The legion disappeared during the reign of Marcus Aurelius in the 2nd century , probably destroyed. The legion's symbol is unknown, likely a bull , as other legions created by Caesar. The Ninth Legion was present during the whole campaign of the Gallic wars. Later, they remained faithful to Caesar in the civil war against the conservative faction of the senate led by Pompey. After his final victory, Caesar disbanded the legion and settled the veterans in the area of Picenum. Following Caesar's assassination, Octavian recalled the veterans of the Ninth to fight against the rebellion of Sextus Pompeius in Sicily.

Author:Sakinos Merr
Language:English (Spanish)
Published (Last):13 September 2005
PDF File Size:17.41 Mb
ePub File Size:13.57 Mb
Price:Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]

Planning underway now for the Spring and Summer season, to include a couple of immersions and work at the castra. In the Fall, Roman Times hopes to have an event in Virginia! Keep tuned more immersion events, training events and fabricas!! Actually, both are correct. Tiles have been found stamped with either designation, indicating the Legion was identified either way. Regardless, the Ninth was one of Rome's venerated legions and its disappearance, which is shrouded in mystery, has captured the imagination of authors and film makers?

The popular version of events - propagated by numerous books, television programs and films - is that the Ninth, at the time possibly numbering some 4, men, was sent to vanquish the Picts of modern day Scotland and marched mysteriously into oblivion, never to return.

Of course, no good storyteller would ever let something trivial like facts get in the way of a good story and the legend of Legio IX Hispana's mysterious destruction, possibly at the hands of Scots savages, is certainly a gripping tale.

Little surprise then the story continues to be retold in novels and on the big and small screen. The most famous novel to deal with the legion's story - The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff, published in - is one of the most celebrated of the 20th century, selling over a million copies worldwide.

With such a mythology evolved around the Ninth's disappearance it's difficult to separate fact from fiction. The real explanation of the "lost legion" may very likely be much less simpler and mundane than "the myth" - in reality, the unit may have simply been disbanded, as it had been several times before, continued to serve elsewhere, or finally destroyed at another battle some years later.

The myth, as is so often the case, tends to overshadow the truth. We present here our unit's story based on what we have found in historical reference and archaeological evidence. Expert at inspiring loyalty in his troops, he found one of his most devoted veteran armies in the Ninth. Although no record of the Legion's emblem exists, like all of Caesar's faithful legions, it was probably a bull.

Therefore, we have adopted the bull as the emblem for our unit. It was an unofficial political alliance between Pompey's military might, Caesar's political influence, and Crassus' money. In 52 BC, at the First Triumvirate's end, the Roman Senate supported Pompey as sole consul; meanwhile, Caesar had become a military hero and champion of the people. Knowing he hoped to become consul when his governorship expired, the Senate was politically fearful of him and ordered his resignation of command of his army.

Offended, the Senate demanded he immediately disband his army, or be declared an enemy of the people. They threatened Caesar with numerous potential prosecutions based upon alleged financial irregularities during his consulship. In addition, they threatened investigations and prosecutions for supposed war crimes committed during his Gallic campaigns and forbade his standing for election in absentia for a second consulship. Caesar loyalists, the tribunes Mark Antony and Quintus Cassius Longinus , vetoed the bill, and were quickly expelled from the Senate.

They joined Caesar, who had assembled his army in anticipation of the Senate's actions. Because Caesar suspected he would be prosecuted and rendered politically marginal if he returned to Rome without consular immunity or his army, he did not comply with the Senate's demands; which prompted Pompey to accuse him of insubordination and treason and the Senate to call for his arrest.

The Ninth was also present at the battle of Pharsalus a city in southern Thessaly , in Greece and played a key role in Caesar's Victory August 48 BC , which ensured his ultimate grip on the Republic.

After this battle, the soldiers were again sent back to Italy to be pensioned off. However, in 46 BC they were reenlisted to participate in Caesar's African campaign. After his ultimate triumph at the Battle of Thapsus, Caesar repaid the Ninth's loyalty and service by again pensioning off the men, disbanding the legion. Some veterans were settled in Picenum the northern Adriatic coastal plain of ancient Italy , others at Histria near Istros, on the shore of the Romanian Black Sea. The Ninth's service didn't end there, however.

After Caesar's assassination in 44 BC, the Legion was recalled in 41 BC by his adopted son Octavian, who needed the Legion to put an end to Sextus Pompeius' occupation of Sicily that threatened the grain supply of Rome.

Left: Octavian later, Augustus. The Ninth was then sent to the Balkans, where it received the honorific title " Macedonica. Victory took until 36 BC; which is when the Legion would have been stationed in Macedonia. In an effort to consolidate his power as Emperor of Rome, Octavian launched the Ninth into another campaign, which was to be the final war of the Roman Republic.

