Legio XIV Gemina

Legio XIV Gemina

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name=Legio XIIII "Gemina"

caption=Aureus minted by Septimius Severus to celebrate XIIII "Gemina Martia Victrix", the legion that proclaimed him emperor. Note the eagle standard, the symbol of the Roman legions.
dates= 41 BC to early 5th century at least
country= Roman Republic, Roman Empire
type= Roman legion (Marian) later a comitatensis unit
role= Infantry assault (some cavalry support)
size= Varied over unit lifetime. Approx. 3,500 fighting men + support at the time of creation.
garrison= Moguntiacum (9–43) Vindobona (92–106) Carnuntum (106–5th century)
nickname= "Gemina", "twin" (under Augustus) "Martia Victrix", "martial and victorious" (added by Nero) "Pia VI Fidelis VI", "six times faithful, six times loyal" (added by Gallienus)
battles=Roman conquest of Britain (43) revolt of Saturninus (89) Dacian Wars (101–106) Verus Parthian campaign (161166) Marcus Aurelius Marcomannic campaign (168–180) Septimius Severus rise to power (193–194) Severus Parthian campaign (198) "vexillationes of the 14th participated in many other campaigns."
notable_commanders= Aulus Plautius (campaign) Saturninus (campaign) Trajan (campaign) Lucius Verus (campaign) Marcus Aurelius (campaign) Septimius Severus (campaign)

Legio XIIII "Gemina Martia Victrix" was a legion of the Roman Empire, levied by Octavian after 41 BC. The "cognomen" "Gemina" ("twin" in Latin) suggests that the legion resulted from fusion of two previous ones, one of them possibly being the Fourteenth legion that fought in the Battle of Alesia. "Martia Victrix" (martial victory) were cognomens added by Nero following the victory over Boudica. The emblem of the legion was the CapricornL. J. F. Keppie, "Legions and Veterans: Roman Army Papers 1971–2000", page 128.] , as with many of the legions levied by Augustus.


Invasion of Britain

Stationed in Moguntiacum, Germania Superior, since AD 9, XIV "Gemina Martia Victrix" was one of four legions used by Aulus Plautius and Claudius in the Roman invasion of Britain in 43, and took part in the defeat of Boudicca in 60 or 61. In 68 it was stationed in Gallia Narbonensis.

Rebellion on the Rhine

In 89 the governor of Germania Superior, Lucius Antonius Saturninus, rebelled against Domitian, with the support of the XIVth and of the XXI "Rapax", but the revolt was suppressed.

Pannonian defense

When the XXIst legion was lost, in 92, XIIII "Gemina" was sent in Pannonia to substitute it, camping in "Vindobona" (Vienna). After a war with the Sarmatians and Trajan's Dacian Wars (101–106), the legion was moved to "Carnuntum", where it stayed for three centuries. Some subunits of Fourteenth fought in the wars against the Mauri, under Antoninus Pius, and the legion participated to the Parthian campaign of Emperor Lucius Verus. During his war against the Marcomanni, Emperor Marcus Aurelius based his headquarters in Carnuntum.

In support of Septimius Severus

In 193, after the death of Pertinax, the commander of the Fourteenth, Septimius Severus, was acclaimed emperor by the Pannonian legions, and above all by his own. XIIII "Gemina" fought for its emperor in his march to Rome to attack usurper Didius Julianus (193), contributed to the defeat of the usurper Pescennius Niger (194), and probably fought in the Parthian campaign that ended with the sack of the capital of the empire, Ctesiphon (198).

In support of imperial candidates

In the turmoil following the defeat of Valerian, the XIIII "Gemina" supported usurper Regalianus against Emperor Gallienus (260), then Gallienus against Postumus of the Gallic empire (earning the title "VI Pia VI Fidelis"—"six times faithful, six times loyal"), and, after Gallienus' death, Gallic Emperor Victorinus (269–271).

5th century

At the beginning of the 5th century, XIIIV "Gemina" was still assigned at Carnuntum. It probably dissolved with the collapse of the Danube frontier in 430s. The "Notitia Dignitatum" lists a "Quartodecimani" comitatensis unit under the "Magister Militum per Thracias"; it is possible that this unit is XIV "Gemina".

See also

* List of Roman legions


* [http://www.livius.org/le-lh/legio/xiv_gemina.html livius.org account of XIV "Gemina"]

External links

* [http://www.legionxiiii.com/ LEGIO XIIII GEMINA MARTIA VICTRIX] , Wisconsin based (USA) re-enactment society, living history group. Click to join, sponsor, or invite to your school or event.
* [http://www.legion-fourteen.com/romans.htm LEGION XIIII] , a British reenactment group

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