' death in AD 14, the legions mutinied in Germania, but were soon calmed down again by concessions from Germanicus . Her winter camp , to which she took Caecina back, was apud aram Ubiorum in what is now Cologne . Eight legions took part in the Germanicus campaigns in Germania on the right bank of the Rhine from 14 to 16 AD. The legions II Augusta , XIII Gemina , XIIII Gemina and XVI Gallica belonged to the army group of Germanicus, while the I Germanica , V Alaudae , XX and XXI Rapax belonged to the army group of Aulus Caecina Severus . In AD 21, vexillations of the four Lower Germanic legions I Germanica , V Alaudae , XX and XXI Rapax came together under the leadership of the tribune of the Legio I Germanica , Torquatus Novellius Atticus, against the rebellious Gallic tribes of the Andecavers and Turons under Iulius Sacrovir and Iulius Florus in Gaul. Around the year 30 the legion was moved from the oppidum Ubiorum (Cologne) to Novaesium ( Neuss ). Vexillations of the Legio I Germanica and Legio XX were stationed a few kilometers south of the Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium (Cologne) in Alteburg until the 1930s . Under Emperor Caligula (37–41) the unit took part in his campaigns in the Germania magna on the right bank of the Rhine .
In 42 Aulus Plautius , governor of the province of Pannonia , was entrusted with the invasion of Britain by Emperor Claudius . In 43 he landed with a force of four legions ( Legio II Augusta , Legio VIIII Hispana , Legio XIV Gemina and Legio XX ) and conquered Britannia for the Roman Empire. He became the first governor of the newly founded province .
Initially, parts of the legion were stationed with auxiliary troops in the hastily built camp Camulodunum ( Colchester ), at the capital of the Trinovantes . However, the Legion was relocated from Publius Ostorius Scapula to Glevum ( Gloucester ) in Wales in the winter of 48-49 AD and the fortifications in Camulodunum razed. The area of the abandoned camp continued to be used as the Colonia Victrix veterans' colony . Kingsholm near Gloucester is also a possible new warehouse. As a result, there were battles against the Silurians under their king Caratacus , whom the Ordovieans joined in 51 . In 57, under the governor Quintus Veranius, the Silurians in South Wales were subdued and the legion moved to Usk . Presumably the Legion received the name Valeria Victrix because of their successes in the Boudicca uprising (60-61 AD) . Shortly after 65 the Legion was withdrawn from Usk and relocated to Viroconium (Wroxeter), where it replaced the Legio XIIII Gemina .
Four imperial year and Flavian dynasty
In AD 68, the Legion sent some units to Rome in support (vexillations) of Vitellius , who returned to Britain after the victory of Vespasian's troops in the Battle of Bedriacum on October 24, 69 . Around 69/70 Gaius Licinius Mucianus , Vespasian's "deputy", appointed Gnaeus Iulius Agricola, a legate of the Legio XX Valeria Vitrix . In the campaigns (78-84) of Agricola, promoted to governor of Britain, the Legion fought against the Ordovieans and Silurians and, together with the Legio VIIII Hispana , beat the brigands at Stanwick (78) in northern Britain.
In the year 83 a vexillation with probably 1000 legionnaires was withdrawn from Britain to put down the uprising of the Chatti at Mogontiacum (Mainz). The other British legions also sent delegations to Germania superior . After the end of the campaign, eight vexillations from the legions of Britain and Upper Germany under Caius Velius Rufus, the Primus Pilus of Legio XII Fulminata , were busy with extensive construction work in the area of the Lingons (northern France).
The Legion was temporarily stationed in Carlisle . Then the Legion built the new Pinnata Castra (Inchtuthil) camp on the River Tay in AD 84 , but it was not completed until it was relocated to the Deva ( Chester ) camp built by the Legio II Adiutrix in 88 AD . The Legion rebuilt the old wood and earth fort into a stone or brick building and also operated a lead mine. Brickworks and pottery were located on an area of 8 hectares in the village of Holt in Denbighshire, 12 km south. The camp was used to monitor northern Wales and the western Midlands, as well as a depot. The most experienced troops served on the border or as "construction crews" in the north, but were also sent to more distant missions as vexillations.
Adoptive Emperor and Antonine Dynasty
Between 122 and 125 vexillations were used in the construction of Hadrian's Wall . From 139 to 142 the entire Legio II Augusta and vexillations of the Legions VI Victrix and XX Valeria Vitrix were entrusted with the construction of the Antonine Wall . Each unit was assigned its own “construction phases”. Between 155 and 158 unrest broke out in the north of Britain, so that the legions there had to be increased with replacements from Germania inferior and Germania superior .
Lucius Artorius Castus , who some believe to be the historical figure behind King Arthur , was Praefectus of the Legio VI Victrix between 180 and 230 . At the end of the 2nd century, he probably led a vexillation drawn out of the three British legions ( Legio II Augusta , Legio VI Victrix , Legio XX Valeria Victrix) against insurgents in Brittany.
