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Top Three Great Roman Legions

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Legio X:

The Tenth Mounted Legion was the personal legion of Julius Caesar. Led personally by him when he was governor of Hispania Ulterior, the legion was an alternative to cavalry auxiliaries, as Julius did not trust those from the territories recently conquered. It was founded in 65 B.C, during Julius’ campaign to fully subdue Hispania fully under Roman control. Impressed by their courage and loyalty, as well as the proficiency that the hastily assembled legion had shown, Julius would use it later in the Gallic Wars. The biggest engagement the legion encountered was in Galicia. As it was instrumental and the decisive factor for victory, the legion had earned its fame and glory battling under the banner of the bull, personally headed by Julius himself into battle. Sadly, the legion had a shameful defeat and disbanding in the civil war that followed with Julius versus Pompey. In one battle, they were told to retreat by Julius, fearing they might be destroyed. But, this proved fatal, as this was the first time the legion had retreated at all, the rest of the army routed, causing the legion itself to be routed as well. For their cowardice, they asked to be disbanded, but Julius merely demoted their standard bearers. Not fulfilling their last chance to redeem themselves and their reputation, the legion disbanded in Rome as they sought payment.

Legio III:

Highly regarded and one of the longest lasting legions was Legio III. This legion is debated for some inconsistencies for their appearance in history. The legion itself was founded by Mark Anthony in 36 B.C., yet there was a Legio III Gallica, Cyrenaica and Augusta. If we were to take it as multiple legions bearing the number III, then this legion had been involved in most battles, conflicts and wars during the entire existence of Rome. It saw action mainly in North Africa and the Middle East, as well as in Galicia and Britain. It fought to secure the territories of Northern Africa for Rome, enforcing the law, as well as deterring would-be opposition by being stationed there. Later the legion would be used in securing the Levant and the Arabian Peninsula. Fighting in every war against the Jews, as well as extending the borders of Rome in the Arabian Peninsula, the legion had been used extensively during its’ existence. The famous legion would find itself destroyed in the 630s A.D., following the Muslim conquest of the Levant, ending on a long and arduous note in history for its feats and accomplishments.

Legio VI:

The ironclad legion, the sixth, the victors, the veterans, these were some the names attributed to Legio VI. Founded by Pompey the Great during his campaign in Hispania, very little if any information has been gathered about the legion. Of note is that these were twin legions, the Ironclad Sixth and the Victorious Sixth. The legion saw its revival and replenishment in Gaul, under rule of Julius Caesar during his campaign to conquer the territory, and bring it under Roman rule. Suppressing revolts, and quelling civil wars both in Galicia as well as Hispania, the sixth showed promise, and became Julius’ favored. Nearly being destroyed when they fought in Egypt, being the ones ending the war against Pontus, and deserting en-masse to join Julius against Scipio, the legion’s soldiers were already veterans after five years. Briefly disbanded after the Republic’s civil war, they were activated again a year later, this time under Mark Anthony’s rule. He had split the legion to fight in two fronts, one stationed for the campaigns in Britain, the other sent to fight in the Levant. For two centuries the legion had served under Rome, levying their veterans to lead newly-formed legions across the empire, as well as fighting countless battles and wars in their respective regions. Sadly, the legion had served its’ duty to the very grave, as all records of the existence of the legion disappeared before 395 A.D.

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