Octavian faced off against Mark Anthony and Cleopatra, eventually defeating them at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, which established Octavian as the sole ruler of the Mediterranean with the name " Augustus " granted to him by the Senate in 27 BC.

The Ninth was next posted to Hispania Tarraconensis Spain , where it fought with distinction in Augustus' long campaign against the Cantabrians from BC. The Ninth seems to have especially distinguished itself during the campaign of 24 BC, which may well have been where it received its honorific title " Hispana " or " Hispaniensis.

It's unclear whether or not sub-units of the Ninth were transferred to the Rhine in 20 BC and active during Agrippa's invasion of Germania in the following year. However, if the Ninth was transferred to the Rhine, it's likely to have played a role during Drusus' campaigns on the east bank of the Rhine. The only known exception, is in , when subunits of IX Hispana commanded by Publius Cornelius Scipio, were sent to Africa and Mauretania to support III Augusta in its struggle against the tribal warriors of Tacfarinas, a Numidian deserter from the Roman army who led his own Musulamii tribe and a loose coalition of other Ancient Libyan tribes in a war against the Romans in North Africa during the rule of emperor Tiberius AD In 43 AD, the emperor Claudius invaded Britain.

The Roman historian Dio writes the only known contemporary account of the invasion. Legio IX was commanded by Aulus Plautius and would have only been a part of this massive invasion force. The Ninth numbered men, not including the auxiliaries who were attached to the Legion. The Auxila would have numbered approximately , which meant the commander of Legio IX probably had 10, men under his command.

From the Channel coast near Richborough, the Ninth is thought to have advanced northeastwards into the Norfolk-Suffolk area. If so, the Legion would have had to have crossed the Medway River. During this river crossing the Romans met strong resistance by a native army under the joint command of Caratacus and Togodumnus.

The historian Dio tells us the battle was fierce and lasted two days. Caratacus escaped the Roman onslaught, and fled to Wales. Prior to this the two strongest possibilities for the unit's bases was Longthorpe in Cambridgeshire near modern-day Peterborough and the second at Newton-on-Trent in Nottinghamshire. These two sites were vexillation fortresses a term applied to large Roman forts which were occupied on a temporary basis by campaigning forces , which suggest that Legio IX may have been split into several small units.

It is probable that the tribes of Eastern England had not yet been totally pacified, and as such, needed constant monitoring by the Roman Military, which would explain why Legio IX may have been split.

However, before this move, the Legion and the Roman Province suffered a drastic set back. When Claudius invaded Britain, the king of the Iceni , Prasutagus, offered no opposition. A common practice by the Romans was to offer such pro-Roman rulers the status of a 'client kingdom or state'. The Romans benefited from this arrangement by avoiding the expense of garrisoning the territory; the 'client king' or, indeed, queen kept the peace, and was assured wealth and Roman backing against rivals.

The contract was between Rome and the individual ruler, so when a king died, the agreement died with him, unless he had a male heir, because women could not inherit property according to Roman law.

Only the names of three British client rulers are known, although there may well have been others. In 60 AD, Prasutagus died without leaving a male heir. In an effort to secure the future of his kingdom, Prasutagus had named Boudicca, his queen, two daughters and the Roman Emperor as co-heirs, which was a common practice for rulers without an apparent male heir.

However, corrupt Roman officials, procurator Catus Decianus and Senecca the Younger, were quick to use Prasutagus' lack of a male heir for their own benefit by invoking Roman law concerning the inheritance of property.

They promptly laid claim to Prasutagus' property and possessions and demanded the Roman army enforce the law. Tacitus particularly singles out Catus Decianus for criticism for his "avarice. An excuse for the war was found in the confiscation of the sums of money that Claudius had given to the foremost Britons; for these sums, as Catus Decianus, the procurator [finance official] of the island, maintained, was to be paid back. This was one reason for the uprising; another was found in the fact that Seneca [the Younger] , in the hope of receiving a good rate of interest, had lent to the islanders 40,, sesterces that they did not want, and had afterwards called in this loan all at once and had resorted to severe measures in exacting it.

Dio Cassius, Romaika , The assets of the Iceni were seized by the army and the kingdom pillaged, Prasutagus' household enslaved as though they had been prizes of war, Queen Boudicca subjected to the lash and her two daughters violated. In addition, the Icenian nobility were stripped of their family estates and the relatives of the former king treated as slaves. Incensed by this outrage and the dread of worse to come - because they had now been reduced to the status of a province - Boudicca and the Iceni rebelled and incited the Trinovantes and other tribes to join them.