Second year of the four emperors and Severer
In 196 the British governor Clodius Albinus crossed with his legions to Gaul, where he was proclaimed emperor. However, he was defeated by Septimius Severus on February 19, 197 at Lugdunum ( Lyon ). The defeated troops of Clodius Albinus (Legio XX Valeria Victrix, Legio VI Victrix ) were deployed in the mines of Britain after identification of stamps on lead ingots. The absence of the Roman troops had been used by the northern tribes to invade Britain. The subsequent, lengthy punitive expeditions had little success, so that Emperor Septimius Severus 208 had to go to Britain himself to subdue Caledonia (Scotland). The XX. fought his way north from the west of Britain and was then again stationed in Chester. She received the nickname Antoniniana from Caracalla (211-217).
By 219 vexillations in the forts Alauna ( Maryport ), Netherby and Bewcastle were posted for construction work. The building material was quarried in the Cumberland quarries or made in the Scalesceugh brickworks near Carlisle . Under Severus Alexander (222-235) the Legion was nicknamed Severiana , which under Gordian III. (238–244) was changed to Gordiana .
Again and again in the 3rd century vexillations of the Legio XX and II Augusta, which were actually stationed in Britannia superior , occurred in the north of Britannia inferior . These associations were probably later incorporated into the British mobile field army ( Comitatenses ) under the Comes Britanniarum .
Soldiers emperors and late antiquity
Emperor Decius (249-251) honored the legion with the nickname Deciana for an unknown reason . 255 fought a vexillation in Germania and was relocated to the Danube border after the victory. Vexillations of the British legions were also used in Pannonia in the 260s .
From 260 to 274 Britain belonged to the Imperium Galliarum and from 286 to 297 it became completely independent of Rome under Carausius and Allectus for a time. The last evidence of the Legion's presence on British soil is coin issues from this special empire. It may have been dissolved after the reintegration of Britain by Constantius I in 297. In the late antique troop list of the Dux Britanniarum , however, a Praefectus Numeri Solensium is given in the Maglone fort . According to Arnold Jones, this unit could at first glance have been a unit that came to the island with Constantius Chlorus' intervention army in 293 to overthrow Allectus, since Chlorus was also equated with the sun god Sol in his title . Constantine I also associated himself with this god Sol Invictus (the undefeated sun god) before converting to Christianity shortly before his death. Other vexillations of this unity seem to be represented in the Notitia Dignitatum by the Solenses seniores and the Solenses Gallicani under the Magister militum per Thracias . These could also have been newly established units, which were then promoted to a higher status by Constantius Chlorus (or possibly also by his successors).
But assuming that these units were really former Legionnaires instead of completely reorganized Solenses units, it does not seem absurd, according to Jones, to trace their origin to the Legio XX. This British legion is the only one that is no longer included in the list of troops of the dux Britanniarum in the Notitia Dignitatum . The oe coins of Carausius were minted one hundred years before the first edition of the Notita Dignitatum, possibly he had to prove the loyalty of the XX. buy first. Whether Carausius the XX. Legion included in his coinage in order to win her support or only to show that she was loyal to him, can no longer be proven today due to a lack of ancient sources, but very likely.
Another argument could support a conversion of the Legio XX into the Solenses , namely that they defected to Constantius' prefect Asclepiodotus and thereby helped to destroy Allectus troops in the decisive battle of North Hampshire / Berkshire . As a reward, she was given the personal honorary title of the emperor. This must undoubtedly have been done by Constantius or later by Constantine I, as they naturally endeavored to erase all traces of the usurpers. The renaming almost certainly took place after the end of the British Empire.
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- LEGIO XX - The Twentieth Legion (Re-Enactment)
- ND or. VIII
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- Lawrence JF Keppie: Legions and veterans: Roman army papers 1971-2000 (Mavors. Roman Army Researches Volume 12), Steiner, Stuttgart 2000, ISBN 978-3-515-07744-6 , p. 303; see: Gustav Müller: Neuss military camp . In: Heinz Günter Horn : The Romans in North Rhine-Westphalia . Theiss, Stuttgart, 1987, ISBN 3-8062-0312-1 . P. 583.
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- Sheppard Sunderland Frere: Britannia: a history of Roman Britain , Routledge, 1987, ISBN 978-0710212153 , p. 72.
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- Tacitus : Agricola 7
- Tacitus : Agricola 18
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- Sheppard Sunderland Frere: Britannia: a history of Roman Britain , Routledge, 1987, ISBN 978-0710212153 , p. 216.
- Graham Webster: The Roman Imperial Army of the first and second centuries AD, University of Oklahoma Press, 1998, ISBN 9780806130002 , p. 80.
- National Museums & Galleries of Wales (Ed.): Birthday of the eagle: the second Augustan legion and the Roman military machine , 2002, ISBN 0-7200-0514-0 , pp. 70-72.
- RIB 1322
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- Norbert Hanel , Peter Rothenhöfer, Michael Bode, Andreas Hauptmann: "After the Battle of Lugdunum (197 AD). British lead on the way to Rome" Chiron 43, 2013, 303 f., 308.
- AE 1892, 97
- National Museums & Galleries of Wales (Ed.): Birthday of the eagle: the second Augustan legion and the Roman military machine , 2002, ISBN 0-7200-0514-0 , p. 95.
- CIL 8, 2638
- National Museums & Galleries of Wales (Ed.): Birthday of the eagle: the second Augustan legion and the Roman military machine , 2002, ISBN 0-7200-0514-0 , pp. 78-81.
- AE 1964, 201
- ND occ. XL
- AHM Jones: 1986