List of Roman legions

From Academic Kids

This is a list of Roman legions. These are mainly legions of the Roman Empire; earlier legions were not permanent named organizations.

Comments added include life span of the legion, cause of disappearance (if relevant), the original commander (the man who levied the legion), and emblem.


Republican and Imperatorial legions

The Republican legions were formed by Roman citizens and raised whenever it was necessary. Usually they were levied by the Roman Senate, and were later disbanded.

In the last years of the Republic, several Roman generals started to levy legions with their own money; these legions were loyal to their commanders, rather than to the Senate, so their presence increased the power of these generals. Maintaining these legions was, however, expensive, so they were usually levied for particular campaigns (such as those of Pompey against the pirates, those of Julius Caesar against Gauls, those of Mark Antony and Crassus against the Parthian Empire, and so on), and disbanded as soon these campaigns ended.

The legions included in the following list had a long enough history to be somehow remarkable. Most of them were levied by Julius Caesar and later included into Octavian amry, some of them levied by Mark Antony.

Early Empire legions

Legio I

Legio II

Legio III

Legio IV

Legio V

Legio VI

Legio VII

Legio VIII

  • Legio VIII Augusta (raised by Augustus), 59 BC to after 371 AD - Caesar Augustus
    • Legio VIII Gallica (from Gallia), early name of VIII Augusta
    • Legio VIII Mutinensis (from Mutina), early name of VIII Augusta

Legio IX

Legio X

Legio XI

Legio XII

Legio XIII

Legio XIV

Legio XV

Legio XVI

Legio XVII


Legio XIX

Legio XX

Legio XXI

Legio XXII

Legio XXX

Late Empire legions

Diocletian reorganized the Roman army, in order to better handle the menace of the barbarians from north 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:

  1. Scholae units – the personal guard of the Emperor, created to substitute the Praetorian Guard disbanded by Constantine I;
  2. Palatinae units – "palace" units were the highest ranked units;
  3. Comitatenses units – "line" or "regular" units, some of them were new legions, other were Early Empire legions;
  4. Pseudocomitatenses units – they were limitanei units diverted into the field army and often kept there; some Early Empire legions became pseudocomitatenses units.

Some of these units kept a numbering scheme. Primary source is the Notitia Dignitatum

  • Legio I
    • I Armeniacapseudocomitatensis under Magister militum per Orientis command
    • I Flavia Constantiacomitatensis
    • I Flavia Gallicana Constantiapseudocomitatensis under Magister Peditum command
    • I Flavia Martispseudocomitatensis
    • I Flavia Paciscomitatensis under Magister Peditum
    • I Flavia Theodosianacomitatensis
    • I Illyricorum
    • I Iovia
    • I Isaura Sagitariapseudocomitatensis
    • I Iulia Alpinapseudocomitatensis under Magister Peditum command in Italia
    • I Martia
    • I Maximiana Thaebanorumcomitatensis
    • I Noricorum
    • I Pontica
  • Legio II
    • II Armeniacapseudocomitatensis
    • II Britannicacomitatensis under Magister Peditum
    • II Flavia Constantinianacomitatensis under Magister Peditum
    • II Flavia Virtutiscomitatensis under Magister Peditum
    • II Herculia
    • II Isaura
    • II Iulia Alpinapseudocomitatensis under Magister Peditum, in Comes Illyricum command
    • II Felix Valentis Thebaeorumcomitatensis
  • Legio III
    • III Diocletiana
    • III Flavia Salutiscomitatensis under Magister Peditum
    • III Herculeacomitatensis under Magister Peditum, in Comes Illyricum command
    • III Isaura
    • III Iulia Alpinacomitatensis under Magister Peditum command in Italia
  • Legio IIII
    • IIII Italica
    • IIII Martia
    • IIII Parthica
  • Legio V
    • V Iovia
    • V Parthica
  • Legio VI
    • VI Gemella
    • VI Gallicana
    • VI Herculia
    • VI Hispana
    • VI Parthica
  • Legio XII
    • XII Victrix


External link

es:Lista de legiones romanas it:Elenco di legioni romane no:Liste over romerske legioner ru:Римские легионы (перечень)


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