Roman Legion - Legio XI Claudia
Legio XI Claudia — Roman Legion (the Eleventh Legion of Claudius) formed by Julius Caesar.
Dates of existence: 58 BC, lasted until the 5th century AD.
Symbol: Bull, Neptune, possibly Capitol she-wolf
Titles: Claudia( Claudia), Pia Fidelis (Loyal and Loyal), Pia VI Fidelis VI (6 times loyal and loyal)
- In 58 BC, Legio XI was created together with Legio XII Fulminata Gaius Julius Caesar for participation in the Gallic Wars (58-50 BC). Both new legions were created in Northern Italy in the area of Cisalpine Gaul (territory inhabited by Celts and conquered by the Romans in the III century BC).
- After that, both legions were transferred to distant Gaul to participate in Caesar's Gallic War. The baptism of fire of Legio XI was the battle of the Sabis River (today a tributary of the Mas, near the modern Franco-Belgian border) in 57 BC. e. Caesar mentions the legion's participation in this battle: "similarly, at another point, two separate legions, the 11th and 8th, were shot down from a hill The Veromandui, with whom they had engaged in hand-to-hand combat, were now fighting on the very bank of the river." (Caesar, Notes on the Gallic War, book II. After this battle, it is not known in what battles of the Gallic War the legion still participated until 54 BC, but the fact that it fought in Gaul is a fact.
- In 54 BC, we learn from Caesar's "Notes on the Gallic War" what happened to the legion while wintering in the lands of the Belgae. Legio XI was quartered when it was attacked by the rebellious and united tribes of the Nervii, Eburones and Adautaci. Caesar himself and his troops helped to lift the siege and defeated the combined enemy army. By the way, this episode in the history of the Legion is interesting in two ways. First, at this time the legion was commanded by Quintus Tullius Cicero (the younger brother of the famous Roman politician and orator Marcus Tullius Cicero). Secondly, during this siege, two centurions distinguished themselves, who argued among themselves, waiting for promotion to the rank of senior centurion, who is more worthy of this position. The names of these centurions were Titus Pulion and Lucius Vorenus. For more information about their prowess, see Caesar's Notes on the Gallic War, book II. Caesar will remember the Centurion Pulion again when he mentions him among Pompey's legionaries at the Battle of Dyrrachium in 48 BC.
- It is well known that the legion took part, along with other legions involved in Gaul, in the siege and battle of the city of Alesia (modern Alaise-Saint-Rhin in France) in the autumn of 52 BC, when part of the Gauls, who came from outside the Roman siege ring around Alesia, tried to break through it and connect with the rest of the city. their brethren from Alesia, who went inside the ring to break through the Roman fortifications. The battle ended with the complete defeat of two armies of Gauls, and their leader Virzengetorig surrendered to Caesar. But the war continued until the complete conquest of Gaul by Caesar's troops in 50 BC.
- The Legion distinguished itself in the winter campaign of 51-50 BC by forming the rear guard of the Roman forces in Northern Gaul, which pacified the lands inhabited by the Biturig, Carnutus, Bellovaci and Eburon tribes.
- In the Civil War, the legion stands on Caesar's side and fights in two major battles of that war, both in 48 BC. The first-the Battle of Dyrrachia-in the spring of 48 BC (modern city of Dures, Albania). The second - the Battle of Pharsalus-in the summer of 48 BC (modern city of Pharsalus, Northeastern Greece). These battles are described by Caesar in his third book, The Civil War. After suffering heavy losses at the Battle of Pharsalus, the legion was diverted for replenishment to Italy and in the subsequent events of the civil war between Caesar and Pompey did not participate.
- In the spring of 45 BC, after the end of the victorious Civil War for Caesar, some of the legions were disbanded, among them was Legio XI. His veteran legionnaires were settled in colonies in Italy. Most traces of the Legio XI veterans ' settlement in Italy are found in the cities of Atecium (modern Italian city of Este) located in the north-eastern part of Italy and the city of Bovian (modern Italian city of Boyano) in the southern part of central Italy.
- The Legion was rebuilt again after Caesar's assassination in 44 BC .By Octavian Augustus in 42 BC.
- Legio XI took part in a key battle between Caesar's supporters and his assassins – the Battle of Philippi (October 42 BC) on the side of Octavian Augustus.
- After the defeat of Caesar's assassins in 41 BC. e. because of the distribution of land to veterans of the legions, an uprising broke out in Italy, called the " Perusinian War "(autumn 41-spring 40 BC). One of the leaders of which was his brother Mark Antony, Lucius Antony. The Legio XI also had to put down this uprising. These events and the participation of the Eleventh Legion in them are mentioned by the ancient Roman historian Appian in his work "Civil Wars", book IV.
- After that, the legion participates in the civil war between Octavian and Mark Antony on the side of Octavian and takes part in the key battle of this war – the battle of Cape Actium in September 31 BC.e. Interestingly, Antony also had his own legion with the eleventh number (Legio XI), but where he got it from is unknown.
- After the end of the civil war between Antony and Octavian (in 27 BC), in which the latter won, the legion remained for some time in Italy, and then was transferred to the Roman province of Illyria, where it remained until the first years of our era.
- It is possible that the legion participated in the military campaigns of Drusus the Elder and Tiberius on the Danube River, but there is no exact data on its participation in these events.
- In 9 AD, the legion took part in the suppression of the "Great Illyrian Revolt" and was then abandoned by Emperor Augustus in the province of Illyricum. Here the legion was stationed on the territory of Dalmatia in a large military camp near the town of Burne (modern city of Kistanje, Croatia).
