Roman Legion - Legio II Traiana Fortis
The Legio II Traiana Fortis (Second Fearless Trajan's Legion) was a Roman legion formed by Emperor Trajan to participate in the Dacian military campaign.
Legion name: Legio II Traiana Fortis (Second Fearless Trajan's Legion)
Date of existence: 105 AD. The Legion lasted until the 5th century.
Symbol: image of the ancient Greek hero, demigod, Hercules (in the case of the Romans, Hercules)
Nickname: Traiana Fortis (Trajan the Fearless). Later-Antoninov and Severov.
- The Legion was created by the Emperor Trajan in 105 AD to participate in the 2nd Dacian campaign (now the territory of modern Romania), as an aid for the forces already involved. Along with the Legio II Traiana Fortis, the Legio XXX Ulpia Victrix Legion was created for the same purpose as the Legio II Traiana Fortis.
- There is a version that Legio II Traiana Fortis was created in 108 (according to the historian R. Kanya).
- The cognomen Fortis could have been given to a legion during its formation, or for some military merit it had shown.
- The legion took part in the 2nd campaign of Emperor Trajan in Dacia (105-106 AD), and then was transferred. It is not known exactly where, but there is an assumption that he could have been transferred to the East, where he, along with Legio III Cyrenaica, formed the garrison of the new province of Arabia Petraea in 106 AD. e. joined the Roman Empire.
- There are two other versions where the legion could have been located before 114, when the Emperor Trajan sent it to Syria. According to one version, it could be located in the province of Judea (present-day Israel), according to another, it was left to protect the Danube border.
- In 114, the legion was transferred to Syria, to participate in the campaign of Emperor Trajan against Parthia in 115-117. The legion was then transferred to Judea, in aid of the Legio X Fretensis, to maintain order in the troubled province of Judea.
- Under the Emperor Hadrian 's vexillation Legio II Traiana Fortis, together with vexillations from Legio X Fretensis; Legio III Cyrenaica and Legio VI Feratta , built a water supply system to the colony of Pria Flavia Augusta of Caesarea near the capital of the province of Judea, the city of Caesarea or Caesarea of Palestine (a city on the Mediterranean coast, the territory of Israel).
- Around 120 AD, the Legion participated in the construction of a road from Kaparkotn (Israel) to Ptolemais (present-day Acre, Israel).
- In 123, to prevent a possible military conflict with Parthia, the Legio II Traiana Fortis was transferred to the Euratic border, but the matter was resolved peacefully.
- In 125, the Legio II Traiana Fortis Legion was transferred to the suburb of Alexandria of Egypt, the city of Nicopolis. Hence the vexillation of the Legio II Traiana Fortis, together with the Legio XXII Deiotariana, was sent to suppress the Bar Kokhba revolt in Judea in 132-136.
- The second part of the legion remained in Alexandria to maintain order, as there was a large Jewish community there.
- After the suppression of the Bar Kokhba revolt, during which the Legio XXII Deiotariana was destroyed, the Legio II Traiana Fortis, which had lost many legionaries, returned to its former location in the city of Nicopolis, a suburb of Alexandria in Egypt. Legionnaires of the Legio II Traiana Fortis often served not only in Alexandria, but also garrisoned provincial cities in Upper Egypt.
- Most likely, the legion took part in the Roman-Parthian war (161-166) of the emperor Lucius Verus.
- Perhaps the legion took part in the Marcomannic wars (166-180 gg.Roman war against the union of Germanic and Sarmatian tribes) of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius.
- In 175, legionnaires of the Legio II Traiana Fortis supported the revolt of Avidius Cassius (a Roman usurper who briefly ruled Egypt and Syria under Marcus Aurelius in 175), but the revolt was quickly crushed.
- In the events of the Year of the Five Emperors (193), Legio II Traiana Fortis supported Pescennius Niger, the ruler of Syria, who wanted to become emperor. But later, in 194 AD, the legion went over to the side of Septimius Severus, who won this war, becoming the new Roman emperor.
- During the reign of Emperor Caracalla, Legio II Traiana Fortis took part in a military campaign against the Alemani (Ancient Germanic tribal alliance) in 213-214.
- Under the Emperor Heliogobalus (218-222, exact date unknown), Legio II Traiana Fortis received the nickname "Antoninus".
- During the reign of Emperor Alexander Severus, Legio II Traiana Fortis took part in his Persian campaign (230s) in Mesopotamia to protect it from Iran (then ruled by rulers from the Sassanid dynasty), and later part of the legion rebelled against Alexander Severus, but the loyal part and new parts that joined the legion suppressed the rebellion of those who did not agree and the legion got the nickname "Severov".
- In the Age of Soldier Emperors (235-285 - “Crisis of the third century") Legio II Traiana Fortis, as well as some of its units, took part in military operations in the west – in Gaul, but then returned to Egypt.
- Under the Emperor Diocletian (284-305) units of the Legio II Traiana Fortis participated in his military campaigns to expand Egypt's borders in 296-299. Then a new province of Jupiter Egypt (western Nile Delta) was formed. Egypt and the new province were defended by the Legio II Traiana Fortis, together with the forces of the 3rd Diocletian Legion, against the Moors.
- There is a version that the vexillation Legio II Traiana Fortis sent to Galilee became the basis for the formation of the Thebaid Legion (the legion consisted entirely of Christians who were martyred during the reign of Emperor Maximilian in 286, also in history this legion is known as the Agaunian Martyrs).
- Around 300, the legion's two vexillations were located in the Upper Egyptian province of Thebiada (a historical region in Upper Egypt, with the city of Thebes as its capital)
- Around 320 a vexillation of the legion was located in the province of Hercules Egypt
- The last mention of Legio II Traiana Fortis dates back to the beginning of the 5th century.
- According to the Notitia Dignitatum (a Roman document of the late fourth and early fifth centuries), part of the legion was stationed at Parembol on the southern border of Egypt, under the command of the comite of the Egyptian border, as limitans (border troops).
An inscription from Alexandria (Egypt), which mentions the 2nd Trajan's Legion. The British Museum, London. Late 2nd century.
Alexandria, tombstone of legionnaire Longinus of the II Trajan Legion. Paris, Louvre Museum. France. AD 222-235
Alexandria, Tombstone of Aurelius Firmius of II Trajan's Fortis Legion. Barcelona, Museum of Archaeology of Catalonia (Spain). Circa A.D. 250.
List of Roman Legions, Legion, Legionnaire, Marcus Ulpius Nerva Trajan,Legio X Fretensis, Legio III Cyrenaica, Legio XXII Deiotariana, Legio XXX Ulpia Victrix, Adrian, Year of the Five Emperors, Notification Dignitatum
1. Dandelot-Collins. "The Roman legions. The Complete History of the Roman Legions”"
2. R. Kanya. "A brief history of the various Legions."
3. Emil Ritterling. Paulys Realencyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft. Legio (II Traiana). Band XII,2. — Stuttgart, 1925. — 1484–1493 p.
4. S. Daris, "Legio II Traiana Fortis", in: Yann Le Bohec, " Legion of Rome and the Upper Empire "(2000 Lyon) 359-363
5. B. Isaac and I. Roll, "Trajan's Legion II in Judea", in Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 33 (1979) 149-156
6. J. Rea, "Legio II Traiana in Judaea", в Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 38 (1980) 220-221
7. B. Isaac and I. Roll, " Trajan's Legion II in Judea. Answer", in Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 47 (1982) 131-132.