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Legions raised by Caesar mostly carried a bull emblem originally; those of Augustus mostly a Capricorn. For legions that are documented into the 4th century and beyond, we do not know when or how they were terminated.
For legions disappearing from the record before , the reason certain or likely is given as:. Province names and borders are assumed throughout the Principate period as at , during the rule of Trajan , and after the annexation of Dacia and Arabia Petraea.
The map above shows provinces at the end of Trajan's reign, They are the same as in , except that Armenia and Mesopotamia have been annexed they were abandoned soon after Trajan's death ; and Pannonia has been split into two the split occurred c.
Diocletian reorganized the Roman army, in order to better counter the threat of the Germanic peoples of northern Europe as well as that of the Persians from the East.
The army was formed by border and field units. The border limitanei units were to occupy the limes , the structured border fortifications, and were formed by professional soldiers with an inferior training.
The field units were to stay well behind the border, and to move quickly where they were needed, with both offensive and defensive roles.
Field units were formed by elite soldiers with high-level training and weapons. They were further divided into:. These units usually numbered between and 2, soldiers and some of them kept their original numbering schemes.
The primary source for the legions of this era is the Notitia Dignitatum , a late 4th-century document containing all the civil and military offices of both halves of the Roman Empire revised in c.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The historians admit of exceptions with legion size going as low as and as high as , with cavalry ranging from In the imperial legion, beginning with Augustus, the organization is thought to have been:.
Roth says the Historia Augusta , an unreliable historical source from the late 4th century A. There is some evidence that in the first century the size of the first cohort was doubled:.
Complicating questions of the size of the Roman legion were the inclusion of men other than the fighters in the numbers given for the centuries.
Until the 4th century BC the massive Greek phalanx was the mode of battle. Roman soldiers would have thus looked much like Greek hoplites.
Tactics were no different from those of the early Greeks and battles were joined on a plain. Spearmen would deploy themselves in tightly packed rows to form a shield wall with their spears pointing forwards.
There were now three lines of soldiers when in battle formation. Roman soldiers had to purchase their own equipment. Each of these three lines was subdivided into maniples, each consisting of two centuries of 60 men commanded by the senior of the two centurions.
Centuries were normally 60 soldiers each at this time in the hastati and principes no longer men. 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.
In order to deal with mounted barbarian raiders, the proportion of cavalry rose from one-seventh to one-fourth.
By the 4th century ad , with the empire defending its many fortified border outposts, as many as 10 catapults and 60 ballistae were assigned to each legion.
In modern times the term legion has been applied to a corps of foreign volunteers or mercenaries, such as the French provincial legions of Francis I and the second-line formations of Napoleon.
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In these cases, the detached subunits carried only the vexillum, and not the aquila, and were called, therefore, vexillationes.
A miniature vexillum, mounted on a silver base, was sometimes awarded to officers as a recognition of their service upon retirement or reassignment.
Civilians could also be rewarded for their assistance to the Roman legions. In return for outstanding service, a citizen was given an arrow without a head.
This was considered a great honour and would bring the recipient much prestige. The military discipline of the legions was quite harsh.
Regulations were strictly enforced, and a broad array of punishments could be inflicted upon a legionary who broke them. Many legionaries became devotees in the cult of the minor goddess Disciplina , whose virtues of frugality, severity and loyalty were central to their code of conduct and way of life.
Examples of ideas that were copied and adapted include weapons like the gladius Iberians and warship design Carthaginians , as well as military units such as heavy mounted cavalry and mounted archers Parthians and Numidians.
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