Preserved part of the tombstone with a reference to a veteran of the Eleventh Legion from Vicenza (Italy): "Marcus Billienus, son of Marcus, of the Tribe of Romilius, of the Eleventh Legion of Actium. Participated in a naval battle, settled in a colony, appointed decurion by decree, valiant man. " Rome, Museum of Roman Civilization. late 1st century BC-early 1st century AD
The altar of the Eleventh Legion. Vindonisa Museum. 1-2 century AD
- In addition to the main camp in Burna, the Legio XI vexillations were located in the city of Salona, the provincial capital, and together with the vexillations from Legio VII, which was also stationed with the Legio XI in this province, they guarded the fortress of Tiluri (modern village of Gardun, in Croatia) on the outskirts of Salona.
- During the reigns of Emperors Tiberius (reigned 14-37) and Caligula (reigned 37-41), Legio XI is still located in the province of Dalmatia, where it was assigned by Emperor Augustus in 9 AD.
- During this period, legionnaires of Legio XI are engaged in construction work. They are rebuilding and fortifying their camp in the city of Burne, buildings in the provincial capital (Salone), and building roads between their outposts in the province.
- During the reign of Emperor Claudius (reigned 41-54) in the province of Dalmatia, the governor of this province, Lucius Arruntius Camillus Scribonianus, rebelled against the emperor in 42, but the troops introduced into the province (Legio XI and Legio VII) did not support the rebel, who soon died.
- The Emperor Claudius, in gratitude for the legions ' loyalty to him, grants them the cognomen "Claudian, Faithful [Pious] and Devoted". This is mentioned by the Roman historian Dion Cassius in his work "Roman History", Book LX, (3).From then on, the Legio XI Legion until its abolition will be called Legio XI Claudia Pia Fidelis (the Eleventh Claudian Loyal and Loyal Legion). The Emperor Claudius also allocated money for repairs to the legion camp in the city of Burna and the construction of an amphitheater next to it. Also during the reign of Emperor Claudius in the province of Dalmatia, a city-colony of veterans from the Legio XI Claudia and Legio VII Claudia legions stationed here since 9 years was created called Ekva (modern Bosnian city of Chitluk, in the south of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the vicinity of the city of Mostar).
- It is possible that the Legio XI Claudia bill of exchange took part in the eastern campaign of Corbulo in 62-63 in Syria under the reign of Emperor Nero, but there is a dispute in scientific circles about this, it is known for sure that due to political events in the East, some legions changed their deployment, including Legio VII Claudia, which for a long time it stood together with Legio XI Claudia in the province of Dalmatia. That is, the Legio XI Claudia remained the only military unit in the entire province.
- In the civil war that broke out after the death of Emperor Nero (Year of the Four Emperors), Legio XI Claudia first supported Otto, then after his loss, the legion supported Vespasian, on whose side it took part in the Battle of Cremona (Bedriaca, the modern city of Cremona in Northern Italy)in 69.
- In 70, the legion took part in the suppression of the Batavian revolt, after which the legion was transferred to its new camp in Vindonissa (modern-day Windisch in Switzerland).
- Under the last Flavian emperor, Domitian (reigned 81-96), the legion took part in the war with the Hutts.
- In 101 AD, the legion was transferred to the city of Brigetia in Pannonia (a Roman province located in the area of Central Europe, in what is now Hungary, parts of Austria, parts of Slovakia, parts of Slovenia, parts of Croatia, parts of Serbia, and northern Bosnia and Herzegovina).
- In 114, the legion was transferred from Brigetium to Durostor (modern Silistra, Bulgaria). In this area, the legion was supposed to ensure security and order at the mouth of the Danube. At the same time, one of the Legio XI Claudia units was periodically sent to protect and maintain order in the Crimea (Taurida), which was at that time under the rule of Rome.
- During the reign of Emperor Hadrian in 132-136, Legio XI Claudia took part in the suppression of the Bar Kokhba revolt in Judea.
- At the end of the second century, in the year of the five Emperors (193), Legio XI Claudia took the side of Septimius Severus. He takes part in battles against another contender for power - the Arctic Fox of Niger. The Legion besieges Byzantium (modern Istanbul, Turkey), participates in the Battle of Issus (modern Gordo Iss, Turkey) in 194 AD.
- During the reign of the Emperor Gallienus (August 253 – August 268 AD), Legio XI Claudia supported him, rather than his opponent Postumus, for which he received the title Pia VI Fidelis VI ("Six times faithful and devoted").
- At the end of the third century (295 – 298), Legio XI Claudia units fought in Roman Egypt and Mauritania (Northwest Africa, the territory of modern Algeria (its western part) and Morocco (its northern part)).
- At the beginning of the IV century (302), the Legio XI Claudia is located in Durostor. By this time, Christianity is becoming popular in the legion, and as a punishment, the command subjects two Christian legionnaires-Julius and Gezikhius — to death tortures.
- At the beginning of the fifth century, the Legion was still stationed in Durostor. His further fate is unknown.
Possibly glass phalanxes found at the site of the 11th Legion's encampment in Vindonissa. Vindonissa Museum. 1-2 century AD
Tabula ansata in the center of the tegimentum Legio XI Claudia Pia Fidelis from Vindonissa
List of Roman Legions, Legion, Legionnaire, Legio X Fretensis, Legio VII Claudia, Legio XII Fulminata, Gaius Julius Caesar, Octavian Augustus, Year of the Four Emperors, Year of the Four Emperors
- R. Kanya "Legion" A brief description of the history of various legions on the XLegio portal.
- Dandelot-Collins "The Complete History of the Roman Legions".