At the time of the rebellion, the majority of the Roman army in Britain was away on campaign in Wales, under the command of Governor Gaius Suetonius Paullinus, against a Druid stronghold of resistance on the island of Mona Anglesey. Dio continues:. But the person who was chiefly instrumental in rousing the natives and persuading them to fight the Romans, the person who was thought worthy to be their leader and who directed the conduct of the entire war, was Boudicca, a Briton woman of the royal family and possessed of greater intelligence than often belongs to women.

This woman assembled her army, to the number of some ,, and then ascended a tribunal which had been constructed of earth in the Roman fashion. In stature she was very tall, in appearance most terrifying, in the glance of her eye most fierce, and her voice was harsh; a great mass of the tawniest hair fell to her hips; around her neck was a large golden necklace; and she wore a tunic of divers colors over which a thick mantle was fastened with a brooch.

This was her invariable attire. Having finished an appeal to her people of this general tenor, Boudicca led her army against the Romans; for these chanced to be without a leader, inasmuch as Paulinus, their commander, had gone on an expedition to Mona, an island near Britain.

According to Tacitus, the first target of Boudicca's army was the 'Colonia' at Camulodunum Colchester, Essex - a colony of Legionary veterans and the "Romanized" people who lived within the area.

The historian Tacitus describes the fall of Camulodunum:. The bitterest animosity was felt against the veterans; who, fresh from their settlement in the colony of Camulodunum, were acting as though they had received a free gift of the entire country, driving the natives from their homes, ejecting them from their lands - they styled them "captives" and "slaves" - and abetted in their fury by the troops, with their similar mode of life and their hopes of equal indulgence.

More than this, the temple raised to the deified Claudius continually met the view, like the citadel of an eternal tyranny; while the priests, chosen for its [the temple's] service, were bound under the pretext of religion to pour out their fortunes like water.

Nor did there seem any great difficulty in the demolition of a colony unprotected by fortifications - a point too little regarded by our commanders, whose thoughts had run more on the agreeable than on the useful. The statue of Victory at Camulodunum fell, for no apparent reason, with its back turned as if in retreat from the enemy. Women, converted into maniacs by excitement, cried that destruction was at hand and that alien cries had been heard in the invaders' senate-house: the theatre had rung with shrieks, and in the estuary of the Thames had been seen a vision of the ruined colony.

Again, that the Ocean had appeared blood-red and that the ebbing tide had left behind it what looked to be human corpses, were indications read by the Britons with hope and by the veterans with corresponding alarm. However, as Suetonius was far away, they applied for help to the procurator Catus Decianus.

He sent not more than two hundred men, without their proper weapons: in addition, there was a small body of troops in the town. Relying on the protection of the temple, and hampered also by covert adherents of the rebellion who interfered with their plans, they neither secured their position by fosse or rampart nor took steps, by removing the women and the aged, to leave only able-bodied men in the place. They were as carelessly guarded as if the world was at peace, when they were enveloped by a great barbarian host.

All else was pillaged or fired in the first onrush: only the temple, in which the troops had massed themselves, stood a two day siege, and was then carried by storm. The Ninth probably numbered men, not including the auxiliaries attached to the Legion, which would have been approximately another This meant Cerialis probably had a total 10, men under his command.

Evidence suggests that in addition to the vexillation fortress at Longthorpe in Cambridgeshire, there are two other places in the area that also housed elements of Legio IX at this time. The first is the vexillation fortress of Newton-on-Trent and the second at Lindum Lincoln.

Therefore, Cerialis would only have had immediate access to approximately a third of his Legion, or about 3, men. Leaving a small force to garrison the fortress at Longthorpe, the unit strength would have been 2, or less.


Legio VIIII Hispana

Its name means "the Spanish Legion". With the Seventh , Eighth and Tenth legions, the Ninth was among the oldest units in the imperial Roman army. The Roman commander mentions the Ninth Legion in his accounts of the battle against the Nervians. During the civil war against Caesar's fellow- triumvir and rival Pompey, it fought in Hispania in the battle of Ilerda Summer 49 ; later, the soldiers were transferred to Placentia in northern Italy, where they briefly revolted. In the spring of 48, the Ninth served at Dyrrhachium , where it suffered heavily.


The Mystery of the Lost Legion: One of the Most Experienced Legions Vanished

Planning underway now for the Spring and Summer season, to include a couple of immersions and work at the castra. In the Fall, Roman Times hopes to have an event in Virginia! Keep tuned more immersion events, training events and fabricas!! Actually, both are correct. Tiles have been found stamped with either designation, indicating the Legion was identified either way. Regardless, the Ninth was one of Rome's venerated legions and its disappearance, which is shrouded in mystery, has captured the imagination of authors and film makers?

Related Articles